Archive for the ‘Featured Articles’ Category


By Ariik Atekdit Mawien, Juba, South Sudan

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August 30, 2016 (SSB) — It had been hard talk in Juba and elsewhere in South Sudan, in the foreign cities and indeed among foreign diplomats and politicians of interest in South Sudan’s politics when quickly war erupted once again in Juba.

The process of the Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS) that had then designated Dr Riek Machar to be the FVP in South Sudan has been indeed bumpy. The road has never been smooth and flat from the time signatories put down their signatures on the paper of ARCISS agreement.

Both South Sudanese warring parties had blamed many times the IGAD mediators for their bad intentions to impose an agreement that reads their interest on the country against South Sudanese interests. Analysts and writers had tried to speak out the truths that should have been done but all that went into their deaf ears and we ended up saying that ‘bad peace is better than good war’.

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By Malith Alier, Kampala, Uganda

Juba

August 28, 2016 (SSB) — What would writing achieve in this country called South Sudan? Some people in the past advised this writer that he and many others should pause because nobody listens! These sorts of people imagine that continuous writing changes nothing on the ground.

Writing is not about changing things instantly but it’s also about learning, entertainment and you name them. I bet that most of my fellow writers will continue to write no matter what. Whether something changes or not, writers will continue. Further, writing is as old as human civilisation itself. Therefore, it’s meaningless to advise authors to cease what they love most.

There are dangers associated with speaking one’s mind in the society as we witnessed over the past five years after the independence. Journalists, particularly those who expressed political opinions have been killed, imprisoned and tortured simply because of their views. This in itself will not stop or discourage writers. We see soldiers join the army and carry guns despite dangers associated with being in the army. This is the same with writers.

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By David Mayen Ayarbior, Juba, South Sudan

Fighting in South Sudan

Fighting in South Sudan

August 28, 2016 (SSB) — Last week I was listening to Miraya FM when I heard a little girl speaking some words of wisdom that must have fallen on the deaf ears of the war mongers who have held the country hostage. She was contacted by one of Miraya presenters (Sunny Martin) as a follow-up on her earlier interview about the recent breakout of another senseless episode of bloodbath in Juba. In her earlier interview she narrated her ordeal before saying some heart-hitting words, assuming we all have hearts.

The ordeal: when the bullets started spraying she was separated from her mother and started running to the church for shelter with a group of scared and helpless civilians. She later contacted her mother as she memorized the phone number. On their way to the church some unknown gunmen in uniform stopped them at gun point. They ordered them to hand in their belongings and, of course, they obliged. They were lucky in some ways.

When contacted by Miraya she said that she thought her life was going to be cut short at that small age. She then passed the following message to the ‘leaders’ of South Sudan, which I will try to paraphrase, even though I wouldn’t match her eloquence and spirit. She said: “We the children of South Sudan are suffering because of the war. Let this war stop. Let our leaders know that we want to be proud of having them as our leaders. We don’t want to regret having them as our leaders.”

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By Simon Yel Yel, 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.

August 26, 2016 (SSB) — It was bound to happen sooner rather later. For the government supporters who were holding their breath, waiting to hear what is on president’s mind about the recent adopted United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions on the renewal of UNMISS Mandate and approval of 4,000 strong protection or intervention force; they got what they were waiting for on Monday 15th August when President Salva Kiir officially inaugurated the Transitional National Assembly.

The business remains as usual; and the pessimists who were speculating the business to be as usual got away with right prediction as the winners of political prediction. To their dismay, the supporters of the government who were expecting their government to be “born again” and look forward to seeing their President firing verbal missiles and incendiary rhetoric Like Hon. Michael Makuei Lueth against the UN, IGAD and US regarding the recent adopted UNSC resolution on sending 4,000 protection or intervention force to South Sudan and the renewal of the mandate of UNMISS, didn’t see any change in business.

