Archive for April, 2015

Resolutions from the 2nd Pagak Conference by the SPLM-IO

Posted: April 30, 2015 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in History, Press Release
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By Malith Alier, Juba, South Sudan

salary

Salary in SSP: the infant salary in an infant nation?

April 30, 2015 (SSB)  —-   South Sudan’s independence in July 2011 arrived while the country was unprepared in many fronts. The controversial transitional Constitution was rushed in at the last minute so as to allow the swearing-in of the first president of the Republic.

On the economic front, the country was at the horns of dilemma whether to use local currency or US Dollar instead. Perhaps the level of unpreparedness was a result of the bickering over sticking CPA issues like the border demarcation, share of assets and liabilities as well as the explosive share of petroleum revenues.

Most of these issues continue to dog South Sudan today in a bad way. The convertibility of Pound to other major and regional currencies is the case this author weighs in through this piece. The architects of the South Sudan economy most likely envisaged that using US Dollar was not a good start but the realities on the ground proved this otherwise. The fact that this country continues to be a net importer of everything is the antithesis in the whole argument.

Many economists in this country believed that the South Sudanese Pound is simply overvalued against other currencies and therefore, nobody, country or individual is ready to trade on it. Also refer to article authored by Garang Atem Ayiik on the Pound and its convertibility on this blog.

A scan of neighbouring countries currencies shows that our pound is the strongest against all; Ugandan Sh2800/1, Kenyan Sh90/1, Sudanese SDG8/1, compared to South Sudanese Pound officially at SSP3.16/1. However, the black market in South Sudan is precisely reliable than you think. The South Sudanese is SSP9.00 per Dollar as we speak. It is only at this rate one can find willing buyers and sellers. The official rate cited above is the rate at which the government supplies Dollars to banks and other financial institutions.

Faced with this economic despair, the government attempted to unify the two parallel rates i.e. the black market and official into one in November 2013 something vehemently opposed by the lawmakers arguing that the country can’t afford it. The reverse to the status quo thus far prove unsustainable. Therefore, the government is once again preparing to convene an economic conference involving economists from the country and the region to discuss this pervasive unification of the parallel markets. Most likely, some recommendations will emerge among them; I think is the adoption of USA currency, the Dollar as the official currency for South Sudan.

This proposition is not farfetched. Many countries had done so in the past and it helped their economies weather the challenges they faced. According to Wikipedia, countries like Panama, Ecuador, Es Salvador, East Timor or Timor Leste, Zimbabwe, Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshal Islands, British Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands have successfully adopted the US Dollar as home currencies and are comfortable using it to transact day to day business with ease. Some of these countries have accustomed its use simultaneously with their home currencies.

Zimbabwe on the African continent, adopted the US Dollar in recent years at the time when its ZimDollar was affected by hyperinflation. Zimbabwe printed trillions of its valueless Dollars to be carried in bags and counting became a major problem along with storage.

South Sudan is facing similar situation as Zimbabwe. The country’s pound is losing value very fast and it was revealed that the country is contemplating printing more many. Its reserves to last for five years mentioned in 2011 have dried. There is the shortage of foreign currency as oilfields are rundown by the raging conflict. The military expenditure is billion Dollars overnight.

The way out is to adopt the US Dollar as the country’s official currency to stop the headache around the ill-fated Pound. The adoption of the US Dollar does not affect the country’s sovereignty. The adopted currency will only act as the medium of exchange, store of value, unit of measurement or simply a legal tender full stop.

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 


By Philip Thon Aleu, Juba, South Sudan

SPLM-Leaders Faction, formerly known as the SPLM Political Detainees

SPLM-Leaders Faction, formerly known as the SPLM Political Detainees

April 30, 2015 (SSB)  —-   The former detained politicians, known as G10, continue to assume huge political capabilities than they deserve – a year since they were released and dashed into exile. The group, with former SPLM Secretary General Pagan Amum as a de-facto leader, has been traversing world cities to showcase their political influence in South Sudan.

Like marauding cattle raiders, they have been positioning themselves as better alternatives to lead South Sudan – even at the expenses of our country sovereignty by suggesting UN Trusteeship which would cost the dignity of our people. Their reasoning is based on having not taken side in this “senseless war” – the two words all the parties to the conflict and FPD [Former Political Detainees] group insert in every speech.

Many articles have been written before and this one once again attempts to dissuade the supporters for the continued false hopes. The G10 are absolutely not better than President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar.

The strength of a politician is tied to his or her position in the government or army. After being relieved in the government famous reshuffle in July 2013, the influences of former ministers like Gen. Gier Chuang Aluong, John Luk, Gen. Oyai Deng, Kosti Manibe, Dr. Majak D’Agot and others had reached near dead-end. As for Pagan Amum, his dismissal from SPLM most influential post was the end of his political strength. Other members of G10 had their chances of influencing our country’s politics reserved in the SPLM party.

Unfortunately after being arrested at the outbreak of war in December 2013 and consequently released following intensive diplomatic pressure on the government, the G10 missed another chance by leaving the citizens behind to die in this “senseless war.”

The G10 opted to go on lobbying missions to London, Washington D.C, New York, Oslo etc in a true reflection of their political bankruptcy in the country.

Nobody would dare to deny that the G10, like other SPLM leaders, contributed tremendously to the liberation of our country. They did not die in the war because God saved them for a purpose. But equally true of them, including the SPLM in Government, the SPLM in Opposition, they contributed to the mess this country is witnessing today by ignoring core needs of the citizens and instead invest their energies to power struggle for political power only.

One is always puzzled when the supporters of G10 claim that they are saints in the mess of this country. They are not. Take each of them and examine the portfolio held before December 2013 to 2005. You will realize that each of them had a chance to change the course of this country by delivering real services and avert further suffering to the citizens. They did not. If they are the ‘messiah’ for South Sudanese, what would make one to believe those claims?

Happy reunion of the former political detainees in Nairobi Kenya

Happy reunion of the former political detainees in Nairobi Kenya

The assertion that G10 is a group of qualified South Sudanese nationalist is completely inadequate because their actions while in offices are not different from any group. There is nothing that differentiate them with any South Sudanese politician in Juba, Addis Ababa, Nairobi or in the bush with Riek Machar.

There is only one seat for the presidency in our country and there are many positions to serve the people. Did the president stop Pagan Amum from building SPLM offices? Did the president stop John Luk Jok from writing a people’s transitional constitution? Did the president stop Dr. Majak D’Agot from paying soldiers on time and have them properly nationalized?

The only person among the G10 who tried his best is former interior minister Gen. Gier Chuang Aluong who stabilize Juba’s neighborhoods. But again, that does not stop there. One has to go down a little more and ensure that the police is not an enemy to the civilians.

Placing a false hope on the G10 is completely unfortunate. The only chance that waits them is a return to the country, even if that means risking their own security. Come home to engage in civil sensitization for better South Sudan. If the SPLM is rigid to reform, then form your party like Gen. Buhari of Nigeria and you never know, things would tilt in your favor because this country will continue to exist as long as the world does. SPLM gave birth to South Sudan but SPLM is not the South Sudan state.

So holing up in Kampala or Nairobi or wherever would only means that the G10 want South Sudan to ‘nurture through dews.’ Or ‘luok ee theec’ in Dinka dialect. That is impractical and my opinion that your influence is being exaggerated will continue to hold some waters.

If it is not a self-interested grouping, then G10 is capable to exist as a body and do better politically, non-violently. Failure to do exactly that would translate into the G10 portraying an incorrect image to South Sudanese.

© Philip Thon Aleu, 2015

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 


Interview with Yousif Kuwa Mekki London, February 12 and 13, 2001
By Nanne op ‘t Ende

On 31 March 2001, Yousif Kuwa Mekki died in Norwich, England. Shortly before his death he agreed to a very long interview, that took two days to complete. In sessions of half an hour, with a weak voice but with unfaltering mind, he spoke one more time about his life, the struggle for the rights of the Nuba people, and finally, the struggle against cancer.

Mr. Kuwa, when were you born?
Well, in those days our people didn’t care about birthdays, but my mother said I was born when my father came back home from the war of Tullushi. And the war of Tullushi was in 1945. It was the last battle between the British and the Nuba people. My father had been a noncommissioned officer during World War II. He fought in many places: in Ethiopia, in El Alamein and so on.

And where did you grow up?
At the beginning we were in the Nuba Mountains, but after some time my father decided to go to Medani and we followed him there. Then, the Government of Sudan (after independence, in 1956. NotE) started asking old soldiers to report to them; it was in need of soldiers to fight the rebellion in the South, Anya Nya I. Many were tempted to rejoin the army by promises of good salaries and certain concessions at the end of their service. My father too decided to go, and I went back to the Nuba Mountains.

Did your father’s profession as a soldier influence your perception of the situation in Sudan?
It affected me a lot when I understood how he was being exploited, taken to fight his brothers in the South. It wasn’t fair.

How about your education?
I went to the first primary school in Miri and we sat for examination in 1957. I did well, but nobody from our school passed because the teachers didn’t teach us properly. The headmaster, for instance, was supposed to give us mathematics. But by the time the pupils entered the class, he would just take his chair outside to go and sit under a tree. He was from the North, and saw no need for a Nuba to be taught.

But you did pass eventually?
I went to my father, who was in Malakal by then, in the South; I travelled to Kadugli, from there to Kaka, and then to Malakal. By the time I reached there, my father’s unit was about to be taken to the North; to eastern Sudan actually. So I went with him, I repeated the year in Gibeet and this time I passed the examination.

I had two years of Sinkat school in Kassala and then the rest of it in Sinkat itself. After that I went to Khartoum Commercial Secondary School. I could say I used to be a good student in intermediate school and even a good Muslim. But when I came to the Khartoum Commercial Secondary School in 1964, I had some incidents, which really effected my thinking.

After the uprising against Abboud (president Ibrahim Abboud had taken power in a coup in 1958 and was overthrown by a popular uprising in October 1964. NotE), we had a National Government and there was a lot of discussion within the society. One of the issues that divided the Sudanese was the women’s right to vote. One of those days the religious teacher, who gave us Islam, asked the class: “Well, what do you think about women’s right to vote?” We all participated, some are for, some are against and so on.

What was your opinion?
I was for of course. In the Nuba society we don’t think of women as in any way inferior to men. So after we had finished debating, some students were asking him: “And you, teacher, what is your idea?” He said: “Women’s rights? Why should they be given any rights? Women do not even work in their home or in their kitchen. They have the Nuba boys for that.” I was very frustrated; I just threw the books and went out of the class. That was the impression we Nuba got: this feeling of being disregarded – it certainly affected my political career.

After I passed the certificate I didn’t go to the university; I went to Darfur instead to work as a teacher. I worked at an intermediate school in ad Da’ein for five years, and then another year or two in Nyala. In Nyala I passed the examination to enter Khartoum University, Faculty of Economics, in 1975.

What was Khartoum like at that time?
Well, agui (brother. NotE), I don’t know; it was a normal city of the north, with the usual discrimination. Sudan was like that: if you were black, you were always treated as a slave. It was one of the problems there. But I would like to hint at some other points that affected my political thinking at that time.

When I applied to the University of Khartoum I wanted to go to the Faculty of Arts, to study languages. Instead, the ballot took me to the Faculty of Economics – and I have never regretted it. Studying politics and anthropology really opened my eyes: to the life, the political situation and so on. One day, I came across a book written by Nyerere: ‘Let us run while they walk’. (Julius Nyerere was Tanzania’s first president. “We must run while others walk” was one of his slogans. NotE) He was saying that we Africans should run while the white people are walking, because they are far ahead of us. But to me the most important issue he addressed was the role of the indigenous religion.

With the incidents that happened in Higher Secondary School, with the life I was living, religiously I wasn’t in equilibrium with my self. Although I felt I was a Muslim, I also had the feeling something was eluding me. And I felt no self-release, until Nyerere somehow provided me with an answer. He said: “I became a Christian when I was twelve years old and I believe in Christianity. But I still believe that as Africans we have our own rituals.” As an example Nyerere told how his father – who was a chief, with a lot of wives of course – ordered him to go with one of the wives to the funeral of a relative.

Nyerere went with her, and when the funeral was over they wanted to go home. Now, in Africa, if your relatives are good, they will give you something to go back with – so they gave their daughter a goat. Okay? And Nyerere of course was the one to take the goat with him. But when he tried to pull the goat, the goat was actually pulling him. They were pulling each other until one of the relatives saw them. The man took some hair from Nyerere’s head; took some hair from the goat, rubbed them together and said some kind of spell. And the goat went straight to the house.

His belief in the African traditions actually gave me relief, because in the Nuba Mountains we have the Kujur. Sometimes they perform certain acts; you are looking at it, but you cannot explain.

Is there a specific event you have in mind?
When there is no rain for example, the people will tell the kujur to come. He will perform a certain ritual and the rain comes.

So the book showed you the possibility of combining Islam with African traditions?
Not only that: it really relieved me and gave me feeling that all religion is one. Whether it is Islam or Christianity or Judaism or whatever. The only thing is faith. This is one of the things that affected me. And of course we started to believe in African socialism at that time. (Which is not based on class struggle, but on the idea of the traditional African community providing for all its members. NotE)

What was the main issue you concentrated on, while you were in university?
I remember that I was studying during Ramadan. I went to the library of the university, to the section of Sudan. Suddenly a question crossed my mind: “What has been written about the Nuba?” Because from the intermediate school upto university we didn’t learn anything about the Nuba. We learned all about the Arabs: how they came to Sudan, how they made kingdoms here and there, how good they are and so on and so forth. But nothing about other tribes or civilisations. So I said to myself: “Why don’t you see what has been written about the Nuba Mountains?” Lucky enough, I found a very big book called ‘Nuba’. It was written by Nadel, the British, in 1947. (Siegfried F. Nadel: ‘The Nuba, an anthropological study of the hill tribes in Kordofan’, London 1947. NotE) And this was the first time I learnt to know about myself. About the different tribes in the Nuba Mountains, about a lot of things.

Before that, you had no idea of the diversity and the different customs and.?
It is one of the funniest things: when you were in the Nuba Mountains, you just knew your own tribe. We for example were Miri. So if we were asked: “Who are the Nuba?” we would try to say: “The other tribes – but not us.” Only when we came out of the Nuba Mountains, to the north or south or west, we learned that we are all Nuba.

Anyway: I found that book and it was very interesting to read, because now I had a chance to know more about myself. Every day, once I finished the lessons, I just rushed to the library. Sometimes I was to be told by other people that it was the breakfast of Ramadan, because I was completely absorbed by reading about the Kushite kingdom, the Meroetic and the Tigali kingdoms. There have been many good cultures and good kingdoms in the Sudan before the Arabs came, and I was asking myself: “Why did we never learn about these cultures?”

Did you discuss these issues with your fellow students?
In fact in 1977 we held a Nuba conference in the University of Khartoum, inviting all the Nuba students whom we thought were committed to their problems or to the Nuba Mountains.

You say ‘we’: was there already some sort of Nuba organisation?
There were a lot of Nuba students, but some didn’t care what was going on in the Nuba Mountains, some were frightened even to discuss these things. But others thought that this was about our rights. So we looked for students who had a feeling of loyalty to the Nuba Mountains and then we made a four days’ conference. Several people lectured us; I remember R. Stevenson happened to be there. He was a linguistic who had lived in the Nuba Mountains for twenty years or more. And there was Faris, the anthropologist and photographer, who wrote about Kau Nyaro. (James C. Faris, ‘Nuba personal art’, London 1972. NotE)

Was this conference held openly?
No, we only selected those whom we wanted to participate. I think we were around thirty or forty, I’m not quite sure now. We concluded that to help our Nuba people, we would have to participate politically. We had to be present; we had to be practical in the political arena. There were two things we wished to tackle, because they will always work against us: religious differences and tribal differences. Of course we have a lot of tribes. (Over fifty. NotE) And we have Christians, Muslims, non-Muslims and so on. The main result of that conference was the foundation of Komolo, or Youth movement, through which we wanted to work for the political rights of the Nuba.

Were the youth involved in Komolo from many different tribes?
Well, the main group was around Kadugli, and then Dilling. The Kowalib were with us, Heiban also, and we tried of course to penetrate other areas, but it was difficult. It was only the eastern Jebels where we were not present. Tagali, Abasya, and so on. Mostly we were in the University of Khartoum of course, so our activity was limited until we graduated. Then we started to operate in our areas, around Kadugli and other places.

Abdel Aziz al Hillu was already a member of Komolo at that time? (Abdel Aziz Adam al Hillu succeeded Yousif Kuwa as governor and commander of the SPLA area in the Nuba Mountains. NotE)
Yes, he was my deputy in the university. But not in the Komolo outside. I met him only in Khartoum University, but since then of course we were friends.

Were there no Nuba politicians at all?
In 1964, there was the General Union of the Nuba, or GUN. I remember we participated in lectures in 1965, when I was in the higher secondary school. Especially the students in the University of Khartoum were active in GUN. The party succeeded to have ten chairs in the parliament. The funny thing is: before 1964 there were these traditional parties, like Umma and the DUP (Democratic Unionist Party. NotE). For every election they used to import candidates from Khartoum and El Obeid to the Nuba Mountains, who would come with things and ask for votes.

You mean that they gave people presents to vote for them?
Money or whatever, yes. They would take the votes, and then never appear again until the next elections.

They never did anything for the Nuba?
No, no, not at all. They didn’t even know who the Nuba were, because they came from different areas. So after the October revolution of 1964, and the establishment of General Union of the Nuba, the members of GUN decided that the Nuba should stop these import candidates; we had to elect our own people. And that is when the elections of 1965 came. GUN gained ten seats at the cost of the Umma and the DUP. Since then, there has been a lot of conflict between these parties and the Nuba.

How was your relationship with Father Philip?
Yes, Philip Abbas Gabboush! He was the head of the Nuba Union. I looked at him as a godfather at that time. He did a lot of good for the Nuba.

Did he teach you what politics is about?
Not in classes and so on, just by practice.

You went back to Kadugli in 1980?
Yes, I worked as a teacher in Kadugli Higher Secondary School. It was a chance for us to recruit the young intellectuals, because most of them were working as teachers at that time, especially in the Nuba Mountains. Usually they had no other ambition than to have a bicycle, a good pair of trousers and a shirt, to follow the parties and the girls and so on. No interest in politics, none at all. They were our first target, and we started to tell them: “This is our country: if we do not participate ourselves, who is going to work for us?”

It was all clandestinely?
Yes.

And you met at houses of Komolo members?
Yes of course, we just saw who could be relied upon.

It must have been dangerous.
Well, not that much really. And our chance came soon, in 1981, when Sudan was divided into regions and there should be elections for the Regional Parliaments. Kordofan became a region, so that was a good opportunity for us. We concentrated our campaign on the youth. They didn’t care what was going on, but they were a big number. In each house you would find three to four, five youth. The older people already had their own orientation; if some of them were willing to participate or to help, we had nothing against them of course, but generally we just concentrated on the youth.

By youth you mean young men?
Young men, yes – and girls. We told them: there is no difference between boys and girls: this is our country, and all of us have to participate. It was really a good policy I think, because I won the election in Kadugli. So I went to El Obeid (The capital of Kordofan. NotE) as a representative of Kadugli constituency. There were other Nuba, three or four. I was elected Deputy Assembly Speaker in the Regional Body.

I understood you had many clashes with the governor?
From day one! In fact even before we went to the assembly body. In a meeting of all the representatives of Southern Kordofan we concluded that in the past Northern Kordofan used to take all our rights. We thought we had a chance now to have equality, or at least to have equal chances.

There were five positions in the assembly: the spokesman with the deputy, then the chairman of the assembly and his deputy, and then the government representative. So we said: “If the spokesman from the assembly body is from Northern Kordofan, the deputy should be from Southern Kordofan.” Okay? But then the assembly body chairman should be from Southern Kordofan and the deputy from Northern Kordofan. Of course, for the position of government representative, they had the right to choose whomever. That was what we agreed upon as representatives of Southern Kordofan.

But when we came to El Obeid, we were told that both the spokesman and the assembly body chairman would be from Northern Kordofan and only the deputies would be from Southern Kordofan. So we told them our position. Then I was called by the governor: “Ya agui, this is how we have decided to do it: why are you objecting?” I told him: “It is not me who is objecting; I am just saying what we have agreed to as a group. I think that if we could do it the way we propose, it would give us a good start – at least with a good will.”

