Archive for the ‘PaanLuel Wël’ Category


The Riek Machar Factor in the fundamental root causes of the December 2013 Crisis and the present civil war in the Republic of South Sudan (Part 5)

By PaanLuel Wël, Juba, South Sudan

The Flag of the Republic of South Sudan

The Flag of the Republic of South Sudan

  1. Introduction

Saturday, September 8, 2018 (PW) — This article will examine the pivotal role of the “Riek Machar Factor” in the fundamental root causes of the December 2013 Crisis and the prevailing civil war in the Republic of South Sudan. In Kenya, to assert that powerful forces within the political, economic and security establishments of the Kikuyu nation have practically succeeded to frustrate and thwart Raila Odinga from assuming the presidency of Kenya is to state the obvious. Similarly, in South Sudan, to argue that two powerful constituencies, comprising of the historical leadership of the SPLM/SPLA and the Dinka nation, have conspired to oppose and prevent Riek Machar’s presidency in the Republic of South Sudan, would be an understatement.

This is the contextual meaning of the Riek Machar factor in the South Sudanese national conflict. Therefore, the fundamental root cause of the December 2013 Crisis, and the current civil war, is two-fold. First and foremost, the spirited attempt by those powerful constituencies to impede and obstruct Riek Machar from assuming the chairmanship of the SPLM, and thus the presidency of the republic, triggered the December 2013 Crisis and the present civil war. Secondly, the strong conviction by Riek Machar to fight and defeat those powerful forces bitterly opposed to his resolve to become the second president of South Sudan, ignited the December 2013 Crisis and the devastating civil war in the country.

Alternatively, the confluence of the two factors – the strong determination by the historical leadership of the SPLM/SPLA and powerful forces within the Dinka nation to oppose and block Riek Machar from assuming the presidency of South Sudan, couple with the firm decision by Riek Machar to fight and defeat those two powerful constituencies – might have hastened and sparked the December 2013 Crisis, which later mutated into the ongoing distressing civil war in the Republic of South Sudan.

Therefore, this article will argue that the strong resistance to, and the fervent support for, Riek Machar’s presidency constitutes and defines the current national conflict, and its appreciation holds the key to a negotiated resolution of the 5-year old civil war in South Sudan. (more…)


The “SPLM/SPLA Factor” in the fundamental root causes of the December 2013 Crisis and the present civil war in the Republic of South Sudan (Part 4)

By PaanLuel Wël, Juba, South Sudan

The Flag of the Republic of South Sudan

The Flag of the Republic of South Sudan

  1. Introduction

Saturday, August 18, 2018 (PW) — “Politics,” declares Carl von Clausewitz, the former Prussian general and military theorist, “is the continuation of war by other means.” The great Athenian historian and general, Thucydides, the author of The History of the Peloponnesian War, added that, in warfare, as in politics, “the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.” And like any other forms and means of warfare, politics invariably produces both losers who “suffer what they must” and winners who “do what they can”. The acrimonious political fallout within the ruling SPLM party, which preceded and triggered the December 2013 crisis and the present destructive civil war in South Sudan, is a classic case study of Carl von Clausewitz’s aphorism that politics is war by other means, with sullen losers and haughty winners.

Underpinning the power struggle that precipitated the ongoing civil war is the prevailing contention from the opposition groups, as advanced and defended by Comrade Mabioor Garang de Mabioor, that the December 2013 crisis was generated by President Kiir’s fateful decision to eschew democratic institutions and processes by resorting to draconian and undemocratic means to preserve and exercise power in the country. To the government, the seditious machinations by the power hungry Riek Machar to take power by force define and constitute the fundamental root cause of the December 2013 crisis and the raging distractive civil war. In contrast, the veteran South Sudanese journalist, author and politician, Hon. Arop Madut Arop, maintains that the fundamental root cause of the December 2103 crisis was the institutional failure by the SPLM party to attain democratic transformation, as exemplified by the ambiguity of the presidential term limits which triggered political wrangling within the ruling party.