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By Ariik Atekdit Mawien, Juba, South Sudan

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August 26, 2016 (SSB) — In 2011 when South Sudan was preparing to get its independence from the Muslim dominated and Arab minded Sudan. Countries like Ivory Coast and Libya were badly experiencing the United Nations and United States planned continental coups to undermine Africa.

Alassane Ouattara has been a prominent opposition leader in Ivory Coast intending to take over the country’s leadership from the then incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo. After elections, Gbagbo was declared the president defeating his rival and UN backed politician Mr. Ouattara.

A number of countries, organisations and leaders worldwide claimed Ouattara had won the election. After months of attempted negotiation and sporadic violence, the crisis entered a decisive stage as Ouattara’s forces began a military offensive in which they quickly gained control of most of the country.

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By Deng Kur Deng, Pennsylvania, USA

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August 24, 2016 (SSB) — I would like to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU for policing the country appropriately at a time when chaos has occupied our core ways of life. Through the execution of laws, an average citizen in this country can feel equally protected. It is very important that a well-organized and disciplined armed forces do their share to protect citizens and this has been your obligation as the man who is in charge of the army.

With that in mind, you were able to contain one of the worst social problems in the country. As you may know, a war associated with tribal connections can be very dangerous and indeed, it was quite dangerous. You have done your part and as such, you deserve my appreciation along with others who witnessed your work firsthand. Many of the people under your command are underappreciated for their work they have done for the people, which is completely wrong.

Our hope as citizens rests with the army, so when the army fails to do their job right, scholars and citizens blamed Gen Paul Malong for the failure. At the moment, we have nothing to blame you for, rather many of us have words of appreciation for you. Leaders are often blamed for something they have no proper control and these are normal drawbacks for leadership. You have been tested in your capacity as a leader and as a Chief of General Staff in the SPLA.

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By Dr. Simon Wuor Gai, Colorado, USA

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August 22, 2016 (SSB) — While many South Sudanese in the social media always argue that Dr. Riek Machar is a comeback kid, this writer always argues that Dr. Riek Machar is a dying horse politically and militarily. The man lacks intuitive leadership coupled with, self-pride, and blind ego. Such a leader never intuitively sees dangers ahead of time due to aspects above. Meaning, he always puts the society at a greater risk of butchering themselves while he enjoys being served with the scarce resources people have at their disposals as a leader.

For example, the incidence of Juba in July 2016 could have been mitigated and averted had it not been Dr. Riek’s way of doing things. There were many signs showing that the danger was looming before the outbreak of the fighting in Juba. He knows his few soldiers would be in danger because the government forces would outnumber them. He knows his military logistics is not in good shape. He knows that there could be collateral damage when two armies fight in the capital city.

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By Ariik Atekdit, Juba, South Sudan

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August 21, 2016 (SSB) —- South Sudan leadership has been shaking since the disappearance of Dr John Garang de Mabior, the former Rebel Leader who was successfully anointed as the First Vice President in the Sudanese government of 2005. Garang was believed to be a good friend to the West and being a man of his own principles. He had established South Sudan’s bush military administration in the name of democracy but maintained it only to his principles of New Sudan and secularism opposed to the dictated Arabized and Islamized Khartoum administrations.

In the beginning Garang’s rebel movement of the Sudan People Liberation Movement and army (SPLM/A) seemed to be opposed to the Western Administrations and ideologies until when Dr John Garang switched from his socialistic ideology to Capitalism in order to get support from United States of America and the European Countries; a business that was made successful in order to weaken the Khartoum regimes or change it in totality.

When this popular man known as Dr Garang de Mabior signed a peace agreement in Nairobi that has given him the position of First Vice President in Khartoum and a President of Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) in Juba, he was made to shortly die in a plane crash before establishing an office for the autonomous government of then Southern Sudan.

