Archive for the ‘Philosophy’ Category

By Dr. Wal Duany
Joint Ph.D. Program of the Department of Political Science
and the School of Public and Environmental Affairs
Indiana University
Bloomington, Indiana

Neither Palaces nor Prisons: The Constitution of Order among the Nuer, a PhD dissertation by Dr. Michael Wal Duany, Indiana University, USA (PDF)



The two-theoretical approach in Dr. Wal Duany’s dissertation at the Indiana State University, USA, about the Nuer People: Do they have any implication with the current crisis in the Republic of South Sudan?

“Not so with the Nuer. . . . Their institutions are invisible. Every now and then a regulatory idea surfaces and marshals activity, then sinks out of sight, while another becomes visible in its effect upon movements of cattle and people. If they can be said to have anything corresponding to political institutions, these have absolutely no physical form, no architecture of palaces or prisons, no embodiment in piles of stones. . .” (Johnson, 1980, as cited in Duany 1992).

By Dr. Simon Wuor Gai, Nebraska, USA

Nuer white army

South Sudan Rebels: Nuer White Army Fighters

September 8, 2017 (SSB) — While this author is neither a political science major nor a historian by profession, I like to read stuff that is relevant to our contemporary societies, particularly the two Sudan’s—South and the North. There is significant evidence that any decision-making process can be maximized within the context of knowing the unlimited body of knowledge. In this context, I always push myself to capitalize on my current expertise to other areas, where I am not a subject matter expert in or anything along those lines.

With that being said, I find it interesting when reading Dr. Wal Duany’s dissertation at the Indiana State University where he addressed the Nuer’s constitution order by examining the two-fundamental theoretical knowledge in his capacity as a political science’s scholar. To conceptualize the Nuer’s social order, Dr. Wal Duany compared the two theories, the Acephalous and Autocephalous theoretical understanding against the Nuer people to unearth the strength or weak social order of the Nuer tribe from the Republic of Sudan in his dissertation—South Sudan was not independence yet by then.


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.


By Simon Deng Kuol Deng, New York, USA


Do Not Confuse a Camouflaged Call for Confederation for Call Federalism

June 6, 2017 (SSB) — The Constitutional structure of American federalism distributes authority and powers between the national and state governments. These powers distribute to the national and state government are involved the exclusive powers and other powers, which must be shared by the national and state governments. This paper focuses on analyzing the definition of American federalism; powers divide and share by the national and state governments; advantages and disadvantages of American federalism; role of the national courts in defining the divisions of the powers, which include the concurrent shared powers between the national and state governments; and national budget as a tool of federalism for delegating authority to the states.


As it has often been the case in American history, federalism system is once again a major focus of political debate (LaCroix, 2010) of how the national and state government could have the relationship to serve the Americans accordingly to the powers that the Constitution of the United States and states have provided. The relationship of the national government to the states has been the subject of intense debate since the founding (Magleby et la., 2014) of American federalism. Alison LaCroix’s new book traces the modem debate over federalism back to its 18th-century origins.

In her view, 18th century Americans developed a new federal ideology characterized by the core belief that multiple independent levels of government could legitimately exist within a single polity (Benton, 1985) and that such an arrangement was not a defect to be lamented but a virtue to be celebrated (Benton, 1985). The debates of the 1760s through the 1780s culminated in a new constitutionalization of federalism, a process that was continued into the 1800s.


Crises in Context: South Sudan with Alan Boswell

By Ariun Enkhsaikhan, Communications Associate

Alan Boswell is a journalist, writing on South Sudan, conflict and statebuilding. This interview was conducted as part of the “Crises in Context” educational awareness campaign at Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights.


The tragicomedy of the South Sudanese politics: SPLM-IG vs SPLM-IO

In what context and in which environment did you experience South Sudan?

I first came to South Sudan as a journalist in 2009, and then moved to South Sudan in early 2010 through the April 2010 elections and 2011 referendum and independence. I’ve traveled in and out of South Sudan and Sudan ever since doing journalism and conflict research.

How have your feelings towards the situation in South Sudan evolved over the past six years, since its independence?