Therefore, this article will constructively respond to, and critically analyze, both Hon. Arop Madut Arop’s article, “How Political Wrangling in the Ruling SPLM Party Wrecked South Sudan Apart in 2013” and Comrade Mabioor Garang de Mabioor’s article, “The Root Cause of the December 2013 Crisis in South Sudan: The SPLM/SPLA Factor.” The evaluation and critiquing will be done on the basis of what is legal and democratic as the opposition leaders are fond of presenting their political actions preceding the December 2013 crisis, and what is a threat to national security as the government often portrays the political maneuvers of the opposition leaders on the eve of December 2013 crisis and the current conflict.

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Sunday, August 5, 2018 (PW) —- A jilted Gen Julius Tabuley has reportedly declared a bloodless coup against Gen Thomas Chirillo of the National Salvation Front (NAS) for failing to initial and sign the Khartoum peace agreement. This is nothing less than the replay of Taban Deng vs Riek Machar scenario in July 2016.

However, the political self interest driving Thomas Chirillo must be understood and appreciated. One, he has little chance of clinching one of the 5 VP positions since Dr Wani Igga, a Bari like him, is retaining his seat.

Two, Equatorian politics revolves around land rights and federalism, and no unifying leader has so far emerged to champion them.

Since the Khartoum peace agreement has not adequately addressed the two issues that are dear to the Equatorians and since there is a gaping leadership vacuum on these issues, it is easy to see where Thomas Chirillo is going with his uncompromising opposition to Khartoum peace agreement.

He has nothing to lose personally and everything to gain politically. By the end of the three years of the TGONU, assuming it lasts that long, Thomas Chirillo may finally emerge as a serious force to reckon with – along with Kiir, and Riek.

But that is not all: just as Kiir is generally perceived as a Dinka leader and Riek as a Nuer leader, Thomas Chirillo will inevitably become an Equatorians leader, not a South Sudanese leader.

And that is the fundamental problem of South Sudan – losing our heroes and national leaders to tribalism.


The “Big Tent Policy Factor” in the fundamental root causes of the December 2013 Crisis and the present civil war in the Republic of South Sudan (Part 3)

By PaanLuel Wël, Juba, South Sudan

The Flag of the Republic of South Sudan

The Flag of the Republic of South Sudan

  1. Introduction

Saturday, August 04, 2018 (PW) — On the 4th of July, 2013, the Vice President of South Sudan, Dr. Riek Machar, few hours after returning from Khartoum, summoned the Guardian newspaper into his office, denounced his boss, President Kiir, as incompetent and corrupt, and then declared his interest in contesting for the office of the president in the 2015 presidential election. While few people had any inkling as to why Dr. Riek Machar would declare a public revolt against his boss of 10 years, what is crystal clear though was that this was at a time when the Nuer was at the peak of their military predominance in the Republic of South Sudan, both at the top echelon, as well as among the rank and file, of the national army.

Gen. James Hoth Mai was the Chief of Staff of the SPLA, while John Koang Nyuon was the Minister for Defense. Of the three (3) sectors of the SPLA, two were headed by the Nuer. Gen. Charles Lam Chuol was the commander of the SPLA Sector Three in Torit, while Gen. Johnson Gony Bilieu was the commander of the SPLA Sector Two in Malakal. Of the eight (8) divisions of the SPLA, three were headed by the Nuer. Gen. James Koang Chuol was the commander of SPLA Division 4 in Bentiu; Gen. Peter Gatdet Yak was the commander of SPLA Division 8 in Bor, while Gen. Yien Makuach Mut was the commander of SPLA Division 6 in Yambio. Of the two directors of national security (internal and external), Gen. Thomas Duoth was in charge of external security. Moreover, 70% of the national army was reportedly composed of Nuer soldiers. And the vice president of the republic was also a Nuer.