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Giant of the SPLM— Comrade Pagan Amum: ‘Take over Temporarily’

By Deng Kur Deng, Pennsylvania, USA

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August 21, 2016 (SSB) — It is rage and concern that has loomed over those whom should be in charge of our country. To give you an idea of how senseless this subject matter is getting. Recently, one of the unknown members of the SPLM—by name, Miss Susan Jambo—called you lazy, visionless, and all sorts of names, but I doubt the credibility of her words, as we all know that you, Comrade Pagan Amum, started the SPLM/SPLA, so you spent 21 years in the bush like many of us. You were very popular among South Sudanese, but your rating as we speak has gone down drastically because of your position against us.

With that in mind, though, how could you be lazy and visionless when you in fact created the vision through which the SPLM/A has succeeded? You are not lazy, nor visionless. You remain one of the icons of the South Sudan regardless of our current differences. Now, like many South Sudanese, I have this surge of anger toward you for betraying us at the time we the people needed your positive contribution. Yes, it is true that the state of anxiety in the country has created all kinds of problems, and you have become one of these problems.

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By Manyang David Mayar, Juba, South Sudan

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August 19, 2016 (SSB) — Although the United Nations could not protect a number of unarmed foreign nationals from rape, torture and killing of a South Sudanese journalist in Juba last July, the organization has carried out a successful evacuation of a South Sudanese armed opposition leader Riek Machar on Wednesday.

The news of the evacuation was both a great joy to supporters of Riek and also a heartbreaking and shocking story to millions of South Sudanese who would want to see this nation stay in peace and stability. Personally, I was hit by two emotions when I heard the news.

At first I celebrated the fact that Dr. Riek Machar was alive and breathing just like the rest of us would love to stay alive for as long as the creator allows. But a short while later, a sense of fear for the future took control over me. I couldn’t comprehend what the future holds for my wife, our one and half year old daughter and me.

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By Kuol Alberto Makuach, Juba, South Sudan

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August 19, 2016 (SSB) — South Sudan got her independence on the 9th of July 2011 and exactly 29 months later, it was shrouded in civil war within itself. That conflict erupted over long grievances that have been shelved for a number of years due to the fact that, all the Southerners in the then united Sudan, were united for the separation that would grant freedom to Southern Sudan.

Depending on whichever side one gets the explanation on what transpired on the 15th of December 2013, which brought about the conflict, one would get a different story. However, a neutral person, would simply conclude that, what happened was just but a normal power struggle.

The group that was not in the cabinet by then, led by Riek, Pagan, Nyandeng and others saw that, it was wrong and unimaginable for President Kiir and his allies to shut them out so soon just like that. So, they fabricated stories on so many things so as to cause that confusion that would make them be brought back to the government. Simply put, it was and still is, a struggle between those that want to maintain their grip of power and those that either need to take part or overthrow the other group.

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By Reagan Gatluak Gatwech, Kampala, Uganda

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August 15, 2016 (SSB) — Following the fighting that broke out outside the presidential palace in Juba on the eve of independence celebrations, IGAD called for an intervention brigade. Such a brigade was first proposed in 2014 during the mediation but weakened as the UN and IGAD could not agree on its relationship to the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), or on the mechanisms of financial and logistical control.

When a State interferes in the political affairs of another State by invitation, or on request, it cannot be considered as an unlawful act. Interference of a State can never be unlawful if it is for the sake of humanity. It is necessary that the two States agree on the matter of intervention through a treaty. A request for assistance is not an unlawful act.

Similarly, the 27th African Union assembly in Kigali, Rwanda also resolved that Uganda, Sudan, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Kenya shouldcontribute a regional force to South Sudan whichfollowing the renewed fighting in Juba. However, there is need to clarify on what intervention really means, circumstances that warrant it, legal grounds for intervention in civil wars and also draw a distinction between military intervention and a protection force.

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Intellectuals – Manipulating Our People in South Sudan

Thiik Mou Giir, Melbourne, Australia

August 15, 2016 (SSB) — Following my last article, one of those who made some comments expressed his disapproval of my use of the term, “Intellectuals” to apply on those who are engaged in such kind of writings.  One out of four dictionary definitions he provided reads, an intellectual person is “an extremely rational person; a person who relies on intellect rather than on emotions or feelings.”  He went on to suggest that those who are inciting violence and promoting hatred as “War mongers” or “Propagandists.”  This is a good point but I would continue using the term “Intellectuals” for the sake of consistency.

