South Sudan: Being an IO in the Bushes and in Juba Hotels

Posted: November 11, 2016 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Commentary, Contributing Writers, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

By Yach Atiop Yach, Juba, South Sudan

Riek vs Taban

The battle over the SPLM-IO leadership

November 11, 2016 (SSB) —- Since the war broke out in December 2013 that lead to the subsequent birth of Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement – In Opposition aka SPLM – IO, their main bases and homes have been in the bushes of South Sudan, making them the second guerilla movement after the mother SPLM/A of 1983 after the birth of South Sudan as it slide back to war due to mismanagement and lack of solving petty political differences.

With bushes becoming unfavorable to many who had thought they were to be in power after attempting to fight the same government they have been officials for quite some time. Then government leverage had paved ways for some wobbly IOs cadres and some ended up in Juba hotels in the name of amnesty granted to them.

Little did they never knew that things won’t change for better rather than being safe from the harsh life of the bushes just to only enjoys the Wi-Fi internet of the lavish hotels of Juba. Having been IO in the bushes and IO in Juba hotels tells two different sides of stories of the same movement.

With all IOs movement having accepted the terms of the August 2015 peace agreement, the bushes were soon to be stories at the dining tables of Juba hotels after the advance team lead by the then Chief negotiator now First Vice president arrived in Juba in December 2015.

With advance team already in Juba, more success of transition from IO in the bushes to IOs in Juba hotels was now achieved and life was improving for those who were lucky to be in the delegation which was kept increasing day by day from 500 men to 600 personnel due to various interests of the group wanting be in hotels and one day be shown on SSTV now SSBC as heroes and heroines that have ushered in the agreement from military failure they have tried.

When IOs from the bushes under the cover of advance team entered Juba Hotels, their whole bills were being covered by the same government they had branded corrupt and illegitimate when they were waging the senseless war while in the bushes, but later Juba hotels provide them the best honeymoon.

It was a good stay to them before things fell apart when their then leader Riek Machar was touring the world and numerously postponing his planned arrival to Juba in order to join his cadres in the hotels as patience ran out from the government. Many of them were evicted from the Juba hotels as some were thinking of returning to bushes life of the IO movement.

With their then leader Riek Machar finally arrived in Juba in April, 2016. The bush life was no more as few lucky ones ended up in the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) and fortunate to be in Juba hotels. The comparison was now left to individuals.

With political calculations being the best mathematical consideration any South Sudanese politician(s) can solve much better than economic considerations, the bush life from last group of IOs who lately arrived to Juba came fast calling and things ended up in mess again on July 8th on the eve of 5th Anniversary celebrations.

Because the bush life has been preferred by one faction of IO than Juba hotels life, the focus was back to origin. The question is why should people preferred the bush life that has no benefits to each of those who had preferred to have made self-exile from the comfort of Juba Hotels?

I personally must appreciate the IOs in Juba hotels for they have learned the hardest part of life as they have political corrections to make while they have escaped bush life. This makes senses to many that, the man whom they have supported and fought for him for many decades is not willing to live up to his mind and take up the job he has yearned for many decades, instead he always succumb to his ill –mind and places many young men to the burrow of guns while escaping danger to safety like the recent narrow escape from Juba.

South Sudanese must know that, many politicians or aspiring politicians  have  the habits of leaving their positions in favor of someone’s position and be customers to bush life and when things turned worse, they later return to Juba hotels like Koc cien ke wun de Jok (some people you know and can’t name them).

The IOs whether in the bush or in Juba hotels have to be our better analysts as long as they are still sentient. This is in fact a litmus test of their political failures and some youth who are busy following disgruntled politicians in order to get political workshops while residing in the bushes and in Juba hotels when the end game is no near to success. They end up sycophantic the regime they had mortified, insulted and dumped.

Therefore South Sudan is South Sudan and not like America were businessman managed to shattered three or four decade’s politicians who had big aspirations to be president, there is no way for such dreams in this republic, the short cut is hell not heaven for fame.

Yach Atiop Yach is an Atlas Corps Alumni (USA) – Atlas Corps is an International Network of Nonprofit Leaders and Organizations and currently a Humanitarian Aid worker with an International NGO, He holds Bachelor Degree of Business Administration (Accounting) from Kampala International University (KIU) – Uganda. You can reach him through his email,

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


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