Archive for the ‘Columnists’ Category


Untold Story of a Great Man: Paying Tributes to Fallen Hero, Uncle Stephen Athian Mayen Athian

By Eng. Jacob Manyuon Deng, Juba, South Sudan

Customary book, final cover July 2017

October 15, 2017 (SSB) — Stephen Athian Mayen Athian was assassinated in 1967, one month before the heinous killing of thirty-two (32) traditional chiefs in former Jonglei Province during the massacre in Bor area under the directive of former Sudan Prime Minister Al-Sadik Al-Mahdi. Athian was a nationalist, freedom fighter, and hardworking civil administrator whose personal, public and professional contributions to the liberation struggle and independence in Sudan and South Sudan had not been recognized in the changing political landscape of South Sudan.

Athian was born around 1937 in Kongor to the family of Sub-chief Mayen Athian Mayen from Anyang section of Kongor clan (Wut). Athian’s mother Kuany Ajang hailed from Ayual clan, rodior section of Twi Community. Athian grew up in Pakuor, in the ancestral land of his grandfather Athian-Manyangdit Mayen Athian. Athian was the last son among four brothers (his three brothers include Deng-Athac Mayen Athian, Dau-Pienyjok Mayen Athian Aguer-Many-de-ahook Mayen Athian and three sisters,) of Mayen-Tuaal’s first wife. Mayen’s second wife had three sons; Dengadol de Mayen Athian, Mading Mayen Athian, Athianthi (Malith) Mayen Athian and their sister. Stephen had married to Achol Deng Majok from Adhiok clan, Pathiem section of Twi who unfortunately died in 1969. Athian is survived by his daughter Tabitha Akech Athian who is currently a business lady in Juba.

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By Deng’Kur Mading, Juba, South Sudan

democracy

Demo-cracy or Demo-crazy?

 

October 15, 2017 (SSB) — The world concept of ethnicity is a reality. I have not yet heard of any country without a recognized history of ethnic background. Another widely shared concept is that of ethnic nationality which of course is almost absolutely much about chauvinism. The latter is denoted enormously in the traditional psyche and has always kept solid footing on the African continent. In many far-off countries, ethnicity though not sound, does exist and is only distinguished in their cultures, national events but not necessarily in people’s daily life.

Whether it sounds much in achieving the national goal or that of our respective ethnic community is what makes us identify with ethnicity or ethnic nationality respectively. Naturally, there is nothing wrong with ethnicity though ethnic nationality, as the focal point of this article, has its own disturbing depredations including self-absorption, ignorance, selfishness, prejudice, savagery, lack of patriotism for one’s country and asserting that one’s ethnic group or community is a supreme entity.

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By Lucy Ayak Malek, Nairobi, Kenya

paul malong awan anei

Gen. paul malong awan anei

October 15, 2017 (SSB) — Your Excellency, President Salva Kiir, however much I am bitter of what is done to my husband; I will never lose sight but remain respectful and humble whenever I am writing to you. This is because I know that you are the president of the Republic of South Sudan, an elder and a family friend to me. I here start by greeting you, the first family and the people of South Sudan that I am proud to be one of them.

Your Excellency, allow me to introduce some South Sudanese once again to the fundamental parts of the story between you and Gen. Malong. On 9th/05/2017, you issued a Republican Decree No:76/2017 for the relief of Chief of General staff, General Paul Malong Awan, and as well issued a Republican Decree No:77/2017 for the appointment of General James Ajonga Mawut as his successor in the SPLA command.

However, such change of guards in the military ranks and files was welcomed by General Paul Malong Awan as it is the constitutional mandate of the president to relieve and appoint any person of his choice. As a result, Gen. Malong decided to leave for Aweil.

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By Martin Ariel Majak, Alexandria, Egypt

corruption

October 15, 2017 (SSB) — Suppose, just suppose it happens that we stop fighting one another, and the protracted civil war comes to a halt by chance, and all guns go silent around the entire country. What do you think would be bedeviling a peaceful South Sudan? It would be corruption, yeah, corruption.  Nothing else.

The astonishingly high level of corruption in our country, which is by and large overshadowed by the raging political instability, is something to worry about – should we one day get back from the insanity of tribalism.