How was it possible that a single community whose percentage share of the national population is merely 19% would account for such a lion share of the national army in a nation of “64 tribes”? The spectacular and magnificent success of the South-South dialogue, what the South Sudanese intellectual and politician, Dr. Luka Biong Deng, has dubbed as the “Big Tent Policy” of President Salva Kiir. (more…)


The “Nuer Factor” in the fundamental root causes of the December 2013 Crisis and the present civil war in the Republic of South Sudan (Part 2)

By PaanLuel Wël, Kongor, South Sudan

The Flag of the Republic of South Sudan

The Flag of the Republic of South Sudan

  1. Introduction

Saturday, July 21, 2018 (PW) — This article will examine the role of the “Nuer Factor” in the fundamental root causes of the December 2013 Crisis and the current civil war in South Sudan. The “Nuer Factor” can be expressed as follows: The fate of South Sudan is always bright and promising whenever the Nuer is contented, happy and supportive of the leadership of South Sudan; the fate of South Sudan is often dim and precarious whenever the Nuer is jilted, unhappy and against the leadership of the nation.

This is not so much a quest to repaying an ancient debt as it is about understanding and appreciating the role of the “Nuer question” in the fundamental root causes of the December 2013 crisis and the current raging civil war in the Republic of South Sudan – a befitting tribute, and contribution, to the civilized national debate inaugurated by Hon. Arop Madut Arop and Comrade Mabioor Garang de Mabioor.

The essence of the cultured national discourse initiated by Hon. Arop Madut Arop and Comrade Mabioor Garang de Mabioor is a clear demonstration of the fact that South Sudanese are capable of rising above the partisan bickering and tribal politicking by electing to partake in a civilized national debate devoid of vitriolic attacks, tribal pandering and slanderous name callings.

More importantly, it is crucial that the people of South Sudan should clearly understand and appreciate the fact that the proposed sharing of power and security arrangements under the revitalized ARCSS will not and cannot be a substitute to resolving the fundamental root causes of the December 2013 that ignited the present intractable conflict in South Sudan. (more…)


The “Fundamental Factors” in the root causes of the December 2013 Crisis and the present civil war in the Republic of South Sudan (Part 1)

By PaanLuel Wël, Juba, South Sudan

The Flag of the Republic of South Sudan

The Flag of the Republic of South Sudan

Sunday, July 15, 2018 (PW) — Five years into the political, military, economic and humanitarian crisis in South Sudan, and peace is still a distant chimera to the beleaguered souls caught up in the vicious conflict across the country. One glimmer of hope, so far, has been that the High-Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) of the 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS), under the auspices of the Inter-Governmental Agency on Development (IGAD), would offer a viable solution to the intractable conflict in South Sudan.

While much was, and still is, predicated on the hard political compromises and security arrangements that the leaders of the warring parties – particularly President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar – are, and will be, prepared to make, the expectation was that the Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities (CoH) would be promptly negotiated, honestly signed and faithfully adhered to by the warring parties. The subsequent phase would have been to craft a feasible political resolution of the debilitating crisis in form of a revitalized, expanded and inclusive Transitional Government of National Unity (TGONU) based in Juba, South Sudan, with security guarantees to all leaders of the warring parties.

However, the fate of the IGAD-led High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) of the 2015 peace accord still hangs in the air, precariously, as phase two of the Khartoum round of peace talks was abruptly adjourned to next Tuesday, the 17th of July 2018, owing to continued irreconcilable differences over the fundamental issues of governance, couple with lingering doubts related to the signed security arrangements and permanent ceasefire agreements. (more…)


By PaanLuel Wël, Juba, South Sudan

kiiriek2

President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar, Addis Ababa, 2015

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 (PW) — President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar are reportedly conducting their long-awaited face-to-face meeting tomorrow in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This crucial meeting – their first contact since the infamous dogfight at J-1 in July 2016 – comes against a backdrop of the dismal failure of the IGAD-led Intensive Interlinked Consultation (IIC) in Addis Ababa, which collapsed yesterday without any major breakthrough on the main outstanding issues pertaining to chapter 1 and 2 of the 2015 ARCSS.

The main point of contention among the warring parties appears to be the spirited attempt by opposition parties to change the status quo in Juba by demanding the total dissolution and reconstitution of all state apparatus, and the strong determination by the government to maintain and perpetuate the status quo as presently constituted, with few changes here and there to placate the opposition and international community.