Thanks to my travels around South Sudan and up-close exposure to South Sudan’s toxic politics, I never was bullish on South Sudan as a stable country or the [Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM)] as a ruling party, which is evident in the articles I wrote leading up to independence and soon after. Still, all of us who witnessed South Sudan’s birth as a country experienced the hope embodied in its independence. The collapse of South Sudan may not be a surprise but that has made the catastrophe no less depressing to watch.

As far as an evolution in my thinking on South Sudan: At first, as a journalist, I was very focused on America’s problematic and largely-deluded love affair with South Sudan’s ruling party, the SPLM. In the years since, I’ve come to view South Sudan’s challenges as far more rooted in its structural deficits as a political or security entity than in any particular shortfalls of its leaders and institutions. (This perspective is very much a minority one in the policy world, which instinctually adheres to the Great Man theory of history.) South Sudan was a radical political experiment in reverse-engineered statebuilding – a radical experiment really without precedent, undertaken without the depth of consideration or care that such an experiment demanded. The experiment failed and continues to fail at the cost of far too many lives and the destruction of whole societies. We didn’t care enough to know better. We still don’t. Thus far there has been very little attempt to even try and learn the lessons of what went wrong.


Juba Regime Carries Secularism to the Grave

By Dr. Costello Garang Ring Lual, Germany

John Garang wih the family of Jambo

Dr. John Garang with the family of Jambo

April 19, 2017 (SSB) — Secularism means the separation of State and Church or Mosque or Synagogue. The term is not synonymous with atheism or permissiveness, as is often feared by conservative religious societies or somehow misunderstood by those with permissive tendencies, as we now witness in Juba.

Dr. John Garang used to argue, when the complex issue of the implementation of the Islamic Sharia and the institution of an “Islamic state” in Sudan was being discussed, that the state doesn’t go to the mosque to pray and hence shouldn’t be described as “Islamic”.

In most of my last discussions with Sheikh Hassan Turabi before he passed on, he kept repeating his well-known position on the issue of diverse “book religions”. He said that all book religions; Christianity and Judaism included, in “their pure not distorted or westernised forms”, are pure Islam.

These book religions demand total “submission to God”, which leads to the term Islam. Such understanding means that the term “Islamic” is not necessarily needed to have an “Islamic state”, which according to Turabi’s final position, could be home to Christians and Jews alike, since he saw them all as Muslims, “who submitted to God”.


By Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda

New Sudan Vision-John Garang


March 21, 2017 (SSB) — National building begins with ideological building.  Without defining and identifying proper ideology, the nation remains confused, corrupt and stranded.  As it has been defined, an ideology is a collection of beliefs held by an individual, group or society. It can also be described as a set of conscious and unconscious ideas which make up one’s beliefs, goals, expectations, and motivations.

 In this regard, an ideology is a comprehensive normative vision that is followed by people, governments, or other groups that is considered the correct way by the majority of the population, as argued in several philosophical tendencies. Hence, as those of Karl Marx and Frederick Engel observed in their work, the ideology is set of ideas proposed by the dominant class of society such as the elite to be followed by all members of society.

In relation to politics, the ideology refers to the system of abstracted meaning applied to public matters, thus making it central to politics. Implicitly, in societies that distinguish between public and private life, every political or economic tendency entails ideology, whether or not it is propounded as an explicit system of thought. In the Althusserian sense, Ideology is “the imaginary relation to the real conditions of existence”.

Where the nation does not have a clear ideology like South Sudan, the whole system becomes corrupt as there is no ideology that directs people on what to do, when to do it, where to do it, how to do it and why it should be done.


How tribalism drives graft and impedes real progress

By Makau Mutua | Saturday, Mar 11th 2017


I have said it before, and will do so here again — no nation, or people, have ever become great without a great elite. Countries are only as great as their elites. Several states in Asia — South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, China, Japan, and India — are Exhibit A.

