Archive for the ‘Columnists’ Category

“Tell people in power that something they tried didn’t work as expected” – Peter Ross. “A state without the means of some change is without the means of its conservation” – Edmund Burke.

By James Okuk, Ph.D., Juba, South Sudan

IGAD plus President Kiir, 25 July 2017

IGAD plus President Kiir, 25 July 2017

December 13, 2017 (SSB) — The above quotes are the essential secrets of success or failure of countries. This wisdom from Ross and Burke should guide the High-Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) and its outcome. The warring parties should seize the opportunity as the unavoidable last chance for sustainable peace. There is no room or patience left now for accommodating the unending senseless war any longer. The Revitalization of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) must change the tainted image that the country has acquired since 2013 crises to date. It should rescue South Sudan from its current situation of hopelessness and fragility. It must prevent the new country from premature disappearance into annals of history due to its trifling resistance to change for dignified happiness.

It is high time for South Sudan to be confronted truthfully to quickly regain the confidence of its lucky territory (644,329 km2) and the inherent abundance of virgin resources (oil, gas, gold, teak, mahogany, ebony, gum arabic, sweet water, tame and wild animals, proud and liberal people, etc..) located in the naturally blessed tropical savannah climate of agriculture. Article 1 (1)(2) of the Constitution of South Sudan has correctly defined it the sovereign Republic straddling Bahr el Ghazal, Equatoria and Upper Nile with boundaries of January 1, 1956, including Abyei Area of  the Nine Ngok Dinka Chiefdoms transferred from Bahr el Ghazal Province to Kordofan Province in 1905 and as defined by the Abyei International Arbitration Tribunal Award of July 2009. Article 1 (4) also provides for decentralized multiparty democracy and homeland for multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-lingual, multi-religious and multi-racial people of South Sudan who should co-exist peacefully, including with their other African neighbors: Sudan (border of 2000 km) to the North, Ethiopia to the East, Kenya to the South East, Uganda to South, Democratic Republic of Congo to South West, and Central African Republic to North West. Egypt also claims to be a neighbor of South Sudan through links of history and Nile River.



By Hon Arop Madut Arop, Nairobi, Kenya

john garang in the bushDecember 12, 2017 (SSB) — As I was reading the last proof of my new book on the Ngok Dinka history, which is currently with the printers, somebody sent me a recorded voice message purportedly given by Uncle Bona Malwal in his recent press conference in Khartoum. In the voice message, it would appear that Uncle Bona Malwal was answering questions from journalists about a number of sensitive issues including a so-called Abyei Area controversy.

From Uncle Bona Malwal press statement, which I believed was staged to enable him to air some of his frustrations about a number of issues which had in not very distant past, led to his retiring from politics; Some facts beg the positive response from the concerned citizens of Ngok Dinka Region, which by accident of politics, has become known as Abyei area.

But as most of the issues discussed by Uncle Bona Malwal in his Khartoum conference were his own personal opinions, I will only comment on some of the important issues that struck me in the face. But before I discuss the issues raised by Uncle Bona Malwal, I would like to appeal to my great and resilient people of the Ngok Atungdiak not to react negatively and used abusive language in their response to Uncle Bona Malwal assertion that; Abyei area is a Sudanese for the following reasons.


By Manyang David Mayar, Juba, South Sudan


The mysterious cross-shaped grass at Juba Teaching Hospital

December 12, 2017 (SSB) — Last week, Juba was shaken by the appearance of a green grass that grew in form of a Christian Cross at Juba Teaching Hospital. Eyewitnesses say, the grass wasn’t there the previous day but just appeared the following morning after one of the ladies saw a vision in her sleep.

In the following days, thousands of Juba residents poured into the hospital to witness for themselves. Upon seeing it, some bowed down to it and worshiped it as if they had seen Christ. Others willingly gave offertory in a carton box. And by a word of mouth the message of the Green Grass Cross spread quickly like wildfire to everybody. It rapidly dominated public talk in the streets of Juba and in public transport buses.

Many people agree that it was a miracle. But each person could only give his or her own interpretation of what the GGC miracle actually means. Other groups of people simply disagreed and refer it as false and misleading. As for me, I don’t know what exactly happened and how it happened. But I believe that God has a power of speaking to the people of South Sudan by the use of sign just like He (God) has done in the past in the stories of the Bible.


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

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.

December 10, 2017 (SSB) — Every year, South Sudan from all walks of life, mark December 5th anniversary as their Constitutional Day. This year they marked the 15th anniversary of the constitutional day, quietly at their respective homes and places of work. Importantly, as we strive to come to term with the agonies bred by the on-going senseless civil war and how to bring guns to dead silence and re-launch democratic institutions, it will be natural for the people of South Sudan to look back at their final glorious journey to statehood. Below is the first leg to statehood.