Various attempts by IGAD to break the deadlocks, including the introduction of a revised abridging proposal of the High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) of the 2015 ARCSS fell flat on its face. The revised bridging proposal of the HLRF is not a great improvement from its predecessor, however. (more…)


By Emmanuel Ariech Deng (Addis Ababa) and PaanLuel Wel (Juba)

HLRF Hall of Deliberation

 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018 (PW) — South Sudan’s sworn enemies and bitter rivals have unanimously united in rejecting the compromised power sharing formula and security arrangements offered by IGAD’s Bridging Proposal towards the outstanding issues in the High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) of the 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The IGAD’s Abridging Proposal had proposed a revitalized transitional government headed by a president, supported by three vice presidents, and a power sharing ratios of 55% to the government, 25% to the SPLM-IO, 10% to the SSOA, 5% to the SPLM-FDs and the other 5% to the Other Opposition Parties (OPP).

The government has rubbished this proposal and instead insisted on a transitional government headed by a president, with four vice presidents, two of which would be nominated by the government. More importantly, the government seems to be incensed by the apparent removal of Taban Deng Ghai’s position.

Moreover, the government has vetoed the power sharing formula and has instead proposed the following ratios: Government 65%, SPLM-IO 15%, SPLM-FDs 5%, National Alliance Parties 5%, Parties of National Agenda 5% and South Sudan Opposition Alliance 5%. (more…)


By PaanLuel Wel (Juba) and Emmanuel Ariech Deng (Addis Ababa)

CEPO fact sheet on the power sharing arrangement

Monday, May 22, 2018 (PW) — The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), unveils a new peace proposal on power sharing and security arrangements as South Sudan’s warring parties and stakeholders at the High Level Revitalization Forum of the 2015 ARCSS in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, signed a partial agreement on the cantonment of forces and reaffirmed their commitment to the cessation of hostilities agreement.

IGAD was compelled to release the “Abridging Proposal” after the failure of the warring parties to resolve outstanding issues pertaining to power sharing and security arrangements of the revitalized transitional government of national unity. Under the new IGAD’s compromised peace proposal, the revitalized transitional government will be headed by a president nominated by the current government of national unity in Juba under the leadership of President Kiir, 1st VP Gen. Taban Deng and VP Dr. James Wani. (more…)


Chances for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in South Sudan falters at the HLRF in Addis Ababa as warring parties struggle to save faces amid crushing Deadlock and tight deadline

By Emmanuel Ariech Deng, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Emmanuel Ariech Deng

Emmanuel Ariech Deng is the PaanLuel Wel Media (PW) correspondent covering the HLRF of the 2015 peace process in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

 

Monday, May 21, 2018 (PW) — Chances for a timely conclusion and peacefully resolution of the raging conflict in South Sudan are faltering in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, as the final day of the IGAD-led High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) of the 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) is marked by a crushing deadlock, characterized by partisan blame gaming and political haggling among the warring parties.

As of this evening, IGAD, the East African regional bloc that has been mediating the peace process since December 2013, has pushed HLRF until tomorrow, giving more time for the secretariat to complete its work on the report of South Sudan Council of Churches in conclusion of its consultation process that has been going on for five days in the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa building in the heart of Addis Ababa city.

The negotiation file is still with the Church Group until tomorrow to bring the parties to the plenary consensus. There are reports that the IGAD council of ministers will take over the decision to adjourn or extend the talks by tomorrow. The media was lately informed today in the evening to convene tomorrow at nine for a detailed report.

Speaking during the press briefing this evening, Hon. Michael Makwei Lueth, the government spokesperson, had this to say: “Yes, this morning the intra-South Sudanese dialogue continued with its task and yesterday, the two sub-committees of governance and security had presented their reports to the leadership committee.” (more…)


Major breakthrough reported at the HLRF as Government delegation endorses the formation of an inclusive revitalized transitional government

By Emmanuel Ariech Deng, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Weeping and prayers at the 4th day of the HLRF

Weeping and prayers at the 4th day of the HLRF

Sunday, May 20, 2018 (PW) — A major progress has been made at the IGAD-led High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) of the 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) as government delegation endorsed the formation of an inclusive revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (TGONU) in Juba, South Sudan.

