Archive for the ‘Thiik Mou Giir’ Category


By Thiik Mou Giir, Melbourne, Australia

Mandela and John Garang

Nelson Mandela and John Garang

October 3, 2017 (SSB) — In September 28, 2017, I have had my article on Non-Violence Revolution published.  One of the responses I received afterward came from one of South Sudanese Archbishops.  He had asked questions that I have been receiving from time to time.  This article is to address those questions.  But first, read part of what he wrote:

Thanks, Thiik, for sharing this analysis. I wish many of your colleagues in the Diaspora who are fueling the conflict in South Sudan through social media could choose to do something constructive as you are doing rather than promoting tribal conflicts as they are currently doing.  Of course, your analysis has many things which are not practical in the current situation in South Sudan given the military mindset of many of our leaders but could you please shed light on;
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By Thiik Mou Giir, Melbourne, Australia

Social media warriors

Social media warriors

September 24, 2017 (SSB) — Since the outbreak of violence between the soldiers loyal to the government and the soldiers loyal to the opposition in Juba and as well as in other parts of South Sudan in 2013 and which have continued up to this very day, the consequences are now well known.  It is very important that we should reflect and learn from something that has touched every South Sudanese negatively.  In this piece of work, I have examined what violent and non-violent revolutions look like.

This part is that last part and it deals with Non-Violent Revolution.  You may agree with me in saying that non-violent revolution is the lesser evil than violent revolution.  The best and the safest way of changing a regime is through a democratic means – an election.  Anyway, aware that you may want to participate in the discussion, I have assigned a number to each grid for referencing purposes.

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By Thiik Mou Giir, Melbourne, Australia

fighting in juba

fighting in Juba, 2013, 2016

September 16, 2017 (SSB) —- Since the outbreak of violence between the soldiers loyal to the government and the soldiers loyal to the opposition in Juba and as well as in other parts of South Sudan in 2013 and which have continued up to this very day, the consequences are now well known.  It is very important that we should reflect and learn from something that has touched every South Sudanese negatively.

In this piece of work, I have examined what violent and non-violent revolutions look like.  This part deals with violent revolution.  Next week I will have the second part published.  Aware that you may want to participate in the discussion, I have numbered each grid with a number for referencing purposes.

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By Thiik Mou Giir, Melbourne, Australia

Thiik Giir

Thiik Mou Giir, Melbourne, Australia

August 11, 2017 (SSB) — We are locked in our small rooms which are in a big room we called South Sudan.  These are spaces that our tribes and our political parties we are affiliated to, have provided us to live in.  These spaces are increasingly becoming narrower and narrower as the food to eat, water to drink and air to breath are becoming more and more scarce.  This is certainly not the best way to live.

This has directly and indirectly robbed us of our dignity and of our common humanity.  So many of us have become used to living in these little spaces.  The few among us, who showed their rejection of the existing walls of their particular rooms, are reminded again and again that those rooms are the only spaces within which they can move and that those walls are the only limits they can reach.

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By Thiik Mou Giir, Melbourne, Australia       

Thiik Giir.jpg

Thiik Mou Giir 

 

August 3, 2017 (SSB) — I have been told, again and again, that all South Sudanese, wherever they are, will continue to be divided along their tribal lines and their political entities as long as those who caused these divisions are still in power in Juba.  They have also pointed out to me that the only way for my vision to be realized and to be accepted is when those in power are removed.

“Tackle the problem from its roots,” they said.  The implication of this statement is that those in power in Juba are the ones who are guilty of causing the communal fragmentations everywhere.  I do not quite agree with this allegation.  The root cause of the problem, the problem that has divided our communities, stem from the hidden and open activities of all parties who are involved in the armed conflict.

No single group of people, who have taken up arms and fought this far, could have possibly maintained their innocence.  All armed forces to the conflict, the government and the armed opposition forces, and those who support them, whether they accept or deny the blame, have wrecked South Sudan and the communities within South Sudan and in Diaspora.

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By Thiik Mou Giir, Melbourne, Australia        

July 15, 2017 (SSB) — The saying of a Chinese philosopher goes like this: “A journey of a thousand miles…” Just minutes before a community forum, attended by Mr. Ateny Wek Ateny, the Press Secretary of South Sudanese government, in Melbourne, yesterday, I told members of Jieng Union that members of South Sudanese community, as a whole, are not ready, without a well-defined program, to come together and dialogue among themselves.