Even North Korea — in spite of being ruled by a dynasty of a megalomaniacal family of dictators — has proven that a tiny state can exert power on the global stage. Not every lunatic can do what test-tube dictator Kim Jong Un is doing — unsettle and paralyse the great United States into a checkmate. That’s why I want to interrogate the cancer of corruption, and how it stunts states. My definition of corruption isn’t boilerplate.

Let’s take South Korea as a singular illustration of my thesis. In the early 1960s, South Korea was as underdeveloped — and backward — as Kenya, or Ghana. But in three decades, South Korea became a top-15 global economy where Kenya and Ghana remained mired at the bottom of the heap. South Koreans over 50 years of age have a faint memory of unheated huts, earthen floors, and muddy roads.


Past Governments: The Interplay Between Power Politics and Ethnicity in the Republic of South Sudan under a Tribocratic Paradigm (Part 2)

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.

March 6, 2017 (SSB) — They say that a picture is worth thousand words. And indeed the following illustrative figures, based on past governments of President Salva Kiir Mayaardit, paint a telling picture of the dynamic interplay between power politics and ethnicity in the Republic of South Sudan under a Tribocratic Paradigm.

This is a summary of tribocratic analysis of President Kiir’s past government according to the prevailing political forces–four political caucuses, thirteen political constituencies and one hundred and thirty five political sections–in South Sudan, based on The Principles of Tribocracy—Part 5


Past Governments: The Interplay Between Power Politics and Ethnicity in the Republic of South Sudan under a Tribocratic Paradigm (Part 1)

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.

February 26, 2017 (SSB) — They say that a picture is worth thousand words. And indeed the following illustrative figures, based on past governments of President Salva Kiir Mayaardit, paint a telling picture of the dynamic interplay between power politics and ethnicity in the Republic of South Sudan under a Tribocratic Paradigm.


Morphophonemic Reforms in Thuɔŋjäŋ Orthography: An Excerpt from “Thuɔŋjäŋ Cïdmënde”

Morphophonemic Reforms in Thuɔŋjäŋ Orthography: An Excerpt from “Thuɔŋjäŋ Cïdmënde” (Click the PDF)

“Ideas are constructed in specific languages, and if we believe that ideas are important in development, in the determination of relations of wealth, power and values in a society, then … we cannot divorce issues of language and writing from issues of wealth, power and values” and as such, the contemporary African intellectuals “…will grow their roots in African languages and cultures. They will also learn the best they can from all world languages and cultures. They will view themselves as scouts in foreign linguistic territories and guides in their own linguistic space. In other words, they will take whatever is most advanced in those languages and cultures and translate those ideas into their own languages. They will see their role as that of doing for African languages and cultures what all writers and intellectuals of other cultures and histories have done for theirs”, Ngugi wa Thiong’o

By Alëw Majɔg Alëw, Malaysia


1.0 Introduction

Whereas Thuɔŋjäŋ is arguably one of the few written and well researched South Sudanese languages, a host of orthographic challenges remain unresolved. These challenges are rooted in the unmarked phonemes and inaccurate morphophonemic designations that emanated from earlier missionary work in the language. There is a general consensus among a handful of western linguists, who researched into the language, on the approach that any new orthographic reforms, necessary as most of them content, should follow.

Nevertheless, discussions and proposals for reforms have so far focused on mostly the vowel system (representation of tones and length, having had the breathiness aspect already settled by Dhuruai’s umlauted vowels). The morphophonemic anomalies which form part of the reforms proposed in “Thuɔŋjäŋ Cïdmëndë”, a radical proposal for a total revision and revam of Thuɔŋjäŋ orthography and grammar, have not been raised or addressed anywhere in the available literature on  the language. This note, an excerpt from “Thuɔŋjäŋ Cïdmënde”, provides a brief explanation and illustration on only the morphophonemic reforms on [b, p], [d, t], [dh, th], [k, g], [u, w] and [i, y] as codas in lone morphemes (or single basic word unit) and for [u, w] and [i, y] as nuclei (or median letters in words).