The breakthrough was announced via a press statement this afternoon in Addis Ababa by South Sudan’s minister for information and government spokesperson, Michael Makwei Lueth. “So far we have agreed on inclusivity. This is something agreed even though we are still in disagreement on the type of inclusivity,” Hon. Michael Makwei revealed. He also added that the warring parties have agreed on cantonment of all forces.

According to Michael Makwei, this is a major concession on the part of the government which has been insisting on maintaining the status quo in Juba, with President Salva Kiir, 1st Vice President Taban Deng and Vice President James Wani Igga, at the helm of the revitalized transitional government. The SPLM-IO has proposed that the composition of the revitalized transitional government should include all parties invited to and currently participating at the HLRF in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. (more…)


This is an excerpt from the introduction to the speeches, before and after independence, of President Salva Kiir, “Salva Kiir Mayardit: The Joshua of South Sudan,” edited and published by Simon Yel Yel and PaanLuel Wel in February 2016

By PaanLuel Wel (Juba) and Simon Yel Yel (Kampala)

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Wednesday, May 16, 2018 (PW) — May 26, 1983, marked the day President Kiir revolted against Khartoum’s repressive regime and joined his comrades in the bush. By then, Captain Salva Kiir was a mid-level military intelligence officer in the Sudanese army stationed in Malakal, Southern Sudan. His rebellion came in the wake of the May 16th Bor and May 20th Ayod Uprisings led by Major Kerubino Kuanyin Bol and Major William Nyuon Bany respectively.

Why did it take that long—from May 16th up to May 26th —before Salva Kiir rebelled against Khartoum? This was mainly because he was the one coordinating the security and intelligence of the Underground group. For example, when Khartoum decided to launch a dawn attack on Bor, it was Salva Kiir who passed that message to John Garang in Bor informing them that Khartoum had finally decided to attack Bor. Using that insider information which only an officer in the Sudanese military intelligence could have access to, John Garang and Kerubino Kuanyin were able to strategize and repulse the dawn attack with minimal casualties on their sides.

Secondly, when Khartoum dispatched a battalion from Malakal to take reinforcement to Bor, Salva Kiir passed that crucial message to John Garang and William Nyuon. After the troops arrived in Ayod on their way to Bor, Nyuon lured their officers into a bogus meeting during which they were arrested and killed. Their soldiers were then attacked and scattered, never to reach Bor. (more…)


The Commissioner of Kongor County, Gen. Garang Bul Pageer, announces the establishment of four Payams (4) and sixteen (16) Bomas of Kongor County in Jonglei State, South Sudan

By PaanLuel Wël, Kongor, Jonglei State

Customary book, final cover July 2017

The Customary Laws of the Greater Bor Dinka Community: Legal and Basic Rules for Self-Administration, 2017 Paperback – 28 Jul 2017, edited by Makwei Mabioor Deng (Editor), available on Amazon

April 8, 2018 (SSB) —- In a decree entitled, “Establishment of Kongor County Structure in the level of Payams and Bomas”, the Commissioner of Kongor County, Gen. Garang Bul Pageer Alaak, announces the establishment of four payams (4) and sixteen (16) Bomas in Kongor County, Jonglei State, South Sudan. As per the stipulations of the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, in regard to traditional authorities, a Paramount Chief is in charge of a County, a Head Chief is in charge of a Payam, an Executive Chief is in charge of a Boma while a Sub-Chief is in charge of a Village. In Jonglei state, each county is allocated four payams, with each Payam comprising of four Bomas. Therefore, Kongor County has four head chiefs, one of whom also doubles as the acting paramount chief – acting because the selection of new paramount chiefs (as well as all other traditional posts) is pending general election. Head Chief Duot Ajang Duot (Duot-mang’ai) is the acting paramount chief of Kongor County while Thon Diing Duot, Chol Tor Deng Yong and Dau Tor Akuei are the acting Head Chiefs. The four head chiefs in charge of the four payams are assisted by 16 executive chiefs in charge of 16 Bomas. Each Boma consists of one executive chief and three sub-chiefs, a total of four.