It all began soon after the conclusion of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, when the SPLM Chairman Dr John Garang de Mabior called upon the SPLM Liberation Council to form a technical committee, composed of a team of legal experts to put together a draft constitution that would be presented to the first Southern Sudan legislative assembly to endorse it as this would guide the full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and the establishment of all government institutions.


By Awuol Gabriel Arok, Juba, South Sudan



December 10, 2017 (SSB) — Girls’ education goes beyond getting girls into school. It is also about ensuring that girls learn and feel safe while in school; complete all levels of education with the skills to effectively compete in the labor market; learn the socio-emotional and life skills necessary to navigate and adapt to a changing world; make decisions about their own lives; and contribute to their communities and the world.

Girls’ education is a strategic development priority. Better educated women tend to be healthier, participate more in the formal labor market, earn higher incomes and enable better health care and education for their children, should they choose to become mothers. All these factors combined can help lift households, communities, and nations out of poverty.

Every day, girls face barriers to education caused by poverty, cultural norms and practices, poor infrastructure, violence, and fragility. Girl Child Education is one of the safest routes that can navigate girls out of social problems.


By Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda



December 8, 2017 (SSB) — Before going into the discussion over how to create and maintain the rule of law in Gok State, it is imperative to acknowledge the fundamental roles played by different Gok people in being a constant voice of what should be done to achieve peace in Gok State. The first acknowledgment goes to our elder brother Tembany Matur Malek whose desires and actions are always for Gok State and Gok people. In fact, no amount of words that can be expressed to pay him back for his zeal and commitments to seeing Gok State a peaceful, united and prosperous state. In general, he has been a constant reminder of how to achieve peace in Gok State with the unwavering spirit.

In the same line, I would also like to acknowledge and thank our elder sister Helen Philip Ater Dhal and all other Gok people in the USA, Canada, UK, Australia, other parts of Europe, China East African countries and inside South Sudan for their concerns and role tilted towards achieving peace in Gok State. Without over-exaggerating the contributions of the Gok people mentioned above, it is my conclusion that their contributions have made Gok State what it is today. Without their help, the majority of our people would have died during the war, especially from the 2000s to 2005 and from 2013 to date.


By Emmanuel Ariech Deng, Wunkuel, South Sudan

Gogrial state

December 8, 2017 (SSB) — Most of the problems manufactured by men can equally be resolved by men if it is not a curse or taboo in human living. Any persistent conflict can be solved by God too. So let us be hopeful and agree that any other catastrophe engineered by men can get a solution if not by humans, then with the help of God or by nature.

There is no place on earth where the armed civilians can be stronger than the national army and government unless the perceived unwillingness or ignorance to stop the escalation of violence between fighting communities in South Sudan has a pointing finger of blame on individual or group conspiracies.

This idea of people are not the same is slowly entering into our rigid brains that even brothers/sisters of one woman-one man can be different in thinking and control measures when it comes to public concerns. Even the helter-skelter gubernatorial predecessor of Hon. Atem Atem has admitted and acknowledged that his tenure had insinuated a wider leadership vacuum and partisanism in the State.


By Sunday de John, Juba, South Sudan

President Kiir's speeches after independence

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

December 7, 2017 (SSB) — Excuse me, let me state my point. Time and again I have been rebuked by voices stating at length why I must abandon supporting the government of the South Sudan and President Salva Kiir Mayardit then particular.

The voices referred to it as a failed government. A government devoid of substance. One that is owned by a section of the community. One that has rendered South Sudanese homeless, massively displacing them from their residents.

All these sound great, but those pronouncing them are much filthier than they claim purity. South Sudan was in fact messed up by the runaway criminals. Those that might have either uneasy political breakthrough, embezzled public resources, murdered somebody, the sacked from the government, irritated drug addicts, mere cajoled youngsters and of course few sound individuals whose reasons for joining the rebellion are not trivial.


By David Matiop Gai, Juba, South Sudan

HIV-AIDS prevention: Thank to PrEP and PEP, you can protect yourself and love ones from HIV/AIDS

Thank to PrEP and PEP, you can protect yourself and love ones from HIV/AIDS

December 7, 2017 (SSB) — In commemoration of HIV/AIDS World Day on the 5th of December 2017 in South Sudan, HIV/AIDS is a great challenge to life and had the highest threat to the entire population in South Sudan, Africa and in the world at large. Why is HIV/AIDS everybody business? Is it a question which needs integrative knowledge that will address the prevention of epidemic among the youths of South Sudan? Let‘s understand it here.

The HIV/AIDS is not yet much known to civil population especially at the grass root levels because if you know something, you may know it to the best of your knowledge and more details about the disease may be some people know little about it.