Credibility of these reforms

For the benefit of readers, I would like to, first and foremost, underline that I am not a linguist nor did I have a conventional training in this field to speak with authority on these proposed reforms. But usually linguists work with native speakers of a language in issues like these. Hence, as a passionate and analytical native speaker, I will attempt to illustrate the logic that necessitates these reforms which I believe are necessary to adopt if we are to retain the authenticity and ease the grammar of the language, Thuɔŋjäŋ. Radical as they may be, I hope they will be understandable and sensible to other native speakers.

Furthermore, the proposal on these reforms is a conclusion of observational and intuitive research work done with many Muɔnyjiëëŋ/Jiëëŋ; those who are literate in other languages as well as Thuɔŋjäŋ and those who are completely illiterate (only monolingual in spoken Thuɔŋjäŋ). While the former group may sometimes have their pronunciations corrupted under the influence of second langauges they are literate in, observations from the latter group remarkably manifest and support the validity of these reforms. It is therefore helpful to refer to this group where further investigations and substantiation are needed.

Another point to underscore is that, unlike dialect-specific spelling and other grammatical issues, these observations cut across all dialects and are in no way dialect constrained (at least as far as I have noted from my discussion with speakers of different dialects).


By Simon Deng Kuol Deng, New York, USA


Demo-cracy or Demo-crazy?

November 8, 2016 (SSB) — My political philosophy is rooted on high degrees of believing that God has created humans with the rights and responsibility to recognize the necessity of having kind of nation state and government as the repository of the power aimed at protecting their common interests. Humans used to distinguish the functions of the nation state and government as the functions of public affairs, which means that, they recognize themselves as the possessors of the nation state and government.

Furthermore, humans recognize the offices of the nation state and government as the public offices in which they have rights to delegate individuals who may be interested in doing the public works for consent fixed periods of time for the purposes of providing humans’ legal needs such as law and order, security needs such as national defense, economy needs such as trade and employment, and social needs such as health care and education. While, they used to consider or regard the functions of individuals outside the nation state and government as the private affairs.

The nation state and government offices have designed to remain the public trust for the reason that people entrust the public offices of the state nation and government to the individuals who are capable of responding to the people’s general needs. Thus, the nation state and government consider by people as the repository of power, which they delegate to the public officials for the purposes of protecting the common or public interests. People expect public officials to serve the public interest with fairness and also manage public resources properly on a daily basis.


Captain John Garang’s February 1972 letter to Ambassador Dominic Akech Mohammed

Southern Sudan, 5 February, 1972 

Dear Dominic:

Thank you for the correspondence you dispatched to this end on January 25th, instantly. Very lucky, I go them today from Kampala through the lorry. It is lucky because I am leaving tomorrow morning for the interior, about 500 miles footwork from where we last met and I will not be back for over 7 months, maybe more.

Find here enclosed a copy of a letter I wrote to General Lagu and the negotiations committee. I have handwritten it (it is 2:00 a.m) since I have packed my typewriter for tomorrow’s long journey. You may type it and if necessary you have my permission to use it BUT AFTER the negotiations ONLY so as not to prejudice the same. As you can see I am not in favor of these so-called negotiations nor do I have any illusions that much will come out of them. What is more, a settlement with the enemy at the present time is not in the best interests of the Southern Sudanese people, the Sudanese people and the African people for some of the reasons given in the attached seven page letter.


28 states of RSS

The 28 states of the Republic of South Sudan

July 7, 2016 (SSB) — In his remarks during a workshop in Juba attended by the spokesperson of Dr. Riek Machar and President Kiir press secretary Ateny Wek Ateny, General Paul Malong Awan declared that the national army will be restructured based on the policy of proportional representation of all ethnic communities of South Sudan.

Quoting the SPLA chief of general staff, Lt. Gen. Paul Malong Awan, this is how National Courier reports the news:

“BILPHAM: SPLA to adopt proportional representation to curtail tribal dominance. ‪The SPLA Chief of General Staff, LTGEN Paul Malong Awan has announced that the SPLA shall start implementing the policy of proportional representation. Lt. Gen Malong said, ‘I have agreed to transform the army to represent all ethnicities as per country population of tribes to avoid domination of army’ by any one given tribe. This means that the number of personnel of the SPLA of a given tribe shall reflect representative percentage in the overall population of that given tribe. For example, if Zande represents 5% of the entire population of South Sudan then the number of personnel of Zande origin in the SPLA shall be 5% of the entire army. This shall apply as well to the officer corps, where 5% of the entire officer corps shall be Zande etc.”

