Posts Tagged ‘people liberation army’

By Agereb Leek Chol, Worcester, MA, USA.

“Let those to whom the heaven grants such opportunities reflect that two courses are open to them: Either so to be behave that in life they rest secure and in death become renowned, or so to behave that in life they are in continual straits, and in death leave behind an imperishable record of their infamy” Nicco Machiavelli.

May 11, 2011-First of all, I want to express my deepest joy since the return of most rebel leaders with their forces during the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), and also after the independence of South Sudan on July 9, 2011. However, this recent defection by Maj. Gen. James Duit Yiech, General John Dueth Yieth, and James Duoth Lam has obliterated some uncertainties caused by the SPLA withdrawal from Panthou (Heglig). There is no doubt that the GoSS was bullied by the UN, African Union (AU), and Obama’s demand for the Sudan People Liberation Army (SPLA) to withdraw without any conditions given to the Khartoum’s government. The GoSS calls the SPLA withdrawal a ‘diplomatic win’, but the international community whom the Republic of South Sudan (RSS) responded to didn’t stop aerial bombardment after their pullout. What a disgrace!

The decision made by these leaders is something for South Sudanese to scrutinize because their defection send a strong message to Omar Bashir (war criminal) that South Sudanese are tired of his brutal regime. We hope those who are left behind would join their countrymen to stop Bashir from massacring innocent civilians in both countries. Is it patriotic to help someone who called black Africans “insects”? This insult doesn’t apply only to Kiir’s administration, but to the entire black race. African “leaders” shouldn’t take Omar Bashir’s discourse lightly especially when he labeled black people as “slaves or “insects”. Failure to respond to his insults reinforces Bashir’s imbecile rhetoric.

How absurd can this be when “black Muslims” are quick to denounce those who question the book of the Quran? Seriously, why is it so simple for black Muslims to equate their identity to Islam? It’s ironic that ‘some’ black Muslims automatically think they are “Arabs” once they denounce their African heritage over foreign religions.

Obviously, their return to the SPLA will definitely boost up the SPLA’s position to protect the RSS should they choose to be good citizens. The question is should the SPLA be vigilant about the political atmosphere in Juba or in the frontline? Currently, many South Sudanese are left wondering why they defected in the first place or why they waited this long to join the SPLA. Well, the obvious answer is that many people are not happy with Kiir’’s government for different reasons. Beside corruption which the president can’t tackle individually, old grudges between factional leaders are visible everywhere in the government and at the local level. Perhaps we all should forgive ourselves if we want to defeat Khartoum’s aggression.

Conspiring with the Khartoum’s leadership to topple a “corrupt” government in Juba gives him the credibility to call black race “slaves” or “insects”. What a leader! We shouldn’t let Bashir question our pride by joining him while he’s killing our kins in Darfur, Blue Nile and in the Nuba mountains. The question is why are black Muslims in these regions oblivious about this situation? Could Bashir be the next Prophet? Apparently, he has million disciples in the NCP and in the SAF.

Whether “corruption” or “domination” of the GoSS by the SPLA veterans is the reason for rebellion, I would argue there are peaceful avenues to get rid of them if that’s the goal. Let’s not forget that Bashir came to power by a coup, and he’s not a role model for anyone to imitate. The only thing different is that they have better roads, health care, Agricultural production, and functional schools. Secondly, they don’t have foreigners doing their secretarial jobs, which they can employ their youths from local institutions. What is job creation if these jobs are given to foreigners? Perhaps the issue is not foreigners taking jobs, but we South Sudanese don’t want to work under someone.

In capitalism, working for someone doesn’t mean one is a “maid” as long one is being paid fairly. In this case, bringing change in South Sudan will not happen through violence, but through community empowerment. This means we need to teach our citizens their rights so they can hold their constituents accountable.

If I can be a “devil’s advocate” for a moment, these recent defections poise one question. First, did these generals defect to the SPLA to defend South Sudan from Bashir’s government, or do they have an agenda to liberate “South Sudanese” from the SPLM leadership? Defecting from the SPLA to the Khartoum’s government isn’t a new phenomenon in the history of South Sudan. Some individuals have fully settled their political grudges with their fellow comrades, and are now working day and night trying to help vulnerable people of South Sudan. However, the GoSS needs to be careful for those who defect and return under the so-called “amnesty”. Perhaps Mr. Kiir should set a dateline to deter further defection. I wonder if the members of the parliament are part of the decision making.

Obviously, there are no immediate answers to these questions, but we can only hope that everyone who is frustrated with Kiir’s government will support him at this critical time. During the “Cold War” between the West and the Communist countries, American allies abandoned their hatred among themselves in order to defeat their common enemy. I would think those rebels in the bush will do the same. However, my fear is that the GoSS will lose sight of these individuals who “fly in and fly out regularly” because they “defected” to the SPLA. The question is do they pose any security threat in the leadership of the GoSS and the SPLA? What about those who defected to the SPLA with high ranking positions earned in the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), are they going to keep their ranks (Maj. General)? Failure for the GoSS to follow the system will give those individuals with lower ranks in the SPLA an idea to defect with hopes of becoming a “Maj. General”.

