Posts Tagged ‘president kiir’

By PaanLuel Wel

President Kiir is said to have decreed the ‘forgiveness’ of Dr. Lam Akol, the leader of South Sudan official opposition party (SPLM-DC) and the man who ran against him during the last presidential election. What is newsworthy about the case is not that the President has pardoned Dr. Lam; rather, it is the fact that not many of us were aware about any pending case against him.

Dr. Lam has been residing in Khartoum prior to and after the independence of South Sudan. Though he had been accused of having link to the renegade militia leader, Johnson Olony, there was no proof of the case other than that they hail from the same community.

Among the beneficiaries of the ‘Lord’s Mercy’ are some renegade militia leaders–Gabriel Tanginye, Gatwech Dual, Mabor Dhol, Gatwech Gach and Peter Abdel Rahaman Sule–who were jailed over various times and for various reasons, ranging from an outright rebellion against Juba to mere suspicions and hearsays.

While most South Sudanese have welcomed the ‘pardonment’ as a great step towards peace, unity and reconciliation, and thus political stability and economic prosperity in South Sudan, some could not stomach the unsettling fact that the worst that can ever befall anyone who rebel against the government of President Kiir is to get ‘pardon’, ‘military promotion’ and ‘unspecified amount of money’ to get settle down after killing spree.

This article that I wrote about Dr. Riek Machar’s ‘repentance’–which I still believe was a genuine one since he didn’t do it for promotion or to curry favor with the power that be–would shed more light on the dilemma of seeking national reconciliation and promoting unity versus the danger of incentivizing rebellion and wanton killing of civilians by these militia leaders and their would-be counterparts.

President Kiir has to strike a right balance lest it might reach a point where leaders would be rebelling against the government just to secure a ministerial position. While National Unity is paramount in a fragile state like South Sudan, it is imperative that we should never be seen to be rewarding evil instead of punishing the wrongdoers.

Deterrence is divined; appeasement is kicking the can down the road!

South Sudan adopted Kenya’s worst habits

Posted: March 21, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan
Tags: , ,

By Peter Wanyonyi

A common feature of intelligence — even among animals — is to learn from one’s experience. But what should distinguish humans from other animals is the ability to learn from others’ experience, too.

Thus, if your neighbour dies drinking kumi kumi (hooch) at Mama Wakanyi’s shebeen, it is expected that you will not be found patronising the same place the next morning, however thirsty you might be for throat irrigation.

But not in Africa. South Sudan, the world’s newest State, spent decades in gestation, its leadership scattered all around Kenya as their Arab countrymen in the North used them for target practice, as slaves, and as clay pigeons to shoot at for fun.

As most oppressed peoples do — something Kenyan politicians have forgotten — South Sudanese took up arms and started a long civil war, which only recently resulted in Independence and self-rule.

During the civil war, they lived all over Africa and the world — in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and the West. Some even managed to trek all the way from Juba to Israel.

One would reasonably expect that South Sudan, being the world’s and Africa’s newest country, would avoid the most obvious pitfalls that African States have faced in their attempts at self-governance. Could be wrong. But one gets the sad feeling that South Sudan is quickly joining the bandwagon of poorly run African states.

Unfortunately, the stakes are much higher for Juba because the population is still armed and has a long experience of fighting bush wars.

President Salva Kiir has to deal with problems that would make even the toughest village chiefs quake. His own tribe, the Dinka, don’t like it that the president has crafted a Cabinet that includes representatives from other tribes in the country. They whine that the few Cabinet and State offices held by Dinka “do not reflect the community’s contribution to the independence struggle”.


It appears they, too, want to ‘eat’, just like the ruling elite in many newly independent African states, Kenya included, gorged their tribesmen on the fat of the land.

What cannot be ignored, though, is the discontent and bloodshed that is spreading in the new country. Some NGO even says South Sudan is the place likeliest to experience genocide within the next few years. In the massive Jonglei State — nearly five times the size of Rwanda — for instance, two tribes are involved in vicious civil war. And they are armed with assault rifles, not bows and arrows.

In just one spate of fighting last week, more than 500 people went missing, which is military jargon for presumed dead.


Corruption is stifling the new State, too — the South Sudanese appear to have heartily taken to heart the Kenyan tradition of kitu kidogo. Corruption is so bad that the cost of doing business in the new country is among the highest in the world. Everyone is on the take and ministers are said to ask openly for bribes to approve deals.