The four (4) payams of Kongor County announced by Commissioner Garang Bul Pageer are: Pakuor Payam (Piom-Wun-Aguer, Piom-Awan, Than-Anyieer and Pachol) under Paramount Chief Duot Ajang Duot; Payom Payam (Mabior, Duk-Peeny, Khiir and Dier-Roor) under Head Chief Thon Diing Duot; Garalei Payam (Piom-Bioor, Manyang, Badhoot, and Agom) under Head Chief Chol Tor Deng Yong, and Pageer Payam (Pamot, Pajomba, Piom-Ang’uet and Agher-Rot) under Head Chief Dau Tor Akuei. The sixteen (16) Bomas of Kongor County are: Piom-Awun-Aguer Boma under Executive Chief Chol Alaak Pageer; Piom-Awan Boma under Executive Chief Barach Aruei Barach; Than-Anyieer Boma under Executive Chief Bol Nyuon Akoi; Pachol Boma under Executive Chief Kulang Dau Lual; Mabior Boma Executive Chief Maluk Chol Bul; Duk-Peeny Boma under Executive Chief Makwei Bior Awuol; Khiir Boma under Executive Chief Agoth Ajang Aguer; Dier-Roor Boma under Executive Chief Bul Gak Bul; Piom-Bioor Boma under Executive Chief Ajang Dhieu Ajang; Manyang Boma under Executive Chief Dhieu Maketh Deu; Badhoot Boma under Executive Chief Ariik Bol Ariik; Agom Boma under Executive Chief Atem Achuoth Panyagor; Pamot Boma under Executive Chief Awuol Deng Awuol; Pajomba Boma under Executive Chief Akoi Apiook Bol; Piom-Ang’uet Boma under Executive Chief Akol Mabior Jok, and Aghek-Rot Boma under Executive Chief Aguer Ajang Kuir.

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The Principles of Tribocracy (Part 8)

Posted: February 9, 2018 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers, PaanLuel Wël, Philosophy

Debunking the Myth of the 64 Tribes of South Sudan

The purpose of this article is to debunk the prevalent myth of the so-called 64 tribes of South Sudan, by arguing that there is no coherent and sound basis for how the original architects of the “64 tribes” could have logically arrived at number “64” with respect to the definition of the word tribe. Instead, the article proposes 10 nationalities, with 131 tribes, of the Republic of South Sudan. Nonetheless, the conclusion of the article is that neither the nationalities nor the tribes per se truly reflects and presents the political reality of the country – hence, the imperativeness of tribocracy.

By PaanLuel Wël, Bor, 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.

February 9, 2018 (SSB) — South Sudan, like much of Sub-Saharan Africa, is a tribal nation. Government is formed and run along tribal lines; war and rebellion are declared and fought along tribal lines; corruption and nepotism are initiated and perpetuated along tribal lines; employment and scholarship opportunities are offered and obtained along tribal lines; job and army promotions are done along tribal lines. Marriages and social events are conducted along tribal lines. More often than not, everything is done and run along tribal lines in South Sudan. Therefore, tribalism is the modus operandi and the basic organizing unit of the South Sudanese society is the tribe. If so, then which are the tribes of South Sudan? By conventional wisdom, there are 64 tribes in the Republic of South Sudan. In this article, this conventional wisdom will be referred to as the 64-tribe paradigm.

