Not Yet Uhuru for South Sudan

Posted: May 18, 2019 by aljokd in Junub Sudan

By Malith Alier, Perth, Australia

South Sudan’s coat of arms, in which the eagle symbolizes vision, strength, resilience and majesty, and the shield and spear the people’s resolve to protect the sovereignty of their republic and work hard to feed it.

Saturday, 18 May, 2019 (PW) – This may come as a shock to the few South Sudanese who belief that the independence from Sudan in 2011 translated to freedom. The world does not see it that way. Believing that simply moving away from the old Sudan amounted to freedom is a subjective faith in deed.

Mzee Jaramogi Oginga Odinga discovered many years ago that the departure of the British and the subsequent independence of Kenya did not amount to freedom as claimed by some guys in the new government. He therefore, authored a book whose title I used for this piece.

The same scenario, I believe, happened to many other African nations including South Sudan the newest country in the world. For those who have not come into contact with Kiswahili, “uhuru” means freedom as the equivalent in English language.

How freedom is measured matters here. According to Freedom in the World 2018 ranking, the followings apply in the context of South Sudan:

Population: 12,700,000

Capital: Juba

Political rights rating: 7

Civil liberties rating: 7

Freedom status: Not free

Electoral democracy: No

Legend: 1 most free 7 least free

  1. Electoral process: 1/12
  2. Political pluralism and participation: 1/16
  3. Functioning of government: 0/12
  4. freedom of expression and belief: 2/16 (-2)
  5. Associational and organisational rights: 2/12
  6. Rule of law: 0/16
  7. Personal autonomy and individual rights: 0/16

You can see that the country scored zero or one in the A – G categories above. The above are also subdivided into subcategories in the specific areas such as the judiciary where justice is endowed.

Last Thursday, 16 May, South Sudan woke up to the 36 anniversary of the 1983 rebellion that went on for 21 years against the Khartoum regime. At least 2 million people died in the hope of gaining freedom. This is not yet realised even after 6 years of self-rule and 9 years of independence. I can add my criterion for what I believe might mean freedom to me right here:

Freedom to move

Freedom from hunger

Freedom from disease

Freedom from ignorance

Freedom to gain employment

Freedom to enjoy life to the fullest

Freedom to have a say in government

Freedom to protest unfair government policies

Next Thursday, 23 May, when 16 May is commemorated some government bigwigs will declare that the country is free. What freedom?

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

  1. John Mayen says:

    Slavery was a vice – the darkest and the evilest side of humanity; but you could never be certain that this was or is the general view held by many people a cross the globe. Some include, the slaved would argue the opposit, and others, like Malieth Alier, would never accept their freedom even when they are freed and could possibly turn treacherous against members of their own group who accepted freedom. South Sudan has produced lots of these treacherous individuals in recent years (since 2011) – betraying and dragging the country and its people down – resulting into the current unwanted civil war – (barely within 2 years of the freedom that 98% South Sudanese people voted for in 2011) and continuous Incitement of violence among south Sudanese people. These are criminals with criminal minds and ill intentions who never see good things within themselves or within the general grouping and group’s achievements. Agreed with the statement that freedom is subjective and this is the reality Malieth and his like should reflect upon. When and where are you free? You in Perth – Australia, are you free? and would you feel free when you statements and betrayal of your identity continues to incite violence among your people in South Sudan and in Bor – your birth place? Who rated the above ratings you cited and what does the history tells you about the rators or the concepts being rated?.

    South Sudanese people are freed. All they need is time to realise that freedom, to build their lives, their families and community; and to feel not being betrayed by treacherous elements without identities and who continue to enjoy inciting violence among citizens in South Sudan. South Sudan government and its law makers should wake up to this – to create laws to safeguard community from creation of violence and to hold those create violence accountable.


  2. Malith Alier says:

    Dear Mr. Mayen,
    First of all get my name right or at least at I write it (Malith) there is not e in it.
    Are you talking of slavery that stopped in the 18 century. Get over it.
    Malith went to the bush to fight for freedom but until now “Not yet Uhuru!”
    You’re the treacherous one because you are blind to see, the bad and the ugly right now.
    Freedom is not the change of people, it must be the change of conditions. Get it right.
    Have those conditions pre-1983 changed, that’s the question you should ask yourself.
    Tell me my did anyone tell you that after the Arabs you will have another century to be fully free? How much more time do you need?


    • John Mayen says:

      I have read a few of your incongruent or should we say confused articles from this site so your name or its spelling has no meanings. I would encourage you to focus on your studies, writing and analytical skills so that you are able to understand the concepts you are referring to and how those concepts relates to the situations of your people and your country.

      History is not stagnant so those who do not learn historical lessons, or those who betray their history and people – by pretending to be others are not forgiven by history and should not be forgiven by the society that endured so much of such history.

      You actions and words demonstrate nothing of patriotism or elements of belonging seen in most South Sudanese who went or did not go to the bush/movement, for instance you questioned the 16th May and the creation of South Sudan state. You wouldn’t do this if you really went to the Bush else you are a traitor committing treason and South Sudan should have legal measures against you and your like to protect itself and community against such treacherous acts.

      All South Sudanese are products of the movement and have made the movement so you have no values to convince me to reveal to you whether I participated in the Movement.

      All I can tell you is that I went to South Sudan in 2011, 2013 and 2018 and in each visit the sense of belongings, of having South Sudanese states, of having identity, of visiting relatives, friends and communities was fully satisfying even when having gain nothing material.

      Former US President – JF Kennedy told his citizen not to ask what their country can do to them but instead should ask what they can do to their own country.
      So you Malieth, ask what positive things you can do to South Sudan to promote peace not inciting violence from a far.


  3. Malith Alier says:

    I rest my case there Maya!


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