Archive for the ‘Columnists’ Category


By Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda

Hagana Festival

Hagana Festival

May 15, 2017 (SSB) — It has been a while since I thought about this topic concerning the role of money in crisis of South Sudan. When Comprehensive Peace Agreement (the CPA) between the Sudanese People Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) and National Islamic Front (NIF) regime, Southern Sudan was created, which was administered as an autonomous region from Northern Sudan.

The autonomy of Southern Sudan was to last for six years (2005-2011), which should be followed by referendum, in which all South Sudanese or sixty four tribes currently in South Sudan have to decide whether to become independent nation called South Sudan or continue to be part of larger Sudan.

Indeed, after six years South Sudanese decided to vote for separation. Consequently, they voted for independent South Sudan and in July 2011 the current Official Flag of South Sudan was raised and the Flag of Sudan that many of us associated with all predicaments that were facing South Sudanese under Khartoum was lowered. As the Official Flag was being raised, the crowd was wild with joy while braving simmering sun of Juba.

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By Wol Deng Atak, Nairobi, Kenya

Kiir, Ajongo, Kuol, Wani, Awet, Malual Ayom

Kiir, Ajongo, Kuol, Wani, Awet, Malual Ayom

May 13, 2017 (SSB) — I expected National address from President Salva Kiir Mayardit, but instead I heard hate speech against media and the former Chief of Staff. In short the president’s speech was punctuated by numbers of hate remarks and complains rather than directives to the nation.

Kiir’s speech today confirmed that national security in Juba has been acting on his orders to crack down on the media. This is made clear in his reference to media as the causes of violent in South Sudan. Is it, sir?

Perhaps this claim is not true. Surely when President Kiir disagreed and exchanged bitter words with his colleagues at SPLM leading to a bitter fight with his arch rival, Dr. Riek Machar in 2013, did the media give them the choice of words that led to violent confrontations?

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By Sunday de John, New Delhi, India

Generals Pieng Deng Majok, Paul Malong Awan and Malual Ayom Dor at the Bor Airport during the second liberation of Bor, 2014

Generals Pieng Deng Majok, Paul Malong Awan and Malual Ayom Dor at the Bor Airport during the second liberation of Bor, 2014

May 13, 2017 (SSB) — The Republic of South Sudan first. Anything else later. That is what one can say at least to soothe himself especially when a danger is looming. In the recent wake, a lot has been happening. Of all that had happened nothing has shaken my country the much it was and is being shook by the departure of Gen. Paul Malong Awan Anei aka King Paul from Juba via Terekeka on counts of travelling to his cradle land of Aweil.

This happened immediately after he was relieved by the President of the Republic of South Sudan. According to reliable sources, Gen. Paul Malong Awan had a desire to travel to his backyard and do his personal businesses like most South Sudanese are doing especially in this rainy season when cultivation is of paramount importance to agro-pastoralists like Gen. Paul Malong.

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By Kur Wël Kur, Adelaide, Australia

Kiir, Ajongo, Kuol, Wani, Awet

May 13, 2017 (SSB) — Is South Sudan dictatorial or democratic? I can’t help asking myself this question. It’s a question I know the answer to. And the answer is a big-bellied fat no. But before I gauge our beloved country in any of these systems of governance, I will have to make an impression that even the governance in the state of nature is much better than the type of governance in our beloved country.

Because in nature, all the hierarchical animals observe some rules in their societies. For example, threats to power (dominance) and territory are viewed differently.  Among the hierarchical animals, power is individualistic but territory is communal. Any male/ female,  which aspire for the dominant female’s/male’s position, must prepare for an individualistic challenge (war). The rest of the members would either spectate, or go about their businesses when the challenger and the dominant female or male are viciously attacking each other.

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The Politics of Post-Garang SPLM/SPLA Government

By Deng Diar Diing, Mombasa, Kenya

May 16th anniversary

May 12, 2017 (SSB) — If I were within the close circle of comrade Salva, I would be worried, very worried. To those of us who studied science, experiments are carried out to develop empirical formulas and those formulas are iteratively applied while continuously incorporating constants and previously insignificant variables until you arrive at a stable scientific formula that’s applicable invariably.

Now, with the way the audience of war and targets have been shifting unpredictably, I would be worried if I were within the circle. Stability and predictability are important in any operations and discourse for that matter.

Remembering 2012, the whole war started as a contest of egos between Riek and Cde Salva not to mention the Garang-boys coup d’etat folklore that got sung since Garang died and eventually got beaten down by more significant events.

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By Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda

May 12, 2017 (SSB) —- On May 9, 2017 South Sudanese national army (SPLA) Chief of General Staff Paul Malong Awan was fired by President, General Salva Kiir Mayardit and replaced him with General James Ajongo Mawut.  Consequently, tension began to grow between the President and the sacked general.

