Archive for the ‘Columnists’ Category


We have only one international law: a commentary on understanding of refugee law in South Sudan

By Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda

Kuel refugee camp

Gatwech interviewing a woman under her tent in Kule-2 Refugee Camp.JPG

In the recent article I wrote on refugee where I put a question across as: ARE REFUGEES NOT ENTITLED TO A PASSPORT OR TO HOLD A PASSPORT? THE CASE OF SOUTH SUDANESE REFUGEES IN UGANDA seeking for the interpretation of the refugee law in regard to documents which the refugees must show when it comes to identification document: that is whether by showing a passport can be a crime under the refugee law hence a person is prohibited to show any other documents apart from the refugee identity card.

It all happened that on the day I wrote that article I went with the sister-in-law who was having an appointment with the office of the UNHCR for her process of the documents for her family resettlement programme.  We came at about 8:00 AM to the Office of Prime Minister of Uganda and when the sister-in-law tried to enter the game, the police officer was sitting at the game to check the identity of those who were entering landed on this sister-in-law of mine and asked her whether she had an identity card.

Innocently, she put her hand into her handbag and pulled out her South Sudanese passport.  Upon looking at it the way police officer reacted caught me by a surprise. The police officer began to interrogate her beginning with the following questions: “you mean you say you are a refugee and you have a passport?” and then again he asked her “why do you have a passport?” As he was asking her these questions he was putting the passport in his pocket. At that point I intervened but the police officer was not even listening to me and we ended up quarreling.

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By Sunday de John, New Delhi, India

National Dialouge Steering Committee

National Dialogue Steering Committee

June 9, 2017 (SSB) — THE national dialogue committee is in place. Ways are being devised for a possible log-on. It seems there are a lot of stumbling blocks that would mar it at the genesis. The initial perception of the dialogue seems to be a mere perception devoid of substance.

THE excerpts from recent speakers at the gathering are telling on how political the dialogue has become. The circumstances surrounding it are flummoxing and the success would only be fortuitous.

THIS fact is clear, it has become a political forum. The lots are being casted. Politicians are shifting gears towards advancement of their agenda. Expectations that the dialogue would birth peace and reconciliation are de-escalating. The spirit is dying.

THE mechanisms used to draw the members of such a sensitive committee were either flaw or unresearched. The members drawn are too many and some of them are either not interested or unwilling. It is attracting resemblance to the 2013 crisis management committee. That was of course a nightmare committee.

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Provisional Committee for National Dialogue is always given powers, chance to critic or questions those in power and instructs them to give solution to problem in the country.

By Daniel Machar Dhieu, Juba, South Sudan

National Dialouge Steering Committee

National Dialouge Steering Committee.jpg

June 6, 2017 (SSB) — First and foremost, I would like to convey my greetings to my fellow South Sudanese plus all the readers who may have opportunity to go through this article. Our nation is currently led by dreadful ideologies, fraudulent and awful hearts.  Those have lost all the morals integrity in leading us. We have lost the spirit of nationalism to eradicate the right technique to national capacity building and peace building.

I don’t consider myself among the majority of neutrals I do protests on how this country is mishandle, am not in budge with frustrated majority who feel helpless and too scared to speak anything who are indeed silence, and experience worry on South Sudan national security lethal behaviors. In fact I’m not against any proposal that will bring peace to our nation.

Honestly, I would like to share my opinion to public on National Dialogue initiated by the HE Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan to interview the problem and find solution to ongoing war across the nation in-accordance to compromise peace agreement signed two years ago between the government and arms opposition party (SPLM-IO) negotiated by IGAD, although some people may get resentful to my article I will still remain a South Sudanese die-heart citizen continuing with national opinion poll.

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Comparative News Analysis of Press Coverage of South Sudan’s Crisis

By Arop Madut Arop, Nairobi, Kenya

Journalism in South Sudan

June 6, 2017 (SSB) — In accordance to the established tradition of news analysis worldwide, one is expected to compare the treatment of news coverage by different newspapers or media organisations. In their analysis, experts are expected to observe biases, honesty and objectivity of the news organisations coverage of the event breaking. They are also expected to answer which of the newspapers, being analysed, give fair treatment of news that affects the majority of society in which they lived.