With every entanglement of our country in the war every single day, corruption has concomitantly grown more and more vicious with it as well. The monstrous corruption – as it has become – is one of the major leading factors fueling the conflict.

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By Hon Arop Madut Arop (MP), Nairobi, Kenya

abyei pic

October 14, 2017 (SSB) — Early this month, the Sudanese Abyei Joint oversight committee (AJOC) co-chair, made a very ridiculous, if not incredible announcement. In his announcement, the Khartoum based AJOC, Co-chair, Mr Hassan Ali Nimr, told the press that Sudan has allocated 330 positions for the employment of Abyei university graduates. I would respond later to Mr Hassan Ali Nimr incredulous pledge. In the meantime I would rather make a brief to the issue under scrutiny and the circumstances that has led to the existence of a body called AJOC and the mandate accorded to it. I would specifically discuss the root causes of the delay in implementing Abyei Protocol and the game being played around it by Khartoum authorities (read more).

Following the defeat of the Mahdists Dervish insurgents by the Anglo-Egyptian forces at the Battle of Kerrari in September 1897, as we all know, Captain Winston Churchill, who later became his country Prime Minister, was with the invading forces. Writing later in his book ‘’The River War’’; Churchill had this to say.

When the Anglo-Egyptian forces took effective control of the affairs of the country they have occupied, we found two Sudans: the military Sudan (northern Sudan) and the real Sudan (South Sudan). Winston Churchill stated and I quote, ‘’we found the people of the real Sudan (South Sudan) hunting, dancing, marrying and killing one another. Churchill then turned and described the people of the military Sudan, as hybrid of Afro-Arab admixture who have produced people that would cost you a lot to convince them that they are wrong’’.

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By Garang Atem Ayiik, Nairobi, Kenya

Fighting in South Sudan

Fighting in South Sudan

October 8, 2017 (SSB) — “Why Nations Fail” provides a very useful insight to understand the ongoing political intrigues in the east African region and what it may mean for the future of the region. The authors, Daron Acemoglu of MIT, and political scientist and economist James Robinson of Harvard University adopted a historical and comparative analysis approach to explaining why countries have different levels of wealth. In their analysis of data across countries and continents for over four hundred years, they found “institutions” as the main cause for inequalities across countries and continents.

In Kenya, the annulled presidential results of 8 August 2017 election put back to the campaign trail the main contenders for the Presidency. While the incumbent, President Uhuru is on a full-blown nationwide campaign, his main challenger, Raila Odinga is on a periodic two-day weekly protest in search for a reform within the electoral body. Evidence of unstable electoral institution.

In Rwanda, a constitutional provision for a presidential term limit has been removed potentially to give way for continuity of President Paul Kagame’s rule. In Uganda, members of parliament allied to the ruling party (National Resistance Movement) are processing an amendment to remove presidential age limit requirement. This is assumed to give room for President Museveni’s life rule who might not contest in accordance with the constitution if no amendment is made. Institutions correlate with rulers, they are not for society’s prosperity but for leader’s prosperity.

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By Pal Chol Nyan, Juba, South Sudan

war

October 7, 2017 (SSB) — For over a week long now, there has been an intense fighting in Waat. The fighting is between the government forces and the SPLMIO loyal to Dr. Riek Machar Teny.

It is reported that the death toll is high and the destruction caused unimaginably. Victories scored aside, both sides accused each other of exaggerating figures of the casualties according to the VOA. Senseless as the killing is, it is not supposed to be dwelled on by people in their right minds and with clear consciences.

It is to be noted that those fighting are sons and daughters South Sudan and more importantly, Greater Lou Nuer connected by blood but divided by war and political ideologies engendered by the Juba Nuer massacre in 2013; and the revenge killings of the Dinka in the areas of the Nuer.

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By Dut Kuot Akok, Juba, South Sudan

Gen Paul Malong and his late daughter, Alakiir Malong Awan

Gen Paul Malong and his late daughter, Alakiir Malong Awan

October 7, 2017 (SSB) — It is four months plus since General Paul Malong was wrongly confined under house arrest by some mirage gossipers turned politicians in the current government of national unity. The so-called self-proclaimed politicians are busy day and night not to see General Paul Malong in the political arena again.

They hate him because of his success and valor which enable him to gain reservoir reputations across the country of which his overwhelming reception in Yirol and Juba after he accepted humbly to returned to the capital are they case in point of his popularity and how lovable is General Paul Malong.