 In fact, the tension was more exacerbated due to the fact that soldiers were deployed on Juba streets and around the sacked General home while plainclothes national security agents drive in and around the capital telling people to go inside their houses (according to www.southsudannewsagency.com/index.php/…/south-sudan-army-chief-sacked-2/).

As the government went on preparing for war as seen above, Malong was preparing for peace. Therefore, he left Juba with intention of going to his hometown, Aweil the same night as a way of reducing tension. However, leaving Juba was another problem as the government began panicking.

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By Awuol Gabriel Arok, Juba, South Sudan

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May 9, 2017 (SSB) — Once upon a time in the land of Ochoro, the birds and the animals held a big meeting to discuss the bad treatment they were receiving from human beings. They decided to send a delegation to the owner of the sky asking him to change their fate, and if possible to turn them into human beings.

Now the owner of the sky received them and listened to them patiently. “Human beings do not even respect our leaders, they said, they kill even the elephant and the leopard.” “They catch us and keep us in cages, “said the birds, “We have claws and teeth and yet they are not afraid of us,” said the animals again. Then the owner of Heaven said, “If I decide to help you, will you all agree to do whatever I tell you to do?”

Then all the animals began to talk at once, and they made wonderful promise that they would follow the Creator’s advice in every possible way, and do whatever he told them to do.

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By Elbow Chuol, Kampala, Uganda

war

May 8, 2017 (SSB) —- If we had indeed learned anything from the unlawful detention of Dr. Riek Machar in Pretoria, South Africa, is the fact that the war is not coming to an end in the absence of him. Whoever proposed to quarantine the leader of the largest South Sudan Armed Opposition is wrong and it is not an ideal that will bring peace to the people of South Sudan in the near future.

THE FORESEEN SIGHTS

Former Botswana president Festus Mogae’s failure and the Peace partners, the appointments of Gen. Taban Deng Gai as the First Vice President, Kiir’s Monologue are the foreseen sights of nothing like an end is near to the conflict resolution in South Sudan.

The attempt made to isolate the chairman of the South Sudan Armed Opposition (SSAO), from the peace process is not the possible solution to end the crisis in the world’s youngest nation. Let the man be releases from this illicit house detention and go to his headquarters to convince his forces why it is important to cease fire. Otherwise, I see this as some kind of hilarious joke intended for the purpose of entertaining the traumatized masses of the South Sudan people.

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By Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda

Hagana Festival

Hagana Festival

May 8, 2017 (SSB) — The Country called South Sudan today officially became the Republic of South Sudan in July 2011 following a referendum that passed with 98.83% of the vote. Its current capital is Juba, which is also its largest city. It was planned that the capital city would be changed to the more centrally located at Ramciel.

The independence of South Sudan came about as a result of the agreements of sixty four tribes. When we talk of a tribe, we mean a group of distinct people, dependent on their land for their livelihood, who are largely self-sufficient, and not integrated into the national society.

In that respect, tribe is perhaps the term most readily understood and used by the general public.  Stephen Corry defines tribal people as those who “…have followed ways of life for many generations that are largely self-sufficient, and are clearly different from the mainstream and dominant society”. This definition, however, would not apply to countries in the Middle East such as Iraq, where the entire population is a member of one tribe or another, and tribalism itself is dominant and mainstream.

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By Molana Arop Malook Lual, Juba, South Sudan

RSS coat of ARMS

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.

May 5, 2017 (SSB) — The Declaration adopted on 24 September 2012 by the United Nations General Assembly in which South Sudan is a member at the High-level Meeting on the Rule of Law at the National and International Levels reaffirmed that “human rights, the rule of law and democracy are interlinked and mutually reinforcing and that they belong to the universal and indivisible core values and principles of the United Nations”. Indeed, government responsiveness to the interests and needs of the greatest number of citizens is strictly associated with the capacity of democratic institutions and processes to bolster the dimensions of rights, equality and accountability.

If considered not solely an instrument of the government but as a rule to which the entire society, including the government, is bound, the rule of law is fundamental in advancing democracy. Strengthening the rule of law has to be approached not only by focusing on the application of norms and procedures. One must also emphasize its fundamental role in protecting rights and advancing inclusiveness, in this way framing the protection of rights within the broader discourse on human development.

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By Samuel Reech Mayen, JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN

President Kiir's speeches after independence

Salva Kiir Mayaardit: The Joshua of South Sudan. Grab your copy at Amazon.com

May 5, 2017 (SSB) — Since then, the fate of the boy is not known. Ayiikdit mourned the disappearance of his son bitterly.   He sacrificed cows, goats, sheep and even chickens to appease totems to bring back his son but all in vain. He spent sleepless nights hoping his son would return back calling from a distant for his father to open for him their warm hut. Unfortunately, nap would steal him and a horrible dream would corrupt all hope.