The use of the Internet comes with responsibility or the lack of it.  We, who use the Internet in Diaspora, can use it to help our people build bridges (strengthen relationships) and that is a good thing.  We can use it in order to share ideas, ideas that would help us mature and let us make sense of our world, and that is a good thing.  We can use it, moreover, to help us resolve the issues we have had for so long and issues that have surfaced after South Sudan gained its independence, and that is a good thing.  In short, we can use it to build our new identity and that is a good thing.

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By Mariak Chol Majok, Kampala, Uganda

Banki Moon

UN secretary general, Banki Moon, and JMEC chairperson, Festus Mogae

August 15, 2016 (SSB) — Perhaps Mr. Barack Hussein Obama, the President of the United States of America and Mr. Banki-Moon, the current and Outgoing Secretary-General of United Nations are still behind the news that South Sudan seceded from the oppressive regime and slavery from the Sudan five years ago; when we were declared an independent nation on 9th, July 2011and subsequent ascension as United Nations’ Number 193rd member country. It is called the Republic of South Sudan, for Christ’s sake, infallible in all its own affairs; it has her own sovereignty and the president, who also doubles as the Commander-in-Chief of National army (The SPLA) and the Supreme Commander of Other Regular Forces.

It lies in the eastern part of Africa and a member of East Africa Community (EAC) and Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD; perhaps the acronym ‘D’ has to be changed and be called Inter-Governmental Authority on Destruction because this bloc is the one destroying the region), endowed with all natural resources, cultural heritage, secular in its state and has its rules and regulations as enshrined in the transitional constitution (2011 and amended in 2015).

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By Hon Arop Madut-Arop, 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.

August 14, 2016 (SSB) — In this article, I will discuss, first the role the international community and United States of America should have played as soon as peace descended on South Sudan in 2005. The second part will discuss how some IGAD countries are making it difficult for peace to reign in South Sudan, magnificently, for their own vested interest. This part is also intended to make South Sudanese particularly the politicians to be aware of the fact that, the IGAD is not the same IGAD they knew in the past. Rather, it is the IGAD run and managed by new breed of leaders for their own survival. I will conclude the article with what the international sponsored regional proposed arms embargo and economic sanction will bring to bear on peace to reign in the Republic of South Sudan.

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By Emmanuel Ariech Deng, Juba, South Sudan

fuel in juba

shortage of fuel in juba

August 10, 2016 (SSB) — Hmm! Dear readers, I have finally come out of the self-destructive events of late June and early July. It is inevitable to be in trauma without psychological counseling pertaining to the befallen catastrophe of late June and early July. However, the point of argument here is, the country administrators should honestly admit and stop the intransigency to support the vulnerable society.

It doesn’t make sense for the country to export oil and buy the oil expensively as evidently proven by roadside petrol vendors composed of women and children who do not even know the scientific hazard of the flammable liquid, but whose concern remains a way of earning a living with the danger petroleum being hidden in teapot places along the road for safety in the day time and in kitchen for safety in the night. What a kind of a Country!

The Maridi-Membe road petrol tanker explosion tragedy that claimed over hundred lives has not yet taught the petrol vendors’ lesson since it is a struggle between earning daily livings or else die by hunger. So the children and women selling petrol in plastic-water bottles along Juba roads have opted for death by tragedy than by hunger. The attempts made to stop roadside black market of diesel and petrol did not yield any fruit due to the involvement of high profiles into the fuel business dealings.

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By David Mayen Ayarbior, Juba, South Sudan

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August 5, 2016 (SSB) — Foreign interventions have constantly been a controversial aspect of international security and law. For those countries at the receiving end, prompt reference to the concepts of sovereignty and territorial integrity were/are inevitable as a means of avoiding intervention. For such countries, the two concepts are always used to fend off against intervention proposals by so called superpowers, be they states or international organizations like the UN.

