Archive for the ‘Commentary’ Category


By Apioth Mayom Apioth, North Dakota, USA

Peter Biar Ajak is a South Sudanese PhD student of politics and world affairs at Cambridge University in the UK; he was detained by agents of the national security at Juba International Airport on his way to Aweil for the celebration of Red Army Day.

Peter Biar Ajak is a South Sudanese PhD student of politics and world affairs at Cambridge University in the UK; he was detained by agents of the national security at Juba International Airport on his way to Aweil for the celebration of Red Army Day.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018 (PW) —– When a government has everything going well for her; it shouldn’t worry about criticism. Criticism is a toothless biting mouth whose venom become obsolete when the said government/institution is feeding her subjects with euphoric and joyous things to celebrate for their dear lives. The more a government does well for her subjects, the less criticism the government faces in the long run.

Even if there is a throw of criticism here and there, and the political sentiment in the nation is ripe with prosperity and happiness, then any sort of criticism thrown at the government shouldn’t matter, would it? I ask the government and the leading security agencies to release Peter Biar Ajak from the jaws of injustice labeled against him. We have to start a brand new era of respecting the views of other people that may be different from us!!! The time is ripe to embark on that journey now!!!

No matter how brilliant and bright Peter Biar Ajak is in charting a brand new path for our people to be the sole custodians of their rights and freedoms; it is hard to see how his efforts are going to translate into real substantial results. Salva Kiir is beginning to open up to work with different political organizations, but we are not so certain about how things are going to span out in the long run. (more…)


By Gabriel Kucdit Kachuol, Nairobi, Kenya

founders of the splm

Commemorating the 33rd Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Revolutionary Movement—the SPLM/SPLA

Founders of Anyanya one

Founders of Anyanya one – Father Saturnino Lohure (Patron), Joseph Oudho (President) and William Deng Nhial (Secretary General)

Tuesday, July 31, 2018 (PW) — Today is our martyrs’ day! I believe it’s a day to commemorate and also reflect on what, why, how,….questions entailing how far we have come as a nation to the stature we are in today – for better or for worse. It starts with “who am I” that South Sudan question bothers me?

I identify myself as concerned South Sudan citizen akin to one of the ten (10) anecdotal blind men sent to feel and describe the “elephant.” They all gave variant but, more or less, an accurate description of the gargantuan animal depending on the part each one of them touched. (more…)


By Peter Wek Mabioordit, Juba, South Sudan

once-upon-a-time-we-were-united

Sunday, July 15, 2018 (PW) — Many people fall into leadership positions either by choice or chance. Unfortunately, not all of them are guaranteed to succeed in their work. Actually, it takes knowledge, integrity and grit to expertly guide any group towards its goals.

The notion that some people were born to lead is entirely wrong. While there are certainly some individuals born with desirous leadership qualities like charm, charisma and the ability to inspire loyalty, key leadership traits like patriotism and perseverance are actually learned things.

Moreover, the leadership qualities that one is capable of learning rather than those which are inherently possessed tend to be the most valuable when determining the likelihood of success. As an aspiring leader, the following are some of the desired leadership traits that you must possess before embarking on any major endeavors; (more…)


By Awuol Gabriel Arok, Juba, South Sudan

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Thursday, July 05, 2018 (PW) —The evolution and vanishing of flashy attacking animal locally named Nyan ne juan in Bor land during the 1980s still remained a mystery.

As the saying goes there is time for everything; in the middle of 1980s after the Bor mutiny and few years before the children were sent to Ethiopia for their grooming into the Liberation movement came a mysterious dwarfed and swift attacking creature nick named Nyan ne juan by the locals.

Nyan ne juan in its simplest form to English mean a girl wearing an underwear, the dwarf creature was known for its flashy attacking style mostly on young children, it targeted bodily parts such as the eyes, ears and mouths. (more…)


By Awuol Gabriel Arok, Juba, South Sudan

peace-for-south-sudan

Wednesday, July 04, 2018 (PW) — Peace will not come to South Sudan on its two or four walking legs; it will appear when South Sudanese expose and disown individual feelings that go against positivity.