In a series of reoccurring dreams, he would see his son running away from ruthless Murle kidnappers but on reaching the middle of the bush, he got caught by hungry troop of lions. Some lions would thrust their claws in his belly and others dug their teeth in his throat. As the blood oozed through the cuts covering his smooth face, the boy would try to cry but only pushed out more blood through the open wounds.

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By Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda

Hagana Festival

Hagana Festival

May 5, 2017 (SSB) —- Our crisis always begins as rumours. There are rumours, rumours and rumours everywhere though some of us are always the last ones to know about these rumours. In typical world, rumours are not worth of believing but ignoring them in South Sudan can be a disaster. As noted above, the current war began as rumours about coup sometime back before independence of South Sudan but they were proved not to be real rumours as the message of coup they carried was not true. However, those rumours planted seeds for future war.

Hence, after rumors about a planned coup surfaced in Juba in late 2012, President Salva Kiir began reorganizing the senior leadership of his government, party and military in an unprecedented scale.  For instance, in January 2013, Kiir replaced the inspector general of the national police service with a lieutenant from the army, and dismissed six deputy chiefs of staff and twenty nine (29) major generals in the army.  Then after that in February 2013, Kiir retired an additional one hundred and seventeen (117) army generals. Such a move created fears and suspicion in all circles of the army.

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By Sunday de John, New Delhi, India

rss-coat-of-arms

Presidential dinner for X-mass

May 3, 2017 (SSB) —- Time and again, I see people who had contributed to the destruction of Pan Chieel pointing their fingers towards the Presidency. The possibility of self-denial holding water is minimal.

The responsibility of failing state rests with the leaders. Small or big. The factors that have contributed to Pan Chieel current state do not necessarily come from one direction. President Lubajo Lodiong softness and lack of a designed goal have created complacency amongst his subordinates.

It birthed rapid siphoning of public resources. It has bred corruption. It has created upper class versus itself tussle. It has created minimal self-reliance. It has created disloyalty to the system.

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A missed opportunity! Assessing the viability of the republican order no. 08/2017 for the reconstitution of the national dialogue steering committee, 2017, in bringing peace in South Sudan (part 1)

By Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda

peace

April 30, 2017 (SSB) — The Republican order no. 08/2017 for the reconstitution of the National Dialogue Steering Committee, 2017 A.D. was issued on 25th April, 2017 to appoint numerous persons to lead the National Dialogue in South Sudan. The purpose for the National Dialogue is to bring lasting peace in bringing the war to an end in South Sudan. That war which was begun on December 15, 2013 proved to be a disaster for the country. It is said to have killed over three hundred thousand (300,000) people and internally displaced millions of people. Also, about million of citizens have sought refuge in the neighbouring countries, notably, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt.

Center for Conflict Resolution (CECORE) and the Centre for Peace and Development Studies (CPDS) projected that the intensity of the conflict may cost South Sudan of about between US$22 billion and $28 billion if the war continues unabatedly. In addition, (CECORE) and (CPDS) pointed out that if the action is taken now to achieve peace, then the international community, particularly Western donors, may save about US$30 billion by reducing expenditure on peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance. It concluded that this scenario would also mean that the neighbouring economies of Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda could collectively save US$53 billion.

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By Kur Wël Kur, Adelaide, Australia

Tribal war of south sudan

Tribal war of South Sudan?

April 29, 2017 (SSB) —- With almost absolute certainty, I believe we, the South Sudanese people ( government proposers and opposers)  don’t need philosophers of wars like a fifteen century war philosophers such as Niccolo Machiavelli , or Michael Walzer, a war philosopher who still breathes  air in the same atmosphere like us, to explain to us how exhaustive and expensive war is.

Because by ourselves, we have seen the consequences of war. Our citizens in thousands have died in wars and of wars-related causes; our citizens in millions are displaced; our agricultural lands are left for weeds. What sieves out of war is brutality.  If arthropods such as crabs can adopt coexistence and adapt to their environments without engaging in time-wasting wars, then why don’t we, the humans, the South Sudanese learn to stop the vicious cycle of war in our hard-earned country?

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By Philip Thon Aleu, Juba, South Sudan

war

April 27, 2017 (SSB) — Honestly, there is always a solution for any problem if given a holistic approach.