See “The Principle of Tribocracy (Part 3)”, section IV (for Dr. Riek Machar) and section V (for President Kiir), written in March 2015, for more information about the application of tribocracy to the national army (security quandary during the IGAD peace negotiation).

By David Mayen Ayarbior, Juba, South Sudan

our founding fathers, splm-a

Salva Kiir, John Garang, William Nyuon, Arok Thon and Kerubino Kuanyin

May 9, 2016 (SSB) —- Under this column (“Notes of Statecraft”) in the esteemed newspaper The Nation Mirror as-well-as on the esteemed online blog, I intend to sometimes post a few extracts from my 2013 book titled “House of War: Civil War and State Failure in Africa.”  This is motivated by the fact that not so many people have come across the book and my belief that knowledge sharing is the engine of social progress. The extracts bellow are from Chapter Three (Literature Review) where I engaged various perspectives of other writers on causes of state failure in Africa (Page 38-41). We can thus look at some sociostructural causes of state failure as viewed by a couple of African writers:

Said Adjumobi (2001), an African historian, attributes state failure in Africa to the structure of modern African states in which the main binding sociopolitical force between citizens is the institutionalization of ethnic entitlements rather than citizenship. He observes that the term nation-state suggests a collectivity of nationalities all bound together in a state through the tie of citizenship. Hence, he defines the institution of citizenship as, “that political artifact through which a state constitutes and perpetually reproduces itself as a form of social organization” (p.152).


A Tribocratic Analysis of the New Cabinet for the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) of South Sudan

In this article, the author argues that the recent formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGONU) has violated the principle of Tribocracy because President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar have marginalized the Dinka (-4%), Equatorians (-3%) and Nuer (-2%) while over-representing the Minority Group (+9%). The Dinka should have been given 16 ministers; the Equatorians 13 ministers; the Nuer 8 ministers and the Minority Group 4 ministers, which translates to 38%, 32%, 19% and 11% of the cabinet respectively.

By PaanLuel Wël, Bor, Jonglei State

28 states of RSS

The 28 states of the Republic of South Sudan


May 4, 2016 (SSB)  —  Under tribocratic dispensation, there are four political caucuses, seventeen political constituencies and numerous political sections in the Republic of South Sudan. The political caucuses are the Dinka, Nuer, Equatorian and the Minority Group. The Minority Group are those ethnic communities that are not Dinka, not Nuer and not Equatorian, such as the Shilluk, Murle, Fertit, Anyuak etc. The political constituencies, a subset of the political caucuses, are: the Rek Dinka, Agaar Dinka, Padang Dinka and Bor Dinka for the Dinka political caucus; the Western, Central and Eastern Equatorians for the Equatorian political caucus; the Lou Nuer, the Jikany Nuer, the Liech Nuer and the Phow Nuer for the Nuer political caucus, and lastly, the Shilluk, Fertit, Mukaji, Buny, Anyuak and Luo for the Minority Group political caucus. Based on the 2008 census, the Dinka political caucus represent 38% of the national population; the Equatorian 32%; the Nuer 19%, and the Minority Group 11%.

For the political constituencies within the Dinka political caucus, the Rek Dinka (Gogrial, Tonj and Aweil) represent the largest portion of the national population at 19.86%; the Agaar Dinka (Aliab, Atuot, Agaar, Chiech and Gok) represent 7.93%; the Padang Dinka (Panaruu, Thoi, Abyei, Luach, Ageer, Paweny, Rut, Aloor, Nyiel, Abiliang, Dongjol and Ngok Lual-Yak) represent 5.88%, and the Bor Dinka (Nyarweng, Hol, Bor, and Twic East,) represent 4.50%. For the political constituencies within the Nuer political caucus, the Liech Nuer (Leek, Nyuong, Dok, Bul, Hak, Jangei, and Western Jikany) represent 5.87%; the Jikany Nuer (Gajaak, Gajook and Gaguong) represent 5.29%; the Lou Nuer (Akobo, Nyirol and Uror) represent 5.13%, and the Phow Nuer (Gawaar, Laak and Thiang) represent 3.02%.