The oil economy just makes it worse. In Africa, where there is oil or minerals, there is phenomenal corruption.

Is it really that hard for the South Sudanese to learn the lessons of the rest of Africa and avoid our shared misfortunes?

Sudan, South Sudan Trade Accusations Ahead of Oil Talks

Wall Street Journal
By NICHOLAS BARIYO KAMPALA, Uganda—South Sudan and Sudan Wednesday accused each other of cross-border attacks in the latest escalation of rhetoric ahead of a summit called to resolve the oil transit spat between the formerly united countries. Col.
South Sudan Inches Closer to Eradicating Guinea Worm
Voice of America
March 21, 2012 South Sudan Inches Closer to Eradicating Guinea Worm Andrew Green | Terekeka,South Sudan South Sudan, the world’s newest country, is on the brink of its first health-care success. Cases of guinea worm have dropped dramatically in the 
South Sudan’s ‘ministry of darkness’ eyes hydropower
Ahram Online
South Sudan is planning to build about half a dozen hydropower and thermal power plants to help end almost permanent blackouts across the country and attract investment to manufacturing industries, an electricity official said on Wednesday.
For Sudan’s Blue Nile refugees, hunger is “like a weapon”
Chicago Tribune
By Hereward Holland DORO CAMP, South Sudan, March 21 (Reuters) – Two-year-old Islam Musa lay in the corner of bed number six as her grandmother, Zena Bade, fed her milk through a tube. Stalked by hunger and aerial bombardment, the pair were among the 
Walden Forum Welcomes ‘Lost Boy of Sudan
The Republic of South Sudan is now the newest country of the world and the 193rd member of the United Nations. It is a country endowed with huge natural resources ranging from wild life to oil, but still it is struggling for good governance, food, 
South Sudan and its north neighbor Sudan have reached an agreement to resolve 
Press TV
After many rounds of talks and negotiations and uncountable threats and accusations,South Sudan has finally come to reach to an agreement with its neighboring Sudan which it seceded from eight months ago. The agreement, which was signed under the
Government: South Sudan Using Humanitarian Barges to Transport Weapons to Renk
Sudan Vision
Khartoum – The government has categorically criticized the actions of the government of South Sudan for employing barges used for expatriation of its citizens stranded in Kosti Port to transport weapons and ammunition to the region of Renk.
Kony Is Not the Problem
New York Times
On the Ugandan side of the border with South Sudan, below a mountainous ridge along the Nile, is a village called Odrupele by locals. It is a place teeming with snakes. Until a few years ago, children walking along the village’s paths were stalked by a 
Pray for Jonglei, South Sudan and Civility
But in Jonglei, the South Sudan’s largest state, both geographically and populously, everybody is arguably a warrior. A warrior is different from a hero. A hero is objective and defined by noble qualities. He can act by his own but for the good of 

Israel threatens to deport South Sudanese, including family reunited after 
Washington Post
That family is among hundreds of South Sudanese Israel plans to expel this month. With the establishment of an independent state of South Sudan in July, Israel is intent on repatriating them and the other 700 to 2000 South Sudanese who live here.

“President Al Bashir told Kiir on the AU summit sidelines that Pagan Amum was not the right person to lead a delegation to achieve an agreement,” he said, adding Pagan is a warlord who has no interest for peace and does not care about what happens to our people in the North and the South as he has no sense of belonging to this land, his family and money are abroad. (Sudan Vision, March 4, 2012).

By Paanluel Wël, Washington DC, USA, Planet Earth.

It is crystal clear now that Khartoum is not comfortable with Pagan Amum, the SPLM’s Secretary General and the current head of South Sudan delegation to the on-going Addis Ababa talks between Juba and Khartoum. President Kiir appointed Hon. Pagan Amum last year, after the formation of South Sudan first government, to serve as his special envoy to the talks between the two countries over contentious issues of border demarcations, oil and debt sharing, transit fees, and Abyei regions, among others. Thus, since the independence of South Sudan, Pagan has been serving in that position as South Sudan’s chief negotiator to the Addis Ababa Talks.