While the two concepts continue to strongly feature in the intervention debate, they are no longer as broad as they used to be. For good or bad, they hold a different meaning in the “new world order” which emerged with the United Nations in 1945, a world security order which South Sudan voluntarily joined through signing the UN Charter as a precondition for its recognition as a ‘sovereign’ nation-state in 2011.

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By David Mayen Ayarbior, Juba, South Sudan

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July 31, 2016 (SSB) —- The quick succession of momentous events in South Sudan’s political stage has literary dumbfounded every keen observer of the country’s affairs. Whether you are an insider, outsider or mere observer, no one could say with any level of certainty what the future holds for the country. It now depends on reactions and counter reactions of different stakeholders, including regional and international bodies. Such an uncertain state of affairs has prompted foreign embassies to continue evacuating their nationals while citizens are on a journey of unprecedented exodus to neighboring countries.

The current high stakes for the very existence of our country as a stable polity are surely not imaginary and could not be exaggerated. On the ground, the peace agreement which was negotiated for so long is at risk of swiftly dying and failing to live up to its ultimate goal and projected benefit of peace to the people. Unfortunately, for the people, counting the cost of destruction in terms of mass displacement, destruction of remaining social infrastructure and lives may still have to be further postponed for a while.

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By HON AROP MADUT AROP (MP), Juba, South Sudan

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July 26, 2016 (SSB) — In part one of my previous article, I discussed briefly, the need for south Sudanese to reorganise themselves politically and ideologically. The first article discussed, also urged South Sudanese politicians to find a rallying point, a factor that will bring all their amalgam of nationalities together, as we move our young country forward to progress and prosperity. In this second part of my article, as food for thought, I will discuss two other factors as food for thought for our politicians; the new and the old. The first section of the article is urging politicians to avoid schism and bickering in their political parties. This is because of the negative impact the political bickering and schism bring to bear on the people they intend to lead.

The second section will also discuss two detrimental cultures in our society of: an injury to one is an injury to all and revenge killing. As promised in my previous article, I am making this piece again as food for thought to political party leaders in the hope that they will be incensed and desist from causing violence among members of their society through bickering and schism; as the sufferers caused by their political disenchantment and wrangling on both sides in the political spectrum are their innocent voters who would vote them into power in any future general elections. Below we discuss two sections, political Bickering and its implications and the culture of unwarranted collective fights as well as revenge killing which have been stemmed out in many civilised countries of the world.

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This is the preface to the second edition of “South Sudan: The State we aspire to” by Dr. Peter Adwok Nyaba, sent to us for publication by Keji-Keji Mayomism from Melbourne, Australia

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July 24, 2016 (SSB) — “It was on 8 August 2005. We were leaving the burial ground – now renamed Dr. John Garang Memorial Grounds – immediately after the burial of Dr Garang’s remains. A senior member of the SPLM Leadership Council (name withheld), in a very exhausted voice, said to me “Garang was a very lucky man.” I tried to extract the meaning of these words but the man could not reply. This left me bewildered.

“How can one be lucky in death?” I thought to myself. Perhaps what my colleague meant was that Garang had not lived to watch the edifice (SPLM/A) he constructed come tumbling down like a house of cards. The sudden and tragic death of Dr Garang disorganised and disoriented the SPLM leaders. The SPLM leadership started to show cracks in its ranks even as they were still making the funeral arrangements.

Dr Garang died before achieving complete reconciliation with Gen. Salva Kiir following the fallout that was the Yei crisis. The conference fudged the matter. The two leaders acted tactically, marking time until the disaster struck. The drivers of the Yei crisis remained active, and with the death of Dr Garang, they took centre stage of the SPLM and the government of Southern Sudan. The realignment of forces inside the SPLM triggered internal contradictions.

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