According to Gurtong Trust – Peace and Media Project, these 64 tribes are: the Dinka, the Nuer, the Zande, the Bari, the Kakwa, the Kuku, the Mundari, the Nyangwara, the Pojullu, the Acholi, the Shilluk (Chollo), the Anyuak (Anyuaa), the Balanda-Boor, the Balanda-Bviri, the Bongo, the Jurchol (Luo), the Maban, the Jur Man-Ang’eer, the Pari, the Shatt (Thuri), the Adio (Makaraka), the Lotuka (Otuho), the Dongotona, the Ifoto, the Imatong, the Lango, the Logir, the Lokoya, the Lopit, the Avukaya, the Baka, the Jur (Beli & Modo), the Keliku, the Lugbwara, the Lulubo, the Madi, the Moro, the Moro Kodo, the Mundu, the Uduk, the Didinga, the Larim (Boya), the Murle, the Tenet, the Suri (Kachipo), the Aja, the Bai, the Banda, the Binga, the Feroghe, the Gollo, the Indri, the Kara, the Mangayat, the Ndogo, the Ngulngule, the Sere, the Woro, the Yulu, the Toposa, the Jiye (Jie), the Nyangatom, and the Tid.

While many South Sudanese intellectuals and foreign observers have consistently lauded the dazzling beauty of “unity in diversity” presented by the 64 tribes, few have bothered themselves to inquire into the genesis of these 64 tribes. More so, there has been little debate on the methodology and framework used to probe into and arrive at the 64 tribes. How, for example, was it possible that some ethnic groups such as the Bari speakers, with similar language, common descent, culture and history, have been divided up into various tribes while others such as the Dinka and Nuer speakers, with similar language, common descent, culture and history, have been lumped together as one tribe respectively?

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By PaanLuel Wël, Juba, South Sudan

Bush-kiir

President Bush with President Salva Kiir at the Oval Office, White House

January 23, 2018 (SSB) — The governments of the United States and Australia are planning to deport a combined total of about 413 South Sudanese natives, majority of them reportedly from the Dinka community alone. Around 227 South Sudanese natives are slated for deportation from the US while more 186 South Sudanese natives are under detention in Australia, awaiting deportation to Juba, South Sudan.

According to federal laws on Immigration and Citizenship from the USA and the Commonwealth of Australia, nationals of foreign countries who have been in the country as permanent residents for less than a decade are subject to deportation to their countries of origin if they engage in the violations of immigration or/and criminal laws.

The 413 natives of South Sudan awaiting deportation to Juba are accused of participating in criminal acts such as armed robberies, mugging, carjacking and home invasions, which make them liable to be deemed as a major threat to public safety. Unbeknown to them, engaging in such violent activities is a major violation of their visa rules which they signed up to as part of their resettlement processes in Australia and the USA.

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The Episcopal Church elects Bishop Justin Badi Arama of the Diocese of Maridi to replace Archbishop Dr. Daniel Deng Bul as Primate and Archbishop of South Sudan

By PaanLuel Wël, Juba, South Sudan

Justin Badi, elected Primate of the Anglican church in south Sudan and Sudan

The Episcopal Church elects Bishop Justin Badi Arama of the Diocese of Maridi to replace Archbishop Dr. Daniel Deng Bul as Primate and Archbishop of South Sudan

January 20, 2018 (SSB) — The Episcopal Church of South Sudan has elected Rt. Rev. Justin Badi Arama, the bishop of Maridi Diocese, as Primate and Archbishop of South Sudan. Initially, there were four candidates vying to succeed Archbishop Dr. Daniel Deng Bul as the Primate and Archbishop of South Sudan: Bishop Francis Loyo of Rokon Diocese and the Dean of the Province of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan; Bishop Monday Bismark Avokaya of Mundri Diocese; Bishop Justin Badi Arama of Maridi Diocese, and Bishop Abraham Yel Nhial of Aweil Diocese.

However, on the eve of the voting day at the All Saints Cathedral in Juba, Bishop Francis Loyo and Bishop Monday Bismark Avokaya dropped out on their own volitions. Thus, it became a hotly contested, two horse race, between Bishop Justin Badi Arama of Maridi Diocese and Bishop Abraham Yel Nhial of Aweil Diocese. There were 159 eligible Electoral College voters. When voting was conducted, counting done and results announced, the two candidates were separated by a mere single vote. Bishop Justin Badi Arama of Maridi Diocese won with 80 votes, while Bishop Abraham Yel Nhial of Aweil Diocese got 79 votes.