However, the talks have been dragging on with no definitive breakthroughs. One sensitive issue, of late, has been on the question of the transit fees—the amount of dollars per barrel that South Sudan should pay Khartoum for the usage of their Chinese-built pipeline and refineries. Although much of the oil is produced in the South, Khartoum took the discriminative decision during the war to build all the refineries in, and pipeline through, North Sudan. With no refineries and pipeline of her own, the newly independent state of South Sudan is entirely at the mercy of Khartoum for the export of her oil.

That 98% of South Sudan revenues come from the oil make matters worse for South Sudanese leaders: Juba is beholden to Khartoum. By designed or pure chance, Khartoum is fully aware and exploitative of this Juba’s achillean heel. While Juba, in accordance with international precedents, is willing to offer 1-2 dollars per barrel as a transit fees for the usage of the northern pipeline, Khartoum is demanding a staggering amount of 36-32 dollars per barrel. On the debt issue, Juba is prepared to offer “Khartoum $2.6 billion in cash and forgiving $2.8 billion of its debt to break the deadlock.” Instead, Khartoum is asking for $15 billion in cash to break the stalemate in Addis Ababa Talks.

The disputed border region remains undesignated because Khartoum is refusing to recognize the old 1956 pre-independence border between the two nations. This is complicated further by the fact that much of the oilfields fall just at the border regions, particularly in Unity state and Abyei region. That makes it no longer about the exactitude of the borderline as to the location, and future ownership, of the vast oil wealth dotting the border regions. The case in point being the town of Jau, recurrently bombed and occupied by Khartoum, which is claimed by both sides though it squarely lies within South Sudan according to the old map of 1956.

Abyei region is presently occupied and militarily rule by Khartoum, contrary to the stipulation of the CPA that had proposed a joint ruling by the two parties. CPA-mandated referendum in Abyei, one that was supposed to run concurrently with South Sudan’s plebiscite, is yet to be conducted owing to the disagreement over whether or not the nomadic Mesiriya Arabs should vote. The only CPA-recognized connection of the Mesiriya Arabs to Abyei Region is a right to graze their cattle freely as they have been doing in the past. Consequently, South Sudan’s objection to the participation of the Mesiriya Arabs in Abyei referendum is informed not just by the fact that Mesiriya Arabs are not natives of Abyei Area—defined in the CPA as nine-chiefdoms of the Dinka Ngok people—but also because allowing the Mesiriya to vote in the Abyei referendum would lead to vote rigging since Khartoum would bring in any nomadic Arab tribe to vote in the name of Mesiriya. Simply put, it is seen in Juba as Khartoum’s grand strategy to outnumber the Ngok Dinka to tilt the referendum in their favor and retain control of the oil-rich Abyei Area.

The ensuing controversies over these unresolved post-separation disputes, couple with the stalemate over the talks taking place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, boiled over into a full blown out conflict in January when South Sudan shut down oil production over accusation that Khartoum was siphoning off South Sudan oil in direct collusion with foreign oil firms, mainly the Chinese-Malaysian’s Petrodar. Addressing South Sudan Legislative Assembly, President Kiir declared that

“At this time we have no guarantee that oil flowing through the Republic of Sudan will reach its intended destination…we can’t allow assets which clearly belong to the Republic of South Sudan to be subject to further diversion” (Bloomberg BusinessWeek, January 23, 2012).

Enraged by the accusation of oil theft and caught off-guard by South Sudan unilateral action of shutting down oil production, Khartoum responded by forcefully and unilaterally confiscating South Sudan oil:

“Sudan has confiscated 2.4 million barrels of South Sudan’s oil, bringing the total volume of crude Khartoum has seized in a row over oil transit fees to more than 6 million barrels since December, a South Sudanese official said on Tuesday. This included 1.2 million barrels taken in December, four shipments totaling roughly 2.5 million barrels in January and another 2.4 million barrels reported this month.” (Reuters, Feb 14, 2012).

Khartoum officials justified their illegal seizures of South Sudan oil by maintaining that their country

“is entitled to a share of the oil because South Sudan has refused to pay the related fees since it seceded, fuelling inflation and a foreign currency shortage in the northern country.” (Reuters, Feb 14, 2012).

In spite of combative response from Khartoum, Juba has stood firm and went ahead to complete the process of oil shutdown. Austerity measures have been adopted to balance the budget and sustain the government. Dr. Machar, the vice president of South Sudan defiantly announced to the BBC that “we can live without oil” while Pagan Amum, the ruling party general secretary, said that the decision to shut down the oil was a “matter of national pride.”