By Apioth Mayom Apioth, USA

pagan and john garang

Commander Pagan Amum Okiech, with Chairman Dr. John Garang and Commander Yasir Said Arman, Rumbek Senior, 2003

December 6, 2017 (SSB) — By the looks of things, Kiir Mayardit has no intention of steering the nation into the daylight. He has been the leading figure in the South Sudanese politics for twelve unimpressive years. He has become “Mr. Let’s wait and sees how this problem is going to take care of itself.” His loves of the leadership has blinded his conscientious self. In ancient Africa, Kings, or chiefs wielded enormous power and with this juggernaut of power came novelty. In most cases, they were principally wealthy and gave away their wealth to the downtrodden populace.

For this, Kiir Mayar is trying to emulate how the traditional leaders had an open door policy and being all ears to the countless number of people all at one go. He just sits there on his presumed throne and families of all kinds come to demand whatever they long for their livelihoods. Even before his ascendancy to the upper echelon of the South Sudanese politics, his laid-back approach to everything cost many soldiers to lose their lives during our days in the bush. The first task of a leader is to be an initiator. The first to take the first step out. Salva Kiir sleeps on his duties.

An influential leader cultivates trust. How does trust come about? He/she is a selfless being that goes out of her comfort zone to make sure the lives of all individuals are secure from harm. Once the people are secure from danger, then what comes next is trust and a willingness for the general populace to heed his call for commandeering. Trust is garnered through three hard-earned steps.


By Pal Chol Nyan, Juba, South Sudan


South Sudan must be weaned off war

December 6, 2017 (SSB) — This war must stop forthwith. This is what we have been calling for but it has been being ignored by the beneficiaries. The people of South Sudan need permanent home-made peace but not an imported or imposed one; for stability and sustainable development. They are traumatized and tired of war.

They have tasted a big dose of the bitterness of the escalating war; it is manifest in their attitudes and conduct characterized by violence; pride, rudeness, and unkindness. They lost their properties. They are made homeless. Many lives have been lost in the hands of armed men without accountability.

Are we not ashamed of our own actions; seeing our people languishing under squalid conditions in the camps? They have no enough food and water; no medical care and other basic amenities.


By Sunday de John, Juba, South Sudan

Hope RSS


December 5, 2017 (SSB) — South Sudanese, of all walks of life, locally here and abroad are people of one identity. They are a society so homogenous in many physical aspects except for a few social disimilarities.

Despite this consonance and of recent, the society once described as stable and solidly one has seen a drastic drop from that point of anchorage in just four years.

The conflict is the bane of our harmony. We are no more a compact society. We have been disintegrated by hate into bitter sections, we have seen family against itself this is much a disheartening unforetold flop.


Local Governments must come up with tougher laws on cattle rustling, children and women abduction

Awuol Gabriel Arok, Juba, South Sudan


December 5, 2017 (SSB) — Raiding and abduction have contributed to the considerable loss of social respect and dignity among various communities in South Sudan, the practices has been one of the major cause of conflict, death, and poverty across the land of South Sudan particularly to the cattle keeping communities, it has led to enmity and much social oddness.

Rustling and abduction are the latest part of social and economic injustice that is being carried out by criminals either in organized groups or in a number.

There have been some disturbances and high tensions that have been associated with such practices in South Sudan, for the normalization of communities’ relationship and social justice cattle rustling, women and child abduction need to be criminalized in South Sudan by introducing toughest laws that will deactivate the devilish practices.


By David Matiop Gai, Juba, South Sudan


December 2, 2017 (SSB) – The warrior’s blood-curdling of Murle raiders dismay and outcry of public in Jonglei state especially greater Bor-community has been brought sudden leap and made a discreet and blood-curdling with gestures of terrifying relations with me and others in the state. This will cause a feeling of extreme fear in conjunction with state authorities both at the national and state levels. I think there is no hope on national government willing to addressing this issue amicably and successfully. Is national dialogue functioning now in former greater Jonglei apart from peace deal between the two communities?

Recently in Duke Payuel and Panyang counties of Jonglei state, Murle raiders killed 42 people including children, women and elderly people, and abducted more than 60 others.  In July 2017, the same Murle attacked Duke Akuak in Jallee and killed many people including children, women and elderly. These encounter attackers took places when the government of South Sudan under First vice Gen.Taban Deng Gai, and UNMISS sponsored peace deal between the two communities.  These attacks happened and there were no serious majors taken against Murle for the violation of peace agreement and ceasefire.


By Awuol Gabriel Arok, Juba, South Sudan



November 26, 2017 (SSB) — While strolling across the busy streets of Juba city slamming into a group of children and women selling a variety of items as vendors is a common scene.