Equally, they are expected to strictly observe, which of the newspapers news coverage, in their judgement, is influenced by cultural, ideological or political interests. Another fact which I feel is worth taking note of has also to do with the reason why some people write opinion articles for publications in the newspapers and most recently in the social media.

Fundamentally, there are people who write with the aim to influence the corrections of the affairs in the public domain in their country. There are also some, who do write opinion articles or commentaries in effort to lobby for a cause they believe, is for public’s interests. Other rather malicious writers do so to campaign in effort to shame others or write with an aim to destroy things for their own personal glory or for the interests of their paymasters. Whichever reason, people who write, have something in mind to achieve good or bad, safer or harmful.

It will, therefore be, in this setting, that I am going to give a comparative analysis of four media organisation about their news coverage about the current grinding conflict in the South Sudan, which all the peace loving people are yearning to come to a halt sooner than later. To guide us through our analysis, it would be instructive to comment briefly by giving backgrounds of the webs that publish news about the current senseless conflict in South Sudan.

As a matter of demonstration I have selected four news media organisations namely: Gurtong Peace Trust, Sudan tribune, Radio Tamazuj and PaanLuel Wël Bloggers.

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By Sunday de John, New Delhi, India

Kiir, Ajongo, Kuol, Wani, Awet

Awet Akot, Wani Igga, President Kiir, Kuol Manyang and Ajonga Mawut, the exhausted veterans of the SPLM/A war of liberation

May 31, 2017 (SSB) — Have you ever been part of a war as exhausting as a guerrilla warfare? Our veterans have been the central cogs of such exhausting warfare. Dr. John Garang de Mabior, Kerubino Kuanyin Bol, William Nyuon Bany, Arok Thon Arok and of course, Salva Kiir Mayardit, James Wani Igga, Kuol Manyang Juuk and Daniel Awet Akot among others were the central cogs. Too, their other senior colleagues, rank and file, have been integral.

The war raged on for over two decades, veterans dragged on persistently with a lot of hurdles to overcome. They fought willingly despite pervasive perseverance they had to go through.

As witnesses of dismal atrocities committed against their loved ones, kin and kiths by the ruthless successive Khartoum regimes, the then bewildered youngsters now turned veterans accepted to fight for the liberty of the oppressed despite lack of pay. They were volunteers who sacrificed to fight for the freedom of their maimed fellow countrymen and countrywomen. In short they were fighting for liberty. Liberty of South Sudanese and other marginalised Sudanese.

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By Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda

National Dialouge Steering Committee

National Dialouge Steering Committee.jpg

May 30, 2017 (SSB) — The swearing in of a 94-member steering committee to head the national dialogue should not be a source of joy for all of us but rather we should be prepared for more crisis or even future war. It is the missed opportunity as the President has again failed this time to do what is required for the national dialogue to be successful and to bring a permanent peace in a country facing war like South Sudan.

It is sad to blatantly state that the current national dialogue of President Kiir is not national dialogue when test on common sense principle but rather, it is something which is like national dialogue.  This explains why many have reached the conclusion that the present “national dialogue” is not national dialogue but national monologue, which in my opinion is not even that but it is a mockery of national dialogue.

This Dialogue established by President Kiir is a recipe for future war in South Sudan.  This is because it will not bring permanent peace in the country. Though, the war may stop now, that does not mean that it is the current national dialogue that has brought peace but the war has just been postponed for future generation.

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In Search for Justice: Why Restorative Justice the Only Means in Addressing Human Rights Violation in South Sudan

By Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda

May 28, 2017 (SSB) — In different communities where we come from, there is a notion of fairness. This is shown by the way we always demand that those who are solving our problems must be fair.  It is this notion of fairness that we term as justice. In legal understanding, justice is defined as the legal or philosophical theory by which fairness is administered (see; Definition of JUSTICE “in http://www.merriam-webster.com).

Justice, being a concept understood in accordance with the community as rooted in their deep understanding of fairness, it is therefore important to state that justice is a moral virtue and since it is the moral virtue, the way it is understood differs in every culture.