Thus the aforementioned above politicians are trying shamelessly to eliminate him politically, however, his legacy of standing tall always against what threaten people lives and the sovereignty of the country will remain in the living history for the generations to come because his contributions towards the liberty we are enjoying today are tangible and well cemented.

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By Sunday de John, Juba, South Sudan

September 28, 2017 (SSB) — Many a time, a lot has been said about those that support the government of the day. Names have been called and curse levied against individuals. That is the nature of humanity.

It has been twirling around that offensive talks and christening people expressly as sycophants, lunatics, illiterate, stupid, foolish majority, beneficiaries of the regime, slaves etc are excessively being used as tools of opposition. It is true so but that is a smart way meant to serve as a machinery by those that do it to woo the supporters of the President to their camps.

It should be acknowledged that human nature has complexities and therefore sides in opposition can iron out issues mannerly so as to safeguard the national cohesion. We are part and parcel of each other.

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By Riak Marial Riak, Juba, South Sudan

Gen Paul Malong and his late daughter, Alakiir Malong Awan

Gen Paul Malong and his late daughter, Alakiir Malong Awan

September 25, 2017 (SSB) — Ladies and gentlemen, there are terms we need to use appropriately, these include, liberation and stability. What have we not lost? The power busting within refused to tell truth and had never and will never be truthful to our liberation.

We’re left implicated and sometimes deprived of our right to freedom; we go squandering our resources believing this will be the best way to keep lights on.

Therefore, when our economy slips to doom we remain also downtrodden and would never have that stability. What is our pride here, ladies and gentlemen?

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By Thiik Mou Giir, Melbourne, Australia

Social media warriors

Social media warriors

September 24, 2017 (SSB) — Since the outbreak of violence between the soldiers loyal to the government and the soldiers loyal to the opposition in Juba and as well as in other parts of South Sudan in 2013 and which have continued up to this very day, the consequences are now well known.  It is very important that we should reflect and learn from something that has touched every South Sudanese negatively.  In this piece of work, I have examined what violent and non-violent revolutions look like.

This part is that last part and it deals with Non-Violent Revolution.  You may agree with me in saying that non-violent revolution is the lesser evil than violent revolution.  The best and the safest way of changing a regime is through a democratic means – an election.  Anyway, aware that you may want to participate in the discussion, I have assigned a number to each grid for referencing purposes.

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By Kuol Alberto Makuach, Juba, South Sudan

red-army-procession-in-aweil-sept-2016

Red army procession in Aweil, Sept 2016

September 21, 2017 (SSB) — Since May this year a lot has been happening for the people of Aweil. First, there was the removal of the Chief of Staff, Paul Malong and a subsequent replacement with none other than, another son from Aweil, Ajonga Mawut.

A few weeks later in July, General Kawac Makuei Mayar died. This was the man who took so many young people to Ethiopia and they became the nucleus of Red Army. Then Salva Kiir gave (“promoted”) him (corpse) a rank he could not give him while alive. Why?

Few weeks after the removal of Mr. Awan, there was a general Aweil people’s meeting organized in Juba Freedom hall with the photo of Salva Kiir above the theme of the meeting. One only needs to think hard enough to understand the connection of Salva Kiir with Aweil people’s unity. Don’t we have our great and distinguished leaders to put in the posters? Then, the big question-Who funded the meeting?

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By Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda

Kut Alier Apollo

The late Lawyer, Kut Alier Apollo, with his uncle, Abel Alier Kuai Kut

September 21, 2017 (SSB) —- The Republic of South Sudan is a new country that marked its independence from Sudan in July 2011 following a protracted series of civil wars starting in 1955 and ended in 2005.  The first war began in 1955 and ended in 1972. But, after only eleven years of peace in 1983, the second civil war that lasted after twenty years began.

The fighting that began in 1983 ended with both sides signing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005.  After that Southern Sudan was granted autonomy within the greater Sudan whose lifespan ended with a referendum that took place in 2011. The referendum was held in January 2011and as a result, almost all South Sudanese voted for separation from Sudan. The voting saw South Sudanese moved the region toward secession and ultimately independence by 9th July of the same year.