According to the former president of the United States of America President Barack Obama peace is just not about politics. It’s about attitudes; about a sense of empathy; about breaking down the divisions that we create for ourselves in our own minds and our own hearts that don’t exist in any objective reality, but that we carry with us generation after generation.

The peace we seek in the world begins in human hearts. And it finds its glorious expression when we look beyond any differences in religion or tribe, and rejoice in the beauty of every soul. (more…)


One is always known for what he does, a prolific peek on Magot Khot; the latest and fieriest South Sudan Wrestler.

By Awuol Gabriel Arok, Juba, South Sudan

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Thursday, June 28, 2018 (PW) — Simba-Khordit known by his family name as Magot Khot Ajak hails from Abiong section of Ajuong community of Twic East in Jonglei State.

He is at his youthful age of 30 and has so far been christened as the fieriest attacker in the wrestling history of South Sudan. Blessed with corporeal fitness and lion jerking style, Magot-Simba-Khordit as he is popularly known has so far wrestled down or drew with all the challengers that he had a match with. (more…)


By Atem Yaak Atem, Sydney, Australia

Abel Alier and Atem Yaak Atem

Hon. Abel Alier and Atem Yaak Atem in Nairobi, Kenya, 2005, at the signing of the CPA

Wednesday, 20 June 2018 (PW) — Over the weekend I took part in a video discussion on the education of South Sudanese girls to be at a par with boys. During my talk, the moderator asked me to throw some light on why the current generation- young men and girls- tend to show overt interest in politics. As the scope of the talk limited me to matters pertaining to education, and not politics, my answer was deliberately inadequate. This piece is an attempt to provide an overview of what I left out in the conversation.

‘Because politicians are famous’

While we were exploring the skills and careers formal education should confer on students, specifically to be gainfully employed as well as good citizens, I was presented with the question relating to the fact that many young South Sudanese show an undisguised interest in politics. “Is it because politicians are famous?”

As a hypothesis, it could be one of several answers to what is undeniably an obvious attraction: not by youth alone but also by a large segment of the society of South Sudan; nearly everyone loves to talk politics and hopes to become a full time “professional” politician one day. (more…)


By Majok Arol Dhieu, Juba, South Sudan

Riek Machar arrival in Addis Ababa, 20 June 2018.jpg

Riek Machar arrival in Addis Ababa, 20 June 2018

Wednesday, 20 June 2018 (PW) — Whoever relaxes reading will disarm himself academically and land himself in a passive position. For those who refused to be cowed into alcoholic’s friendship, your knowledge hasn’t yet evaporated but with lapse of time, should you sip one cup of an alcopop made from dried yeast, you will risk frittering the knowledge away. Help yourself!

A magician without sick people brought before him for some days would slaughter a chicken in conjuring people so that problem befalls them, and then he would benefit in solving those problems. This’s the same case with IGAD in solving South Sudan problems.

The decaying classes and the labouring masses are tired of peace process being repeatedly postponed. What is wrong with this compromise peace and its revitalization forum whereas other peace deals have been hastily signed as if bees were chasing the signatories out of hall?

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Another tedious search for peace: What the South Sudanese leaders should learnt from regional and international handshakes

By Longar Mathiec Wol, Juba, South Sudan

Raila and Riek

Former Kenyan PM, Raila Odinga, meeting South Sudanese opposition leader, Riek Machar, in South Africa, in the lead up to the face to face meeting in Khartoum between President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 (PW) — As the negotiation teams expected to resume another phase of negotiation in Addis Ababa, IGAD led peace mediation after face meeting schedule in Khartoum between President Salva Kiir Mayardit and Dr. Riek Machar Teny, if that initiative succeed; till then, the suffering masses will have to continue to patiently wait for the peace they have been yearning for a little longer. It has been painful experience and set back since Junubeen world turned a part in 2013.  Since then, the struggle to restore peace and stability rage on, the despair seems to overcome hope. Many people see the strategies deployed by the mediation organization, country and the opposition to be defective; people felt led down, the suffering continues.