Indeed, in different cultures, there is a different way of understanding justice as it depends on the way the victim and the community in general understands the crime. This is because crime is a creation of the community. In this respect, what the community considers to be a crime is a conduct is contrary to its morals and because of that it is prohibited by moral force of the society.

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By Sunday de John, New Delhi, India

David Yau Yau

Yau Yau, Lul Koang Ruai and Akot Lual

May 28, 2017 (SSB) — There is nothing wrong with my country. The land is fertile, rains are frequent, vegetation is tremendous. There is nothing wrong with South Sudanese. They are a diverse happy society. The land is vast and has been accommodating them for time immemorial and with huge reserves of land not in use.

We have about four huge forests. Our fuanda and Flora are flourishing as sources of tourists attraction. Beneath our soil is our oil, of course in abundance. Our diverse minerals aren’t minor source of wealth. Our domestic and wild animals are fabulous.

The longest River in the continent winds within the huge landscape of our country. We are tall and handsome people born of successful beautiful mothers and of course, our sisters are the envy of the world. The black beauty.

That is the South Sudan in summary.

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By David Matiop Gai, Juba, South Sudan

National Dialouge Steering Committee

National Dialogue Steering Committee.jpg

May 28, 2017 (SSB) — National dialogue which is now rejected by oppositions is the only solution in South Sudan conflict. I have putted clear in many articles that even if rebels win war and come in power, the national dialogue is still a way to iron out burning issues, but as rebels couldn’t manage to win war against government, and government against rebels while lives are losing everyday on both sides, it is better to see this narrow gate of national dialogue as a way to bring back the country to normalcy.

Rebel groups are calling national dialogue as Kiir’s dialogue, and ceasefire as Kiir’s unilateral ceasefire and they are rejecting national dialogue to participate especially those who called themselves group of former vice president Dr. Riek Machar, political detainees, Dr. Lam Akol group, Gen. Cirilo group, former governor of Western Equatoria: Bengasi Gakasoro group, Johnson Olony group, and many other opposition groups in the country.

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By Sunday de John, New Delhi, India

ateny wek ateny

Ateny Wek, Presidential press secretary

May 27, 2017 (SSB) — Many Greetings to you and blessings. Dear brother, I hope this finds you in good health. The purpose of this open letter is to wake you up from your deep slumber, get energised and serve the nation by issuing incredible, static and well-founded information.

Dear brother, on many counts you have been to the public knowledge as a man that beats the drums of truth. I first came to know you when your article was forwarded to me by Akol Ayom Wek Ateny, I published the article on the day Dr Khalil Ibrahim forces stormed the Omdurmans. We were solely running the newspaper with ustaz Adam Cholong and one Designer since all the workers were kept indoors by the insecurity invoked by the then masquerading fighters. Although not relevant to the issues of that day it was worthy of publication.

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By Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda

Paul Malong

Paul Malong Awan, Aweil

May 22, 2017 (SSB) — May 9, 2017 will be remembered in history of South Sudan. It is a day which has become a turning point in the history of ruthless and inhuman decree of the President of the Republic of South Sudan, General Salva Kiir Mayardit.

President Kiir has become obsessed with the power to the extent that he can issue the decree to stop the birds flying over Juba. What is peculiar about all the decrees that are issued by the President is that they are issued even without his knowledge. This is because the president has pre-signed all decrees and other documents which are just kept in his office ready to be issued at any time.

With those decrees pre-signed what remains only are the words to be written on them and then issued by his employees even without the Master’s instruction or decision. The employees use the powers of the President to coerce every government officials.

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By Elbow Chuol, Kampala, Uganda

paul malong

President Salva Kiir, Governor Paul Malong Awan (Blue suit) and Cabinet Affairs Minister Martin Lomuro (black suit) during the public rally in Aweil, NBeG

May 19, 2017 (SSB) — PAUL Malong Awan’s four days Rebellion was badly miscalculated. This is where principle of mathematic seriously went wrong. So I wasn’t the only one who didn’t do well in high school after all-Malong is a colleague in this cryptic universal problem.