With all political complications between South Sudan and Sudan that have been going on, one thing has never changed or has been clear. South Sudan is not a desert wasteland because it is occupied by the Nile’s famous waters that flow through its large clay basin which also serves a catchment area for water coming from highland regions of the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, and Uganda.

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By Reech Malual, Juba, South Sudan

South Sudan National Day of Prayers

September 20, 2017 (SSB) — It has often been thought negative over harsh situations since the time of forefathers and thus makes it difficult to believe in a better South Sudan and sometimes people wonder why should there be any hope in due tough times.

Having been part of the Sudan, South Sudan experienced a maximum level of violence before the Anglo-Egyptian condominium government could grant independence in 1956.

There has not been a generation of peace apart from the violent ages in time memorial therein, and thus peace became impossible to attain even after the stoppage of civil wars in 1972, 2005, and August 2015 (Addis Ababa Agreement 1972, Comprehensive Peace Agreement 2005, and Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan 2015).

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By Majok Arol Dhieu, Rumbek, South Sudan

Dinka and Nuer

Dinka and Nuer under one nation, one people

September 19, 2017 (SSB) — I’m quibbling that these hard intelligible odds and ends I’ve been producing are not intended for those lads and lasses who are academically handicapped, neither do the dominos & tea admirers fit in the game. Please do not lodge a doleful expression or bewailed your misfortune as happening events do not come out of blue.

Let’s go if you may catch up.

It’s said that two brothers, Jang and Gadeng were in Secondary School.  Gadeng was the elder and a very handsome gentleman with itsy-bitsy eyes. The school situation was deteriorating as there was no ration for students and whenever Jang asks Gadeng if they’d go for casual works, he’d reply that he’s not a type who’d do those minors jobs. He always says that his ancestors would provide him with food in which his brother Jang retorted that this’s just an old wife’s tale that’s got no room in the modern world.

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“When Truth is Denied, Peace Will Not Come”

By Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda

Gogrial state

September 18, 2017 (SSB) — The conflict between Apuk and Aguok has become a major concern not only to the people of Gogrial State but to the whole of South Sudan. The need to get permanent solution has recently prompted authorities to come up with the disarmament policy, which is currently going on.

The question is, therefore, is disarmament alone without more a solution to the conflict between Apuk and Aguok? The answer to this question depends on how individuals look at it and also how he understands the conflict between the two communities.

 However, the fact is that disarmament per se is not a permanent solution though it is an interim solution that can be used as an entry point in finding a formidable solution.  To get the permanent solution to the conflict between the two communities, there is a need first to understand the dynamics of the said conflict.

The conflict currently prevailing between the two communities is rooted in history. This is why it is hard to deal with it. Where the conflict is deeply rooted in deeply divided communities, which is rooted in deeply rooted ethnic tension, the only solution is to engage the parties in deep discussion accompanied by deep reflections among themselves that will eventually result in forgiveness and the agreement that will govern their future relations.

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By Thiik Mou Giir, Melbourne, Australia

fighting in juba

fighting in Juba, 2013, 2016

September 16, 2017 (SSB) —- Since the outbreak of violence between the soldiers loyal to the government and the soldiers loyal to the opposition in Juba and as well as in other parts of South Sudan in 2013 and which have continued up to this very day, the consequences are now well known.  It is very important that we should reflect and learn from something that has touched every South Sudanese negatively.

In this piece of work, I have examined what violent and non-violent revolutions look like.  This part deals with violent revolution.  Next week I will have the second part published.  Aware that you may want to participate in the discussion, I have numbered each grid with a number for referencing purposes.

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By Sunday de John, Juba, South Sudan

Governor Philip Aguer and UNMISS cheif David Shearer making joint statement picture by Mach Samuel - Copy (2)

Governor Philip Aguer and UNMISS cheif David Shearer making joint statement picture by Mach Samuel – Copy (2).JPG

Your Excellency,

September 6, 2017 (SSB) — It is my humble submission to write to you this open letter aimed at communicating my thoughts on the Regional Protection Force deployment. Likely, the deployment is in conformity with United Nations Security Council’s order but in breach of the South Sudanese laws.

Although this deployment is one of the provisions structured to end the expensive conflict in the Republic of South Sudan, it shouldn’t be made to look as though that your mission was taking over of the South Sudanese authority.