  1. President Salva Kiir. As the head of state, the President has every power to stop the war and restore our dignity in the world as people. First of all, he must be honest to himself and admit that fighting the numerous armed groups is a war that can’t be won. The SPLM/A did not capture Wau, Juba or Malakal during the 21 years of war but that did not end the war until Khartoum listened. The fact that rebels don’t control any major town is not a reason sufficient to underrate their strength. They are capable of blocking highways and disrupt movements of people and goods from one part of the country and another. Second, the President should allow communities to be ruled by leaders of their choice, not people loyal to the President but without a constituency. South Sudan is so diverse and complex to govern through one man’s preference. Third, the President should engage his SPLM faction and enter a leadership discussion. The SPLM has never been an institutionalized party for the last 34 years…in fact, it has never been a political party prepared to govern through institutions but through instructions and orders. The “all units messages” issued by Dr. John Garang had morphed into “Decrees” during President Salva Kiir’s reign. A diverse country like South Sudan needs a different approach; a compromising, tolerant and inclusive management is required. If the President break with the current styles of his leadership, he will definitely add more medals to his list for transitioning Southern Sudan from 2005 to 2011 and overseeing our independence. That is one way to end the war.

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Attention: H.E General Salva Kiir Mayardit, President, Chairman of SPLM and the Commander in Chief of the SPLA, State House, J1, Juba, South Sudan

 war

Mr. President,

April 26, 2017 (SSB) — First, let me register that some of us who have never met you before and perhaps, will never meet you until you leave the presidency are very unfortunate and indeed regretting. We are even very unfortunate at this time when things are tough for all of us and we badly need to meet you in order to tell you what we think are wrong in and with the government so that you are able to change the method of governance for the better and to serve citizens of South Sudan better.

I need not to remind you by telling you that it is now going to four years while the war is still on. The last three years have never been easier for us citizens and I do not know whether you know that we are suffering. It was good when the war started but as we progress from one year to the other in the war, things are becoming tougher and tougher day and night as US dollars have staged a second front against the country and citizens.

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By Samuel Reech Mayen, Juba, South Sudan

Mama Nyandeng Crying after the warring parties failed to sign the final peace accord

Mama Nyandeng Crying after the warring parties failed to sign the final peace accord

April 26, 2017 (SSB) — Sincerely speaking, there are good reasons why Honourable Nyandeng De Mabior can reject the presidential surprise decree appointing her into the National Dialogue Committee. One of the reasons is if she has not been consulted by H.E the President. However, there are heavier reasons as to why she should accept the unexpected appointment.

Firstly, it’s a noble indication of honouring, recognizing and trusting the positive influence she can play in reviving peace in the country. Already, the members of the National Dialogue committee are icons who have served this nation in one way or another. H.E Abel Alier, Joseph Laggu and the rests are people of high integrity who have only been resorted to rescue the dying trust amongst the citizens. Appointing Mama Nyandeng to join them in resuscitating hope is a good move in recognizing Garangs’ roles in the national building.

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By David Matiop Gai, Juba, South Sudan

war

South Sudan must be weaned off war

April 26, 2017 (SSB) — Is South Sudan conflict now a problem of the dead people or for the livings? Dinka says particularly Dinka Bor community that, “Kou gut wun Amok gɔɔl”, the thorn injure, hurt or inject the owner anus, which literally mean, whatever you do to others in secret turns against you in public. The poem became popular in Bor community, and they used to advise those who do wrong things that, “kou gut wun amok”, don’t plan things against others and also teach all members of the community to be more loving people.

As I want to discuss today proxy war in South Sudan part two, I want to explain what caused popular poem of kou gut wun amok as it becomes a storytelling in Dinka Bor community. Long time ago, few people used to build” Luak”, a local building used for keeping animals in Dinka, and Nuer communities. You keep your animals in Luak and it is a nice and cool place people stay in during hot season.

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By Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda

screen-shot-2015-04-15-at-21-38-09

April 23, 2017 (SSB) — In recent time genocide has become common term used recklessly and selfishly during the war.  According to The Politics of genocide an excerpt from the book by Edward S. Herman & David Peterson, the word “genocide” has increased in frequency of use and recklessness of application, so much so that the crime of the twentieth century for which the word originally was coined often appears debased. Thus, this work is an attempt to assess the meaning of genocide in brief, the purpose for which it was coined, to further explain the politics of genocide, that is, how the meaning of genocide has highly been distorted to suit political interests, which, as a result, has resulted into its failure to protect human rights and how this understanding of genocide has affected its effective application in South Sudan and then I conclude.

The overall argument of this article is that genocide has become highly political to the extent that it has lost its real meaning and purpose for which it was invented and because of that it has become ineffective in protecting human rights due to the fact that it is embroiled in political debate. Hence, genocide is not applied in the context of which it was originally meant as it was in 1970s and 1980s but it has taken political connotation which has made it become very discriminative and ineffective. In that regard, I argue that the term genocide was purposely invented to protect innocent and “bonafide civilians” who are being killed due to their nationality, ethnicity, race or religion. I used the term “bonafide civilians” to show that such civilians are completely innocent and are not part of conflict in any manner whatsoever though they are trapped among rebels. Thus, I begin in the order as I have given above.

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