In the view of the people of South Sudan, peace is the only way forward, and for the peace to come the politicians at this time are expected to sacrifice. They are expected to at least do right things. People have suffered enough. The analyses have it that, the country failed to achieve lasting peace because our leaders put their personal interest above all interests. The real peace will never come till when the leaders stop demanding for positions, instead of diagnosing the real root causes of this tragic civil war that led million to displacement camps in East Africa. (more…)


A socioeconomic perspective: High Bride Price is the main driver of rampant conflicts in the Lakes region in particular and South Sudan in general

By Makur Garang Apadieer, Juba, South Sudan

The Wedding of Amer Mayen Dhieu and Makwei Mabioor Deng, 14 October 2017

The Wedding of Amer Mayen Dhieu and Makwei Mabioor Deng, 14 October 2017

  1. Synopsis

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 (PW) — This article focuses mainly on the bride price, its history, benefits and consequences. The main theme of writing this article is to highlight both advantages and disadvantages and how the interrelation of both positive and negative aspects of the high bride price can be harnessed by creating and institutionalizing the guidelines that can regulate the conduct of marriage to meet the interests of the bride and family, the groom and family and the bride and groom respectively.

The article follows a specified sequence or outline which includes definition, introduction and history of bride wealth, merits of bride wealth, and evidence of practice and consequences of high bride price, existing control mechanisms, coping mechanisms and demerits of bride price and proposed policy option for addressing current and prospective negative consequences emanating from high bride price.

The work draws examples mainly from pastoral ethnic communities within South Sudan. Citations from earlier work on same topic have also made. The article is an attempt to advocate and bring to the platform the most pressing issue of our time for collective resolution by multiple stakeholders: government, community, CSOs, NGOs and UN agencies. (more…)


By Hon. Shadrack Bol Machok, Rumbek, South Sudan

Mangar Buong Aluenge

Security improves as disarmament begins -Governor Mangar Buong Aluenge of Eastern Lakes state

Sunday, June 17, 2018 (PW) — First and foremost I would like to bring to the attention of all that H. E. Maj. Gen. Matur Chut Dhuol; Governor of Western Lakes State and who was also the most capable and strong Governor of the defunct Lakes State is a man of peace. He aims at seeing peace and stability prevailing in the region not only the State that he is governing, taking into consideration that he had once been responsible for the lives and properties of the people of greater Yirol now Eastern Lakes and the lives and properties of the people of greater Cueibet which is now Gok State.

Based on these facts H. E. Matur Chut Dhuol upon realizing that our civil population in the region are finishing themselves at gunpoint took a bold step by requesting H. E. The President of the Republic to intervene with declaration of state of emergency in the whole of Lakes. This was done on the 8th of December 2017; upon which H. E. The President in consultation with SPLM Politburo accepted and subsequently declared State of emergency in the three states of greater Lakes and directed Bilpam to deploy SPLA forces in the region in order to simultaneously disarm the armed civilians in Western lakes, Eastern lakes and Gok state. (more…)


All religions and its religious convictions are not true, not even the ones that are most ancient and most widespread, for they offer incompatible accounts of the ultimate realities

By Daniel Both Koang, Juba, South Sudan

freedom of choice

Freedom of Choice

Wednesday, 13 June 2018 (PW) — Until now, one has been deceiving himself/herself into thinking that, one has taken an interest in a religion. All religions doctrines and rituals are nothing but merely symbols and symbolic actions that are held to be the underlying common language, hence, all religions and their scriptures represent no more at bottom than the human imagination, is more or less successful attempt to come to clench with unfathomable cosmic mysteries.  Religion is thus, something that is produced out of man’s own mind, expressing his individual thoughts and desires.

This was created out of socio-political activism and pursuit of good time, encouragements and other good Manners in the society. The positive idea that people seek to install in the society is that, when a religion is created, there are some rationales that lead to outset of every religion like; personal division of time between serving others with what they need and helping oneself with what one want.  All these are designated values to earn social justice and pleasure than it being measured as a man kind’s true source of salvation and liberation. (more…)


The name of the county in Lou-Mawien Community should not deeply divide them along family and sectional lines

By Abraham Mabioor Rioch, Juba, South Sudan

Inauguration

Wednesday, June 13, 2018 (PW) —- Following the creation of 32 states in 2015 by the president of the Republic H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, new problems seem to be gaining momentum in communities with regards to the naming of some of the administrative units such as state, county, Payam or Boma. Though the decision was received with mixed reactions by many South Sudanese communities, it is one of the bold and wisest decision the president has ever made. To many critics, the idea of the president to increase the number of states and other administrative units was not a bad idea. Nevertheless, it was meant to take basic services closer to the people. In this context, Lou-Mawien/Lou Ariik community was later given a status of County called Lou Ariik County and later changed to Alabek County due to the demand of the majority.