The incident that had occurred, minutes later, during the forum proceeding, confirmed my point.  After Mr Ateny ended his talk that had focussed on the political situation in South Sudan, Mr. Aleir Ateny Lueth, representing SPLM-IO, was among the few who were given a chance to ask a question or two.

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This is a speech I delivered during an event that took place on 10/6/2017, in Melbourne, Australia

By Thiik Mou Giir, Melbourne, Australia

May 16th: Celebrating the Founding of the SPLM/SPLA

June 15, 2017 (SSB) — The saying of a Chinese philosopher goes like this: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. The step of the liberation journey that eventually led to the independence of South Sudan was marked when Late Major Kerubino Kwanyin Bol who commanded Battalion 105 launched an assault on Government troops in Bor in 16th May 1983.

That Civil war ended on 9th January 2005.  The time span of 1983 up to 2005 was a long time.  That war caused the death of two million people.  That was a high price to pay in exchange for your freedom and my freedom.  That was a high price to pay for the freedom of our children and our children’s children.

Freedom does not come easily; freedom comes following the shedding of the blood.  Freedom, brothers and sisters, comes when a price is paid.  Our brother Malcolm X once said, “The price of freedom is death.”  Major Kerubino Kwanyin paid the ultimate price, so did the rebel movement leader, Dr John Garang De Mabior, so did Commander William Nyuon Bany, so did many more heroes and heroines. They paid the price so that we may all be free.

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By Thiik Mou Giir, Melbourne, Australia

South Sudan National Day of Prayers

April 15, 2017 (SSB) — And the latest armed movement to have been formed is Lt. General Thomas Cirillo’s.  The country has a number of armed movements now.  Is there anyone out there who is still not convinced about the fact that what we are doing to ourselves is that we are committing suicide?

Take the current regime out of equation and you will realize that the situation will remain, more or less, the same.  We will still be thought of as people who are bent on committing suicide.  The dream to obtain power through violent means will continue to be a damn thing upon which South Sudanese will fight for.

Whether that means our people will be displaced from their homes and subjected to live in dire conditions in refugee camps, raped and killed, it seems not to matter for us as long as we have lungs to breath, feet to walk, crawl, run, eyes to see the perceived enemy and, bullets to kill.  Kill.  Kill and do more killings.   – Or, be killed.

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H.E. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit

President of Republic of South Sudan,

Patron of the National Dialogue Initiative

Juba, South Sudan

March 4, 201

By Thiik Mou Giir, Melbourne, Australia

the-politics-of-south-sudan-ig-vs-io

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

Dear Mr. President,

March 4, 2017 (SSB) —- I live in Australia and the worsening situation in South Sudan have affected us in Diaspora.  We have become, more or less, dysfunctional communities.  Dysfunctional, because we are not interacting among ourselves they way we used to do.  Dysfunctional, because our communities have become communities without peace.  When the poison of hatred emanating from the violence in South Sudan is directly and indirectly being instilled into our children’s young minds and souls, we feel we will not have a bright future in Diaspora given the fact that the countries we live in present us with their own realities, realities full of socio-economic issues.  Many of us, therefore, feel duty-bound to contribute with ideas that may bring peace to all the people of South Sudan.

When I heard that you had proposed that this year, 2017, is a year of dialogue, I thought our suffering people would now have a glimpse of hope.  However, I also heard that Dr. Riek Machar-Teny, call the proposal a ‘bogus’ and Mrs. Rebecca Nyandeng DeMabior and others are saying that you are the one to be ‘blamed’ for the situation created in the country and, therefore, you should not possibly be the patron of National Dialogue Initiative.  This argument takes away any possibility for peace.  In my opinion, the grass-roots should step in and attempt to break the deadlock.  The people should be the ones to drive this initiative.  I presume that the leaders would give people a chance to play a role that would determine their own destiny.  In this light, I made a proposal on social media, urging people to join me in writing dialogue peace plan.

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By Thiik Mou Giir, Melbourne, Australia

pray for peace in south sudan

February 25, 2017 (SSB) — The prerequisite of a dialogue is silence; there is no silence and there are no signs whether there would be silence when the time of dialogue comes.  There is noise everywhere.  The noise makes it hard for any potential dialogue participant to think, to reflect and even to sit still properly.  If people are serious and want to be ready to dialogue, then they must work hard in order to create an atmosphere of silence, silence before and throughout dialogue period.  Up to this point of time, there is no silence.