For God sake, why reward these traitors? David Yau Yau who recently defected to the SAF as a Maj General was begging for rations in Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya years ago. What did he do exactly to earn his rank? Let’s stop nepotism! Currently, we have veterans who are founding members of the SPLM/A since 1983 who haven’t been promoted to that rank yet. What’s wrong with this SPLA? Perhaps I shouldn’t mention retirees, and their inconsistent salaries. God have mercy on our veterans, widows, and orphans. Maybe their children are those street kids in Juba who beg just to get by. We urge David Yau Yau to return the SPLM despite his betrayal. I suggest everyone to use this opportunity before the ‘dateline’. Is there such thing?

Overall, I urge the GoSS and the SPLA to be more vigilant everywhere in South Sudan because there are too many opportunists who will resort for short term solutions in order to get into power. I personally congratulate our Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar for going on South Sudan TV (SSTV) to dismiss recent fabrications about a potential “coup” while the President was on a diplomatic travel to China. David de Chand, why betray us? To those brothers who want to get into power by creating havoc in the South, please join the SPLA and change the SPLM from within.

Also, I urge the SPLM to allow a multiparty system so we can coexist. Voting and holding your representatives accountable is the only option if we envision South Sudan a place for our grandchildren. President Kiir and the Vice President Riek Machar don’t pledge legion to their tribes, but they pledge that to the people of South Sudan. We may have different views about who “dominates” the government, but if we all get involved instead of making South Sudan a volatile country, we can change whatever we think is happening in Juba.

What change can one bring if we displaced civilians who contribute to South Sudan’s economy? What change can one bring if we point fingers that the Dinka tribe failed the country? We all have a role to play, and if one failed to exercise his/her rights to hold her governor or commissioner accountable, then “we” the people failed the country, not the Dinka tribe. Perhaps we should think about ‘tribal constitution’ to avoid this mentality.

How many more years can we call on the UN to rescue us from starvation? How long can we continue to ask the international community to send in troops to rescue innocent civilians from Bashir’s brutal regime? How many more years can foreigners run our country? How many more years are we going to transport food from neighboring countries? Aren’t we capable to farm or are we just lazy? How long can we depend on oil money? How long can we complain about corruption instead of getting involved? How many more pounds can we allow our representatives to stash in foreign accounts? Why are we investing our hard earned money in neighboring countries? How do South Sudanese define development?

In my opinion, South Sudan is going to be a “failed state” if we don’t join the GoSS and hold them accountable. Think about these questions when you point fingers, and at the same time conspiring with the enemy. Nevertheless, if Dr. Garang de Mabior and Dr. Riek Machar with their comrades reconciled to bring about the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005, I don’t see any reason why everyone can’t join the SPLM or the SPM-DC. Lastly, I urge all members of SSDF, SSLA, and NDF to join us and form their parties so our uncles and grandparents in Juba can retire. They deserve a vacation because they have been in a Frontline for decades. To the SPLM, “corruption” and “nepotism” will never stop if we don’t have a multiparty system to compete against.

Let’s compromise and debate these pressing issues in South Sudan TV (SSTV) so we the civil society can judge who can best lead the country. Think about your children’s future because your baggage is going to ruin their future in a modern South Sudan. God bless our mothers who are tired of giving birth to child soldiers.

To our men and women in the Frontline, please sing those revolutionary songs in the 1980s and the victory is certain in Abyei and in Panthou. South Sudan oyeee!!

Agereb Leek Chol is a concerned citizen who lives in Worcester, MA, USA. He can be reached at

South Sudan army in full control of Jau after heavy fighting with SAF – official
Sudan Tribune
Feburay 26, 2012 (BENTIU) – The Sudan People Liberation Army (SPLA), which is South Sudan’sofficial army has fully captured disputed Jau area on Sunday from the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), an official in the Unity state told Sudan Tribune.

Sudan rebels say behind attack on Sudanese army
South Sudan denies involvement in assault * Khartoum, Juba at odds over oil exports, border disputes By Hereward Holland JUBA, Feb 27 (Reuters) – Rebel groups in Sudan said on Monday they had captured a Sudanese army garrison near the border with 

Sudan rebels say key area seized
KHARTOUM — Rebels fighting along Sudan’s disputed border with the breakawaysouth on Monday said they had seized the key area of Taruje, near the southern border, clearing a path for refugees fleeing the fighting. “Taruje is now liberated by SPLM,” 

Sudan rebels say behind attack on Sudanese army

Reuters – ‎
* South Sudan denies involvement in assault * Khartoum, Juba at odds over oil exports, border disputes (Adds rebels’ figure on casualties) By Hereward Holland JUBA, Feb 27 (Reuters) – Rebel groups in Sudan said on Monday they had captured a Sudanese 
Africasia – ‎
Rebels fighting along Sudan’s disputed border with the breakaway south on Monday said they had seized the key area of Taruje, near the southern border, clearing a path for refugees fleeing the fighting. “Taruje is now liberated by SPLM,” since Sunday 
Reuters Africa – ‎
By George Obulutsa ARUSHA, Tanzania Feb 27 (Reuters) – South Sudan, which has stopped shipping crude oil exports, has enough foreign exchange reserves to cover imports for up to one year, the deputy Finance Minister said on Monday.
Ahram Online – ‎
South Sudan, which has stopped shipping crude oil exports, has enough foreign exchange reserves to cover imports for up to one year, the deputy Finance Minister said on Monday. In January, South Sudan shut down its entire oil production of 350000 
News24 – ‎
Khartoum – Khartoum threatened retaliation on Sunday after accusing breakaway South Sudan of backing a rebel attack inside its territory, adding to tensions which have sparked international concern. Rebels in a “revolutionary front” aimed at toppling 

