Archive for the ‘Columnists’ Category


“In South Sudan, owing to a very poor understanding of international principles about constitutions, the President thinks he is the principal author and beneficiary of the Constitution. Many a time, the President becomes the constitution,” partly reads a manifesto of the National Salvation Front, a South Sudanese armed Opposition movement, calling for “crafting and adopting, through a wide consultative process, a modern, democratic, truly federal constitution with institutional checks and balances.”

 By Roger Alfred Yoron Modi, Juba, South Sudan

Kiir and Wani

President Kiir and VP Dr. James Wani Igga, on independent day

August 18, 2017 (SSB) — President Salva Kiir’s recent firing of 14 Judges including justices from South Sudan court of appeal and the high court received intense condemnation from the civil society and members of the legal fraternity who, rightly, see the move as an interference with the independence of the judiciary and administration of justice in world’s youngest nation.

The sacked judges have been on an open-ended strike since early May. Their demands include higher wages and better working conditions, and the resignation of chief justice Chan Reech Madut who they accused of having compromised the independence of the Judiciary.

Some of the Judges who have not been dismissed have vowed to continue with the strike, demanding that president Kiir meets all their demands, including the reinstatement of the 14 sacked Judges or else he should dismiss all of them who are on strike.

“We the general assembly of Justices and Judges across South Sudan, in our urgent meeting held at the Judiciary headquarters in Juba and in all the states, on this 14th day of July, 2017, have resolved to continue with our open strike in solidarity with our honourable dismissed justices and judges until our demands are met,” partly reads a statement by the Judges.

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The Republic of South Sudan marks the 62nd anniversary of the historical and popular Torit uprising on the 18th of August, 1955

By Arop Madut Arop, Nairobi, Kenya

Torit mutiny

The 61st anniversary of August 18, 1955, Torit Mutiny that launched the 50 years revolutionary struggle of South Sudanese against Khartoum, culminating in the independence of South Sudan in July 2011

August 16, 2017 (SSB) — As the people of the Republic of South Sudan mark and celebrate the 62nd anniversary of August 18th, 1955 Torit uprising, it would extremely be important to recall the events that ushered in the protracted armed struggle between the Sudan’s two regions. The object of that liberation struggle was for the people of South Sudan to achieve dignity, freedom and self-esteemed denied them for decades. When people mark an occasion like the 62nd anniversary of our armed resistance struggle, it is always natural to remember the huge sacrifices the pioneers of our political struggle under went in their fight to liberate their people.

Besides reminding ourselves about the issues that surrounded South Sudan treacherous journey to peace and independence, this important occasion, is intended for the benefit of our younger people and future generations, who may have not lived the events described in this piece. Importantly, August 18th, the anniversary is very vital to celebrate because it marked the starting point for the people of the South Sudan long tedious and treacherous journey to permanent peace and prosperity.

On the top of the martyrs that we should remember as we celebrate this important memorable occasion include: General Emidio Tafeng Lodongi, who was a lead organiser of the uprising, Corporal Saturnino Oboya who ignited the uprising and last but not least, Private Latada who single-handedly kept the liberation torch alight on the top of his Latada Hill outside Torit Town, until the entire South Sudanese people joined him and fought two wars to successful end.

Below are excerpts which depict what happened on the 18th August over six decades ago (read more).

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By Deng Kur Deng, Pennsylvania, USA

Deng Kuur Deng

Deng Kur Deng, AKA, Raanmangar, lives in Pittsburgh, PA, United States

August 4, 2017 (SSB) — As you look into our problems in South Sudan—you must be prepared to understand the complexities that come with these problems. Paying attention to one problem at a time has its dreadful consequences as a number of individuals who are willing to change patterns of violence within the country for better remain unrecognizable in our political system. This means there is plenty of room for more suffering of the people when we allow good citizens and leaders of our time to mold with knowledge and strategies to solve our problems.

In fact, these are many of the reasons why South Sudan is overwhelmed and slow at addressing nascent problems as they rise because rooms are left unattended for more suffering due to those who were cast aside for the wrong reasons. There have been fallacious arguments assembled regarding renowned politicians of our time, but we are doubly aware of some of these arguments are factually inaccurate.

Now, to answer the question of whether President Salva Kiir finds Majak Agoot suitable and qualified for the presidency, of course, the President is aware of how well equipped Majak is to rescue the country based on both his backgrounds in the SPLM/A and his understanding of our current social issues.

The next question should be, why do President ignore Majak from succeeding him when he knows Majak is the best option so far within the perimeter of the SPLM/A? I will leave this question here for the President and you to reevaluate with the country’s current political situation in mind.

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By Thiik Mou Giir, Melbourne, Australia       

Thiik Giir.jpg

Thiik Mou Giir 

 

August 3, 2017 (SSB) — I have been told, again and again, that all South Sudanese, wherever they are, will continue to be divided along their tribal lines and their political entities as long as those who caused these divisions are still in power in Juba.  They have also pointed out to me that the only way for my vision to be realized and to be accepted is when those in power are removed.