The situation as it stands now, is full of noise.  Those who are creating this noisy environment are the national army, the opposition forces, the social media and non-social media activists and propagandists, the government defectors and the rebellion defectors, the G10s, the people who are stealing public money, and the secretive non-South Sudanese, who are fanning the war while making profit out of it.

All these people, with smoking guns in their hands, have created this noisy environment.  As it has been, many people are shooting and the conditions thereby created is certainly devoid of being an environment conducive to a productive and positive dialogue.

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By Thiik Mou Giir, Melbourne, Australia

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February 23, 2017 (SSB) — I have a question for you.  But before I ask that question, I would like to remind you that I am one of those people who have been saying that a solution to our problems, coming from South Sudanese people themselves in their own country, would be much, much better than a solution that some of us are trying to seek from the International Community.

When we create a mess in our own country, when we are the ones who are creating problems to ourselves, when we are the ones collaborating with other people to create problems in our own country, we should fix these problems ourselves.  True, South Sudan is a young country.  But it has to grow up just as those countries that so many of us are now expecting them to intervene in our country had grown up and have become what they are now.

It is normal and natural for any young country to start by having problems from the beginning.  If she is able to solve them, she is growing up very well.  On the other hand, if she appeals to other people to come and to clean up her own mess, she will never grow.  She remains a child.  What she is doing is that she is saying to other countries, ‘look, I’m your child; I have made a mess, come please and clean me up.’

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By Thiik Mou Giir, Melbourne, Australia

the-politics-of-south-sudan-ig-vs-io

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

February 18, 2017 (SSB) — In 2013, the Iraqi Minister of Information, during Saddam Hussein’s era, Mohammed Saeed Al-Sahaf, once said about American army who were about to enter Baghdad:

‘I can say, and I am responsible for what I am saying, that they (Americans) have started to commit suicide under the walls of Baghdad. We will encourage them to commit more suicides quickly.’

In the case of American-Iraqi war, the quote didn’t apply to that situation at all.  The American invasion of Iraq was completed when American Army entered Baghdad without much resistance.

Ever since, the world had wondered whether there would ever be a moment, when a people, anywhere in the world, who would collectively commit suicide.  The world dismissed Sahaf’s words, thinking it was something unimaginable.  This stood true until year 2013.

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By Thiik Mou Giir, Melbourne, Australia

tribalism

Bentiu, UNMISS Camp

January 22, 2017 (SSB) — Three days ago I felt that I should write a New Year’s note to my Facebook friends.  I sent out the following note about the vision I have been talking about for the last three years.  It reads:

My Dear Fellow South Sudanese,

Here is my short message for you:

DIALOGUE

Let’s ‘Construct Our New Identity’ be the vision for this year, 2017, and the years to come.  Dialogue is the cornerstone of this vision.  I am not going to say, ‘I wish you a Happy New Year!’  Rather, let us meet one another with open heart and open mind and then let us talk.  Let us have a serious talk, an honest talk.  As we talk, we will be able to find a way to move forward together.  The work of building this New Identity has to come from you.  It has to come from your own heart and from your own mind.  In the end of the year, we will judge whether we have had a Happy New Year or not.  Let us make this New Year a Happy One with this vision in mind.  It has to come from you and me; otherwise, what is the use of saying, ‘I wish you a Happy New Year!’ when I know for sure that we are not going to have one with this closed heart and this closed mind!

Kind regards,

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THE EQUATORIAN PEOPLE

Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.  Proverbs (KJV)

By Thiik Mou Giir, Melbourne, Australia

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November 8, 2016 (SSB) — Equatorians are peace-loving people.  As you are all aware, Jieng is a tribe; Equatoria is not a tribe.  Equatorian is a term coined to denote a person who is a member of any tribe that traditionally populated Equatoria Region. The behaviour of Equatorians varies, ranging from a Jieng-like tribe to a more peaceful tribe.  South Sudanese memorable history indicates that Mundari people, a Jieng-like people, have similar features as Jiengs.  They had, from time to time, killed a few Bari people as a result of disputes over grazing pasture.  Bari people never retaliated violently because they are peaceful people.  Furthermore, it is never heard of that Kakwa people waged war against Kuku people.  Both of them are peaceful peoples.  Most Equatorian tribes are generally peaceful people.

For quite a long time, the Arab Muslims became a common enemy to all South Sudanese.  When time came for South Sudanese to take action to liberate themselves from the grip of their common enemy, each South Sudanese tribe saw the contribution of the other tribes to the war efforts through their own tribal lenses.  In my previous article, I quoted the information that I had received from SPLA war veteran.  It showed that Jiengs’ (the violent people) contribution was the highest whereas the Equatorians’ (the peaceful people) contribution was the lowest.  For people who are violent, Jieng for example, it seems there is no other way for them to interpret the low turnout of Equatorians, but as a contribution coming from Equatorian tribes who are nothing but a bunch of cowards.