Malong Awan the nightmare of the South Sudanese civilians didn’t choose to rebel but his four days rebellions was carefully set in motion.  His appointment as a tool to be used by Kiir and Akool to kills South Sudanese didn’t fade away in just four years rigorous military leadership campaign. The man went furious but mechanism were put in place to control him. It is called leadership placement. You are put somewhere to achieve the most wanted desires.

But Malong was given anything and everything to become everything and anything including an authority rape, displacing civilians, killing, and obstructing the humanitarian workers to reach the purposely starved Nuer civilians in Greater Upper Nile-Unity State in particular. All the wrongs will be counted on his head.

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By Kur Garang Deng, Nairobi, Kenya

Kur Garang Deng

Kur Garang Deng

May 16, 2017 (SSB) — Thank God for some of us, who have survived to tell this story. It is a story of my fallen comrades who have donated their precious lives for this nation of ours, the Republic of South Sudan.

In this piece, I congratulate my heroes and acknowledge the great work they have accomplished for us. These are our freedom fighters, revolutionaries, compatriots, liberators and other contributors to this great day and nation of the South Sudanese people under the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army/Movement.

The SPLA/M was started today 34 years ago! As we used to sing: SPLA Noor a Sha’ab Sudan (SPLA the Light to the People of the Sudan).

It was not an easy task. That is why we must always commemorate and celebrate the lives of our great leaders and men and women of history since May 16, 1983. I am proudly humbled to be one of them today. Not me alone but with my other colleagues, both alive and dead. But heroes do not die.

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By Deng Kur Deng, Pennsylvania, USA

IMG_8992-1

May 23, 2017 (SSB) —- As far as how the future of South Sudan looks, there are few things to keep in mind among many South Sudanese —it is definitely looking dull, unpredictable. To many, life is worthless, and it is quite worrisome to many of us who love this country dearly. One thing is clear, which you deserve to know is that, President Kiir will never reconcile the people of South Sudan.

Deal with that fact by reflecting on what has been going on for years now. There isn’t much in the way of options left as the people of South Sudan have tried and initiated peace, but kept going back to war, tried collaboration after collaboration, and peace after peace with various groups, and nothing seems to come out of that.

Weak peace treaties were negotiated—some of which were finally and loosely signed. I had felt at some point that this peace was going to work, but it didn’t. Imagine, since the war started, many human rights watch dogs have estimated over 50,000 South Sudanese people have perished and it is continuing to add up as war continue to engulf many areas in the country. And for what?

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Dear President, Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit, affable greetings to you and blessings.

By Sunday de John, New Delhi, India

Kiir, Ajongo, Kuol, Wani, Awet

May 17, 2017 (SSB) — It has been long since the team and I met you personally in Nairobi on your way back from United States of America. The meeting that we had with you was on developmental pillars. As a group we didn’t meet you so as to solicit for any material gains. Our thirteen point document was meant for the good of South Sudan. It was not based on any culpable conspiracies.

We gave you our multi-million dollar points on the national agenda for free. Categorically, we stressed for the need to harness our oneness as South Sudanese, the need for static security, the need for reforms, the need for lasting peace, the need for development and particularly on the serviceability of roads network, electricity and water.

We too stressed on the need for a grand goal of quality health care and quality education. Each of the big desired goals was hinted on well. With you we felt at home, you had not shown any supercilious character. For your information, you are a cordial president.

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By Deng Akech Deng, Juba, South Sudan

Gogrial state

May 18, 2017 (SSB) — Gogrial State communal conflict has reached its climax and if not addressed urgently, it may cause unrepairable damages. Gogrial is one of the states embroiled in a communal conflict since 2004 but as of recent, the conflict has taken an ugly turn.

As you may be aware, there has been a dispute between Aguok and Apuk communities of Gogrial which can be traced back to 2004 when Gogrial County split into two Counties namely Gogrial East and Gogrial West Counties. The administration of Gogrial County and the processes leading to the division of Gogrial County into two counties are sometimes believed to be the causes of this conflict.

Differences began to develop between sons of Aguok and Apuk in Gogrial County Administration before the split in 2004. The grudges started as some people were complaining and accusing one another of less representation in the County as a result of ill intention of one community to marginalize the other. This disagreement between intellectuals or rather politicians widen when the county split.

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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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