First he plainly refused, and then he said: “We have to go for elections for that matter, in the assembly body.” We agreed; we made the elections, and the candidate of Northern Kordofan became assembly body chairman instead of me. I congratulated him and I told him: “Our objections should not be taken as something personal. That was our stand and we put it, but we’re ready to co-operate. The most important thing is the work for our people.”

Strangely enough, after three days, we discovered that we had been cheated. The assembly body met before the parliament itself. And in the elections, I remember, I had 24 votes, and the candidate from Northern Kordofan had 26. One, the spokesman was neutral; that made 51. On the third day in the parliament, the minutes of that assembly body meeting came out. And it showed that the first day one member had not been there – and that was number 48!

He made the difference you mean?
A big difference! How could there have been 50 votes when there were only 48 representatives, of whom one was missing? Of course peopled started to say: “Oh, we have been cheated, we ismudea, wowowo-,” they wanted to make a big issue out of it. But when they came to me, I said: “It is our own fault, we should have been more careful. Since the whole thing has gone, we have to work, no problem.”

But others continued, out of party motivations, and they wrote a message to the governor. They even included my name. So I was called again by the governor: “Oh, why are you making a lot of problems and troubles?” I asked him what was wrong. He said: “You signed with the people who are objecting!” I denied, and he said: “But your name is there!” I said: “Well, if my name is there, the question is: have I signed? I never saw this letter before.” And so on.

There were continuous problems, and we were always accused of being racialist and this and that and. a lot of problems. In 1983, when there was a re-election of governors, we fall apart with the governor and I went back to being just a representative of Kadugli constituency.

Was there any collaboration with other parties?
Well, there was some co-operation. But of course it was not so clear because all political parties were banned.

What were the objectives at the time?
We thought our area was backward – there was no comparison between Southern Kordofan and Northern Kordofan or any other part of the country. We wanted some equality, some services, so that people could feel that they were belonging to the same country.

Did you feel that is was possible?
It wasn’t possible, because whenever you talked, you would be – as I said – described as a racialist, a separatist, a this and that and always they would try to find something to condemn you for. And that is why we were enthusiastic to read the SPLA manifesto of 1983, which talked about fighting for a united Sudan, for equality and share of power, share of economy, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of practising culture. That is what made us join the SPLA in 1984. We were disappointed with the situation.

You had to go somewhere to join, you had to have some contacts.?
Yes.

Were there people, in Kadugli for example, who were involved?
In Khartoum. We had a meeting of the Komolo. After going through the manifesto, I was appointed to go and see the possibility of joining. I was told to go alone and report afterwards. And this is what happened. I went to Khartoum, there were people there who helped me to Ethiopia, and I joined the SPLA in Addis Ababa.

Did you discuss the matter with Doctor John Garang himself?
Sure. When I went there, of course I met him. I told him that we, as an organisation in the Nuba Mountains, had decided to join the SPLA, if there weren’t any restrictions or something like that. “And since you are calling for a New Sudan, a new united Sudan,” I said, “we from our side have no objection to join you.” And he welcomed us very much.

Would you say you are friends with Garang?
Ya, after that. Of course that was the first time I met him. But I think he is a friend, ya. Sometimes, when somebody has power, the friendship has. One has to be a bit cautious.

But I understand you trust him?
Very much – and he trusts me also.

Did you follow military training in Ethiopia after you joined?
My military training was in 1986, 1987. (In another interview he said it was from October1985 to December 1986, which is more likely to be correct. NotE)

So you did other things before that?
Yes. My first assignment was to represent the SPLA in Southern Yemen; I opened the office there. Then I was sent to Kenya, to tie relations with the Kenyan government. After that, I came back.

That was your assignment: to make contact with the governments of Yemen and Kenya?
No, the Yemen office was already established, I just became the representative. And actually my next assignment was not to make the relation with the Kenyan government, but just to go to Nairobi. At that time the tribal identity of the Movement was a big issue. Questions like Dinka Bahr al Ghazhal versus Dinka Equatoria, or the Movement being a Dinka movement and so on. Doctor John told me: “You go and make rallies, to explain that this is our Movement, that it has nothing to do with the propaganda of it being a Dinka movement.” And this is exactly what I did.

Were you successful?
Very successful, ya. Because I was from the Nuba Mountains people listened to me differently than to the others. And of course it was a matter of logic.

So after this campaign in Nairobi you went back to Ethiopia?
No, I went to Cuba: political school and military school. That was for the senior officers. (Yousif Kuwa was a member of the High Command of the SPLA. NotE)

Was it tough?
Not very. But it was good to see how the people were living there; it was a good experience. We moved around to other provinces during the holidays of political school. But during the military training we usually spent two weeks inside, only to go to another place for some entertainment every second weekend.

Did the political education influence you a lot?
Sure, sure. But it was mainly about the armed struggle.

You returned in 1987?
Well, we had some forces in the training centre, and I was given my first battalion: Volcano Battalion. I led it to the Nuba Mountains, together with Abdel Aziz, who was my adjutant.

Had it been Abdel Aziz who led the first task force that entered the Mountains in 1986?
No. In fact there were two battalions that went to penetrate the Mountains in 1986, but they existed of very few people. There were some Nuba people in the Abushok Battalion. They went with Awad Karim Kuku, Telefon Kuku and Yusuf Karra, and in the Mountains they found Yunis Abu Sudur. So when we arrived in 1987, they had already established a centre, and they had recruited some men. By the time we went in, the first group came out: almost one thousand men. They were from different areas, but the majority was from the Moro hills.

How many men were with you in Volcano?
We had two battalions; around six hundred men actually, because there had been desertion of course, on the way to the South.

What happened when you entered?
We entered on the twenty-fifth (of June. NotE), during the night, to avoid contact with the enemy or anybody else. We came through a place called Tabuli and from there we marched upto a placed called ar-Rimla, where we arrived at six in the morning. By the time we were settling some people came to warn us that the army in Talodi took its water from here, and that they may come after some times – with a tractor.

We chose to decoy them; to run with an ambush, so that we could take this tractor. But unfortunately, they had learned of our presence. They came in a lorry with a big force, and they started shooting at us. That was the first battle in my life, in ar-Rimla. We fought, we fought, and we killed eleven of them, or something like that; the rest ran away. But of course, they left the lorry behind. After the battle we continued to Serif al Jammus.

How did the Nuba people respond?
Oh, I wish I had had a video camera at that time. No, no, no, no, no, no, you can not imagine it now. I just compare it with films about the Roman Empire, when the legions, after winning a battle, come to Rome in triumph. You see people come and.

Actually they were afraid at the beginning. But some of them approached, and then they realised that these were their sons. They told the other people and then everybody rushed to his house to take whatever: water, milk, marissa (sorghum beer. NotE), whatever. They came meeting us in groups, and we were marching and people came running from different directions. It was fantastic, just fantastic.

You went to Serif al Jammus?
Yes, we went to Serif al Jammus and from there I went upto Achiron. That was my headquarters. The recruits were there too, and we started to move the number of them to the South. We stayed for two months, and then our ammunition became a problem.

When we moved from our training centre in Ethiopia we were told: “You will have your ammunition in front.” We went in front, then it was still in front, in front, in front, until we reached Fariang. (Place just south of the Nuba Mountains. NotE) We waited there, but after a while we said: “If we stay here without ammunition until the rainy season is finished, it will be very difficult to enter the Mountains.” So we had to go in with only sixty bullets average and hope that the ammunition would come soon.

Of course Riek Machar was the SPLA commander of Bentiu at the time. He had promised to bring the ammunition upto Fariang, but for reasons I don’t know he refused. He never did it and he said: “You come and take your ammunition from Bentiu.” I had to go back to Fariang, and then send soldiers of Fariang to Bentiu. I couldn’t send my own soldiers, because the majority of my forces were from the South. they would have just continued home.

So I left Abdel Aziz behind with some forces and came down to Fariang. We stayed there while those of Fariang went to Bentiu and brought back the ammunition. And now, wickedly, Riek convinced Dr John that we should go and attack Higliga. It had nothing to do with my mission, but instead of asking me for my opinion Rik just gave the orders to attack Higliga. I told him: “I am going to fulfil your orders, but I don’t think it’s a good idea and I am sure the army will disperse.” And that is what happened.

As soon as we told the troops we were going to Higliga, everybody took his things; they all went. We remained with our Nuba guys. At the same time, Abdel Aziz already reached us with some recruits. After the first battle at ar-Rimla, of course the government tried to drive us out of the Mountains. While I was in Fariang, the army attacked Achiron with the artillery, forcing Abdel Aziz to evacuate. Since there was no way for us to go back to the Nuba Mountains, we continued, with the rest of the recruits, to Ethiopia.

How was that journey to Ethiopia?
I don’t know in what sense?

Well, it’s not like you walk from here across the street!
Of course! Ya. But actually, when we came, we had to take a much longer road. We came through Pochala, Pibor, Bor, Fariang, and then we went in the Nuba Mountains. Luckily enough, by the time we came out, there was an agreement between SPLA and Anya Nya II forces (a resumption of Anya Nya I, formed before the SPLA with which it joined forces in 1983, later to split again to join the government. NotE) to stop the hostilities. So instead of going the long way, we just went through Adok – this is in the Shilluk area – to Atar, Khor Fulus, we followed that route upto Ethiopia, and it took us one month only.

Were the recruits prepared for a walk of one month?
Of course some didn’t know where we were going, and others. Well, you know – they were told: “Oh, we will reach, we will reach.” until we reached, ya. But of course, the first recruits went that long way.

I’m interested to know more about the training in Ethiopia.
Well, there was a training centre in Bilfam where all the recruits were trained. From there they would be divided into battalions and divisions, and then they were assigned. So our people were trained there, and then, in January 1988, we started going back, with six battalions. This was the New Kush Division.

I heard from many soldiers that the training in Ethiopia was really severe.
Ya, sometimes it was. Discipline and sometimes this question of food – well, a lot of problems. But there was no way out of course, it wasn’t a matter of accepting the circumstances or not: they just had to do it.

What happened when you re-entered the Mountains in 1989?
Well, yanni: we came, we occupied some places, we fought, we started to establish ourselves in the Nuba Mountains. And this is what has been done upto now.

Surely, there must be more you can tell me about it?
It’s a long story of course. Abdel Aziz took five of the battalions in front and he entered the Mountains in March. I came behind with one battalion, but the first forces entered in March. Now the way they entered, from the South, they would have to pass through Lake Abiad. But at that time, the Baggara Arabs used to concentrate their cows around the Lake. We knew they were there and the soldiers had strict orders not to touch them, not to quarrel them – because we had nothing to quarrel them for.

So when our forces approached Lake Abiad, they decided to walk the whole night to bypass it. And they did bypass it until in the morning they reached a point of water, called Hafir Nigeria, where they wanted to have a bit of rest. But the Baggara militia had found their trace and they had followed it until they came and attacked our soldiers in Hafir Nigeria.

You see? This is one of the things we are always trying to say, because we are often accused of being against the Arabs and so on, while that is not true at all. When the militia attacked them, of course, our people fought. The Baggara went back with their casualties and our forces continued to Fama.

There, the government army knew that our forces were coming. It had two battalions, called Volcano One and Volcano Two. (Not to be confused with the SPLA Volcano Battalion that entered the Mountains in 1987. NotE) Volcano One, I think, was in Fama. It clashed with our forces there. Our forces fought them; they even destroyed a tank and captured an anti-tank gun. Actually they almost destroyed Volcano One.

From Fama our forces went to Korongo Abdallah. Korongo is two hours walking from Kadugli, so the government army didn’t like that. It started to collect all its forces. And then one day they started to shell Korongo. From five in the morning upto the evening: shelling from far away. With the one-twenty, with the Howitzer and so on. They were shelling the whole day. And of course, anybody who heard the shelling would say: “Oh, there is nobody left in Korongo.”

But that was not all: the government army went to the people of Kaylak – Kaylak is south of Korongo, there are Baggara Arab militias there – they went and told them: “Ya, Korongo is finished! You just go there and collect whatever you can find, whether cows or whatever is there. All the people of Korongo are finished!” But actually, in spite of all the shelling, nothing serious had happened.

No damage done at all?
No, not at all; very few shells hit anything.

Korongo lies on a U-shaped hill, okay? And our forces were up there, all along this U-shaped hill. To their surprise they saw the Arab militia coming, in a very big number, with their wives singing and… Some carried guns, others just spears – and they fell in that ambush: they were killed very badly.

When he entered Korongo, Abdel Aziz had found one of the Baggara Arabs there. He told him to go and tell his people that our forces had nothing against the Baggara, and that they should not support the government. The man went with his son, and according to the information we got, he talked to the people. He said: “These people, don’t undermine them. They are not against you, so there is no need to go and fight them.” Then they described him as a coward – if he didn’t want to fight he should take his children and his sons and go. He took his sons and left. And these people came to their fate.

Our forces in Korongo endured a lot of attacks from the government army, and each time they repulsed them. But because it was a continuous thing, they decided to leave Korongo. They wanted to go to the Moro hills, because our supporters there were larger in number and it is a bit far from Kadugli.

They needed support of the people for food, and shelter and things like that?
For everything, yes. So, they decided to go to Moro, and they moved. Unfortunately the government army was informed and our forces fell into a very big ambush. Of course they were dispersed but in the end they came together in the Moro hills. They reorganised themselves, and then they started to distribute the battalions to different areas. They took some places, like Regifi and Umdulu – Umdulu is Moro land, Regifi is in Otoro. They met little resistance, because except for Kadugli, there were no armed troops stationed in the Mountains. Only policemen.

After Abdel Aziz had retreated to Moro, the government responded very heavily on.
Korongo ya. Because, of course, it was near to Kadugli.

Did the people of Korongo blame the SPLA for their problems?
I don’t know.

You have no idea?
I have no idea. But of course, some people stayed, some joined the government and so on.

When did you come in?
Well, I came to Fariang in April, when there was no water between Fariang and the Nuba Mountains. I was advised not to continue, because the militia would make ambushes at the few places of water. So we stayed in Fariang.

Now Hamad Abdel Karim, the Nuba commander of Volcano Two (one of the battalions of the government army; see above. NotE), was ordered to attack me in Fariang. But since the fighting had begun, according to him almost forty percent of his forces were out of action. So he said: “Most of my soldiers are wounded and some have died – I cannot go to Fariang unless I have new forces.” Nevertheless they insisted that he should go, but he just closed his mind and went back to Kadugli. He was arrested and put in prison, but then the coup d’état of Bashir came. (30 June 1989. NotE) This is where he was released.

We were in Lake Abiad, at three o’clock daytime, when we heard that there was a coup in Khartoum, that Omar al-Bashir is the leader of this coup and so on. That night we entered the Nuba Mountains.

Did the coup divert the attention from the Nuba Mountains; was it an advantage for you?
Not at all. It didn’t change anything. Maybe it was good for the South, because when al-Bashir came to power they declared a six months ceasefire for the South. But that wasn’t extended to the Nuba Mountains; in fact we have been fighting all the time.

You met up with Abdel Aziz in Moro?
Ya, in Limun, where he had made his headquarters. From there I went to Changaro and I made my headquarter there. After some times, Abdel Aziz took a battalion, and he came to Korongo again. Then Ismael Khamis took another three battalions to the western Jebels, and he established himself there. That was still in 1989.

Was there a strategy of how to penetrate the Nuba Mountains, where to go first or where to.
Yes of course! We had supporters in the western Jebels, so we planned to go there. And they are there upto now, despite all the efforts of the Sudanese government.

Especially in 1992, when they recruited 35.000 men of the army, militia and mujahadiin, for the Tullushi battle. They gave us a very hard time, but our forces resisted. The government army stayed until May, when the rain started to fall. (The siege of Tullushi started in december1991. NotE) They saw the danger of being there during the rainy season, so they withdrew, after making a lot of noise: “Oh, we have cleaned the Nuba Mountains of the rebels.” It was a lot of lies.

The Tullushi battle is legendary among the Nuba; can you tell me more about it?
Well, it was very big ya, but I cannot give details, because I was not there. Mohamed Juma’a was the commander of Tullushi battle. Of course I was commanding from the headquarters, but I had other things to take care of.

The Tullushi battle took place after the break-away of those of Riek (In August 1991 Riek Machar and other senior SPLA leaders had turned against John Garang, causing a split within the SPLA. NotE), and we had been cut off from the South. As a result, our logistics were very few, and I had to be very economical. When they made noise, I just gave them two or three boxes. And they would go and fight with it, and sometimes, of course, they captured ammunition from the government. They captured a lot of armament in the Tullushi battle. And I remember we killed a lot of Iranians.

Did you see their bodies?
Well, I saw their skeletons.

Although you were the main responsible person for the whole operation, most of the military activities were carried out.
By the commanders Like Abdel Aziz and Ismael khamis With Mohamed Juma’a yes, and the rest. It is true.

How was the working relationship with these commanders?
Well, since we entered in 1989 the relation was very good. And we worked in harmony until the split of Riek, when some people started to change their mind, like Awad Karim Kuku and Yunis Abu Sudur.

Awad Karim Kuku had joined Riek Machar in 1986. He had come with him to the Bentiu area, had been with him all this time, and he fought a lot of battles at the side of the Nuer, Anya Nya II especially. Awad Karim believed that the Nuer were more courageous than the Dinka – they had no fear of fighting. Okay? So when he heard that I declared my support to Garang, immediately after the mutiny, Awad Karim wasn’t happy. But he didn’t discuss it with me. I think he went and discussed it with those of Abu Sudur.

Yunis Abu Sudur had a different attitude altogether: he didn’t want to fight anymore. He thought there was a chance for him to have a good position, because when he was in the government army, his commander was Omer al-Bashir. So these men came together. They wanted to mobilize officers and forces loyal to them, in order to confront me.

Of course our intelligence discovered it and they warned me. I did my best actually to avoid problems. Right at the beginning, I called them and I said: “This is a very bad situation and we don’t know the outcome. But the important thing is that we should stick together in all cases. We have to stick together and we have to treat our people well, because if we are cut off, or if the whole thing collapses there, we have to be with our people here until the day comes that we can make an agreement with the Sudanese government or whatever.” That was my advice to them.

But as I said, each had his own ideas. Awad Karim, I think, believed that Riek would take over the SPLA, and he thought he had a lot of supporters here and there.

Did they themselves have a lot of support?
No, they just chose some officers here and there and NCO’s (noncommissioned officers. NotE). In the end I arrested them and we arrested those who were active: officers or NCO’s.

What happened to them?
Well, I put them in the prison. Then I took them to Fariang, out of the Nuba Mountains, so that there would be no problems inside. From there other forces were to escort them to Bahr al-Ghazal; I wanted them to go to the South, to stay there. I sent their wives to join them and they were marched off.

Unfortunately, there was this disease in Fariang: kala azar. (Visceral leishmaniasis; transmitted by sandflies; fever, weight loss, swelling of spleen and liver, anaemia; deadly if untreated. NotE) A lot of officers died of kala azar while they were walking to Bahr al Ghazal. Those who did reach Bahr al Ghazal, were put in the prison there. After some times Dr. John said: “We have to forgive them, whatever happened.” So those who had survived were released and they went to the South, to Kaya and so on.

Later, I think those of Awad and Yunis involved themselves with somebody called Abu Khazim, from Darfur. There were monitors between Uganda and Sudan, and they were trying to take them hostage or to drive them away. I think the security knew this and took them to prison. When I went to the convention (the 1994 SPLA convention in Chukudum. NotE), I was told that some people had broken out of prison. They had wanted to escape to Uganda first, but they ran into our forces and clashed with them. Some died on the spot; the others changed their direction to Zaire. But our forces there had closed the road and they clashed with them also. And this is where I knew Awad and Yunis were killed.

Could you describe the situation in the Nuba Mountains in 1990 and 1991?
In those years, the hunger was the most dangerous. Actually it convinced me that hunger is the most dangerous enemy. Yanni, we can fight with our enemies, against tanks, against what, but we cannot fight hunger.

What caused the hunger?
Shortage of rain. It was really a very bad time; a lot of people were suffering. And then some said that they wanted to go to the government.

They were expecting food from the government?
Well of course, on the government side there were relief camps from the UN. Meanwhile the government was refusing any relief to come to us.

What did you say to these people?
I told them it was better they went, instead of dying of hunger.

So they went?
Of course they went.

At some point you entered into negotiation with the government, is that right?
Well, actually it was initiated in 1990 by one of the ministers called Mohamed al-Amin Khalifa. He sent me a message, trying to tell me: “Yes, you have a problem, but this problem has nothing to do with the South. We are ready to sit with you as Nuba and solve this problem alone, without being part of the South,” and so on.