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Jieng’s character disposition: The Making of Jiengs Out of the Equatorian Community

By Thiik Mou Giir, Melbourne, Australia 

south-sudan-flagOctober 31, 2016 (SSB) — In this article, I will focus on Jieng’s character disposition.  In recent months, many Jiengs have been selectively targeted and brutally killed, if allegations are proved to be true, by the Equatorians.  After my first article under the same title, The Making of Jiengs out of the Equatorian Community, one of those who responded to it pointed out that the Equatorians have been killed too by Mathiang Anyor, the Jieng SPLA soldiers.

This situation our people are in now is partially a product of a friction that continues to exist between Jieng and the Equatorians for a long time.  The fire produced by this friction has and is continuing to kill the innocent people, Jiengs as well as the Equatorians.  It is necessary to understand how this animosity between Jiengs and the Equatorians has been developing over the years up to this day.

In order to do so, we must look at character dispositions of Jieng and the Equatorians.  This article is solely dedicated to Jieng’s character disposition.

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Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.  Proverbs (KJV)

By Thiik Mou Giir, Melbourne, Australia
the-fool

October 24, 2016 (SSB) — There is a profound wisdom in this biblical verse.  Since the outbreak of violence until this day, people continue to die and suffer.  No one knows whether there will be accountability.  No one knows whether people who have caused this turmoil will be brought to court where justice (law) will be allowed to take its course.

It is important for people to ask questions because, as one philosophers said, “the unexamined live is not worth living”.  We must examine and learn from this oblique situation.  Perhaps the answer to the following questions may assist us to reach a more positive conclusion as to what has got us this low and how we can rise again.

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By Thiik Mou Giir, Melbourne, Australia

taban17

The swearing in ceremony of Gen. Taban Deng Ghai as the First Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan, photo by Maal Maker Thiong on July 26th, 2016, J-1, Juba

September 22, 2016 (SSB) — In my last article, I mentioned that the community leaders met in my house in June 18/16, in Melbourne, Australia, and agreed to open a new page and to work in collaboration to serve all community members well, but then violence broke out in July in Juba, South Sudan.  From each point of violence in South Sudan, there arouse a mighty wave of hatred and spread swiftly across the world and it came to Melbourne and washed away what the leaders had agreed upon and had planned to carry out.

It is an amazing coincidence the very same day in which shooting erupted in J1 in Juba was also the day when my family and friends celebrated our wedding anniversary and my daughter’s birthday.  It is true that our daughter’s birthday falls on the same day of our wedding day.  Every year we celebrate a dual joyous event.  This year in Melbourne we celebrated at the backdrop of tragic events in South Sudan.

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By Thiik Mou Giir, Melbourne, Australia

September 4, 2016 (SSB) — The vision I have come up with – Construct Our New Identity – has made me do and see things differently.  I have made this fact known since the time of its conception in 2014 until this moment.  I have been speaking about it, argued in defense of it, discussed its pros and cons with others, and, above all, writing about it.  I have done all I could to relate it to whoever is out there to listen and to read.

One of the best ways people have been responding to this vision was when the two peak organizations in Melbourne, South Sudanese Community Association in Victoria inc. (SSCAV) and Federation of South Sudanese Association in Victoria inc. (FSSAV) leaders, decided to have their first meeting in my house in June 2016.

If there are five South Sudanese communities around the world that are considered as the most fractured as the result of violent events that started in Juba in 2013, certainly the community in Melbourne could be counted as one.  The two peak organizations, to which each member of the community affiliated himself/herself to either one of them, stand as an evidence of how our community is divided.

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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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South Sudanese Intellectuals and the Trauma

By Thiik Mou Giir, Melbourne, Australia

July 30, 2016 (SSB) —- The vast majority of South Sudanese intellectuals, especially those in Diaspora, have become part of the problem, a problem that is not helping our people to break the cycle of trauma – wars, perpetual wars.  Partially, through their writings, our people in South Sudan and Diaspora have been experiencing trauma directly and indirectly.

The intellectuals have been inciting violence and when violence occurs, people: adults, children, and even fetuses in the wombs get affected.  Those who are directly affected will have to live with trauma for the rest of their lives and that trauma will be passed on to their children and their children’s children.

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