The significance of your mission is vested in civilians’ protection. As such, the civilians are not inhabitants of the Juba International Airport. Nobody is killing civilians in Juba city either and therefore there isn’t even a need for any deployment in the city. Few of the crime cases that you seem to exaggerate would be dealt with by local security forces and satisfactorily, they have been diminished.

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The neglected sources of revenue in South Sudan that led to the government’s bankruptcy: Blaming drop in oil price and war are coincidental    

Longar Mathiec Wol, Nairobi, Kenya

black market vs central bank rate - Copy

August 21, 2017 (SSB) — The American politician and businessman Erskine Bowles once said “I think that if we don’t get these politicians to come together we face the most predictable economic crisis in history”. Inarguably that is the case today in South Sudan. The dispute in two camps hold the country hostage and the economic crisis is taking a toll on the citizens. It is up to us to bring these two camps or these politicians together and open a new chapter of economic recovery or we perish economically.

Though the war is not the only cause of the country’s worst economic crisis, it contribution is undeniable. The youngest nation’s government has been challenged by how to stabilize the country’s economy since the start of a disastrous civil war in 2013. The attempts to reinvigorate the economy went futile. The economic crisis that led the country into hyperinflation and the loss of public confidence in the government due to the rise of cost of living and in the way through which it handles the situation.

Many people traced the crisis back to 2013 but, the truth of the matter is, it was coincidental. Whether the war broke out or not this crisis was on its way and could have happened because the government has overlooked many factors that would have easily contributed toward the economic crisis in future.

When the country got independence, the aid extended by many countries made the government relaxive; It remains without a future plan on how it’s going to operate in the absence of this assistance from the donors. Some of the signs that the government didn’t put in place some of the mechanism on how to generate it revenue apart from hand out from the foreign donation.

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Past Governments of President Kiir: The Dynamic Interplay Between Power Politics and Ethnicity in the Republic of South Sudan under a Tribocratic Paradigm (Part 3)

In this article, my contention is that all past governments of President Kiir, from the post-CPA government in 2005 to the post-July 8th government in 2016, have violated the principle of Tribocracy because the president has marginalized the Equatorians (-5.86%) and Nuer (-2.62%) while over-representing the Dinka (+4.75%) and Minority Group (+3.75%). Of the 389 political positions of President Kiir’s past governments, the Dinka should have been given 148 positions; the Equatorians 124 positions; the Nuer 74 positions and the Minority Group 43 positions, which translates to a tribocratic equilibrium of 38%, 32%, 19% and 11% of the government respectively.

By PaanLuel Wël, 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.

I: General Introduction

August 19, 2017 (SSB) — In his much-publicized resignation letter of February 11, 2017, the former SPLA Deputy Chief of General Staff for Logistics, Gen. Thomas Cirilo Swaka, writes that President Kiir, instead of developing the country and professionalizing the national army, has “concentrated on coordinating and planning for establishing and entrenching Dinka ethnic domination, and pursuing a strategy of turning the SPLA and other organized forces into brutal tribal forces that serve as instruments of control and clinging to power.”

In what amount to a manifesto of his National Salvation Front (NAS), “South Sudan: The Compelling Case for Change, How, and Towards What Outcomes,” which was released on March 6th, 2017, Gen. Thomas Cirillo rubbishes the essence of the national constitution by accusing the president of being the primary author and principal beneficiary of the transitional constitution of the Republic of South Sudan.

In principle, Gen. Thomas Cirilo contention is that the national army and the transitional constitution of South Sudan are being systematically deployed by the president to protect, consolidate and perpetuate the economic interests, political domination and security guarantees of the Dinka tribe—a group of people whose loyalty to their group is greater than which they demonstrate towards the nation of which they are part of, according to a quote by Gen. Thomas Cirilo.

The premise of Gen. Thomas Cirilo’s argument is the domination of the army and government by the Dinka community, the result of which is the marginalization of other communities as the Dinka-controlled government and Dinka-dominated army cater exclusively to the political, security and economic interest of the Dinka people.

The resolution of the national conflict, according to Gen. Thomas Cirilo, will not just be the dethronement of President Kiir, but also the institutionalization of a national policy framework to address Dinka ethnic hegemony, and marginalization of other communities in all its forms in the entire public and private sectors of the Republic of South Sudan.

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