As far as the name of the county was/is concerned, a seemingly endless controversy emerged among the Lou-Mawien community members with others want it called Alabek County while others called Lou Ariik County. In lieu of sitting together and find a better solution to the controversial name, some of the community members take it upon themselves to campaign against others. In reality, all these campaigns seem to be taking precious lives of the innocent people of Lou-Mawien community. In fact, people from the same community are deeply divided along sectional or family lines as usual love and cooperation have been affected and are staggering. (more…)


By Akoi Manyiel Guong, Juba, South Sudan

Friday, June 8, 2018 (PW) — Experiences and time since creation have proved it that violence is a rare interest of anyone in life but circumstances force others to become violent.

Natural science puts it “survival of the fittest”. The very predatory habit of human life, of egotistical and jealousy based setting, make the world not an easy place to live in comfortably.

A world full of desperations, pains, hopelessness to mention few, simply put, it is not fair.

Humans beings in the centre of God’s creation have wants and needs which pressure them to be fulfilled, thus exert profound effects on other small creatures which in the process suffer terribly.

This is where adaptation sets in, those disadvantaged small creatures either assimilated or force to surrender to the strong or join powerful group in the ecology to survive the ordeal of such unending earthly wants.

This is the world of strong eat and weak/small perish. The world of majority controls and minority suffers.

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Position on the involvement of Sudan to bring Salva Kiir Mayardit and Dr. Riek Machar for a face-to-face talk

riekiir

Sharing the plate: peacefully or violently is what is being decided in Khartoum, Sudan

Thursday, June 07, 2018 (PW) — “Peace comes from being able to contribute the best we have, and all that we are, towards creating a world that supports everyone. But it is also securing the space for others to contribute the best that they have and all that they are.” Hafsat Abiola.

It is high time we forgot about the past and worked together to bring a lasting solution to the civil war that is ravaging our country. Foreign intervention might not really bring the solutions we need as a country but will give us a platform in which we will be able to find our own solutions as South Sudanese. Therefore, we thank Sudan for giving us a platform on which President Salva Kiir Mayardit and Dr. Riek Machar will be able to meet on a face-to-face basis.

However as they also meet, it is very important to be cognizant of the fact that we have quite a number of movements in South Sudan who may have been aggrieved by the way things are run in the country. These parties also need to be included in the peace talks and given a chance at the table. I believe if all parties are brought together , we would be fostering quite a number of things, first, we would be bring all the different ideas to the table. (more…)


By Hon. Agel Ring Machar, Juba, South Sudan

Sunday, June 3, 2018 (PW) — It’s self evident that the civil unrest in the country was sparked by SPLM internal leadership contradictions, but tragically fuelled to great heights by what I would term here as “NUER -DINKA Siblings Rivalries”. The two largest ethnic groups with inherent propensity to extreme violence, coupled with other “unfavourable” Nilotic traits.

It’s therefore, extremely of importance to keep in mind, that, as we embark on the final stages of the Reunification (M7 45 days are running out) of SPLM, the crucial repair of the social fabric severely damaged by the current civil unrest between the NUER and DINKA.

Any SPLM reunification initiative that ignores the NUER -DINKA UNITY will likely struggle to achieve its central objective of ensuring National Unity and tranquillity in my humble opinion. Majority of NUER Community feel unfairly targeted and mistreated by their DINKA brothers. This fact isn’t rocket science.

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By Sally Nyalony Gatwang, Kampala, Uganda

Sunday, May 27, 2018 (PW) — We walk and work night and day in search for you, today countries like; South Sudan, Congo, Somalia are suffering as a result of money, power, and ignorance. There are so many death reports, displacement of people and distraction of property. This is not because we don’t want peace or our enmity is excess that we can’t forgive ourselves but its simply because of money and power plus ignorance. Today so many great people would be with us to celebrate this day but unfortunately they are not with us today not because they didn’t want to but they were caught pants down.