I replied to him that this was really the policy of the colonial powers: divide and rule. We are not claiming anything specific. Yes, it is true, we have our specific problems, but the problem is general. If we can solve the whole problem, then our problems automatically will be solved. I don’t think we can solve the Nuba problems without the Southern problem. And if we don’t want to fight the government, what do we do if the South is still fighting? That would mean we have to fight the South – either way we keep fighting. So, that was the first message from him and I replied.

Then, when those of Riek broke away, they tried again. A test of course; my reply was the same, but this time they also came through the governor of Kadugli. We exchanged a lot of messages, and he sent some of our people, who told me: “Oh, this is a good governor; he’s better than the previous one; people can make a deal with him.” I told them that I didn’t believe that, because he’s a governor, not the president. If one of my officers somewhere wouldn’t go along with my policy, I couldn’t leave him to his post.”

But they insisted: “No, he is good; let us try,” and so on. So I said: “Well, if that is the case: we have our grievances with this government. When this government came to power, they declared a ceasefire for six months in the South. They didn’t do it, even for a day, in the Nuba Mountains; upto now they are allowing relief to go to the South, they are not allowing relief to come to us. So how do I trust such a government and how do we deal with such a government? At least we need to know that they really mean what they are saying. If they mean it, then, at least they have to let the relief come. ” And they said: “Okay, let us sit and see whether the relief comes,” and so on and so forth. This is why we had the Tabanya meeting.

Representatives of Khartoum and of the governor of Kadugli came to Tabanya and met with our people. One of the issues was to allow free traffic between the government area and our places. The representatives agreed to it: everyone could go and come back freely. The people in our area had a lot of problems: they were lacking salt and so many other things, so they rushed to the town to buy whatever they needed – and then they were forbidden to leave. We stopped the whole thing at once.

When did the population start to abandon their villages in the plains or down the hills to flee up the mountains?
On their own, or when they are forced?

When they were forced.
Of course this is during the attacks and during the military burning of farms and so on.

The years following 1989, there were a number of attacks from the government and the Popular Defence Forces on villages throughout the Mountains: how did the SPLA respond to these attacks?
Well, actually the attacks on the villages didn’t start in 1989. At the beginning they used to come and fight us wherever we were, as SPLA. But the Tullushi battle in 1992 made them realize how difficult it would be for them to dislodge us. Then they started trying to take the people away from us, to drain us from the population. That is the policy they have been using upto today. Instead of engaging the SPLA forces directly, they go to undefended villages, surround them and take all the people to what they call ‘peace villages’.

How would you describe these peace villages?
Well, I didn’t see them, but what I heard is that they are places where people are collected. Sometimes the women are chosen to work in the houses, and men are taken to the agricultural schemes to work there. Children are taken to Koranic schools, so that they become Islam-oriented and so on. This is what I heard – beside the other abuses that are committed inside these peace camps.

There’s something called ‘peace from within’.
Ya, from 1992 also, they started to call an-Nafir as-Shaabi (literally ‘the co-operation of the people’. NotE). This meant that they were trying to persuade certain chiefs to go to their tribes and tell them: “Oh, you better come to the government.” They would give them some salt and sugar and other things that we lacked at that time, so they could attract people to follow them to the government areas or to the peace camps. That has been the policy of the government ever since they felt that they couldn’t easily finish the rebellion in the Nuba Mountains.

Has it been a successful policy?
To some extent, yes. First of all: since we entered the Nuba Mountains, until 1993, there was no tribalist attitude among the Nuba. But due to this policy, feelings of tribal rivalry were revived among the SPLA soldiers and the population. The government targeted almost every village. They would send a chief or somebody from the elite to go and talk: “You are this tribe, why do you follow of X or Z? The war is not good, we should stop it, and so on.”

What did you do to address it?
Nothing, except talking to the people: that this is the government policy of tribalism, of divide and rule and so on.

You travelled a lot to meet the people?
Sure, sure. Since 1989 I used to travel from place to place, to tell the people why we are fighting and what is our goal. I don’t think there is a place where I did not go. Maybe a small village, but. Sometimes a lot of villagers gathered in one place so that I could address them all at once. This way I have been visiting the whole area that was under our control.

You’ve been quoted saying: “I have always been more involved in politics than in fighting.”
Well, first of all, I do believe a politicised soldier is far better than just a normal soldier. And politicised people will know why they are fighting; they know why they have to resist or why they have to face these difficulties and so on. You can say I am rather a politician than a soldier. So I make rallies with the army and with the people.

And since 1990 we have been organizing the people so they feel participants in the struggle. We started in Nagorban, where I was staying. The people chose their representatives on a village level, payam (group of villages. NotE) level , and county level. The first year was a test, and when it proved to work very good, in 1991 we started to establish it in other places we controlled. One year later we held a census: not less than 400.000 people were living under our administration.

Is there a relationship between the hunger you talked about and setting up a democratic administration?
There is no relation. I thought we had to make people participate, especially the citizens. That is why we were trying to organize them: so they would feel that what was going on is not a military thing or an SPLA thing; it is our thing, our SPLA. That was the idea behind organizing them, and it had nothing to do with hunger, hunger is a different issue altogether.

How were the representatives chosen?
We called al the villagers together in a village congress, so that they chose their committee. The committee is a matter of eleven members, which should include the chief and a women’s representative – the rest they can choose freely. This is how each village chooses their representatives.

Then ten villages compose a payam. The representatives of these ten villages compose a base for the payam, and they too will select eleven from among them as payam administrators and representatives. Put it in mind that here also there should be a representative for women, and that the chief of the people’s court should be there. So, that is the Payam.

Five payams compose a county and the representatives of the five payams of course elect the county council from among them.

It must have been difficult; there were not many educated Nuba in the Mountains.
Of course, upto now there are only few educated people, but I don’t think it was that difficult. First of all, we wanted them to feed the army. And this had nothing to do with education. We wanted to try if they would be able to see and to tackle their problems themselves. If not, they could always hand it over to others and so on and so forth. It didn’t need any intellectual thinking, just common sense really.

But the people had little experience with ideas like democracy?
Ya, well, no. I think most of the Nuba had experience with a more traditional type of democracy. In the past, when there was any problem in the village, the elders of the village would come together to discuss it, and they would come out with some decision – which the village would follow. So it was not that strange.

The difficulty actually came as a result of the fear of the citizens from the soldiers. When the soldiers first came they were a bit harsh; they solved things with force and so on, so that was the difficulty at the beginning. But we encouraged the civilians and we always supported them, until they became more self-confident.

You say the soldiers were harsh: how did they behave?
Well, as soldiers. Most of them were okay, but soldiers always look down at civilians: even if they are educated, they are just civilians. And this was always the problem: when a soldier wanted something and someone wouldn’t give it to him, he could just take it. But mainly they were okay, especially in the Nuba Mountains. Some of course tried to use their weapons to steal and -, yanni, we executed them.

You said the people were suffering, and hunger drove them to the government side. Was this one of the developments that led upto forming the Advisory Council?
Once again: the hunger had nothing to do with governance or organisation. The Advisory Council met in September 1992: there was no hunger.

Hunger was no issue in 1992?
Not at all, ya. The hunger was in 1990, 1991

I had the impression that.
No, no, no, no, no, nothing at all. What led to the Advisory Council was a completely different issue.

I told you there were people who wanted to make a coup – or whatever you may call it. I had to arrest them and take them to the South. But of course I said: “If our people do not want to fight, it will be very difficult to push them. So it is better I take their opinion and see whether they want to continue fighting or not, after this period.” That was the idea behind the Advisory Council.

In 1992 we had all the organisations formed, including the different counties, so all county members were members in this Advisory Council; all the task force commanders; all the chiefs; representatives of the Christians and Muslims, and so on. We had around 200 members, and that is how we held the first Advisory Council. The meeting went on for four days.

The first two days actually I did the talking. About the history of the Nuba since the Kushite kingdom, all along, until the independence. How, after independence, the General Union of the Nuba was established and then how Komolo came, how people looked at the SPLA manifesto and how we joined the SPLA. I talked about what we gained all this time, and what we lost.

What had the Nuba gained – and what had they lost?
Taking up arms had given the Nuba a status they didn’t have before. They became more respected than before. Each government would try to have a Nuba minister – this had never been seen before. The Nuba people had even started to feel some self-confidence, they no longer feared being Nuba, and so on. Which was a very big gain. And of course, the losses were this war, the destruction, the death and so on and so forth. But this is the price of freedom.

So, after finishing I told them: “I am responsible for all that happened before, upto this day: I can take the whole responsibility. But from today on, it will be us to decide. Either we continue fighting, and this would be our responsibility – or we stop fighting, and this would be our responsibility also. And after that, we will let the individuals take their decision: If we decide to fight and some prefer to go to the government, they are free to do so. And if we decide to surrender and some want to go to the South and fight, they are also free to do so.” With that, I opened the discussion, and it went on for two days.

A very hot discussion, because some suggested that we should make peace with the government, and others did not want to stop fighting.

What were the arguments in favour of peace with the government?
Well, that there were a lot of dead, that there was hunger, that people were dying, they were naked, there were a lot of diseases, and so on. But I remember there were two women, who really stood up and argued against this.

They said: “Well, if it is a matter of death: you can die on your bed. If it is a matter of diseases: diseases have been always there, whether in peacetime or in war. If it is a matter of nakedness: our people usually were naked before knowing the clothes and so on. But we have been fighting for a goal. We’re halfway down the road: it is better that we continue instead of just leaving our goal halfway down. And this actually turned most of the people around. Especially men felt ashamed. And on the end the Council voted for continuation of the fight.

These ladies: were they members of the Komolo?
No, they were members of the counties, the women’s representatives.

They can be both, I mean.
After joining the SPLA, we didn’t tackle this question of the Komolo’s. Those who were Komolo’s were Komolo’s, those who are not -, we are all treated the same. It depends on what work you are doing.

One of the people who were for peace with the government was Telefon Kuku.
Ya, Telefon actually was the leader of our delegation to the Tabanya peace talks. I was receiving reports saying that he had several meetings with the head of the government’s delegation – whom I knew by the way – without having anybody with him. But what they discussed and what was going on exactly was not clear, so I couldn’t do anything as long as we didn’t have any evidence.

He only came out with his ideas during the Advisory Council. Actually, nobody was angry, it just gave a good discussion. But when the people voted for continuation of the fighting, Telefon got angry. Of course he had no right to be angry, because this was the people’s will. I think from then on, he started to have his own way of thinking.

In 1993 I was told to go to the Abuja peace talks (in Nigeria. NotE), so I went out. And of course, by then we had a lot of problems. As I told you, from 1992 onwards we had a difficulty of logistics. So when I went, I was trying my best to have some logistics to the Nuba Mountains.

The only possibility to get it there was by plane, but at that time, no plane had come to the Nuba Mountains or to Fariang. There was no airstrip in the Nuba Mountains, and whenever I would tell someone about the Nuba Mountains, he would think this was a government held area, and so on and so forth. Anyway, I had great difficulty in convincing some pilots to take these things to Fariang.

Once actually we agreed with somebody: he said it was okay; he was going to do this and that. So because Telefon was in Buram and Buram is near to Fariang I sent a message to him, that he should send forces to Fariang to collect the ammunition. At the last moment we made a mistake: the ammunition should have been covered, but it wasn’t. When the pilot came and he saw what the cargo was, he refused to bring it to Fariang.

Of course the soldiers went there, they waited and nothing was brought. We tried another pilot, he agreed. And then I think the first one came to the second one to tell him: “You are going to take ammunition,” and he too refused. We had a lot of difficulties. I remember we had even bought a small plane ourselves, that we had wanted to use to take at least a little, so that the soldiers in the Mountains would feel we were doing something for them. Unfortunately that plane came down and burned. A lot of difficulties.

Then he started to blame me: saying I am cheating them, I’m deceiving them, we’re deceivers, a lot of things.

That was Telefon?
That was Telefon.

Then, there was the SPLA convention, which we wanted to hold in Chukudum, in the South. We asked for some representatives from the Nuba Mountains, but Telefon discouraged the people to come, especially from his county. He said: “If there is a plane, we will go. If not, people shouldn’t walk all this way,” and so on.

Tabanya was his home area?
Buram, yes. So a lot of his people didn’t come, although the rest came, walking for seventy days to reach the area and so on. Instead Telefon wrote a very bad letter to me, describing the Movement (Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, SPLM. NotE) as a weak movement and a lot of other bad description. I felt that he couldn’t have said this unless he had a pact with some government forces.

It sounds as if he were very disappointed?
Well, I don’t know for what he would have been disappointed – unless because people didn’t go along with his ideas, or because of this question of ammunition and so on. That can not justify what he did. After a while, we heard of the army attacking and even occupying Buram. And Telefon was not serious about fighting them. So I gave orders to arrest him and put him in the prison.

He was known to be for a peace accord with the government, didn’t you keep a very close watch on him?
At the beginning I didn’t, but when he started to send these messages, actually I said that people should watch him. But of course the one who went there could not. he kept anything.

He was very clever at hiding what he was doing?
I think so.

You left in 1993, to attend the Abuja Conference.
The Abuja Conference, ya. And when I came back, I was assigned to prepare for the First National Liberation Council Meeting of the SPLA. I chaired the committee which was preparing for that, and then, I think the beginning of April 1994, the people came from different areas under SPLA control, whether Nuba Mountains, Blue Nile or the South. Then we had the convention in Chukudum.

Did you also chair the convention?
Yes. After chairing the committee, when we started I was elected as the chairman of the convention.

Would it be fair to say that what you managed to achieve on a smaller scale in the Nuba Mountains, was now going to be applied for the whole of the liberated areas?
Well, almost, this is what has been adopted. Of course, this question of forming self-government there, was going to be adopted as a law in the liberated area.

After the Chukudum convention, you didn’t go back to the Mountains?
Well, I couldn’t go without solving the problem of finding ammunition and getting it there. So we were trying this and that, until at last I managed to get five tons, which we took to the Mountains by plane; this was in May 1995. It was the first time, or the second time -, anyway, this is where we started to have planes going to the Nuba Mountains.

While you were outside the Nuba Mountains, Ismael Khamis was in command?
Ismael was in command, yes. He was responsible for all the current affairs; we only had contact if there was something to go there or to come out. We used long-range radios.

During the same time a new organisation was formed: the Nuba Relief, Rehabilitation and Development Society.
NRRDO, or NRRDS yes, at that time. The Sudanese Government was still refusing any relief to the Nuba Mountains. The situation was really bad. We only managed because we made a peace agreement with the Missiriya (one of the Baggara tribes. NotE). In 1993 they started to bring some items like salt, sugar, clothes, and shoes. Although it was very dear, because of the need people rushed to buy.

Did they pay with money?
No, it was in kind of cows, whatever. There was no money.

So when I went out in 1993, I met those of the OLS (Operation Lifeline Sudan. NotE) in Nairobi, and I told them about the situation in the Nuba Mountains. They said they believed there was a need for relief there, but they couldn’t go to the Nuba Mountains unless the Government allowed them. Without permission they couldn’t do anything. But they were going to do this and that. Nothing happened.

While they were delivering relief in the South for.
In the South, in the North: OLS was delivering relief everywhere, except in the Nuba Mountains. To deliver relief, there had to be a triple agreement, between the SPLA, the UN and the Government of Sudan. Since the Government was refusing, they couldn’t do anything. Then I remembered those of African Rights: Alex De Waal, Yoanes and others. They came to Nairobi and met with some organisations, they convinced them that they should help the Nuba people clandestinely.

They had already been in the Mountains at that time?
No, not yet. But they collected some money and they made a forum, called NEAR. (Network for East Africa Relief: Norwegian People’s Aid and Christian Aid, African Rights, Medicins Sans Frontieres and New Sudan Council of Churches. NotE) This was the time we thought about making an indigenous NGO (Nongovernmental Organisation. NotE). Because the organisations in NEAR couldn’t go and stay in a situation such as ours, we had to have our own people, who could deliver whatever is brought, and implement it there. This is how NRRDO was formed.

In fact, the idea of forming an indigenous NGO existed before the formation of NEAR. There was a father from the Nuba Mountains – Beshir Ad-Dow; he’s now in America – who suggested it. I told him, “Well, let’s do it.” And I remember we had some Nuba people who wanted to participate in setting up the organisation, but of course they decided that they couldn’t continue with the SPLA. (This is later, after the founding of NRRDS: some members, like Mohamed Haroun and Yunis Domi, joined the government, others went for resettlement abroad. NotE) I told them: “If you want to help your people, this is the place you can do it.” Anyway, they made the constitution.

After the convention I had to come to Nairobi, in order to register the organisation. But there should be a committee of course. Since Beshir had left to America, to continue his studies as he said, I formed a committee, headed by Mohamed Haroun Kafi. In fact all members were people already in Nairobi, so that they didn’t cost us anything – there was no money at that time. After that they became part of NEAR, and it attracted a lot of donors, who gave money and so on and so forth.

So now there was money for NRRDO, but the committee was not elected: it was appointed. So I wanted those of NRRDO to go down to the Nuba Mountains, explain to the people there what NRRDO is and how it works, and ask them to elect the committee that runs the organisation. Mohamed tried to dodge his way out-, actually the majority did so. Only Kodi went down to meet with the people in the Mountains.

In the end they said the Advisory Council should elect the committee, and it was elected that way. Mohamed was assigned to Nafir, so we put Yunis Domi in his place, until. Then, of course, they assigned Neroun (Neroun Philip, present day executive director of NRRDO. NotE). Actually I was told about Neroun; his character and his career, so I advised them to appoint him as the head of NRRDO. This is how Neroun came to take over.

After some times, Mohamed Haroun went over to the Government, followed by Yunis Domi.

Sad story, that one.
Ya, well, not very sad. It’s normal. At least he didn’t take a lot of people with him. They were really only a few people – five or six – who were generally useless. Most of them were in Kakuma, others were in Nairobi. So it wasn’t sad. It would have been sad if the whole population had been divided or something like that, but five, three, four people wasn’t so terrible. They made a lot of propaganda out of it, but there was nothing.

In 1995 you managed to bring in a lot of logistics. Did it help that Abdel Aziz was head of logistics at that time?
Not necessarily, although he was head of logistics, it had nothing to do with Abdel Aziz. At that time he was almost handing over to go to eastern Sudan. And the main problem was transportation.

Meantime, in the Nuba Mountains, Kaluka was making the airstrips. (Osman Jagub Kaluka. NotE)
Kaluka said so?

Yes, he told me that he prepared the first airstrips.
Ya, he wants to make something for himself, but he wasn’t. He wasn’t at all. He was an officer, who was appointed to NRRDO, but I don’t think he was involved in preparing the airstrips. (Kaluka was SRRA secretary at the time, and probably was involved in some way or another. NotE)

We made an airstrip in Karkarai – I think, mainly I was the one. Was that the first one we made? No, the first one was in Tebari. And who did it? But of course: those of Ismael. And then there was Mohamed Kambal, who said he knew a bit about airstrips because he had been working on the airport and so on. So they were the ones who helped. Ya. The first airstrip we used was in Tebari; the second one in Karkarai and then, after that, in so many places.

Did the airstrips attract the attention of the Government army right away?
I don’t know.

I mean: now any airstrip is a target for government offensives.
This is a recent development, of the last two or three years; from 1997 onwards. They said: “Well, we can work out an arrangement with the South concerning its self-determination, but this can’t include the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile. But the SPLA said: “No, we can only agree with self-determination is for all of us,” and so on.

Then, the Government took to the strategy of trying to re-occupy the Blue Nile and to close the airstrips in the Nuba Mountains, so it could declare that these areas were no longer part of the rebellion. The Government army fought the SPLA very severely in Blue Nile, but it was repulsed and defeated badly. So they came to the Mountains.

Actually, they sent seven convoys; they were repulsed. Then they started using long-range artillery to shell the airstrips from a safe distance. This is how they closed the airstrips of Tebari and Karkarai. We moved to Gidel – we had I think two airstrips there, or even three – until 1999, when they succeeded in closing down those airstrips too, with the long-range artillery. But of course we made other airstrips.

You came back in 1995 after an absence of one and a half, two years; how did you find the situation?
Well, I don’t know what I can say, but people were happy that I was back. They thought they had missed me while I was out. A lot of administrative matters and so on.