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By PaanLuel Wël, Juba, South Sudan

RSS Flag

A young South Sudanese girl poses with the flag of South Sudan

January 6, 2018 (SSB) — This is a humorized account of the persons of the year – the most influential South Sudanese leaders for the year 2017. To the reader, catch feelings at your own risk. To our dear leaders honored herein, congratulations for making it to the list of the most influential South Sudanese leaders of the year 2017. To the security agents, chill and enjoy. To the unknown gunmen, yeng’o man? Let’s begin, shall we?

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“We the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, with so little, for so long, we are now qualified to do anything, with nothing”

Prepared by the Editorial Team

PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB): The Best Articles, Writers, of the Year 2016

December 31, 2017 (SSB) — Last year 2016, we highlighted and celebrated our writers by showcasing their writings for the year 2016. As part of that tradition, we bring to your desk/screen the best of 2017 as featured on PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese bloggers (SSB) website.

The year 2017, in some hours, will dwindle into the past, and the people of South Sudan, along with the rest of the world, will welcome 2018. Every New Year is a joyful festival, a celebration of the last year achievements, accomplishments that include being alive and healthy, recognizing the selfless young leaders, whether in journalism, governance, or other important issues such as women’s rights issues, economic growth, conflicts and peace.

This year, our country, with its suffering population, has been featured hundreds over hundreds of websites all over the world, mostly in a bad light. However, PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese bloggers (SSB), our own website, occupies the central stage in publishing opinion articles and analysis featuring ordinary South Sudanese, which make sense of the dire situations in our beloved country.

It is also an instrumental informant to South Sudanese worldwide because it publishes writings from South Sudanese, both within and outside the country. These opinions explain the general and specific lives and situations of South Sudanese in countries such as Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand, USA, UK, EU and many other places where South Sudanese are taking refuge.

Instead of being constrained by the ritual of the “top 10” best opinion articles and writers, we have elected to showcase the rich compilations of the best writings from the best opinion writers and sociopolitical and economic analysts. By “best” we simply have in mind a piece of writing that best highlight the horrors of the civil war and economic crisis that our people are enduring in dignified humiliation; a piece of writing that best capture and present not just a constructive criticism of our leaders from all sides of the political, economic and conflict divides, but also a feasible resolution of the ills that has been ailing our country since the advent of the CPA and into independence.

Today, PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese bloggers (SSB) is celebrating the diverse and excellent articles and news analysis of our best writers and acknowledging the work of other hundred contributors, columnists and opinion-writers whose names or works won’t appear in this article. We got lots of writers on our website, and it is imperative to motivate and encourage them with something unique to mark the end of the year 2017 and the commencement of a happy – prosperous and peaceful – New Year 2018:

Here is the 2017 review:

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

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

By PaanLuel Wël, Juba, South Sudan

RSS coat of ARMS

South Sudan’s coat of arms, in which the eagle symbolizes vision, strength, resilience, and majesty, and the shield and spear the people’s resolve to protect the sovereignty of their republic and work hard to feed it.

I: General Introduction

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

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

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

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

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

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Uhuru Kenyatta

“Pres. Uhuru asking Pres. Kiir: “Will you detain him again if things go wrong?” Kiirdit: Hey, inu if he rebels again, I will detain him.” Caption by Madit Magot

Like most of my fellow Junubeen whose Kenya is the second home—and who are more conversant with the political intrigues, and politicians, of Kenya than they are of their own in South Sudan—the voting process has been so far so good. It is only a matter of about 30 mins (5 pm EAT) before all voting process stop, and the critical stage commences: the counting and transmission of votes from polling stations across the country to the central polling center at the Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi city, where vote tallying will begin to determine the winners. This is the most critical phase of the election process and where tempers might flare up. That stage will commence in about 3 hours’ time or so, once votes start arriving from the over 40 thousand polling stations across the country. As we all wait and pray for calm voting process and peaceful election outcome for Kenya, may the best candidate emerge the presidential winner, irrespective of their political leaning and ethnic background. Let’s remember that any violence in Kenya will devastate South Sudan and could lead to the fall of the government in Juba ~~~~Monologue from PaanLuel Wel~~~~~