For the political constituencies within the Equatorian political caucus, the Central Equatorians (Bari, Mundari, Kuku, Pajulu, Kakwa, Lokoya, Nyangwara, and Keliko) represent 13.36%; the Eastern Equatorians (Lotuho, Buya, Taposa, Madi, Acholi, Lango, Didinga, Logir Lopit, Pari, Tenet, Horiok, Nyagatom, Dongotano) represent 10.99%, and the Western Equatorians (Zande, Mundu, Moru, Balanda, Baka, Avukaya, Jur-Bhel) represent 7.48%. For the political constituencies within the Minority Group political caucus, the Shilluk (Chollo kingdom) represent 2.98%; the Fertit (Balanda, Jur-Chat) represent 2.49%; the Luo (Jur-Chol, Jur-Bhel) represent 2.04%; the Mukaji (Murle, Kachipo and Jie) represent 1.79%; the Anyuak (Pochalla) represent 0.80%, and the Maban (Buny) represent 0.55%.


Kenya is a cruel marriage, it’s time we talk divorce

By DAVID NDII, Nairobi, Kenya


Do Not Confuse a Camouflaged Call for Confederation for Call Federalism

March 28, 2016 (SSB)  —-  A decade ago, Prof Bethuel Ogot, one of the country’s towering intellectuals, pronounced the “Kenya project” dead. Kenya has never been a more distant idea than it is now at the beginning of the 21st Century. Nationalism is dead, replaced by sub-nationalism. The tribe has eaten the nation. Few years ago, the country exploded into an orgy of political violence.

There may be some people who will be wondering why Prof Ogot is talking about Kenya in terms of projects and ideas. Is Kenya not a concrete reality, an internationally recognised sovereign state?

Although the notion of a nation as an idea is an old one, it is Benedict Anderson’s 1983 book Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism that offered the most cogent articulation of the concept, and in so doing shaped the contemporary study of nationalism.


What is Government in the View of Dr. John Garang? Dr. John Garang Talking to the SPLA Military Officers about Leadership and the Role of the Government in Readiness for the Post-CPA Era in the Republic of South Sudan


The Genius of Dr. John Garang: Speeches on the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA); Paperback – November 26, 2015 by Dr. John Garang (Author), PaanLuel Wël (Editor)

November 27, 2015 (SSB)  —  With the advent of peace, comrades, we have reached a new phase of our armed struggle, a new phase of transforming the guns and the bullets—that is military power—into political power, and using the political power to achieve socio-economic development rapidly. This is because there is no meaning of revolution—the revolution is meaningless, unless it makes our people happy, unless the masses of our people, as a result of our glorious revolution, become prosperous.

Socio-economic prosperity quantifiable with the degree to which people go ahead and advance in their individual and communal lives: they get food, they get shelter, they get clean drinking water, they get healthcare services, they get social amenities, they get economic infrastructure such as roads, they get jobs and so forth. Unless we provide these essential services to our people, unless the revolution provide these things to our people, then the people will prefer the government of the NIF that provide salt to the government of the SPLM that does not provide anything to its people.

This is simple arithmetic: if the SPLM cannot deliver anything and we just shout REVOLUTION! REVOLUTION!; and yet the cattle of the people are not vaccinated; their children are not vaccinated or sent to school; there is nothing to eat, there are no roads, there are no basic necessities of life—there is no cloth, no needle, not even a razor blade—when the barest minimum of essential things of life are not available, then the people will drive us into the sea, even though there is no sea here, they will find one. Mind you, we have no other choice.


