Archive for the ‘Commentary’ Category


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…)

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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

img_0957

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…)


By Pal Chol Nyan, Juba, South Sudan

Cantonment of forces

Monday, May 21, 2018 (PW) — The disconcerting news coming and reaching us from Addis say that there is a little progress in the ongoing talks. The warring Parties failed and are failing to reach any consensus on the key issues; thus rendering chances slim for peace to be concluded.

Commander Michael Makwei, the government spokesman and the spokesman of the government negotiation said they have agreed only on cantonment of forces and on an inclusivity. It sounds ambitious because nothing was elaborated further as to what that inclusivity is or will be and for what.

The religious leaders headed by the South Sudan Anglican Primate, in an exercise of divine powers, took over the talks in a bid to convince the warring parties but they have also failed to make the parties agree on a common ground to ink a deal. I don’t know what they will tell God now that their prayers went unanswered.

Definitely, they will not pray for the negotiators to die. It is only them who know the feedback they will give to the Creator of the suffering people of South Sudan on whose behalf peace is searched. (more…)


By David Mayen Dengdit, Denver, USA

Arop Madut Arop's book

Monday, May 21, 2018 (PW) — I must begin with assuring my good Uncle Arop Madut Arop that my respect for him as an elder (not just a maternal uncle) is firmly rooted in that glaring aspect of our Dinka (indeed all African) culture which gives maternal Uncles a special; almost divine status among their nephews. In fact, Uncle Aropdit knows that he has been a role model for me personally and has earned our respect in the family due to his own personal attributes and long principled life experiences.

 I must admit that, given my long family and professional relations with him in which respect for him is a natural order, I may have stepped a certain cultural boundary by responding to his article, even though I (and those whose names were cited by him) may still be right to feel uneasy to be included in an article where “respect for elders” was the main advice. Hence, he has trapped me in those two coexisting uneasy conditions of right-wrong. It feels like that proven physical state of “cold-hot” which certain objects may possess at the same time.

It is not so long ago that my good and close friend Isaiah Abraham (whose name I have given my son) and many writers in South Sudan were killed by known gunmen just because of that unwarranted perception of disrespect in a political arena where they were equal citizens and stakeholders, not just young(er) men. Taking precious life has been the price of disrespect for President Kiir (real or perceived), and what a price it has been! (more…)


By Tong Kot Kuocnin, Nairobi, Kenya

kiiriek3

Monday, May 21, 2018 (PW) — Since the establishment of the government of Southern Sudan in 2005 following the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, South Sudan failed to embark on extensive judicial reforms with a rigorous process of impartial and non-partisan appointment of the Chief Justice, justices, judges and other judicial officers where applicants should have been publicly interviewed by a revamped Judicial Service Council (JSC). Subsequently, parliament should have vetted and passed the nominees before full appointment by the President.

However, as I always share different and contending opinion, my contention has always been that, the effectiveness of judicial reforms depends on wider reforms in the entire justice sector. This would include critical stakeholders, such as, the prosecuting authorities, penal institutions and the police – and even the executive and parliament which put forward and approve budgetary allocations.

This is to ensure that complementary reforms are taking place within all those other institutions in order to ensure effective and timely delivery of justice. Since 2005 to date, weak institutional culture and structural impediments have stood in the way of judicial reforms, but this should not be allowed to retard efforts to implement an ‘ambitious plan to make the courts more efficient and open, increase professionalism, and expand the court system’ if at all the judiciary leadership was willing to undertake much needed reforms. (more…)


By Clement Maring Samuel, Kampala, Uganda

Gen. Paul Malong Awan

Monday, May 21, 2018 (PW) — When General Paul Malong Awan, the leader of South Sudan United Front (SSUF) declared his movement, his intention was not for war, but for peace so that collectively all the parties to the conflict can find a comprehensive solution to the conflict in South Sudan.  Malong was a party to the conflict and his intention to join the peace talks is a positive step towards peace. But TROIKA is obstructing his participation in the peace talk, and hence, violating the rationale of seeking peace through inclusive peace negotiation.

Malong applied for membership into the Opposition Alliance known as South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA), his delegate to be included into the discussion of the peace talks in Addis Ababa. His intention was to give peace a chance, which is a positive idea.

But TROIKA and some elements among the IGAD heads of States reject the idea of him joining the peace talks. What do they want if Malong is having good intention to participate in peace talk, is that a bad idea? Who is a war monger here, is it Malong or TROIKA? (more…)


For Nuer, Dinka and Shilluk, there is No equal employment opportunities with National and International NGOs operating in South Sudan as most job opportunities are monopolized by the Equatorians

By Simon Buzada Gach, Juba, South Sudan

corruption

Aid Agencies’ bosses: They come in as commons and get out as royals

Friday, May 18, 2018 (PW) — South Sudan gained its own independence from North Sudan on 9 July 2011 as the result of 2005 peace agreement inked in Kenya which ended the 21 years of running the civil war in the country. Most of the citizens had decided to vote for separation on referendum days and the younger country was recognized and declares, internationally as separated State listed to other Africa countries.

In early 2013, political disputes happened within political elites or leaders of the ruling party, which displace most of citizens in the country as the result of their disagreement. Most of the citizens had left the country for neighboring countries mainly Uganda and Kenya for seeking an international protection.

Interventions of INGOs and National NGOs to an areas affected by the civil war

Some of international NGOs response to helps vulnerable population with food items and none food items,  when the civil war erupted in the country, particularly  in Upper Nile and Equatoria, where the citizens were displaced from their villages by both armed forces on the ground. As the result of fighting which going on in the country since 2013. Donors donated monies through INGOs and indigenous NGOs by helping the suffering populations affected by civil war in the country. (more…)


By Peter Mabior Ajak, Melbourne, Australia

wrestling17

Thursday, May 17, 2018 (PW) — This analysis is for distraction within Team Jonglei at the recent inter-communal wrestling in Juba. ‘Tumor’ refers to issues that split Team Jonglei.

Keyboard warfare, Facebook Lives’ shelling, coupled with songs and lack of maturity is a cancerous tumor responsible for wrestling shenanigan within Team Jonglei. If you’re not appalled by the way in which issues within Team Jonglei are handled, and the state it is dissented to, then we seriously reach problem-solving crises.

Leadership is a beautiful thing. It is in every leader to do what is right and beneficial to the people you lead, in return help the people you work with and outcomes you would like to achieve. It is not always on how it is supposed to be because dishonesty in the form of disrespect and dysfunctional in the leadership of the organizing committee is a tumor that is responsible for Team Jonglei defeat. (more…)