“Tackle the problem from its roots,” they said.  The implication of this statement is that those in power in Juba are the ones who are guilty of causing the communal fragmentations everywhere.  I do not quite agree with this allegation.  The root cause of the problem, the problem that has divided our communities, stem from the hidden and open activities of all parties who are involved in the armed conflict.

No single group of people, who have taken up arms and fought this far, could have possibly maintained their innocence.  All armed forces to the conflict, the government and the armed opposition forces, and those who support them, whether they accept or deny the blame, have wrecked South Sudan and the communities within South Sudan and in Diaspora.

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By Eligo Dak Buoth, Nairobi, Kenya

PaanLuel Wel website, along with Sudan Tribune, Radio Tamazuj and Nyamilepedia, has been blocked in South Sudan by the national security

PaanLuel Wel website, along with Sudan Tribune, Radio Tamazuj and Nyamilepedia, has been blocked in South Sudan by the national security

July 21, 2017 (SSB) — We would like to vent our ire on the recent autocratic executive order to block the online news websites for the mother Sudan tribune.com, Nyamilepedia.com PaanluelWel.com and Radio Tamazuj.com

On 18th July, 2017, President Salva Kiir’s regime via her mouthpiece Mr. Michael Makuei issued a draconian decree barring the aforementioned revolutionary online websites saying without any slightest feeling of shame that they are becoming hostile to them, which in our view is untrue.

This is another major blow on public informants and an act of disservice to our people. We felt very unhappy, and we condemned the decision makers and their decision altogether with contempt it deserves. If they have functional ears for hearing they should reverse this intolerable decision.

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By Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda

Political cartoon by Ajith Isaiah Majok

Political cartoon by Ajith Isaiah Majok

July 18, 2017 (SSB) — I have been refraining myself from writing strongly against the presidency of South Sudan for a while since the campaign for peace has taken much of my time. However, I am now forced to strongly comment on the action of the president of dismissing justices and judges of South Sudan. The dismissal of judges and justices has revealed the fact that the President in J1 has learned nothing and forgotten nothing about the conflict in South Sudan. The president appears not to know what he is doing.

In fact, his action shows that he is an anti-peace and it is therefore meaningless to campaign for peace while someone in the heart of the government is out therefore to completely destroy basic structures capable of maintaining peace in the country.

What the president ought to have done is to carry out the reforms that are badly needed in order to restore the confidence the citizens in the system, which is the only way of bringing lasting peace in South Sudan. This involves the reformation of judiciary so that it becomes a strong avenue of addressing the violation of the rights of citizens.

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By Thiik Mou Giir, Melbourne, Australia        

July 15, 2017 (SSB) — The saying of a Chinese philosopher goes like this: “A journey of a thousand miles…” Just minutes before a community forum, attended by Mr. Ateny Wek Ateny, the Press Secretary of South Sudanese government, in Melbourne, yesterday, I told members of Jieng Union that members of South Sudanese community, as a whole, are not ready, without a well-defined program, to come together and dialogue among themselves.

The incident that had occurred, minutes later, during the forum proceeding, confirmed my point.  After Mr Ateny ended his talk that had focussed on the political situation in South Sudan, Mr. Aleir Ateny Lueth, representing SPLM-IO, was among the few who were given a chance to ask a question or two.

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By Wol Deng Atak, Nairobi, Kenya

Molana Wol Deng Atak

Molana Wol Deng Atak

July 15, 2017 (SSB) —- I applaud the courage of Justices and Judges threatened by Kiir’s Administration with punitive measures for calling for justice. Their collective resolve to stay the strike despite the threats against them is remarkable; and this sends a crystal clear message to Kiir’s Administration in Juba that it is not enough to suppress genuine demand by decrees.

The calls for justice, improved working conditions, and resignation of Chief Justice need every one of us to support. We ought to give it up to the Justices and Judges in support of their clarion stance. Leaving it to them to battle it alone would not only defeat the common good of every citizen, but would also make it impossible to bring desired solution for common good of every citizen in the near future.

The reality on working conditions at the Judiciary dawns on me when I visited high court to only learn that the court’s proceedings had been adjourned because of lack of papers for Judges to record the details of the court proceedings. There was ‘no money to buy the papers’.

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By David Mayen Ayarbior, Juba, South Sudan

Ustaz Donato Deng Mayen Amet Ayalbior

Ustaz Donato Deng Mayen Amet Ayalbior

July 15, 2017 (SSB) — It has been three short months since our father, Ustaz Donato Deng Mayen Amet Ayalbior, passed on to the next world to join a community of those that have gone before him. The gap he left in our family as a father and moral authority is still huge. And even though we have all accepted the fact that it was his time to rest, given his long struggle with a host of stroke-induced ailments, we still wish it did not happen. I guess that is the same feeling of those who have lost loved ones.

On Saturday 8th July 2017, a belated final funeral prayers (the customary 40th Day Prayers) was conducted at the family home in Denver, Colorado (United States), where it was attended by relatives, in-laws and friends. Like during the prayers in Kuajok, his spirit was felt in Denver too.