[I turned of the recorder to go through my notes. Actually I didn’t have many questions left. Maybe there had been events or developments I had never heard or read about, but Yousif couldn’t think of anything he wanted to add to the long story he had told. Instead he talked about his disease and I asked him whether I could record this part of the conversation as well. He had no objections.]

Actually, in 1997, when I came to Holland to talk with Novib (a Dutch NGO. NotE), we passed through London and I had a medical check-up. It was good, but the doctor told me: “You try to have your PSA measured from time to time too,” without telling what this PSA is or what it indicates. So from time to time I went to a doctor for a PSA – he didn’t tell me what it was either, nor what the results indicated or something like that, so I took it to be just a normal routine. (PSA: prostate-specific antigen. PSA blood test results are reported as nanograms per millilitre or ng/ml. Results under 4 ng/ml are usually considered normal. Results over 10 ng/ml are high, and values between 4 and 10 are considered borderline. The higher the PSA level the more likely the presence of prostate cancer. NotE)

In July 1998, I was told to go to Addis Ababa for peace talks. This is the time I started to feel pain in my back. I thought it was only a result of not covering my back during the cold evenings in the Nuba Mountains; I would just take a hot bath to feel a bit of relief and so on. I went to Nairobi, to Addis Ababa, went to Egypt, I came back: the pain was still there. I went to see a doctor to have the PSA measured.

That was in October, and before I had the results I was told to go to Norway. So I went to Norway, and there the pain really became hard to bear. Back in Nairobi the doctor told me: “Oh, it seems that you have cancer, but you have go to a specialist. So I went to the specialist and he told me: “Well, I need to make an operation, and then we will see whether it is cancer or not.”

When he said this, I sent a message to the doctor in London who had done that medical check-up in 1997, and he advised me I’d better come to London. Financially it didn’t matter so much, because in Nairobi they were asking a lot of money for an operation to see whether I might have cancer. In London they made a blood test and an X-ray scanning, and then the doctor told me it is prostate cancer.

I told him: “If it is prostate cancer, can we make an operation? He said: “No, because the cancer has already spread from the prostate,” and he showed me the dots on the X-ray. If it had been just in the prostate, it would have been a bit less problematic, but now that it had spread. So, he told me: “We are going to give you some injections (hormonal drugs to reduce testosterone production. NotE); if it works, that will be good. If not, then we try the alternative: radiotherapy and chemotherapy.”

So, I got the first injection and then was told to go and have another one every three months. I think the response was very good, because at the time I left London, the PSA level was 241, and when I returned after six months, it had dropped to 2.6. I was very pleased and I thought the whole thing was over. But unfortunately, it came back.

In July 1999, when I came to the peace talks in Nairobi, I started to feel my back again. I went to the doctors and I asked them whether it could have anything to do with prostate cancer. All of them were telling: “No, it has nothing to do with that.” I worked with this pain from July upto November. Then I said: “Ya, this is nonsense; let me go to London.” Here they discovered that the prostate cancer had returned.

Again, the treatment started well, and the injections controlled a lot of the cancer cells. Then I think some of these things went out of control. (The cancer was becoming androgen-independent. NotE) For example: if there were ten cells, at least four could no longer be controlled by the same medicine. The doctor gave me some other tablets and injections, but he also discouraged me a lot.

He said: “Oh, I believe the end will come soon. I doubt whether you could live for another one and a half year.” Besides he said: “There is nothing more I can do for you.”

And that was in.?
That was at the end of 1999 and the beginning of the New Year. On my way back to Nairobi I came through Holland – my body was too fat and.

Anyway, I went back in March, but in May I felt I was not all right, and I had a lot of pain. So I came to London again, and this time I changed the doctor. I turned to Norwich, this cancer centre, where I met with the doctors. Of course, they gave me some treatment. Radiotherapy, and they gave me injections that were hoped to stop the pain for some time. It wasn’t that successful though, but they thought the second treatment would be. They asked me to return after six months, and that is why I am here now.

Did they give you some more hope?
Yes, they have given me a lot of hope. Someone was telling me that I will have another injection that will control the rest of the four uncontrollable cancer cells. And they will use radiotherapy at the places of pain, so that it stops. Then there is another injection, which they hope will stop this pain at least for the coming six months.

[The recorder is turned off again. Yousif says that the past few years fighting the disease kept him away from the Nuba Mountains too often. It gives me the opportunity to ask a few more questions.]

I’ve been in the Mountains a few times, (in 1997, 1998 and 2000. NotE) and since you were outside, I saw the situation.
Deteriorating.

Deteriorating, yes. Things like discipline, moral. Do you have an explanation?
I think mainly the leaders are to blame, yanni. I don’t know why, but. Ismael (acting Governor Ismael Khamis Jelab. NotE) used to concentrate on personal things. He never gave too much attention to the military and the administration, that is why people disagree with him. And in fact, when I came out of the Mountains, I tried whether Mohamed Juma’a would be a good substitute, before Ismael came back.

But Mohamed also proved not to be a good national leader, so they lost trust in them – the people I mean. The an-nahim and sometimes the army. And when Ismael came back, there were constant clashes between him and Mohamed and-, of course this gives problems. This is the story. officers and the NCO’s and the soldiers. I think this is part of it.

Is it the length of this war, which wears people down in the end?
Maybe. You can’t be quite sure, but. No one knows exactly what is the problem, but this is what happened.

There will be a new commander: Abdel Aziz al Hillu.
Hopefully, ya. He will go there, and we hope things will change.

You’ve been fighting together with him, and he has taken large parts of the Mountains in the past. Do you think he is capable of doing it again, with the conditions so drastically changed?
Well, as I told you, he has a lot of military experience. So military, I think he can do a lot, ya.

[End of interview.]

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By Gatdiet Peter
The Madness in South  Sudan

The Madness in South Sudan

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April 29, 2015 (SSB)  —-   Dear all, South Sudanese both at home and diaspora i came alongside yesterday night of an nasty article which is absolutely nonsense written by delusion tribalist, indict absurdist and die–heart supporter of Kiir’s dogmatic and problematic power regime Mr.David Aoloch Bion to defame, cover up the truth and coherent attempt to divert the attention of our huge civil, military, political and diplomatic support and sympathy in a quest of responding to Cde.David Otim, the arm resistance movement–SPLM/SPLA’s diplomatic representative to the Republic of Uganda Kampala.
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Mr.David Aoloch who has titled his absurd article which was published by Paanluelwel website on 27, April 2015 as “David Otim Of SPLM/A IO Had Stolen Medal of Honour from Hero and gives it to Robber” describing late Dr.John Garang as medal Hero and named Dr.Riek Machar Teny, the companion and father of self–determination for South Sudan’s independent before the previous and current Khartoum’s Islamic oppressed regimes as ” robber ” like those organized armed gangs who are well vested to loot in form of corruption, robe our resources, banks and almost everything in South Sudan.
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With no doubt and rather than deviation from the normal, Late Dr.John deserve any sort of human rhetoric and material rewards for he had presided SPLM/SPLA guerrilla movement for quiet a while and led us to historical landscape if not historical landmark.
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My fellow South Sudanese, Mr.David Aoloch i wish this piece of response on some points of your article finds you and taint/discredit you that you are proven wrong. Ambassador David Otim was right to express his best views and experiences on the factual history of SPLM/SPLA and how differences between Dr.Machar and Late Dr.John Garang have yielded precious independent South Sudan.
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First;Mr.David Aoloch, you claimed that “Cde. Otim has hijacked the history of liberation struggle and rewriting it by including traitor Riek Machar in the glory of history” is mere laughingstock, absolutely ridiculous and lack sense. Dr.Riek Machar’s great contributions to emergence of South Sudan as nation has been documented at international documentaries and i urge you to familiarize yourself about this move if you are still innocent . Cde.David Otim was right and still hundred percent correct because if its wasn’t due to disagreement between the two giants; Dr.Riek Machar and his comrades and Late Dr.John, there could be no Independent South Sudan in today’s world which had becomes the horizon of corruption, insecurity, human rights abuses, war crimes and crimes against humanity, name them rather than horizon of developmental growth due to bad leadership and high peak of incompetency .
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Second; Mr.David Aoloch, you shamelessly claimed in your response to Cde.Otim that ” Dr. Machar is best friend to most world wanted renegade and he was buying satellite phone’s airtime to the LRA leader, Joseph Kony at the time Dr. Machar was vice president of the Republic of South Sudan” ; this is not just only thought of naive and hallucination but utterly ridiculous and attempt to defame and tarnish the personality of Dr. Machar, but i would like to assure you Mr.tribal absurdist David Aoloch that your sinful claim has no loophole in the hearts of whole South Sudanese, regional and international communities as Dr. Machar is well trusted and acknowledged worldwide; the second Madiba for his best deeds of being committed to peace, democracy, freedom, justice and equality and his legendary vision and mission had so far captured the inspirations of all South Sudanese both at grassroots level and intellectual level.
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Third;Mr.David Aoloch, you again claimed that the office of SPLM/A was longtime ago shutdown by government of Kampala for the government of Yoweri Museveni is number one or strong ally of Juba’s regime in international politics and Museveni have no way to host the coup plotters, and you gone farthest by saying that the whole world knows the SPLM/A IO under Dr.Riek Machar has staged military coup in Dec 15,2015; this another misleading of insanity claim to your readers and by the way the whole world is contrary to your insane claim of coup narratives ; including the incompetent court in Juba and some high ranking officials within Kiir’s dogmatic policing regime who had refuted coup fantasies.And for your information, the office of SPLM/A in Republic of Uganda is still operational, functioning in all aspects like any other diplomatic mission in the country and you are invited or make grid visit to our office in Kampala for possible familiarization.
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Fourth; Mr. tribal absurdist Mr.David Aoloch, your tricky denial to Cde.Otim about ”2004 Rumbek home reconciliation” when Salva Kiir defected in November 2004 from the SPLM/SPLA citing humiliation within SPLM/A and seizure of power by late Dr.John Garang and he (Kiir) opted to form Bahr elghazal liberation movement/Army in disguise is intended cover up of truth for you to get employ into dysfunctionalized institutions after you recently received your fake academic slip; i mean you was awarded certificate without class attendance.
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Lastly;indeed, there was 1991 disagreement, people fought and casualties resulted between both sides of the event and should not only be imposed on Dr.Riek Machar Side . Logically, when two bulls locked on to exercise their muscles or for the real fight for one reason or another. Here, one bull will be overpowered, sustained injury(ies) and must be defeated by the other if external force does not interfere as its happened to president Kiir by calling upon UPDF when he imposed the current conflict onto our people.
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Dear readers; those of David Aoloch Bion and the likes are largely victimized by tribal politics to use history of 1991 as bridge to climb to positions and/or find jobs through by sleeping on keyboard buttons to spread lies and deceptions .The issue of 1991 is greatly attended by tribal activists in order to deny our people to build free, viable and prosperous South Sudan.
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When we come to national politics that could be encounter in better ways like in terms of national contentious issues such as the current political, military and humanitarian crisis among other impediments of tight security and stability, socioeconomic development and co existence of our communities; such tribal activists in persons of David Aoloch and the likes usually resort to defamation and deception calculations for reasons not known to anybody but only on their own nerves.
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By Gatdiet Peter, SPLM/A–IO activist, reachable at p.gatdiet@yahoo.com/twitter @gatdietpeter

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 


By Ariik Atekdit, South Sudan

'US' against 'THEM'

‘US’ against ‘THEM’

April 29, 2015 (SSB)  —-   The common citizens in the Republic of South Sudan are made to puzzle every day they get up in the morning and find things turning wrong in the country. We know things are difficult with the government because the Western world and the Northern neighbour, the Sudan doesn’t want the peaceful growth of South Sudan but at least the government must work out positive things.

The war against corruption was not well fought and we have not seen up to date people who have taken away our oil money. We made to wait in vain until today that we are fighting an aimless conflict.   But suppose the government should bring us these individuals before we lose hope. Our economy is worsening with the dollars rising every day and the prices are hiking yet our politicians live a comfortable lives in the hotels. Our previous friends have become our today’s enemies. The citizens do not know what nation did you plan to make?

Tribalism took the lead since 2005 in South Sudan and yet no move has been made to quell it down until on 15 December 2013 it burst and gave birth to the worst war ever fought in Juba, the capital of the South Sudan, resulting into the death of innocent population who have not contributed to the mismanagement of the country’s affairs.

During the days of Arabs the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) has promised us so many things that we would get if they were to lead the then proposed New Sudan or if South Sudan would get its independence to allow the SPLM experts to use their wisdom and design leadership the way it best suits the interest of all.

 But until 2005 and still now we have seen nothing but wars and confrontations. Most of the disputes have been announced senseless and many more were forgiven for wrong doing but yet new ones emerged disadvantaging development and prosperity of the nation. Youths have been the victims in Jonglei, in Lakes, Unity and Warrap states during the CPA era in cattle rustling and more dangerously in the current armed conflict which has dissected the country almost into the tribal lines.

However, the very SPLM has refused to stand bold and call the nation to be united and worked for the development.  Until when you admit that the country is on wrong side of politics; shall you then seek political correction because the SPLM for the last 10 years has been steering the nation?

Why should the SPLM make innocent population die and suffer because of their political weaknesses and misunderstandings within their own camp? Mr. Riek Machar was the SPLM deputy chairman and has now decided to make his new camp mobilizing innocent white army in the of fighting President Kiir off seat.  But by doing the whole nation is dragged back instead of progressing.

Mr. Pagan Amum, the SPLM former Secretary General stays in Nairobi and waits for the UN Trusteeship to rule the country then he returns; if that happens it means South Sudan’s sovereignty is sold out by those clever minority. And the Chairman, President Kiir lives in Juba waiting for peace in vain while our people continue to die.  How has the innocent population contributed to their misunderstandings?

The nation is not a problem at all for we stood together on 9 January 2011 to vote out South Sudan from our Northern neighbour. The SPLM needs to take the blame and stand up to bring the solution to the problems but not to give us away to the Western imperialism. We were against Arabs and we will not match with the Western countries either; everyone needs to understand that we are people of our own with resources and almost everything.

Our unity as South Sudanese is possible, but only until when the nation thinks back and stops the history to repeat itself; then shall South Sudan grow and have a strong place in our hearts. Until the Nuers stop saying: “We the Nuers” and Dinka stop saying: “We the Dinkas” as Equatorians denounce: “We Equatorians” slogans shall we know that citizens are not the problems to themselves but then shall we charge the leadership for any mismanagement.

Are we being cheated to fight and die for unknown reasons? With the poor population being instructed to hold the tribal and regional slogans as the cleverest minority continue to rob the nation. We have accepted to fight in the past against Arabs (mondukuru) and again in Juba we fought to protect legitimacy of the government; but now with the extension tenure of the government we want to see the government doing at least some developments.

We want roads, bridges, good schools and health services. We also want peaceful co-existence among our people.

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 


By Kastro Deng (Bor-Princè Mèngistu), Australia

Women rights are human rights

Women rights are human rights

April 29, 2015 (SSB)  —-   Politics, especially the one that pertains to South Sudan’s state of affairs, is no doubt the most discussed topic among South Sudanese youth, particularly the male segment of the population. It is discussed to a magnitude of neglecting other issues of concern. I wish to divert attention from the hardline politics, to a communal problem facing some South Sudanese families here in Australia. The topic has to do with purported suppression of women and their threat to patriarchy, which is manifested through behavioral-changes,as a result of their ‘over-independency’. Whenever participants on social media attempt to deliberate on this topic, its discussion is conducted in a manner that is disdainful and substantially superficial.

There is a basic philosophy that we as human beings ought to observe and live life in adherence to. It pertains to the role that both genders play in raising families. Nature has charged men with two simple duties; namely, to protect and provide for all women and children under their guidance, whereas their female counterparts assume the duty of nourishing and catering to the needs of those who are under their care. As long as males and females do not compromise the duties assigned to opposite gender -without mutual consent -euphoria is inevitable. It is when we get our roles mixed up – men start playing women’s role and vice versa – that families start to have problems. For example, a male would feel threatened if a woman provides for the family and subjects him to culinary duties. This situation has the potential to cause domestic-strife,particularly if the male hails from a culture or society where it is taboo for men to perform housework, as per the norms and customs held and observed by practitioners of the culture.

Why do men feel threatened by women’s success/independence?

Men, especially those from patriarchal cultures, born and bred in a society where it is a norm for a lady to love and cater for them, while they protect and provide in return, will most likely react harshly,against any adopted-lifestyle that puts culture into question. In occasions where roles are reversed and ladies start providing for the family, patriarchal-culturati would feel threatened because what they deem psychologically and practically normative (patriarchy)becomes obsolete.There are instances where males’ reaction is, without a doubt,unjustifiable. However, there are occasions where their reactions are warranted and justifiable. Discussing these specific instances is the aim of this article.

When are men’s negative reactions toward women’s independence NOT justifiable?

A man’s hostility towards a woman due to her success is especially not justifiable if the woman’s independence is not necessarily a threat to culture. There are ladies out there with real aspirations, to be successful and to raise affluent families. In all honesty,there is nothing wrong with that. In the context of a South Sudanese family for example, it means a woman is able to assist her man with basic responsibilities including taking care of herself, caring for her own children, financially supporting her side of family and to a certain degree, assume other responsibilities,which would otherwise weighted on…her husband’s shoulders.It means that a woman do not have to be entirely dependent on her man. What is wrong with the sharing of responsibility?

This is beneficial to men, especially husbands who are into polygamy (widely-practiced). Suppressing a woman that only desire to be successful benevolently and who intents not to violate culture in anyway is an unjust contravention of her freedom. Therefore, it is a laudable practice to encourage women to be successful and independent, as so long as their ‘financial independence’ does not seek to change the role(s)that they represent in men’s lives. Males’ misconception of the women’s independence should be discouraged.Us men need to understand that, empowered women educate their children well, who in turn empowers the society. We always brag about the need for economic development. It is worth noticing that an economic growth has a synergetic relationship with social-well being. So put an end to suppression of women and be supportive to their quest to succeed.

When are men’s reactions towards women’s‘over-dependency’ reasonable?

madness

Some women take their state of independence way over their heads. For simplicity, lets consider the issue of financial over-independence. Lets bring the discussion back to its context and look at situation of an average South-Sudanese family residing in Australia. Following the initiation and implementation of the Government Funded Family-Daycare Program, a number of South Sudanese women have become wealthy, as a result of their participation in the program.Now consider this hypothetical scenario: A woman starts earning more than her husband, hence contributes more to the family budget. As she assumes the role of being the primary provider, she starts to believe that her status in the family is elevated beyond her man, thus she starts to exhibit behavioral changes, for instance__dictating most of the family decisions.As she becomes more authoritative, her decisions become incompatible with husband’s views. In light where she shows no willingness to remedy her decisions,a conflict of interest arises;eventually the husband would cave in or else! You know, the triple zero service is always at her disposal.

The more men are dictated to, the more agitated they become. In patriarchal societies, men’s dependency on women is deemed as a negative distortion to culture. Sometimes, some manipulative and cunning women take advantage of men’s dependency and use it as an opportunity to challenge men’s manhood and emasculate them. Men’s subjection to such circumstances leads to distress. Consequently, men start taking measures in an attempt to overcome their ordeals. Some men would resort to excessive consumption of alcohol and (sometimes) other toxic substances with intentions of easing the resultant afflictions. But as we all know, the effects of intoxicants in the body subside over time and men start to face the same problems. As an alternative, others choose to go to popular rendezvous to play games (dominoes and cards) with other idle or afflicted men just to keep their brains occupied (stress free) or to kill time. For some to alleviate themselves from distress, they look elsewhere for comfort, here they would often find love or run into more problems. Worse comes to worst when men fall victim to the insensitively expressed vanities of other successful acquaintances,who belittle them,exacerbating their already low self-esteems.

Even more concerning is the situation where‘financially well off ladies”up-grade their love lives by romanticizing more successful bachelors than their previous partners. This results in the women leaving their old lovers miserable, in mental-states of solitude and despair. Nevertheless, when the reality becomes unbearable, domestic violence ensues, further intensifying a tense situation and fracturing the family. The aftermath of losing one’s wife is it too painful, that it can only be compared to a pain of a sinner whose soul has been subjected to an infinite torment. In the case of a nuclear family, children’s fates are unaccounted for. Their aspirations turn to façades of unattainable hopes. What was once a happy home is demolished and turned into debris of shattered dreams. A wife is to man a symbol of pride and his children are a source of happiness. Surely, this explains why men in some cultures commit themselves to pay an exorbitant quantity of money or heads of cattle as bride price.Thus one can only imagine the severity of pain that a lost of such social investment precipitates.