Convolution is part of poky learning and teaching that leads to acceptance of new lifestyle, Juba city was famously known for huge cash and heavy spending, during those good goings days clusters of men and women order their foods in a competitive manner; sheya jidad/laam, shoruba laam/samak, kombo laam/samak was an ordinary order, quantity was not in a Juba jam-list, in those days what matter was quality and sweetness of the feast.

Those days were graced with a number of never-ending drinking in form of juices, sodas, milk, red bull, beer, cocktails and all sort of wines; that was when the political ball was still under the guarding arm of two historical and everyone delightful achievement, the referendum, and the Independence.


By Awuol Gabriel Arok, Juba, South Sudan

President Kiir's speeches after independence

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

November 22, 2017 (SSB) — President Salva Kiir Mayardit has the golden heart for South Sudan; what remains is constitutional cooperation from the people and the three Arms of the Government. SPLM/A motherly step of initiating South-South dialogue in 2005 have resulted into the unity of purpose that had led to an achievement of the peaceful and successful referendum in 2011.

The SPLM/A open and accommodating legroom was clearly manifested in South-South dialogue and Big Tent Theory which resulted in an integration of various tribal militia groups without their self-awarding ranks been questioned.

After the elections of 2010 and beyond the Independence OF South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit has personally taken the responsibility of making and signing peace with various rebel groups who were honestly and openly accommodated without an objection to their bush returning ranks and demands.


By David Matiop Gai, Juba, South Sudan


kiir-malong peace1

Kiir-Malong peace and reconciliation ceremony in Juba, South Sudan


Nov 19, 2017, (SSB) – Sadly, democracy dies in darkness in African young nation. South Sudan national political systems discourage us to support the beauty of our diversity within the cost of nation-building. we were aiming to build our country which was cemented and founded by precious blood of our heroes and heroine toward peaceful referendum in 2011 that would have provided hope and blessings principles of strong economy, better opportunities for us, free primary, and quality education for all, justice and rule of law for all, healthcare, or health centres, good roads and secure public transportations, and social developments.

But crossroad politics engulfed dying democracy in South Sudan. The reality of crossroad politics in this nation had rendered the political and economic dilemma where South Sudan finds itself in a double-blind direction because there are no primary objectives and primary purposes of social welfare including public policy, advocacy, migration of citizens from villages to towns, no secure borders around our nation, insecurity everywhere in the country, lack of policy making, mental disorder in leadership, stressful foundation of nation-building on tribalism, and many others. All these political factors defined us as a nation by name, and not really what define nations in the world.


Energy Africa Conference 2017

Denver- Colorado, November 9, 2017

Remarks by David Mayen Dengdit, Press Secretary- Office of the Vice President

Republic of South Sudan

Title: Energy Security in South Sudan

tribalism in rss


November 12, 2017 (SSB) — I am honored to be part of this important gathering, Energy Africa Conference 2017. It would have been even more special if I attended and participated physically, not least because it is held in the beautiful city of Denver where my family and I spent more than two memorable years of our lives. Indeed, it is special because it allows me to speak about my country South Sudan and the potential it holds in terms of energy resources and challenges therein.

Like most sub-Saharan countries, South Sudan is a country rich in energy resources such as oil, hydropower, and solar. Around these resources, the country’s range of energy security issues may not be so different from its continental neighbors’, yet peculiarities would control the shape of solutions and predicted costs involved.


By Martin Ariel Majak, Alexandria, Egypt

SPLM reunification4

SPLM Reunification: President Museveni meets President Kiir and G-10 leaders in Kampala

November 9, 2017 (SSB) — I write this article against the backdrop of what is a fluid security situation being reported in Juba brought about by an apparent attempt to disarm and reduce Paul Malong’s bodyguards – something he outrightly refused.

Well, to be honest, I don’t know what really provoked the government to think of disarming Malong – who is literally under captivity – that led to the subsequent standoff between the guards loyal to Malong and forces loyal to the government.

What I do know – is that if there existed any problem that needed to be taken care of – it shouldn’t have been managed like the way it is being mishandled. It was just typical of the way we Junubin solve our problems whenever we disagree on anything.


Pal Chol Nyan, Juba, South Sudan

SPLM Extra-ordinary Convention

November 9, 2017 (SSB) — The cardinal sin of the SPLM started since its inception where the Late Chairman has given too much leeway to his commanders. They were emboldened and empowered by the SPLM/A Penal Code and Disciplinary laws to execute soldiers, dismiss and sentence others to life imprisonment. There was no accountability and transparency.

They were abusing their powers maximally. Because there was the war being prosecuted, the Chairman did not pay much attention to how the fines imposed on the locals were spent; in kind or cash; He was hard on them only in few stances of insubordination and mutinies.

The friction between the Liberators and us, the people of South Sudan, did not start in 2005.We came with issues and thorns/ wounds in the hearts all the way from 1983.