South Sudanese Christians plan “prophesied” pilgrimage to Israel
Sudan Tribune
February 24, 2012 (JUBA) – Christians in South Sudan are planning a pilgrimage to Israel in fulfillment of what they say was God’s promise in the Bible to the people of the region, senior Church leaders have announced. Spiritual leaders from various 

UN foreign staff return to Sudan war zone
KHARTOUM — United Nations international staff have returned to Sudan’s SouthKordofan for the first time in months, the UN said on Saturday, as global concern mounts over food shortages in the war-torn state. “Today, FAO and OCHA flew back there by 

Footage shows bodies of women and children in South Sudan village
Herald Sun
A MAN who came to Australia as a refugee has revealed shocking footage of a massacre in South Sudan. Chibak Kur Mum, who lives in Maidstone, visited his home village in South Sudan last month to see his family. After hearing gunfire from his relatives’ 
South Sudan opposition party calls for auditing of oil companies
Sudan Tribune
February 23, 2012 (JUBA) – The African National Congress (ANC) Party an opposition party in South Sudan as asked the Juba government to review and audit the records of all oil companies operating in exploration and production. Seven month old South 
Sudan: UNinternational staff return to troubled South Kordofan State
Afrique en Ligue
The State has been the scene of violent clashes between the rebel Sudan People Liberation Army (SPLA-North) and government troops, creating a food shortage situation, and driving unspecified number of civilians to seek refuge in neighboring South Sudan 
Sudan government is killing its people
Columbus Dispatch
But that is within the margin of error of estimates of the numbers of people killed by President Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan. I slipped into Sudan and the Nuba Mountains without a visa, via a rutted dirt track from South Sudan

Mandela, 93, hospitalized with stomach ailment
“South Africa is very privileged to have had such a leader,” said Bohm, comparing Mandela to India’s Mahatma Gandhi. Hassan Burma was visiting Soweto from South Sudan, Africa’s newest nation. South Sudan broke away from Sudan last year, and its leaders 

Analysis: South Sudan future dicey after oil money loss
JUBA (Reuters) – In an air-conditioned Toyota showroom packed with half a dozen off-road vehicles in South Sudan’s capital, dealer Desmond McCue is wondering whether the shutdown of the country’s oil production industry means the bonanza is over.

UN int’l staff return to restive Sudan region
Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier
AP | Posted: Saturday, February 25, 2012 8:09 am | (0) Comments The United Nations in Sudan says its international staff is returning to a disputed region on the border with south Sudan, after a nearly half-year absence from the restive area…

Two foreign police shot in Sudan’s Darfur: UNAMID

Africasia – ‎
Two police officers from the African Union-United Nations peacekeeping mission to Sudan’s Darfur region (UNAMID) have been shot and wounded by unidentified gunmen, the mission said on Saturday. They both received leg wounds and were being treated at a 
U.S. News & World Report – ‎
KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) — Gunmen ambushed a bus carrying international peacekeepers in the Darfur region of Sudan, wounding two peacekeepers, the joint United Nations-African Union mission said Saturday. The mission, known as UNAMID, said the peacekeepers 
The Nation, Pakistan – ‎
KHARTOUM – Fresh fighting in Sudan’s Darfur region has killed 12 government soldiers, according to a rebel statement received on Friday, but an official said 10 civilians were the victims. The Sudan Liberation Army faction of Minni Minawi said it 
The Daily Star – ‎
KHARTOUM: Rebels in Sudan’s Darfur region have clashed with government forces, both sides said, with the rebels claiming to kill a dozen government soldiers and Khartoum accusing its opponents of targeting civilians. Mostly African insurgents in Darfur –
El Fasher — Two peacekeepers of the African Union – United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) sustained gunshot wounds near the town of El Dein yesterday after being targeted by an unknown group. Two peacekeepers of the African Union – United Nations 
Naharnet – ‎
by Naharnet Newsdesk 25 February 2012, 18:01 Two police officers from the African Union-United Nations peacekeeping mission to Sudan’s Darfur region (UNAMID) have been shot and wounded by unidentified gunmen, the mission said on Saturday. – ‎‎
The announcement by the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) force commander, Lt. Gen Patrick Nyamvumba, that the UN peacekeepers will open fire to defend themselves – if provoked – is extremely welcome.
Radio Dabanga – ‎
On Thursday, government forces attacked Abu Delik village, south east of El Fasher in North Darfur, killing one person and injuring six others. A source told Radio Dabanga that government troops were traveling in a convoy of 20 vehicles towards Alawna,