To sum it all up, the above-mentioned hypotheses might not be ideal representations of reality. However, I hope they are close enough to depict real life scenarios responsible of breaking families apart. Thorough research has not been done on this topic, though it would be helpful, but the purpose of this paper is to divert attention to matters that are as worthy of attention as political topics that often take the center-stage of discussion. It is imperative that men do not feel threatened by women’s success. Not all women are malevolent towards their male partners once independent. As emphasized above, their well-guided success is advantageous to our (men) well-being and to the society at large. Therefore,it is vital that we acknowledge and support women’s social, economic and political development.

Moreover, females should not let their independence compromise culture. While it is perfectly fine to be an independent woman, to be in charge of yourself and your assets, and of course to show-off your luxurious kitchen and living room to your girlfriends as a result of your independent labor always do so modestly. Do not take your independence over your head. Know when not to tamper with what your culture requires of you. Most importantly, be in a position to play a woman’s role in a man’s life. Despites your success, be his lover and a source of emotional support, as he endeavors to be your protector and a provider. Perpetuate culture, for you cannot change patriarchy with belligerence or arrogance. Yes culture is not static; it changes with time. But even then, one cannot change the course that Mother Nature has pre-ordained for them. We have seen how the female gender in all species is so protective of their young. No one taught the Hen to be over-protective of her chooks. The same goes for human mothers. The uniformity of tender love and nourishment was bestowed upon females by nature.To females, it is an inescapable trait. Allow nature to take its toll, all must continually preserve what nature has vested upon them.

Disclaimer: This work is entirely based on opinion. No research is incorporated. The scenarios in this piece are all hypothetical and the presented information is based on a general observation. The piece aims to present an important topic of discussion that is not political. The hypotheses incorporated are building blocks, which the discussion can be deliberated upon. Discussing such matters enables an avenue of learning and derives ways to prevent consequential choices or decisions.


By Ariik Atekdit, South Sudan

the baby nation: South Sudan

the baby nation: South Sudan

April 28, 2015 (SSB)  —-  In the house the youngest kid is the one that at least every family member and any visitor try to joke with. Perhaps because kids are very funny and have interesting responses when asked; at the time of stress kids can joke with their parents, uncles, aunts or elder siblings just to make them glad. At least every person tries to fashion peace with kids because kids are always innocent creatures.

This time around the West kid us to destroy our country and bring in the rule of UN Trusteeship to South Sudan.  Will South Sudanese accept UN Trusteeship? They must first repair Libya and bring back alive Col. Maumur Gadaffi before messing up with any African country, otherwise it will be a wrong joke this time.

Nowadays, the world leaders and even those who are not renowned politicians of their countries want to joke on us trying their political cleverness in South Sudan, at least to joke with the words of: “you are just the world’s youngest country; the African newborn child” that is belittling us, right? With threats to sign fake peace agreement or face sanctions or else the UN trusteeship will take over the ruling of South Sudan.

It would be good if they were for the solidarity with us. But now we have seen that they are not happy with our standing upright. They are not happy that South Sudan, a country which has started not with a telephone landline but with mobile networks wants to compete with them in many other developments that they have been controlling before our arrival to the status of sovereignty and a republic nation.

Since the beginning of the ongoing crisis the so-called international community, the IGAD regional bloc and the TROIKA have looked us down as if they were not doing the affairs of the country that we fought for and wrote down our history of independence using our dear blood.

The IGAD with the pressure of the TROIKA has accepted many times to bring wrong proposals with the interest to keep the war on South Sudan and its people. Every time they bring documents and they proposed and presented to the two rival parties to either accept it or refuse.

Where on earth do you have peace being negotiated that way? As a principle, it is always the two rivaling parties that should present their areas of disagreement and slowly, little by little the mediators would come in to sandwich the ideas so that the two sides can agree on certain points but not with threat of sanctions and an arms embargo issues just to crush in a bad peace accord.

Our leaders must open their bold eyes and watch carefully the said world’s wise men that sit in big hotels in Addis Ababa to trade with blood of our South Sudanese who for the last fifty years have fought for freedom and voted for independence some four years ago. We did all that with knowledge! Our forefathers had dreamt of this nation called South Sudanese years before the arrival of the West to the world’s powers.

So the IGAD family and the rest of the world including the UN Security Council want to joke with us because they think that we are just a small kid. A country born in 2011; but then is it true that we are a young nation? Have these people read the African Civilization which happened and that our forefathers were the masters at the time?

Our history goes back and far beyond the coming of the West and the IGAD regional bloc. As South Sudanese we have fought many wars for quite a long time in Africa since the coming of Arabs, against slavery and against colonization and we managed to defeat those wars successfully.

We are not a young nation ladies and gentlemen! You must be kidding us! We have been there and we must be cleverer than you think. So the world should not kid us. Crafting a bad peace document this time will not work. Our people know that the peace agreement that IGAD and the TROIKA want to bring is that which gives them space to continue working and stealing our resources in South Sudan.

If the UNSC wants to destroy South Sudan this time they must repair Libya first. In 2011 UNSC and the Obama’s administration were jealous of the Col. Gadaffi administration and strength and they incited violence in that country at the end, Col. Gadaffi was killed and the country remained in a total mess.

The west must bring peace and repair the political situation in Libya before destroying another African Nation. But we want peace that reads our style!!

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 


By David Aoloch Bion, Kampala, Uganda

April 28, 2015 (SSB)   —-   The eagle-eyers or good seers are making serious alarm now that they have  noticed  crack in ship South Sudan that will sink it as soon as possible if that  leak is not addressed quickly . The leaking crack they saw is Jieng Council of Elders. They claim Jieng Council of Elders is wrongly advising President Kiir ,  therefore ,Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) is dangerous to South Sudan.  JCE is destroying South Sudan.

But questions  are; is this claim true or false? Is advising the same as deciding? .

This is the second time  that the detractors have  labeled the allegation of wrong advising  to President Kiir .Yesterday ,  the good seers were noising   that  they  had noticed  serious leaking crack in ship  South Sudan. The leaking crack was former Presidential advisor on Legal Affairs Telar Ring  Deng . They were babying ,babelling in  more  than 60 languages  ,  ‘’Telar , Telar,  Telar  , Telar Ring Deng  is ill-advising , misinforming and disinforming  President Kiir simply because Telar and Kiir  were seen praying always  at Roman  Catholic  Church in Kator .

Because of the babelling of detractors, President Kiir succumbed to their pressure and he exiled Telar to furthest Russia so that he can go and pray in Russian Orthodox Church alone.

After Telar left , the same detractors  invented another lie and began babying , babelling  ” Jieng Elders , Jieng Elders  , Jieng Council of Elders  is ill-advising President Kiir because some Jieng elders are seen entering and coming out of State House over the weekend . This madness of changing goal post from False A to False B must stop because it will not take you to your dreamland .

What is the correlation between entering and coming out of the state House and the South Sudanese affairs ?.

The public decisions of  South Sudan  government are  made by the Council of Ministers. So the question is , Do Jieng Councils of Elders sit in the council of Ministers hall and take part in the decision ? The answer is No .

Therefore, JCE is just a scapegoat for nothing and  for stereotype .

Yesterday, it was Telar , Today , it is Jieng Council of Elders . what a  nonsense!!!  Think critically, otherwise,. You are in illusion. You are chasing shadow.

Secondly, why are there other councils of elders? There is Nuer Council of Elders. There is Equatoria Council of Elders. Why are  you not questioning these  councils  too?

For your consumption , JCE is just cultural organization that promotes Jieng culture among the Dinka people . It has nothing to do with politics of South Sudan. It is just like American Centre if you know it , which promotes American culture around World. It is like British Council, which promotes  British culture around the World.

So rubbish all critics of JCE. JCE will be there as long as Jieng culture exists . JCE is a wave  and critics of JCE are like  those who want to control waves  in the Nile . The critics are wasting time on JCE.

Long Live JCE

Long Jieng Culture.

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 


What is Salva Kiir’s Best Choice Between the Shilluk and the Dinka Padang in Upper Nile State?

By Lual Magok,South Sudan

Gubernatorial Duel: Kun vs Olony for Governorship

Gubernatorial Duel: Kun vs Olony for Governorship

April 28, 2015 (SSB)  —-  The unending political and military maneuvering between the two hostiles rival forces of the Shilluk Aguelek militias and the Dinka Apadang Abushiok, Maszulum militias can be perfectly describe as a remarkable test to the fragile regime of President Salva Kiir and his tribal elites .

The latest up to date data’s from field rapid assessment within the two rivaling community denoted that , the Shilluk Aguelek militia led by Gen Johnson Olony suggest free conditions for the peaceful and political settlement of the ongoing crisis in Malakal and proposed conditions are as follows:

  1. Immediate relieve of H.E. Simon Kun Puoch, Governor of Upper Nile State.
  2. Immediate removal of Gen Johnson Gony Beliew from Sector one Commandership.
  3. Immediate Appointment of Hon. Jokino as the new Governor of Upper Nile State.
  4. Immediate appointment of Gen Johnson Olony as Commander of Sector one (I)

The Shilluk leadership believes that best part of the Juba regime fighting forces in Upper Nile State are mainly from the Shilluk sons and daughters and they felt it’s unfair to under represent the community at the State and the National government while they are protecting the regime.

The Shilluk accept as true that, though they remains loyal and supportive to president Kiir fragile regime , they are also being targeted by the Dinka militias who are operating under the supervision of Gen Chol Thon and Hon. Stephen Dhieu and the Juba regime cannot respond to end this barbaric killing and massive displacement.

The debate with some key element within the military leadership in Bilpam Military General Headquarters signified that, Gen Johnson Olony was working very closely with senior government officials in Juba including Gen James Wani Igga, Gen Paul Malong Awan, Gen Ajonga and other senior leadership of SPLM-Democratic Change from planning and execution on this scheme to remove Governor Simon Kun and Gen Johnson Gony in Upper Nile State.

The whole story from Juba denoted that , Gen Johnson Olony free conditions and proposal were give a positive response by Gen James Wani Igga , Vice President , Gen Paul Malong Awan , Chief of General Staff, Hon. Kuol Manyang Juk , Minister of Defense , Gen Ajongo and other senior military general within the headquarter to normalize the situation .

The piece of information from Bilpam Military General Headquarter point out that, some generals from the Apadang Community including Gen Chol Thon Balok and his supporters are against the removal of Governor Simon Kun due to the mounting pressure from the Shilluk militia and they proposed direct military intervention against the Shilluk Aguelek Militias.

The informal investigations from Juba also revealed that, Hon. Stephen Dhieu Dau, Minister of Petroleum and Mining backed by the leadership of the Dinka Apadang and their community are entirely against any move to relieve Simon Kun from Governorship and Gen Johnson Gony Beliew from Commandership of Sector One because of the pressure from the Shilluk Militia.

According to reliable sources within Juba fragile regime stated that, the leadership of the Dinka Apadang gives free condition to Salva Kiir as follows”

  1. Salva Kiir should maintain the status quo not relieves Simon Kun and Gen Johnson Gony due to the Shilluk Militia Pressure or risk to lost support from Apadang Community.
  2. The regime should chose between the Shilluk and the Dinka Apadang communities in Upper Nile State.
  3. The Dinka Apadang will not continue to support Salva Kiir leadership and the oil field will face imminent threat of the rebel if Salva Kiir rewards the Shilluk Militia.

The report from the Council of ministers meeting on Friday agreed to look on peaceful and political settlement of the ongoing crisis in Upper Nile State through to rewarding the Shilluk militias as recognition to their huge contribution to the Salva Kiir regime. The meeting also instructed the Minister of defense to immediately form an investigations committee to Malakal in order to meet Gen Johnson Olony and agree on the political settlement of the ongoing crisis as soon as possible or avert bloodshed.

The preliminary field information revealed that, Gen Johnson Olony suggested his political ally Hon. Jokino, former commissioner of Fashoda County for the governorship to replace the current Governor Simon Kun pouch as free condition to return to government. Gen Johnson Olony also suggested himself for the commandership of sector one (1) to replace Gen Johnson Gony Beliew because the Shilluk sons and daughters are dying to protect the regime and they deserve the leadership of the Upper Nile State.

The latest updates from Malakal town indicated that, Gen Johnson Olony made verbal agreement with Military Headquarter before the arrival of President Kiir which requested him to relocate his fighting forces to West Bank and to allow the National Security forces and the SPLA Forces coming from Juba to enter into Malakal town peacefully on Saturday evening.

The agreement between Gen Johnson Olony and Gen Paul Malong Awan was for the Juba regime to accept the free conditions putted forward to remove Governor Simon Kun and Gen Johnson Gony Beliew from Upper Nile State with immediate effect and to replace them with Hon. Jokino and Gen Johnson Olony respectively. This deal was received with very hostile reaction by the Dinka Apadang and the Nuer Wew/Money and this group term this arrangement as an imminent threat to the Dinka Apadang political interest in the Upper Nile State and they declared to undertake all out war against the Shilluk and their allies .

The Dinka Apadang leadership held an emergency meeting with President Salva Kiir upon his arrival and stated it very clearly that, any move to removed governor Simon Kun and Gen Johnson Gony from the leadership of Upper Nile State to replace them with the Shilluk will be resist by the Dinka Apadang. The Dinka Apadang make very clear to the President Kiir that , should the Shilluk be appointed as Governor and Military commander for Upper Nile State , It will forced the Apadang to join the rebellion in order to fight the Shilluk forces at all cost .

The field situation report from Malakal point out that, Gen Johnson Olony has already developed good contacts with rebel movement of Dr Riek Machar and he post a potential serious security threats to the Juba regime if his demands are not met on timely manner. The field assessment revealed that Gen Johnson Olony has already completed his preparation for worst case scenario and successfully relocated all his military hardware’s and headquarter to West Bank to prepare himself for an offensive against the Juba regime. The Bilpam General Military headquarter is believed to remains divided between supporters Gen Paul Malong and Gen Chol Thon.

The political leadership of the regime is divided between the supporters of the Shilluk Militias and Supporters of the Dinka Apadang Militias. The Presidency is also divided with some elements including James Wani Igga supporting the removal of Simon Kun and Johnson Gony while other group is against the removal of the two and prefer military confrontation with the Shilluk militias in order not to lose the Dinka Apadang militia who are the close and truth ally to Salva Kiir regime in Upper Nile State.

The intense question before Salva Kiir is, what is the best Choice between the Shilluk Militia and the Dinka Apadang Militia? The Kiir is in great confussion and it’s an imminent to loss of side of the conflict.

The writer is a concern South Sudanese Activist and can be reached via lualmagok@yahoo.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 


By Samuel Reech Mayen, Juba, South Sudan

Riek Machar Teny, the armed rebel leader

Riek Machar Teny, the armed rebel leader

April 27, 2015 (SSB)  —-   Dr. Riek Machar, one of the lucky South Sudanese with high academic qualifications from the United Kingdom (UK) and a former SPLA high commander climbed a shaking political ladder he created. Having gone to study in the Western world, prior to the SPLA mutiny of 1983, Dr. Riek came back in mid 80’s when the sound of the drum of revolution was at its peak.

As he arrived with the rare qualification, he went for military cadet and in a short while promoted to the rank of the high command, becoming the 8th in the SPLA military hierarchy. He served as Commander for the Wolf Division. With much of his time in the Western Upper Nile, Dr Riek served diligently.

However, in 1991, the failure of the promising army commander Dr. Riek Machar began. Dr Riek in coalition with other SPLA officers, NCOs, constables and conspiracy with Sudan Government decided to stage coup against the Chairman of the SPLM/A Dr. John Garang. This move saw the SPLA splitting with the majority of Cdr. Riek’s ethnic community of Nuer joining his movement.

Dr. Riek based his argument on the idea of separation of Southern Sudan from the Sudan against the idea of New Sudan. He claimed that the SPLM/A was being ran dictatorially by the leadership. He argued about Human rights abuses by the Movement that his new faction would correct.

The majority of the marginalized citizens of Southern Sudan thought that the newly formed faction of Dr. Riek was going to fight Khartoum government, the prime enemy of the South. Yet, in a short while, the rebellion that had its headquarters in Nasir, close to the Ethiopian border turned out to be aiming at annihilating the SPLM/A mainstream and the civil population that provided support to the Movement.

The forces that included civilians (Branded in the name of Jesh Mabor the popular white army) were armed with the support of Khartoum government. With these untrained, countless and indiscipline Jesh Mabor, the leadership of the rebel faction found a quick mean of destruction. The land of Bor was invaded furiously by the Jesh Mabor. The elderly people, women, the sick and children were killed in large numbers. In these areas of Hol, Nyarweng, Twic, Athoch and Gok that make up greater Bor, cattle which are the main source of life for the people were raided. Local buildings of byres and huts were burnt to ashes. The same kind of destruction took place in Bailiet and Khorfulus, the Dinka areas at the mid of Nuer communities.

Some elements amongst Dr. Riek forces also found it a cheap mean to acquire wives; girls and women of bearing ages were abducted. When dispute arose over who should own which beautiful woman or a girl, the final un-procedural judgment was to kill that lady who is the subject of conflict. The execution of the victims of beauty was implemented by shooting a lady at the head with a bullet to bring an end to the dispute amongst the comrades.

This period coincided with the time in which Major Jok Reng conscripted all the youths, middle aged and the young adults who could carry guns and took them to the military training in eastern equatorial region to prepare them for the offensive war of Juba. In the land of Bor, only children, women and the elderly lived in the villages at the time Dr. Riek forces attacked.

After clearing the villages, some survivors escaped to equatorial region on foot, others hided in the swampy small highlands along the River Nile (toch) and some crossed the Nile to Bhar el Ghazal. Dr. Riek settled in Panyagor in Twic and made it his second base that provides safe passage for Sudan Armed Forces (SAF). Needless to say, Dr. Riek at the time married a white lady, the foreign aid worker whom most civilians construed as the source of the confusion. Emma, Dr. Riek second wife after Angelina Teny stayed with him in frontline to keep Cdr. Riek Machar warm at the mid of directing unprecedented destruction in the area.

The SPLA-mainstream that was reduced by huge defection that almost brought it to its knees was thrown in Dilemma on whether to continue fighting with Khartoum government, the chief enemy or to counteract Dr. Riek forces, the agents of the Sudan government. The Movement was terribly weakened and frustrated by Dr. Riek and his allies’ defection.

As a result of defection and damage inflicted on the Movement by Dr. Riek’s forces, the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) re-took all the towns that the SPLA had liberated. These include Torit, Kapoeta, Magwi, Polataka and many other towns in Eastern Equatoria. In Central equatorial region, Morobo, bazi and Kaya were retaken by the (SAF). The whole of greater Upper Nile was being controlled by the government and Dr. Riek forces including Bor town. SPLA could not advance any more but only retreating. In summary, it was a small fraction of Southern Sudan that was still in the SPLA main-stream control.

In his camp, Dr Riek the politician whom many people expected change, ordered for the killing of Dinka officers and outspoken civilians on ethnic basis. Most of these people were first arrested, detained, pulled out of detention at night and killed. The continuous disappearance in the military custodies of Dinka officers and Civilians led to the defection of some of Dr. Riek’s allies who claimed the war had taken different dimension.

The other vulnerable groups in captivity of Dr. Riek forces were at the time being tortured, raped and exposed to many inhuman treatments. In one account narrated by an old woman who escaped from captivity, there was an incidence (or rather a practice), in which an abducted Dinka girl of about eleven-years was raped by a fully mature man. As the girl wept of pain, the rapist later shouted at a girl to stop crying or else he would shoot her. He warned the tender-aged girl that he had done her enough fovour for keeping her alive. The rapist added that he raped her not because he was sexually starved but a message to the Dinka female captives that the men in their community had no strength to protect them against external threat.

The other worst consequences that also came as result of the defection is that, in all the areas where Dinka and Nuer share common borders, hatred intensified, and the war broke out along those borders which had been in peace for the previous centuries. These wars melted into continuous cattle rustling even after Dr. Riek signed peace with the SPLA. These behaviors remained a permanent practice along the areas where Dinka and the Nuer share borders.

In the areas of the current Lakes state notably Rumbek East, Rumbek North, and Cueibet Counties which border Bentiu at the south, raiding that started as a result of the rebellion of Dr. Riek in 1991 did not stop. The same applied to the Counties of Warrap bordering Bentiu at the west; Gogrial East, Tonj North and Tonj East have never rested from frequent attack on the cattle camps and villages.