“…it is our survival that is at stake. Therefore, survival itself, if nothing else, will force us to fully implement this document.” —John Garang, January 2002 

John Garang, Salva Kiir, Riek Machar and James Wani Igga

John Garang, Salva Kiir, Riek Machar and James Wani Igga

“”…To your question about whether we, Dr. John Garang and Dr. Riek Machar, are now really reconciled and reunited and whether we are therefore going to honor this peace agreement unlike the 1993 Washington Agreement that you said to have been dishonored by us: well, maybe you have a point to doubt, but at least your doubts should start to go away because here we are in front of you and in front of the international media…With respect to whether we are going to honor this agreement, unlike the 1993 Washington Agreement, my answer is YES, we are serious to abide by it. The agreement does not belong to us, both leadership of the two movements, it belongs to you; it belongs to the people. And so in its implementations, honoring or dishonoring of the agreement, it will be your responsibility as well to hold us to it, as well as it is our responsibility to give guidance with respect to its implementations. Otherwise, as Dr. Riek said, we have suffered long enough, eleven years of suffering, of confusion and of aimless infighting. So the situation as of now, as we said in the signed reconciliation document, it is our survival that is at stake. Therefore, survival itself, if nothing else, will force us to fully implement this [peace] document.””….DR. JOHN GARANG’S STATEMENT AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE PEACE AND RECONCILIATION PROCESS BETWEEN THE SPLM/A AND THE SPDF OF DR. RIEK MACHAR TENY, NAIROBI, KENYA, JANUARY 5-6, 2002


Solution Modalities in the Sudan Conflict as Envisaged Through Dr. John Garang’s Vision of The New Sudan



There are five political scenarios but only two solution models. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. So I will present this analysis using Venn diagrams. ‘Model 3’ is the present Islamic Arab Sudan. It is the problem. The non-Arab and non-Muslims are excluded from this type of Sudan. Now it is even worse. To be included in this Sudan one has to be an NIF.

This model is unstable. It has led to two wars: the Anyanya war and the present SPLM-SPLA war. That is the Old Sudan and it must go or else the Africans can break away and establish an independent state of their own under ‘Model 5’.

We can also have a United Black African Sudan as in ‘Model 4’. It is a hypothetical model but it is not far-fetched. If the thirty one percent Arab population can claim to have an Arab Sudan, there is no reason why the sixty nine percent who are Africans cannot claim a Black African Sudan. This model is also unstable.

The non-Africans can resist this model and call for their own state, also under ‘Model 5’. Then we could agree on the transitional ‘Model 2’. This is the confederal model. The essence of it is that we have two states; one in the North and one in the South linked by a central authority responsible for the matters in which we have an agreement. These are what we call the ‘commonalities’. It is a model to end the war. You end the war by accepting the realities of the country.

There is no way, for instance, in which we can compromise on the question of Islamic Sharia no matter how it is coated. We believe that we must leave the issue of Sharia or no Sharia to each state to decide. Those who want it can have it one hundred percent. They can cut off their hands if they want to. We are opposed to the practice but we are not going to stick out our necks for it.



Meanwhile in the South, we would have a secular state. This model can end the war and can be stable during the interim period. Thus during the interim period, if the Southern economy works very well, the pilgrimage might be to Juba rather than to Mecca.

This is how communism collapsed. It was undermined through the demonstration effect. In this respect, this model is subversive. The Confederal model can lead to the creation of the New Sudan through the expansion of the commonalities over time. This is the preferred outcome of ‘model 1’.

I want to underline here that choosing one of these models is not like multiple choice exam questions where you say, what do you want, A, B, C, D, or E, choose one of them. NO. It is NOT. These models are not electives. Whatever model you choose, you got to fight for it, you got to struggle for it.

And so, for example, in the existing model 3 here of the Arab-Islamic Sudan state, it is in existent and it is in existent by sheer force. It is not there because someone just pick it; it is there simply because it is being enforced by force. If you, for instance, want model 2 or model 1 or model 5, you got to struggle for it, you have to fight for them.

I am saying this, stressing this, because some strange Southerners say we want model 5 (separation) and then they sit back in their chairs and they wait for it to come: but how will it comes ya jamaa? I mean, how could it ever possibly comes to them in their chairs in foreign capital cities, or worse, while they are in Khartoum?