Michael Jackson one of the biggest musician and that is still remembered in the music industry died because of chemicals, trying to change his skin color. Why would a person wish to change the color if it wasn’t due to ignorance. Today so may people are bleaching their beautiful skins due to ignorance. People bleaching kills and that black color you are ashamed of one day it will be ashamed of you.

Nelson Mandela and Doctor John Grang today are no more, simply because of power. This great men fought for their countries freedom and respect of their rights. In south Africa, blacks were being mistreated which even led to apathey policy and the same in Sudan where Arabs were mistreating the blacks.

This men gave up their personal interest for the interest of their countries, to see their people in harmony was what they wanted though they were not advocating for separation but rather unity even though they knew the whites had really made their lives a leaving hell. Today we all celebrate their great work while remembering them. (more…)


By Deng Kur Deng, Pennsylvania, USA

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Wednesday, May 23, 2018 (PW) — We can all pretend to be leaders when our desire is to mislead and embrace leadership to destroy what is logical and instrumental among communities. This is the case of those who are less than remorseful about the issues which matter to people, but rather have pretentiously emerged as leaders in Jonglei for their awful acts. Men of ideas are known to be very thoughtful.

These so called ‘leaders’ have tried to vilify individuals attempting to stand in the context of the community who have found their commitment to community to definitely be a hazard. These men of lesser ideas are not politicians and they certainly shouldn’t be treated as such. Their petty politics have no basis at all. In all honesty, no one appreciates a community in which his or her identity is overshadow or insulted on a daily basis.

Sadly, these ‘pretend’ leaders do not understand the precariousness of the situations associated with their immature intentions to lower the standards of our people. It is unacceptable for our traditional shared values to be disassembled in such manner. As such, those of us who believe in these standards and values must maintain them for betterment of our communities. (more…)


By Dut Kuot Akok, Aweil, South Sudan

HLRF Hall of Deliberation

Wednesday, May 23, 2018 (PW) — It has been wrongly defined by many scholars and political commentators that the current ongoing war in south Sudan since 2013 up to date as a tribal war between two hostile tribes (Dinka versus Nuer). In fact, majority of them are hostile of which their hostile attitudes is the reason they don’t have kingdoms in their respective history since the creation of Adam and Eve. The aforementioned perceptions of some scholars were narrowly concluded owing to the political rivalry between the former vice president and the incumbent president who both originated from the above mentioned tribes.

And in the actual sense, their rivalry has nothing to do with the interest of their tribes since both Nuer and Dinka are they mostly affected by the current sky rocking of everything in the market, they are loitering unemployed since all the gates to heaven are blocked in regard to the intentional denial of both tribes to work with NGOs since they are said to be hostile and warmongers. Their overall sole purpose by then which thereafter led to the outbreak of senseless and meaningless war realistically was how to maintain their vested interests over the wealth of the nation with their kin and close associates. (more…)


By Ustaz Anei Madut.Kuendit, Juba, South Sudan

HLRF Hall of Deliberation

Tuesday, May 22, 2018 (PW) — The year 2018 must be marked as a great year for our continent, Mama Africa. Although South Sudan is unprecedentedly burning from mismanagement, from civil war and from grinding economic crisis all from lack of leadership, a good part of our African population received the cool breeze of the New Year 2018. In the early months of the year, a wave of soft current gently touched some of our continent’s people.

This may hopefully reach her interior as the cool wave of change may extend to South Sudan, especially if the international community in the form of Troika, IGAD and South Sudanese sitting at the Revitalization High Level Forum Talks were to stand with the people of South Sudan instead of standing with the leader who failed his country. The cool wave slowly swept from the Southern frontiers, moving from Zimbabwe to South Africa and eastwards to Ethiopia in the horn of Africa. The wave is described to be soft because it didn’t carry with it the blood-letting ideology of the Arab spring that hit the northern frontiers. That bloody ideology came through popular uprisings against North African despotic rulers of the modern era. (more…)