At the sides of Dr. Riek’s faction in the eastern Upper Nile, the war was dragged to the Gawaar, Lou, Lak and Jikany (Jikany door) lands that hosted Dr. Riek’s forces. These communities of Nuer were affected by the war since much of the 1991 White Army that fought for Dr. Riek came from them. The innocent civil population was displaced by the war and most of the Nuer in the areas fled to Ethiopia to seek refuge.

As a reward for the big blow Dr Riek had inflicted on the SPLA main-stream, the Government of Khartoum that had been supplying Dr. Riek forces with ammunitions integrated Riek’s forces into the government forces. Dr Riek and his huge forces were incorporated into the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) with the aim of wiping out the SPLA main-stream, a mission that they exerted all their efforts. As part of the rough agreement between Khartoum government and Dr. Riek, the position of High Executive Council of Southern Sudan was also given to Dr. Riek to maintain and silent him in the process of fighting his fellow Southern Sudanese.

Hon. Dr. Riek Machar returned back to the SPLM/A in 2002 as a result of peace mediated between him and the leader of the SPLM/A Dr. John Garang by the USA. On reaching agreement, Dr. Riek made two noticeable mistakes;

First, he left out all his forces still fighting the SPLA under the influence of Khartoum and came back alone. These forces later joined the SPLA in what is popularly known as Juba Declaration in 2006 with almost everyone a commissioned officer including pure civilians who joined the army for two main reasons, one, to receive salaries and two, for the furtherance of Dr. Riek ideology of must rule on whatever cost.

The second mistake Dr. Riek made was that, after signing peace with Dr. John Garang, he didn’t move to his previous controlled areas to inform the heavily armed civilians that supported him in different villages. Dr. Riek did not consult the civilians prior to signing peace with the Chairman of the SPLM/A. Throughout the interim period, these ignorant civilians still belief that the ethnic war between Dinka and the Nuer that Riek had declared was an endless exercise.

This was the main basis for continued cattle raiding and unjustified attacks between the Nuer and Dinka communities as seen in the cases of Duk and Warnyol in Jonglei State in which many innocent lives were lost.

The interim period was the most worrying time as many allegation plus the well-known Riek’s characters of his usual lust for supreme office could be in the expenses of CPA which provided the right for self-determination. People thought that he would seize power and turned to Khartoum government in case of failure. However, Dr. Riek at this very period controlled his weaknesses, and contributed positively for the accomplishment of the citizens expectations of secession.

Two years after the independence of South Sudan, when Dr. Riek was dropped from the second supreme office as a result of conspiracy against the president, no doubt anyone who knows him well knew what was loosely hanging over the nation. When the crisis erupted, before the news was confirm about the cause of the war, the prime suspect at every man’s lips was Hon. Riek Machar. Riek later confirmed this suspicion by coming out and declared the illegitimacy of president, a statement he said about Dr. John Garang over two decades ago.

Worst of all, Dr. Riek returned to the same areas of 1991, with the propaganda of huge numbers of Nuer killed and remobilized the innocent children whose fathers fought for him couple of decades ago. The innocent youths of Gawaar, Jikany, Lak and Lou Nuer were again groomed as fearless fighters and re-branded as Jesh Mabor (White army). Without any short training required for military service, the groups of children, young adults and youths who are potential heirs of the rich nation were armed and sent out by one of the most educated politicians to destroy and be destroyed.

As a result of the war caused by Hon. Dr. Riek’s second rebellion, many lives have been lost and continued to be lost; these includes civilians, in Juba war broke out at the mid of civilians and innocent lives were lost; in Bentiu masses of innocent civilians were shot indiscriminately in the mosque; in Bor, sick people were killed in the hospital and elderly people who could not run were also killed on their beds; mentally ill people who could not comprehend what was happening were shot mercilessly in the name of baseless retaliation; Many civilians drowned in the River Nile as the fled from Machar’s forces.

In Akobo, government officials, NGOs workers and Business people were attacked and sprayed with bullets in the UNMISS compound igniting act of the same nature in Bor; In Malakal, hundreds of children and women sunk with the boat as they fled the town. Physical Infrastructures have been destroyed in the three States of Greater Upper Nile. All these atrocities have been committed by the rebels in the full watch of Dr. Riek.

In the armed forces at both sides of the conflict, many youths who could serve this nation in one way or another have died in the frontline fighting one of the most senseless wars. Their bloods have been shed unreasonably; Ethnic hatred planted by the 1991 atrocities that was slowly healing has been re-ignited by the same person in the name of either ruling or killing people. The nation is now boiling with hatred, ethnics’ threats and envious political policies. Besides these, the image of South Sudan has been stained in the face of the world.

Dr. Riek Machar argued to have done all these in pursuit of principles of Democracy and human rights. Nevertheless, in the course of his struggle for power, he has done more than enough destruction that cannot allow him to rule this nation. The issue is not just Dr. Riek versus his political rivals but rather victims of his inexperienced politics against him. On the Basis of the devastation committed, Hon. Riek should independently evaluate whether his potential voters can install him into the supreme office of the nation.

Lastly, Nuer and the Dinka are amazingly reconcilable communities. This common trait should be exploited to bring permanent peace. South Sudan as a whole needs to appreciate the important of diversity and promote peaceful co-existent amongst her communities. With the experiences of wars, it’s time for the citizens to stop being used as climbing ladders by the politicians who at the end forget them.

Citizens need to understand the values of lives and property. Through the wars, nothing is achievable but deaths, destruction of property and cycles of ethnics’ hatred. Citizens need to distant themselves from these messes and unite as historical people of a free society with clear principles of building the new nation.

The author can be reached on: mayenreech@gmail.com or 0955 079 266

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.

By David Aoloch Bion, Kampala, Uganda

April 27, 2015 (SSB)  —-   On March 15, 2015, David Otim of Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) In Opposition was interviewed by the Sunday Monitor‘s Erisa Mukiibi Sserunjogi newspaper in Kampala , Uganda .

In that interview, David Otim made 5   misleading statements and two of those are treacherous and iconoclastic crimes,  the two crimes are 1. Otim  hijacked the history of SPLM/A  liberation struggle and he rewrote it, in order to include the intruders  who  were  either spectators or  traitors during war , some of these traitors  stabbed the SPLM/A  movement  at back in the words of Dr John Garang de Mabior in   1990s  . 2.  Otim had stolen the victory of South Sudan hero and he gives it to conman, I mean Otim had stolen the Medal of Honour from the Martyr and he conferred to cheater.

The following are 5 lies.

This is first fallacious and misleading statement David Otim made to Sunday Monitor newspaper in Kampala and here I quoted ‘’ I am here as a guest of state. President Museveni invited us ‘’.

This is false statement. Otim is not guest of state; he is mere resident in Kampala as any other South Sudanese. He is not representative of SPLM/A IO because the office of SPLM/A IO was closed down long time ago. There is no SPLM/A IO office in Kampala.

President Museveni is number ONE ally of Republic of South Sudan in the international politics.  There is no way President Museveni can host the coup plotters. As the whole World know that SPLM/A IO under Riek Machar staged military coup on December 15, 2013.

As the part of protecting legitimate government in Juba from military takeover, President Museveni had to send UPDF to contain the situation.

The Government of Uganda expelled the representatives of SPLM/A IO long time ago because Riek Machar is best of LRA Joseph Kony, this was why Riek was buying airtime for satellite phone of Kony when he was a vice president of South Sudan .

This is the second fallacious and misleading statement made by David Otim  and here I quote ‘’ South Sudan is the result of the 1991 disagreement between Dr . Riek Machar and Dr John Garang ‘’ this  is  false,  this is  hijacking of the history of the liberation struggle  and rewriting it by including traitor  Riek Machar in the glory of history. How can disagreement result into South Sudan . This is a white lie . South Sudan is the result of the 21 year civil war. It is not a result of the disagreement. South Sudan is the result of Comprehensive Peace Agreement ( CPA) negotiated between the Government of Sudan and SPLM/A under the leadership of John Garang . South Sudan is not the result of Khartoum Peace Agreement of Riek in  1997 , if South Sudan were the result of Khartuom Peace , then Otim would have been right because in 1997 Riek Machar  signed Khartoum Peace ,but  there are  no  tangible results  of that agreement now in South Sudan except the papers where it was written .

The third misleading statement made by Otim and here I quote is ‘’ the birth of South Sudan in 2011 was the realization of the vision of Dr Machar ‘’ this is nauseating statement. , This is deconsecrating of the history, this is a stealing of victory from hero Dr .Garang de Mabior and giving to conman Dr Riek Machar.  . How the birth of South Sudan is a realization vision of Dr Machar ?

Riek Machar left SPLM/A in 1991 and he stayed in Khartoum for 11 years when Dr Garang was fighting in the bush . Dr Garang negotiated the birth of South Sudan at  Naivasha in Kenya . The birth of South Sudan was a result of 6 protocols. Which protocols did Riek sign? Riek is not  a signatory to any protocols that give birth to South Sudan . Riek is a traitor in the history of South Sudan and Garang is  hero with confident . So attributing the independence of South Sudan to Riek is stealing of Medal of Honour from Martyr  Dr Garang and conferred to foul player Riek Machar .

The four misleading statement made by Otim and here I quote ‘’ in 2004 during the Rumbek conferences it was Dr Machar who reconciled Dr Garang and President Kiir . This is cherry picking fallacy, where the selfish rascal picks for himself the healthiest fruits and leave rotten fruits  to others . First, there was no big issue between John Garang and Salva Kiir . Salva was asking for  his administrative rights, which were performed by junior officers in the movement. Secondly , there were more  capable  members in Movement who could reconcile Kiir and Garang other than  returnee  Riek Machar  from Khartoum  to do so .

.In 2004  Riek was tip-toeing in the movement affairs. Riek  was recovering from lethargy of insult from movement members  because they were insulting him  for treacherous act of 1991, he did not have time for reconciling the original members .

The fifth misleading statement made by Otim and here I quote ‘’ President Kiir needs to be court –martialled ‘’ . This is escapism. This is what fox does to hunting dog . When the hunting dog chases the fox , the fox would stop and whistles like human being and it start misleading dog , directing dog to wrong direction  . This is what Otim is doing. He said Kiir would be tried instead, it is Riek who would  be tried for staging a coup on December 15 , 2013 .  Who are you deceiving and misleading?.

The sixth misleading statement made by Otim and here I quote is  ‘’ we are talking to them because we are a viable alternative that will take power in Juba ‘’  this is false hope . Riek and his SPLM/A IO are political gogolimbo in Uglish , a Ugandan slang , which means  ’’ failing in everything ‘’ . Riek tried to take power  in 1991 , he failed . Riek tried taking power in 2013, he failed.  Riek tried   to wage war, he failed. Riek called South Sudan to put under UN Trusteeship government but he failed.

Riek can’t take power in Juba because he killed South Sudanese in 1991 and 2013. Period.

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.

By Ariik Atekdit

addistalks

April 27, 2015 (SSB)  —-   One is quite astonishing to see that our people so much depend and solely believe in importing peace from Addis Ababa to South Sudan. Why can’t we make peace here at our desire? So that we will live in peaceful co-existence among ourselves and stop declaring new war fronts that would likely emerge as a result of that IGAD made peace accord. Or else stop the ongoing confrontation in Malakal.

I know the common citizens who are suffering in different angles of South Sudan won’t benefit from peace agreement that focuses on position restructures just being imposed by the IGAD-mediators onto the conflict rival parties in South Sudan.  And at times the actors of wars among our people are within the territory of South Sudan, the white army and SPLA with their commanders are all South Sudanese. Dr. Riek Machar and President Kiir are South Sudanese leaders.

If for instance, we don’t accept to bring peace to South Sudan using our own mechanism the IGAD will craft for us their junked type of peace accord; at the time we try to implement that agreement you will find that dozens of new generals will jump to the nearest bushes in their villages fighting against the implementation of that peace deal. Will that mean any peace to South Sudanese?

I thought it was only necessary to build up peace from within. Whereby everyone tells the truth, accepts the blame and announces innocence to those who deserve it with government taking the role of protecting all South Sudanese regardless of their ethnic lines or regionalism.

To what everybody knows peace cannot be transported from a foreign region as if it was material goods when in reality the hearts of those who are supposed to keep peace are full with hatred and anger to commit atrocities. South Sudanese need to make their peace initiative from churches, mosques and within our traditional, youth and political leaderships.

In the name of importing peace to S. Sudan from the Regional leaders you have just embarrassed our country and its citizens. Out of you whether in Juba, in the bush or among G10: Are there democrats to claim democratic ideology? Citizens have tried on you many times, since 2005 it is only you who have been ruling us.

Whether you are in the government, rebel groups or SPLMG10 it is better for all of you to create new personalities within yourselves.

Did you construct permanent offices or is it true that gov’t ministries are still in containers, prefabs and makeshifts in states or occupying schools? Ten years since 2005 are over! Is it true that S. Sudanese cannot rule themselves? Or still a young nation? Is the president young or are Riek and Pagan Amum young? Is the Nile River young or is it Sudd region which is young? Most of the time I can’t understand the evidences being argued about the 21 years of struggle with the intention of doing wrong and malpractices and people claim to be forgiven because they were part of the long war of struggle.

You fought for 21 years to establish a system in the name of New Sudan or a new Republic. Is this the one you have struggled for?  Over 2.5 million lives were lost for a cause. But those people are now forgotten and people are trying to create more orphans, widows and disabled.

Are you happy to see us dying every day in the name of revenge or protection of legitimacy? Can white army die for no cause just because they are sons of illiterate Nuer? Or do SPLA soldiers die because their parents have not known “the right to live of their beloved boys?”

So you have signed Arusha declaration to re-unite offices and leave us still mourning for beloved ones? Are you still calling for step-down as some of you aim to step-up and continue trade with our blood and call it peace talks?

Anyway it is not the first time that this area that has now become South Sudan begs for regional leaders to formulate for them how to live in harmony.  Our leaders continue to verbalize the need for peace but not making it happen because of the tribal hate-character in people’s hearts.

Now that the peace-talks in Addis Ababa have come to stalemate people are left speechless but our people continue to suffer. Nevertheless, both sides believe to be fighting for a senseless war. And for that reason they leaders whether in Juba, Nairobi based G10 or Pagak group have continued to bring us senseless peace every time.

Did you our G10, our rebel and our government show us your love for the nation apart from love for positions and our oil money? After winning the war and political understanding from Khartoum what was to be the next agenda for you? Struggle for power? Did you build roads, health centers or schools in our villages and in Juba? We just want peace now!

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.

Cultural Emancipation: Let’s Learn From Our African Geniuses

Posted: April 27, 2015 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Books, Editorials, PaanLuel Wël

THE AFRICAN GENIUS — Issue 1

By PaanLuel Wël, Juba, South Sudan

The true size of Africa

The true size of Africa

We are not anybody’s burden; we are masters in our own house. We are confident in ourselves and of the future. There are those who might entertain the false beliefs that we cannot govern ourselves, we should not and cannot let their thought patterns influence us. Let us collectively go down in history as the generation of South Sudanese that turned Sudan around by putting an end to discrimination, racism, inequality, division, exploitation, and marginalization at best, and slavery and casual murder at worst. Let us unite against ethnic, religious, and racial divides to restore personal dignity for all. Let us move from total economic dormancy to total vibrancy; from relegation and resignation to a cycle of poverty, destitution and misery to activism, hope, and excitement. Let us reject being mere spectators in life, to becoming masters of our own destinyThe Late SPLM/A Leader, Dr. John Garang, Addressing his army officers in Yei, South Sudan, during the war of independence.

April 27, 2015 (SSB)  —-   Much has been said and written about the need for capacity building not just in South Sudan but also across the Sub-Saharan Africa region.

Lack of capacity among the civil servants and national leaders have attracted plethora of Western expatriates—many of whom are ready, willing, and possibly able, to offer their best minds to solve the daunting task of governance in Sub-Saharan Africa in general and South Sudan in particular.

Decades later, and with billions of dollars disbursed, however, hardly anything has changed in the living standard of the African people.

In spite of this, South Sudan is still expending millions of dollars a year on foreign expatriates in the vain hope of realizing economic development, political stability and social prosperity for her people.

It is high time we, the African people, start looking for salvation from within rather than from outside. No deliverance will ever come from Washington DC, London, Paris, Moscow, Tokyo, Beijing, etc.

Instead of depending on foreign expatriates, most of whom are fresh graduates experimenting with textbook theories, we should learn from our own African geniuses. Africa has great political and economic, social and cultural, philosophers we can learn from to solve our present-day predicament.

Among the great African revolutionary leaders we can learn from are: Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Thomas Sankara of Burkina Faso, Amilcar Cabral of Guinea Bissau, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania,Nelson Mandela of Azania, Patrice Lumumba of DR Congo, and our own John Garang of South Sudan, to mention but just a few.

From the Diaspora community, we have inspirational African thinkers in the persons of William Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, Frantz Fanon, Malcolm X, Frederick Douglas, George Padmore, and Martin Luther King Jr., among many others.

But if we are to reclaim out roots, if we are to learn from the wisdom of our own African wise men, what exactly, the naysayer might wonder, are we going to learn from them?

Well, as Amilcar Cabral advises us, we must always remember “our own reality—however fine and attractive the reality of others may be—can only be transformed by detailed knowledge of it, by our own efforts, by our own sacrifices…”

What this mean is that, in most cases than not, it is necessary for the African people to find their own formula for solving their societal tribulations because solutions to certain problems in some parts of the world are “not exportable commodities” in the form of foreign expatriates or experts.

Accordingly, what we should, and must, learn from our African giants is the kind of education Africa needs to produce the best leaders to unravel its sociopolitical and economic fiascoes and advance its technological prowess.

The goal therefore would be to “produce a type of student, who is Western in his intellectual attitude towards life, with respect for science and capacity for systematic thought, but who remains African in sympathy and desirous in preserving and developing what is deserving of respect in tribal life, customs, rule and law.”

Such kind of African-centered educational system“will produce devoted men and women with imagination and ideas, who, by their life and actions, can inspire our people to look forward to a great future.” Nonetheless, “as the aims and needs of our society change, so our educational institutions must be adjusted and adapted to reflect this change.”

Take ‘The African Genius’, the 1963 inaugural speech of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah for instance, one of those moving speeches illustrative of the very “kind of education Africa needs in order to produce the kinds of leaders Africa needs.” Kwame Nkrumah tells us that by ‘The African Genius’, he “mean something positive, our socialist conception of society, the efficiency and validity of our traditional statecraft, our highly developed code of morals, our hospitality and our purposeful energy.”

The major setback with our current leadership in Africa, says Cabral, is that most of them are “strung up to defend their immediate interests, see no further than the end of their nose, and reveal themselves incapable of simply bringing national unity into being, or of building up the nation on a stable and productive basis.”

Thus, the indispensability of learning from our African geniuses because they are transformational figures who would inspire innovative thought and positive action and persuade us to demand more through action for the greater good of Africa. They are the experts who truly understand not just what is wrong with Africa but also what is needed to move forward.

Education, says Kwame Nkrumah, is the “gateway to the enchanted cities of the mind and not only as a means to personal economic security and social privilege. Indeed, education consists not only in the sum of what a man knows, or the skill with which he can put this to his own advantage. In my view, a man’s education must also be measured in terms of the soundness of his judgment of people and things, and in his power to understand and appreciate the needs of his fellow men and to be of service to them.”

Indeed, there is plenty that we can learn from the great revolutionary leaders and political philosophers of Africa. We should therefore shun foreign ideas that have been proven ineffective. Let’s embrace our own African geniuses in order to achieve our economic, social, and political progress and to unify and uplift people of Africa.

We need to change the cultural mindset that underpin most of our policies in managing our public affairs. Only with cultural emancipation shall we talk of Africa as “The Rising Continent” of the 21st century.

PaanLuel Wël, the Managing Editor of PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers, is a South Sudanese national currently residing in Juba, South Sudan, where he works for one of the International NGOs. He graduated with a double major in Economics and Philosophy from The George Washington University, Washington D.C, USA. He is the author of “Return in Peace (R.I.P) Dr. John Garang” and the editor of the speeches of Dr. John Garang, published as “The Genius of Dr. John Garang, Vol. 1 &2“. He is currently working on two books to mark the 10th anniversary of the death of Dr. John Garang: Vol. 3 of “The Genius of Dr. John Garang” and “Who Killed Dr. John Garang“, an account of events and circumstances leading to the death of the late SPLM/A leader in July 20005. You can reach him through his email: paanluel2011@gmail.com


By Garang Atem Ayiik, Juba, South Sudan

Can South Sudan export its currency to other nations?