After much hesitation, I decided to write this tribute to him, at least for those who did not get to know him. Not that they need it, but just for them to know about a South Sudanese teacher and one among the first generation of the country’s political pioneers who devoted their lives to country and profession. They were a different breed of politicians and intelligentsia, some of whom are still active today, may the Lord extend their lives for this country.

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By Dr. James Okuk (PhD), Juba, South Sudan

The 6th Anniversary of the Independence of the Republic of South Sudan

July 10, 2017 (SSB) — July 09th every year marks a significant Day for Declaration of Independence of an additional country in the world that made the 193rd UN full member and 54 AU recognised brother/sister. The first launching occasion in 2011 was jubilantly a thrilling event to the admiration by all, South Sudanese and foreigners alike, as they sang the dignified sacrifices of past liberation struggle as well as the expected future glory from hopes in dividends of “the land of great abundance” united in peace and harmony.

The following first and second anniversaries of such a rare Great Day in 2012 and 2013 was still euphoric despite the economic austerity measures that resulted from  oil production shut-down by Juba due to  bad politics with Khartoum, the conduit of its crude piping and marketing to international outreach. The strength of the South Sudanese Pound was still competitive and attractive for business and purchasing power of the active citizens.

The Bank of South Sudan was capable to have amounts of hard currency reserves from oil business incomes and remittances from donor countries and other foreign friends/partners. Daily lives of the people was basically dignified and without serious political, economic and social hardships. Many of them ventured into successful micro-economic functions and they were happy.

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By Hon Arop Madut Arop, Nairobi, Kenya

The 6th Anniversary of the Independence of the Republic of South Sudan

July 9, 2017 (SSB) — As a tradition, human beings do mark and celebrate their birth days annually. In the same vein, citizens of a given country do joyously and lavishly mark and celebrate the birthday of their nation, annually. As a continuation of my writings about the political history of South Sudan, through my experiences, having lived some of the events described in my published two books; it is natural that I should also write a book about the insurmountable challenges encountered during the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (2005) between the Government of Khartoum and the rebel Sudan People Liberation Movement, which had been fighting continuously for more than two decades. The last chapter from the book: The Passing of John Garang and Ascent of Salva Kiir to power in South Sudan, gives an eyewitness account July 2011 to December 2013 crisis. This last chapter of the book attempts to answer one vital question as to whether the senseless destructive conflict, which arose out of sheer political wrangling within the leadership of the historic ruling party, the SPLM; was avoidable? As I have not been able to find funding for the publication of this import piece of work, as described by the people who have read the manuscript; and as we mark the Sixth Birthday of our beloved young nation, I have decided to share with my compatriots, a chapter from the book. Below is the chapter on the Birth of South Sudan as an Independent State after more than fifty years of painful labour and birth pangs. Happy Birth Day To You My Beloved Country (we can now read the piece).

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By David Deng Chapath, Kampala, Uganda

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

July 5, 2017 (SSB) — In South Sudan, it is hard to know a right person. This is because the right person according to our standard is that person who obeys and worships the authorities irrespective of what they do at the back of the authorities.

It is not bad to praise and appreciate leaders but to praise and at the same time working for their downfall is worse than going to hell. When we have decided to support leaders we must support them irrespective of the situation they find themselves in.

Due to the naivety of our system, it does not differentiate between bad and good people. Because of this, the system is not capable of employing good public servants or workers. This has put the system at the brink of collapse as the people who are employed do not know what they are doing but only specializing in praising leaders and cheating them at the same time.

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By Kur Wël Kur in Adelaide, Australia

politics of food

July 2, 2017 (SSB) — “Maintain his eye contact, and through his words, I will look at his heart,” said the blind man to his young son who was as well his guide. This is Dinka proverb; it’s an epitome of an intelligent man acknowledging his disability. Life, whether king’s or beggar’s life depends on this simple logic of truth.

It’s a submission and dependency of intelligent and intellectual leaders on their subordinates or guardians that make them exceptional leaders. And when a leader submerges in this logic, it’s called “a leadership of creative reasoning.”

To ask for directions isn’t your weakness. Any traveller who hits a dead end and persists on going forward without looking out for the detour, lacks an ability of connecting the dots backward. In this instance, most travellers or tourists need guides. So, tourists would mention sites they would love to visit, but the guides would be the ones to take them to these sites.

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By Emmanuel Ariech Deng, Juba, South Sudan

John Kudusay live in Sydney, Australia, 2015

John Kudusay live in Sydney, Australia, 2015

July 2, 2017 (SSB) — Nothing else we want on this planet apart from happiness and fame. It is the music that serves these purposes precisely and proficiently. Music makes us happy and it also makes musicians famous. Music an art form, created by organization of pitch, rhythm and sounds executed by the use of musical instruments available, and sometimes plainly singing which is intended for entertainment or passing the artist’s message to individual, public through this wonderful art.

John Ngong Longar Kom, popularly dubbed as “John Kudusay” alongside other South Sudanese famous musicians, the likes of Nyankol Mathiang, Emmanuel Kembe, Gordon Koang, Daniel Dinganyai, Amiir Deng, Deng Mtoto, Paanchol Deng Ajang, Ngoth Malang just to mention the few, have inspired the public on how they have entertained and uniquely deliver their messages.

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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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