Can South Sudan export its currency to other nations as said by Vice President Wani Igga?

Introduction

April 27, 2015 (SSB)  —-    In November 2013, Central Bank of South Sudan devalued pound from 3.16 to 4.5 SSP per a dollar. An action that was described by the governor as meant to unite the black and official rates. Immediately, prices reacted immediately by increasing prices or other hoarded goods mostly fuel.

There was outcry from the public in reaction to devaluation. The governor of Central Bank and his team was mobbed-justice and immediately asked to rescind devaluation policy. Two lessons were immediately visible; one, that an outright devaluation is likely to cause readjustment prices – goods and black market rate upward; and second, by encroaching on Central Bank independent policy decision, despite the intention, role of Central Bank as per Bank Central Bank Act 2012 was comprised by parliament.

Immediately after independent, South Sudan adopted fixed exchange rate. Around August 2011, the Bank tried to auctioned dollars to banks and bureaus, this action caused gap between black and official rate to narrow. The author believe this was a good initiative to introduce some competitive element into exchange rate risk free business.

Toward the end of 2011, Central Bank adopted an equal allocation mechanism of dollars to banks and bureaus. This mechanism has two inequity issues to financial agents; it ignore the clients base serviced by each bank or bureau, a bank with for instance 2500 customers is given the same allocation with a bank with 5000 customers; and provide incentives for growth of shallow financial institutions – banks and bureaus.

To the public, fixed rate has three short comings; increase rent seeking through allocation and licensing, distributives injustices in term of access at official rate; and finally provide an obligation to Central Bank to maintain fixed exchange rate disregarding inflows of dollars as the case now with South Sudan. Black market has increased from 3.16 to about 9.5 SSP at end of Q1, 2015

South Sudan Exchange Rate Fundamentals and Policy Option

Exchange rate policy has two main objectives; international competitive and macroeconomic stability. Devaluation of November 2013 in part was expected to increase exports in accordance with textbook economic prescriptions.

This argument to increase South Sudan export ignores structural challenges facing South Sudan like insecurity, infrastructures, technology, capital, entrepreneurship, institutions and attitude weakness.

South Sudan export sector cannot be induced with exchange rate incentives but instead with local production for consumption supported by fiscal policies is preferable – import substitution policies, this will gradually reduce demand for imports and by extension for dollars.

It is author believes only macroeconomic stability can be achieved with exchange rate policy. Currently fix exchange rate is better than float rate. But again, as it is, it is not sustainable. Can government supply demanded dollars to the market at 3.16 SSP? It is a No and hence author believe a trade-off between macroeconomic stability and sustainable is required.

Stability means government supply dollars required by the market, if this happens, inflation will be low as South Sudan is an import country which easily affected by exchange rate induced inflation. Sustainability means government supplying enough dollars to the market to keep exchange rate at 3.16 SSP without fail.

Author believe Central Bank needs correct data on dollars demand and supply. Scan of 2011 – 2015 supply to the market does not follow any trend but ad hoc behavior that seems to depend on availability of dollars within the Bank. To make economic decision without data is like to walk in a dark room.

Auctioning dollars is sure policy option. First, this will allow shallow financial institutions to wither slowly otherwise these are future financial disaster, second, will allow pound to depreciate gradually allowing economic agents to adjust; and thirdly, provide window to Central Bank to manage sustainability by supply dollars it can afford and difference will be reflected in depreciating pound, fourth, auctioning will introduce a competition between financial bureaus and banks and this will reduce gap between official and black market rate.

In this proposal, banks and bureaus will always compete for available dollars, Central Bank will always give previous trading rate average and band at which these agents will bid. This will ensure depreciating difference goes to the government instead to individuals.

Overall, an option that will introduce some competition at official rate window where dollars are access but with some band on the rate at which dollars can be sold to the public by banks and bureaus, this will ensure stability.

Finally, the fact that Central Bank can always supply dollars that it can afford and any difference can be reflected in pound value ensures sustainability. But again, with stability as key exchange rate policy objective, when possible the Bank can always provide more to ensure a strong pound.

Despite all above proposal, import substitution production must be pursued vigorously and fiscal policies can be used to support this policy path. Again, coordination between policy makers is require within the framework of national plan.

Can South Sudan Export Pound

With current fix rate, interruption of production in Unity and Tharjath and diving oil price in the World market, Central Bank has come under pressure to supply dollars demanded by the market to keep the rate at 3.16 SSP. This demonstrates that fix rate is not sustainable.

The exchange rate in the black market has deteriorated in the black market to reflect probably insufficient dollars supply by the Bank and maybe risk-mitigation behaviors by economic agents by stocking dollars in anticipation of working pound. If things continue the way they are, government might surrender to protect the pound, this the sustainability we are talking about.

Desperate times calls for desperate actions. Recently, the government has increase policing the markets. Some suggestion includes calling Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia and other neighboring countries to start using pound to reduce demand for dollars.

Whether it is ignorant or public relation exercise, this latest approach is not going to work. Today in South Sudan, if you go to a bank and you want to send money to Uganda or Kenya, you can’t use pounds, you got to get dollars. This means even within South Sudan borders, pound is not a legal entity.

Economic agents acting rationally know that pound has been over-valued and for illustration purposes, assume, Machok has $100 to send to Uganda, if Kenya Commercial Bank allows Machok to send 316 SSP being the value of pound, KCB will not use the same amount to get the same amount but less and that is why it can’t accept to sell its asset below it market value.

Economically speaking, calls to ask Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and other countries are misplace and laughable as this is not supported by any economic reasoning. Countries’ currencies become convertible on two counts: one, both currencies must be fairly valued. If anyis not correctly value, market correct this through arbitrage; and second, both must be trading with each other, this means exports and imports exist between both countries.

In case of South Sudan, pound is artificially keep over-valued through a fix rate; and South Sudan does not export anything to its neighbors whether Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia or any of its neighbors and hence these countries don’t need South Sudan pound.

So how will the proposed push for pound utilization in neighboring countries work? Assuming the policy makers of these countries act rationally in the interest of their countries which authors believe they will.

If South Sudan Central Bank give them pounds in exchange for their currencies, they know South Sudan pound is over-valued, why will they accept? I mean they cannot convert those pounds to other assets like dollars without losing value of their money and they have nothing to buy from South Sudan to use those pounds.

Worst the citizens in these countries will not go to their Central Bank to buy South Sudan because they too know about the valuation problem. For instance, a Kenya citizen will instead convert his Kenya Shillings into dollars and come to South Sudan with dollars. He/she then sell dollars at higher rate in the black market than buying over-valued pound in Kenya with his Kenya shillings.

The proposal does not consider arbitrage, rationality behavior, and simple demand and supply. It is basically unworkable and waste of time to pursue unless South Sudan believes policy makers are going to behave irrationally disregarding economic fundamentals which the author doubt.

Conclusion

South Sudan cannot export pound. The more South Sudan wants to pursue this option, the more it looks vague and empty without rigor. South Sudan exchange problem require long term surgical operation, no economic pain-killers will want.

In short run, peace to restore oil production in Tharjath and Unity which will increase inflows of dollars to easy pressure on pound is key otherwise, without peace exchange rate induced inflation will continue to surge beyond imagination.

In the long run, structural economic correction required. Basically increasing local production and improve social services with an aim to reduce demand for dollars for imports. South Sudan needs to concentrate on imports substitutions supported by fiscal policies and this has to do be done within national economic plan framework.

Garang Atem Ayiik is an independent economic commentator. He can be reached at garangatemayiik@gmail.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.

Marial Benjamin, minister for international affairs, with Aguer Panyang, SPLA spokesperson

Marial Benjamin, minister for international affairs, with Aguer Panyang, SPLA spokesperson

April 26, 2015 (SSB)  —-   We diplomats serving at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of South Sudan, have been following up with deep concern the rampant administrative and financial corruption in this Institution and its missions abroad.
After a careful evaluation of its consequences which could possibly hinder the progress of work in the Ministry, therefor we would like to put some facts before the eyes of the public and the country’s leadership, especially the ministry’s administration is not doing its best to tackle this misconduct as well as in the fight against corruption in the ministry.
For the sake of transparency and good governance, we pledge to scavenge administrative and financial corruption files in the ministry (Headquarters &missions) and then disclose the names of the entire gang!
First, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of South Sudan is the only institution in the country that exceeds its approved budget every year because of an unlimited recruitment and non-guided expenditures.
Second, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the only institution recruits her employees outside the functional structure approved by the Ministry of Labor and Public Service, so a number of staff has not been formally appointed, for instance they are not in the public service list.
Third, South Sudan Embassies abroad are totally different from their counterparts as the only one in the world embraces two ambassadors in one mission, where one of them to be a guest of honor for almost four years of his/her term or sometime is assigned as ‘’officer responsible for petty cash’’ which is a job that can be done by the most junior staff at the mission but not ambassador?!
Fourth, There is no transparency in the ministry and its missions abroad regarding the management of public funds and we have never heard one day that the ministry or mission has formed a committee for purchasing assets (cars, furniture and premises/residences), all work carried out either by the ambassadors or the Undersecretary, therefore we call upon the ministry to become a model of financial openness on all levels.
Fifth, running costs has been sent out monthly or quota by the Headquarters of the Ministry to the embassies, but it did not get any feedback from the missions on the face of expend for a large amount of money which is more than forty thousand dollars in the month per embassy. But it is said that the two ambassadors at the mission divided equally and a little of it left for fueling their cars, electricity bills and stationery approximately not more than two thousand dollars.
Sixth, the Ministry is ineffective due to an adequate recruitment policy, in addition it suffers from clannish and cronyism in which those who are on top positions either too old or inexperienced and they do not care about training and acquisition of modern technology, despite there are young visionaries carrier diplomats, experienced and sincere intention, but they are far and in the back row because the clannish usually works for the appointment of the Minister or the Undersecretary that can protect their interest.
In the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there is clear disruptions recruitment; employment process has taken place secretly and outside the public service’s laws and regulations. In the ministry there are dozens of ambassadors and diplomats do not have university qualifications or appropriate previous working experience. It is almost certain that one who comes to the Ministry does not want any position except the Ambassadorial post and that is the crux of our problems in this institution.
For instance those who were good in lobbying or had channels of contact with the presidency had been upgraded to Ambassadorial position without taking into account his/her qualifications, therefore we call for open dialogue or deliberative conference to discuss the issues of the ministry.
Eventually, our activities directly involve; dig up the files of financial and administrative corruption in the ministry and its embassies abroad, highlights the entire gang and reveal hidden files through internet or local newspapers.
We call upon our colleagues to communicate with us on this email diplo4reform@yahoo.com taking into consideration confidentiality (use aliases).
Please do not hesitate to provide us with the necessary information about abuses or misconduct at your end. Please joint us to correct and reform our beloved ministry, May God bless you all.


Diplomats for Reform in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation @Juba South Sudan

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.

By David Aoloch Bion, Kampala, Uganda

April 26, 2015 (SSB)  —   South Sudan’s economy is its trough level since 2005. This recession in the economy is not because of the ongoing war and it is not the fall in oil prices either,  but , it is because the richest South Sudanese or the 70% of the 75 richest men in the country have buried their bulkiest capital of billions of Dollars.

The 70% of the 75 men who had stole 80% of South Sudan national budget from 2005 to 2011 have buried their money in foreign banks. This hugest reserve of money is not circulation in the due economy.

70% of the 75 men have fallen out with the Government, therefore, they have to punish the government by taking away their in the economy. Some of these fraudsters and racketeers have buried the money in their houses in Juba; some have invested in foreign banks outside the country . This is their instrument   of sanction on the government that sack its  employees without reasons like the government did in July 2013, when it fires the whole the cabinet.

This happened in Zimbabwe in some years back. The Opposition and the British Government decided to bring down the government of Robert Mugabe by economy mean.

So some big businessmen were given money to buy out the Dollars in the economy and the market. A businessman could buy millions of Dollars and he took it and banks it in another country. These businessmen bought  out the Dollars in economy and in the market until there was no  single Dollar in economy.

It was Libya under Mamuar Qaddafi that  bailed out Zimbabwe. Libya loaned 1 billion to Zimbabwe. It is the history repeating itself now.

Trioka and SPLM/A IO and SPLM G-10  have resorted to removing President Kiir from power by economical means.

The Troika is orchestrating stimuli that will cause the South Sudan economic GREAT DEPRESSION.

From there, there will be revolt because of economical hardship like Arab Spring that will give a pretext to strike the JI .

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.

By Simon Yel Yel, Juba, South Sudan
President Bush with President Salva Kiir at the Oval Office, White House

President Bush with President Salva Kiir at the Oval Office, White House

 
April 26, 2015 (SSB)   —-   The third one was the most extortionate and dark one and definitely it is the “beginning of an end” of the US neo-imperial foreign policy on south Sudan because no fly zone and full bombardment on south Sudan will be the next executive order of Mr Obama.
 
 It was on Date: 31.3.2015, when the self-claimed leader of the free world Mr Barrack Hussein Obama issued an executive order 13664” I declared a national emergency to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States constituted by the situation in and in relation to South Sudan, which has been marked by activities that threaten the peace, security, or stability of South Sudan and the surrounding region, including widespread violence and atrocities, human rights abuses, recruitment and use of child soldiers, attacks on peacekeepers, and obstruction of humanitarian operations” and went further again saying “The situation in and in relation to South Sudan continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States”.
 
 I wondered whether really south Sudan is posing an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. I can’t what Obama wants really to tell the world. Many people will question the logic’s of Mr. Obama and Mr. Kerry’s reasoning. This executive order is a pure political hypochondria on south Sudan, no main nitty-gritty to issue such order. The United States is pitting its wits against the whole world that its national security and foreign policy is under threat by south Sudan, why our neighbours like Kenya, Uganda, CAR and others didn’t issue such order that south Sudan is threat to their national securities and foreign policies ?
 
It is totally buncombe and  a pure neo-imperialism in making. Well, economically or militarily it is grossly preposterous to imagine south Sudan could be a threat to the United States, let alone “an extraordinary” one. But the US is not scared of south Sudan. The only threat south Sudan poses to the United States is being a good example of how an independent country can be master of its own house, confident in leading its people, determine its own fate and knee or bow not to any country or leaders who claims to be the masters of the world and all-knowing. That is the only extraordinary threat that Barrack Obama is talking about.
 
Our government have demonstrated to the whole world that, no independent country be under servitude or thraldom of any other country in this world. We are not a young nation in mind, we know what is good for us and we can’t and shall allow any country to decide our destiny.
 
It is about month now since the US and its allies adopted the sanction regime on south Sudan. It is very important to look back and remember when the UN lost it impartiality and started to be driven by the US and decide countries to be sanctioned. In 1945 up to 1990, the UN Security Council only imposed mandatory sanctions twice, first on Rhodesia from 1966 to 1979, and then on South Africa from 1977 to 1994, these two sanctions were generally economic embargo, and the later largely an arms embargo. That was time of apartheid gov’t in South Africa and the UN was right to impose sanction though UK opposed it.
 
 Following the collapse of USSR in 1989, it was the time when the United States sanction and humanitarian–military intervention imperialism started to emerge tempestuously and what George A. Lopez described as the “Sanctions Decade.” The United States presided over the sanction on Sudan, Angola, Rwanda, Somalia, Haiti, Eritrea, Sierra Leona, Ethiopia, Yugoslavia by UN Security Council within about five years. The failure of sanctions as leverage tool in Iraq, Haiti, Libya and Yugoslavia was accompanied by full military interventions which destroyed millions of lives but install the United States’ GOOD BOYS.
 
The same sanction decades mixed with supporting the rebels to oust democratically elected gov’t or what the US termed to be “pro-democracy fighters”, coups and military interventions destroying people and nations started again in Libya in 2011 and continues in different shapes and forms; we have seen the United States’ sanctions on Syria, Russia, Venezuela and what the US called renewed sanctioned on Zimbabwe and now south Sudan’s sanction is due to be implemented in few days.
 
It is a laughable and asinine to say that the due sanction on south Sudan is a targeted sanctions that would bludgeon the government officials to sign peace. The language of smart or targeted sanctions does not meaningfully change the context and nature of sanctions. Rather the language sanitises the message around these sanctions, much as it is meant to help mobilise public opinion in support of the sanctions themselves.
 
According to the definition of sanction by the US and its Western allies, the sanctions are adopted to oblige compliance and to push for a particular world order. They are implemented to achieve political goals and, most of the time, they are always covered in the velvety magnanimousness of bringing warring parties to sign peace, like the telling palaver that says “the sanction on south Sudan will let the two warring parties sign peace”. 
 
This is totally a big joke. Why the UN didn’t sanction SPLA and Khartoum during the negotiations of the CPA which nearly took 5 years? Why the US didn’t sanction the Libya rebels when they rejected the peace brokered by the AU and say “The African Union initiative does not include the departure of Gaddafi and his sons from the Libyan political scene, therefore it is outdated.” says rebel leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil.
 
The US has never given and shall never any satisfactory explanation on sanction that it always force the UNSC to adopt. Will the US sanction the rebels if they reject the propose mondus vivendi by the IGAD? The answer is definitely NO. The US is after something, not bring the warring parties to sign peace.
 
In conclusion, it is next to impossible to convince anyone with a sane mind that the so-called targeted sanction will bring peace to south Sudan. If really sanction can bring peace, why south Sudan gov’t didn’t think of freezing assets of the rebels and G10 members? All the businesses of the rebels and G10 are still operating now and money goes to them like Beer Company of Rebeca Nyandeng, hotels, and banks of the rebels and G10. The gov’t believes that the peace in south Sudan can and will be brought only by negotiations not sanctions.
 
 I will conclude by saying “Let every nation know, we are independent nation, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any enemy to assure the survival of south Sudan as a nation and prosper as a people”.
The writer is a concerned citizen and be reached at simonyel55@yahoo.com or 0955246235

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.

Twic East Community Leadership Formed in Nairobi, Kenya

Posted: April 26, 2015 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Press Release

                                                                                    Twic Transformation Team (TTT)         

Twic East Youth Welfare Association

                                                                                    Nairobi Kenya

                                                                                    24th April, 2015

The Twic Public

Twic East Youth Welfare Association Nairobi, Kenya

Cc: Twic East payam Leaders in Nairobi

Cc: County Leaders of Greater Bor in Nairobi

Cc: Mr. Dabek Duot Yak, Chair, Greater Bor Youth in Nairobi

Cc: Akim Deeng Majuch, Chair Committee of Arbitration

Cc: Members of Clergy

Cc: Mr. Dau Akoi Jurkuch, Commissioner of Twic East County

Cc: Dr. Dau Aleer Abit, Chair, Twic East Community in South Sudan

Cc: Embassy of South Sudan in Kenya

Cc: Nuer Mayom Gureech, Chair, Twic Women in Nairobi

Cc: Twic East Community in Nakuru

Cc: Twic East Community in Karatina

Cc: Venus United Football Club

Cc: Chol Yaak Akoi, Chair, South Sudanese Students Association in Kenya

Cc: The media Outlets

Re: Formation of the Twic East Youth Welfare Association (TEYWA) Leadership

Dear Members;

In pursuit of excellence for the wellbeing of our electorates, we here unanimously agree to form the leadership that will govern TEYWA (Twic East Community in Nairobi) for the next two years based on your choice of leadership on the 18th of April 2015 in Eldorado Guest House, Nairobi Kenya.

The results were fraud by mechanically induced human errors upon which our elders led by Hon. Akim Deeng Majuch sacrificed their time and resources to arbitrate between the two sides of the divide.

Our opponents turned a blind eye, deaf ears and rendered their effort redundant whereas Twic Transformation Team concurred with the recommendation of the Elders Committee of Arbitration.

We hereby in the best interest of our electorates form this leadership to look into their affairs and welfare, the leadership structure is:

  1. John Malek Kur Malek, Chair person
  2. Reech Agook Ageer, Deputy Chair
  3. Dut Mabior Ajang, Secretary General
  4. Ayen Dau Garang, Secretary of Finance
  5. Dut Deng Ghak, Secretary of Information

As consultations in the payams continue, the full list will be availed before the 1st of May 2015.

This leadership has the backing of almost all the payams leaders in Nairobi as the list appears below affirmed by the signatures;

  1. Alier Ghai Awan, Chair; Pakeer Paym……………………………………………………………………………….
  2. Atem Ayuel Atem, Chair; Ajuong Payam………………………………………………………………………….
  3. Deng Bul Chol, Chair Ayual Community……………………………………………………………………………
  4. John Malek Kur, Chair Awulian Community……………………………………………………………………..
  5. Anderia Mayom Lueth, Chair; Lith payam……………………………………………………………………….
  6. Dachuek representative………………………………………………………………………………………………….

In conclusion Twic Transformation Members Elected into the leadership positions accepts the leadership mantle and promise to abide by the contents of their manifesto.

Yours faithfully,

Twic Transformation Team


By John Sunday Martin

“The Revolution is all about bringing positive changes, and that positive changes cannot be brought in a Nation by bad minded people;  therefore, the New Revolution will start with individual ideological changes of selfishness, to broader sense of Nationalism”

The fruition of the CPA

South Sudan in turmoil, youth are restless and agitated

April 25, 2015 (SSB)  —  We are in the era of new revolution which begins with personal attitude, and state of mind, that control our individual feelings and reasons toward our nation. The new revolution is to implant strong positive feelings and reasoning toward our nation; whereas, these very feelings, and reasoning will influence our actions – to do good things for our Nation – both as individuals, and as group. The era of liberation is over and therefore, we cannot talk of liberation struggles in south Sudanese because liberation carries certain ideologies – which are dangerous for National Unity and coexistence. The word “Liberation” in most cases, impacts certain negative doctrines of sectarianism in term of ethnical or religious as well political philosophies. Thus, even when the so called liberation is over, true unity and reconciliation remains always far from being achieved because of the negative legacy of doctrines of the word “liberation.”

Of course, if things don’t go well for some people in our community; rebellion will be perceived, which will give birth to revolution. If some of us are in struggle, and starts to complain about certainties; it means some things are not well and therefore, don’t rule the possibilities of rebellion. As matter of facts; some people have been complaining for long in our society, but we were not willing to listen to their grievance with intention of finding solutions to their problems – before that which called as their problems, turned to be our disasters. Yes, when things are not going well, people will be unhappy and when people are not happy, they will become rebels and strive for their happiness and that is the foundation of revolution in society as it is in the case of south Sudan to date. Therefore, do not blame revolts in our society, don’t claim rebels are bad, but try to find solution to the problems of rebels in meaningful manners because no rebellion without any serious reasons.

However as a nation, we cannot call any rebellion as liberation struggle because the struggle for liberation is over, we are now in era of revolution so as to give clear meaning that, the struggle is for meaningful change to enhance our happiness. To date, most south Sudanese are not happy at all with their state of governance under SPLM which has sparkled loud outcry from every society as we all are looking forward for redemption from the regime of the SPLM. These unhappiness amongst the people of south Sudan are angered by the problems of lack of development, and democratic principles in the Country; which has been the main reasons for every struggles; the decades of struggles between North and South, and now, between us, south Sudanese against the Regime of SPLM – which has put many innocent souls in nation to perish.

Lack of democratic principles; as well development in term of socio-services deliverance and the general socio-economic hardship we are facing can be rate as partial some of the problems because these are the contributing factors. However, the real problem of South Sudan is our individualistic ideologies that has manifestation on forms of political corruptions where power is misused by individuals or political organization (SPLM in this regard) for illegitimate private gain of the individual officials, or SPLM as organization; which undermines democratically principles; and to bring the failure to deliver social services and justices to the public.

These ideologies are our problems because it starts with spirit of tribalism, and lack of patriotism. Hence, to bring meaningful changes in the Country for enhancement of national unity and sustainable socio-economic development and democracy; that will rescue south Sudan from the foreseen factional ethnocentric system of governments on regional bases; there is a need for a New National Revolution that will have to target ideologies that are the real problems of our society. To target these wrong ideologies will start with targeting the:

1.Spirit of tribalism that can be defined as a free will of behavior, thinking and attitude which attracts one to his tribe’s determinations than to his social-group and Country. The spirit of tribalism normal corrupts our moral conscience and impacts an ideology in us which then limits our reasoning to only tribal values that produce behaviors, thinking and attitudes that are negatively toward other ethnicities within our societies – which in turn, affects spirit of unity and peaceful coexistence.

It is real hard for us south Sudanese to coexist anywhere among ourselves, without tensions being caused by behaviors, thinking and attitudes of certain kinds that are normal influenced by our ethnocentrism. Thus, tension amongst south Sudanese seem be spreading faster than before, though the rate of inter-tribal marriages as well inter-regional settlement has increased since south and north civil war – due to massive internal displaced.

While some people may attribute the increased in high inter-tribal as well National tensions in south Sudan to some kind of behaviors by certain group of people, but the truth is that, individual or group behavior is not the manufacturer of tribalism. On contrary, tribalism is the manufacturer of some kind of behaviors, attitudes and thinking that is odd to accommodate in some society.

It is becoming even clear that, south Sudanese seemed to be willingly to stay in peace and unity with other foreign nationals within south Sudan, than with themselves as south Sudanese because of tribalism. The problem of tribalism in South Sudan is because of past that we never tried to address it through true justice and reconciliation mechanism. In this regards of the past, tribalism can be taken as systematic making of the SPLM and this started during SPLM’s guerilla era – warfare against various regimes in Khartoum – that became only well known to most south Sudanese with the 1991 leadership crisis in the SPLM/A – that turns to be almost a struggle for tribal supremacy between Dinkas and Nuers.

The current spirit of tribalism in our society can be attributed to the legacy of SPLM/A to the south Sudanese because in first place, SPLM/A never involved in any pure national politics than political propaganda on racism, – sliding the struggle to be between Muslims and Christians, as well Arabs and black south Sudanese. SPLM/A misused the word liberation for the misunderstanding of its’ cadres and supporters – thus the word, “liberation” became widely posed amongst SPLA/M cadres and supporters as liberation from Arab-Islamists; which made unity and reconciliation very convolution even after endorsement of peace deal in 2005.

Due to the dangerous political propaganda by SPLM/A in the face of misuse of the word liberation, south Sudanese developed strong hatred towards the Arab-Islamist, and engineered the use of the Word such as “Moharais” which is referred to as “blood agent”. The word is used for those suspects to not share the ideologies of the SPLA/M by then. By then, if you are not in support of SPLM/A, and if you are considered Moharis without any just reasons – whether you work for Khartoum government, or neutralist, than you will be tortured if unlucky, summary executed. Special with the 1991 leadership struggle between Riek Machar and John Garang, the supporter of Riek Machar which consists mainly of his tribesmen, the Nuers are taken as “Moharaiseen” and this developed into deep tribal hatred between the Dinkas and Nuers and it soon spreaded to other tribes; which will take not only a time, but true national sacrifices to bring unity and reconciliation between the south Sudan’s 64 tribes.

SPLM/A’s infliction of deep hatred amongst her supporters against Arab-Islamist, and those against the principles of SPLM/A and leadership of John Garang; developed into tribalism, – after SPLM/A failed to impact ideology of revolution in the heart and mind of the people, which was the beginning of problems of South Sudan to date; under the regime of SPLM, and possible any other regime, in case if the ideology of revolution not transplanted in the mind and heart of south Sudanese completely. The politics of propaganda is what we are suffering from to date because it made SPLM to remain focused on the Central Government in Khartoum which is dominated by certain characteristics – while forgetting how to change the systems – which is the core of National Revolution that south demanded, for National integration, Peace and socio-economic development.

Therefore, when people talks of liberation than revolution, and regime change than revolution, the job of building good governance and rule of law which is the trademark of democracy remains untouchable – because democracy is functionalized by revolution. No democracy without revolution. Thus, SPLM since its’ guerilla establishment, until it accented into power, it never experienced spirit of revolution that the nation is longing for; which is the ideological changes of minds and attitudes of the power creep and domination over others, and corruptions of any kind that undermines both collective, and individual rights, and values.

The manifestations of lack of revolutionary ideology amongst the cadres of the SPLM/A, thus SPLM/A was not able to bring any changes in the Nation than to transform racial discrimination of the black afro-Sudanese by the Afro-Arab Islamists in the north into tribal discriminations in South Sudan; as well inheritance of authoritarian rules in the north, which is systematical lending South Sudan into fully sectarianism on ethnocentric.

Today, we have developed deep spirit of hatreds towards other ethnic groups, and attempted to categorical blame those tribes for every problems the nation is experiencing while regarding our-tribes to be better, and this act, is indeed the act of the spirit of tribal dominances, which is foundation of nepotism in Government sectors in term of employment where some tribes are found majority in Government while others are not. Because of tribalism, the real ideal of deployment on bases of individual merit is disappearing very fast and therefore, you can only get better position with the government if you are known by some influential individuals within the structure of the Government, and in this regard, tribal affiliation plays great roles too.

Because we are tribal, so we became morally corrupted and therefore, we no longer care whether one is competent for the position to deliver services of high standard as might be required of him by the Nation, as long the position bearer is from our tribes. Even if we do not benefit from him, but only to see that, that someone is from our tribe and all that we enjoy is the name my tribe, and nothing else, in term of services and development.

The issue of tribalism has taken deep root in the nation and therefore, almost every national political cause in South Sudan never takes heed on national interests, but sectarianism and as a result, many people have been innocently killed and tortured on bases of their tribal affiliation in south Sudan. The issues of taking politics on tribal line can be traced from start of the leadership crisis in 1991 between Riek Machar and John Garang, to the moment of Riek Machar and Salva Kirr and that becomes most unfortunate for Riek Machar’s poltical career because wherever Riek Machar seems to be taking lead for National political struggle, tribalism always blankets him and so the innocents Nuers and Dinkas suffers automatically.

The problem of associating politics with tribalism is very dangerous because whenever there is Political crisis, some tribes become soon victims – which always ember bad memories, and spirit of retribution, and this is hindering national unity and reconciliation in south Sudan – special between some ethnicities in our Nation. In despite of these experiences, we are not able to learn and we continue to allow ourselves to be used by individual power hungry politicians for their own individual goals while it is we the ordinary members of their tribes that are sufferings and dying while those very politicians and their families members are enjoying and scoring their political and economic goals. We are to some extent unable to understand so easily that tribalism is our greatest enemy which is putting this nation at the edge of destruction, and because most of us are moral corrupted by tribalism; therefore, we could not even know that, we are tribal in our attitudes and actions, and that tribalism is deep inside us because those of us who are decrying tribalism, are the same people who turns to practices tribalism in fight against tribalism. Thus tribalism is growing faster in south Sudan than ever before; and if solutions are not found quickly, then South Sudan as a Nation will soon never exist, but disintegrated factional ethnocentrism.

It is real painful to see the national socio-political leaders that are in better positions to eradicate tribalism, becoming instrument for spreading tribalism in their own communities and the nation at large – simple to reach their political and economical goal – not minding the danger of their doctrines on the national unity and coexistence for the next generation. As matter of principles, a national position is not a tribal position and therefore, a national leader is not the making of a tribe but that of a nation. So to use tribalism for clipping to power, or to sustain oneself in power like what those leaders are doing now in South Sudan, it is indeed dangerous political game because the tribe that made you into a national leader, will have some feelings of ownership of the Nation, and will attempt to consider other tribes to be inferior through your position. It also develops an ideology of tribal domination because the tribe that put you in power position will interfere in every aspect of your activities as they owned you and your office; thus you robotically become there for them and fulfillment of their interests. Therefore as it is part of your strive to sustain yourself in power, then you will start to became tribal too, and the danger of becoming tribal while holding public office are that, the other tribes becomes marginalized and it is start of national crisis.

We cannot us tribalism in fight against tribalism, because tribalism cannot be eradicated by tribalism as some politicians are practicing by mobilizing their tribe in fight against tribalism in south Sudan to date. The use of tribes in fight against tribalism only creates fertile grounds for wide spreading of tribalism. Therefore, we cannot talk of regime change without focusing of ideological changes of the people in our society because every problems that we encounters in our societies which are resulting in political corruptions and dictatorship, crimes and social injustices, are simple productions of ideologies of some individuals in our societies. Thus, the ideologies of the people in our societies must be the target of revolution if there are to be any meaningful socio-political as well socio-economic development in our nation.

Therefore, any meaningful new revolution will not ignore ideologies of the people – but target these ideologies that pose threats of any kind in our society – thus, the new revolution in our society will be the great revolutionary warfare the nation will experience because it will target the ideologies of individual south Sudanese where seeds of tribalism and lack of spirit of patriotism sprout. It will start by targeting those in power positions, and those having such ideologies in any society of south Sudanese which has become the manufacturer of evil policies, and attitudes that is affecting the national unity and development. The mission of the New Revolution is to target the demolitions of the current systems of the Governance in south Sudan, which is associated with considerable tensions on ethnocentrism and social-injustices that has resulted in the failure to deliver social services and development to the population; then will go on to focus on installations of functional systems that will address the national problems; – to make South Sudan a socialist republic without discriminations of any kind, so as to attain its’ sustainable peace and development; and this requires:-

a)Ban of tribal politics by discouraging use of tribalism for any political purpose where politicians are taking advantages of their vulnerable tribesmen, and politicizing every politics into tribal lines to gain tribal supports to achieve their own individual political goals which again result in political corruptions where nepotism are practices which systematical develops into domination of government and politics by other ethnicities.

As matter of facts when politics are done on tribal sectors in a multi-tribes nation like south Sudan, every tribe will have to take their positions to defend their values and interests which can, to some extent be a threat to the national unity, peace and development. We south Sudanese were afraid from power of domination by Arab-Islamist in north that caused us to fight for our rights, thus we are even now, as well in future, will still be afraid of being dominated by any ethnicity, and to loses our dignities, and values; because where there is tribal domination, there are cultural suppression of tribes; and in same manner, where politics is played on tribal line, democracy fades away faster as majority tribes becomes the dominance force, and threats to other ethnicities, hence problems will start to emerge in Nation on ethnocentrism.

b)Ban of urban settlements in large ethnical settings because this influences spirit of tribalism and hinders inter-cultural integration and coexistence – as locals may feel a systematic crabbing of their lands by that specific ethnicity through such settlements and this is actual the feelings of many south Sudanese –special the Equatorians to date toward other ethnicities who have settled in greater Equatoria in large ethnical settings. The fear is simple because land is the not only our heritage, but also rich resources, and to take the land away from people means to leave people without roots and natural possessions.

c)Encourage Inter-State Civil Servants Transfer Programs on fixed term bases to facilitate spirit of coexistence and cultural unification as the civil-servants will be agents of peace building and promotion of multi-cultural integrations in south Sudanese societies to enhance the national peace and unity in the Country through installation of the spirit of coexistence.

2.The Installation of the Spirit of Patriotism, in this regard, Spirit of Patriotism can be defined as will of civilized affection toward national causes, which embrace one devotional to his Country at all cost, and time. A nation is build by the patriots and it is made a better as well safe place for all law-abiding people by the spirit of patriotism. However, most South Sudanese – specifically the so called “cerebral” seem to be losing the spirit of patriotism nowadays – where they no longer treat South Sudan as Home but “working field” and the only attraction they have to south Sudan are “employment” and “financial” opportunity for their sustainability in their countries of residences abroad. The three major social indicators to show South Sudanese are losing spirit of patriotism it has to do with ideologies as they lost interests in the Country and these indicators are:-

a)The first indicator that south Sudanese are not having spirit of patriotism is because it is now becoming ideology of every financial able south Sudanese to have “a Home” abroad – special East African Countries like Uganda and Kenya. Those that cannot afford to sustain themselves in towns will prefer to voluntarily have their families to stay in the refugee camps in Uganda or Kenya as they remain in South Sudan to earn some cash to support their families in the camps.

It is because we no longer treat South Sudan as our home Country, therefore, we no longer even mind to build it and improve existing infrastructures, and provide services of high quality despising the Country’s riches to meet the demand of services by the citizenry.

It is real surprise but it is fact that, south Sudanese in their very own country, yet became as visitors as they prefer to stay in hotels and not even thinking of having a plot or rent a house in the Country. When I came in the Country, it was real surprise for me to see people who have been in South Sudan some years ahead of me and have stable business and employment in Juba; they have no home and stable properties in Juba, not even mentioning the Country. They stay in hotels and have their permanent rooms in these hotels, as they eat from restaurants while their immediately family members, spouse and children are abroad. When they say I am going home, it simple means they are travelling abroad to a country they call home while they are true south Sudanese. Even when their spouse comes on visitation to the Country, they also end up in hotels and most are not even thinking of bringing their families in south Sudan, rather they themselves are the one going for holidays in their countries of dual citizenship to join their families.

b)The second indicator that south Sudanese are losing spirit of patriotism is in the Country’s Health and education sector: The health sector has suffered the most brutal damages, since the era of Islamic regime in Khartoum, until the era of SPLM. The population of South Sudan is estimated to be around 11 million as of 2013, while there has been no increase in infrastructure development necessary to provide services to South Sudanese as the last batch of hospitals were built by (at least) the former occupying regimes in the North Sudan. Hospitals lack equipment, sufficient staffs, and recurrent expenditure to provide services effectively. As a result, there are no drugs; patients sleep on floors and medical staffs are demoralized and under paid. It is not therefore surprising as political leaders, senior public servants have lost confidence and interest in their own medical services, and instead, they prefer to be flown abroad with their families for medical treatment at taxpayers’ expense, while leaving the taxpayers themselves to die from treatable diseases.

The education sector has seen decline of standards Therefore, it is not a bombshell to many citizens to see SPLM elites and senior government officers dispatching their immediate children and family members to study in better institutions of learning outside the country on taxpayer’s money, while the financial able south Sudanese also does the same by sending off their children out of the Country for educational purpose – leaving the poor south Sudanese children to study in poor equipped schools, without proper systems in place. This shows clearly how the SPLM is a visionless regime, has no interests in human development of the citizenry, and have never treated all citizens the same in term of services. In fact, any good regime, will never serve the interests of its officials highly, than the interests of the nation and its ordinary citizen as in the case of the SPLM regime today.

There is no quality education in the Country, therefore, it is becoming dreams of every south Sudanese to send off their children to other countries for studying purpose and this is not for the high institution of learning but starting even from the preparatory schools such as kindergarten to primary schools till Universities. As a nation, we spend millions of United States dollars on sending off our children to foreign countries and if the amount we spent to send off children to foreign countries for studies can be used to improve and provide adequate educational facilities in the Country and only send off selective high institutions students to other foreign High Institutions of learning for academic exchange programs, this would have saved our economy and provided better opportunities for poor south Sudanese who are unable to send off their children abroad for studies.

c)Properties and Funds: the third indicator that south Sudanese are losing spirit of patriotism because instead of building and owning properties in South Sudan. We are fond of owning properties such as Houses abroad, including saving our money in foreign Banks than in South Sudan.

d)Dual Citizenship is the fourth indicator that south Sudanese are losing the spirit of patriotism because even if the person is a politician or government employees, they still maintain dual citizenship – those that have dual citizenship are the most so regarded “cerebrals” of South Sudan that the Nation looks upon for, as National asset to enhance the development of South Sudan.

Therefore, when we talk of the New Revolution, we are talking of desired changes that will first target the ideologies of every citizens because even if there are regime changes, or general change of leadership as well change of political system in the Country; if the people remains with the same ideologies, then revolution has not taken place because never will there be any meaningful changes in the nation to faster the spirit of the national identity as one people – which starts from individual ideological realm – to enhance sustainable eradication of ethnocentric South Sudan is facing.

Besides; any meaningful changes in the Country that will enhance sustainable peace and development starts from individual changes of ideologies toward his Country, to enhance their positive contributions for sustainable peace and development of the Country. People do not depend of their Government to develop their Nation, because it is not the Government that develops the Country, but patriotic citizens dose develop the Nation through positive contributions in socio-economic investments. The role of Government in the National development is to create socio-political and socio-economic as well provide socioeconomic infrastructures atmosphere for facilitation of development by citizens – in substantiate partnership with other foreign investors.

Therefore, the new revolution will target to eliminate the ideologies of tribalism that is first problem of south Sudan, and then it will inspire the installation of the spirit of patriotism in south Sudanese – which is very difficult tasks for of all, because it will in some case affect both individual and collective rights. However, if it can bring national coexistence and development, then it will have to be pursued – because there is no revolution without intrude on some people within any society – special those that are abstract to the revolutionary agenda and goals.

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