In a surprising twist of fate—a blessing in disguise for President Kiir—the government of South Sudan, considered by most citizens to be totally corrupt, generally mismanaged and irreparably inept, received an astounding support and praises across all ten states of the republic for shutting down the oil and standing up against Khartoum. Remarkably, in a young country torn apart by tribal clashes, internal rebellions and besieged by abject poverty and underdevelopment, President Kiir uncharacteristic decision to order the closure of oil wells seemed to have buoyed his popularity among the citizens. The only other occasions whereby South Sudanese matched in unison were on the occasions of the signing of the CPA, the announcement of the referendum results and the proclamation of the South Sudan’s independence.

Juba’s vulnerability to and dependence on Sudan’s oil facilities has compelled South Sudan to seek an alternative pipeline to export her oil to the international market. Following the bitter fallout in January, Juba signed landmark agreements with Kenya-Ethiopia, on one side, and Ethiopia-Djibouti on the other side. The deal with Kenya-Ethiopia to build a pipeline/railway/highway from the Kenyan port city of Lamu through Isiolo to Juba was finally realized this week when the three head of states—President Kiir of South Sudan, president Kibaki of Kenya and Prime Minister Meles of Ethiopia—inaugurated the project dubbed by the media as Lapsset (Lamu Port-Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor).

Although disputed by many experts, the Lapsset project is slated to be complete within 1-2 years. Whether—or how—South Sudan will remain financially afloat within the next 1-2 years is another question altogether. And so is the question of ‘what will happen to the Lapsset project’ should the talks in Addis Ababa bear fruit and Khartoum accept the proposed transport fees: Will Juba bolt out of the Lapsset project or will it dump Khartoum no matter what they are prepared to consent to at the moment? If so, then there is no point of continuing to discuss the transit fees anymore: South Sudan should rather concentrate on the other post-independence remaining issues like the border, debts and Abyei region.

Whichever way Juba goes, the inauguration of the Lapsset project will further compound the Addis Ababa discussions because Khartoum would undoubtedly complicate the negotiation process if they are aware of the total loss of any future transit fees because of Lapsset. Since there is no any indication that Juba is bluffing—using the Lapsset project merely as a negotiating strategy to put pressure on Khartoum, it is inevitable that the full realization by Khartoum of having loss the life-giving oil revenues from South Sudan oil will be of a great devastation to their economy. Khartoum might invade the oilfields or declare total war on Juba as it did in Abyei—something they are threatening now on the pretext of an alleged South Sudan’s aggression on Sudan’s territory though it is the Sudan Revolutionary Forces who carried out the humiliating assault on the SAF. President Kiir must prepare—finding a way out of this looming explosive hostility.

Having retraced the fundamental root and the picturesque trajectory of the on-going differences and quarrels between Juba and South Sudan, it is just fanciful to hear Khartoum announcing today that any “Breakthrough in Addis Talks Depends on Changing the Current South Sudan Delegation.” In other words, Khartoum sincerely believe that should President Kiir nominate someone else other than Hon. Pagan Amum, then they would be able to get $32-36 per barrel as a transport fees, and $15 billion as a compensation for the loss of oil revenues following South Sudan secession. What is more, even the indefinitely postponed Abeyi’s referendum would go ahead with Mesiriya accepted as voters. South-North border demarcation would get started with Khartoum’s interest well catered for in total disregard to the 1956 pre-independence borderline.

This is how Mona Al-Bashir of the Sudan Vision, a northern newspaper, summarizes Khartoum’s views on the stalemate, blaming everything on Pagan Amum:

“Prof. Ibrahim Ghandour, who is also the NCP Spokesperson, indicated that previous round of talks had failed because South Sudan delegation was not willing to arrive at an agreement and the delegation members harboured ill-intent towards Sudan and their leader [Pagan] is also notorious of his hostility towards the North and the Arabs. “President Al Bashir told Kiir on the AU summit sidelines that Pagan Amum was not the right person to lead a delegation to achieve an agreement,” he said, adding Pagan is a warlord who has no interest for peace and does not care about what happens to our people in the North and the South as he has no sense of belonging to this land, his family and money are abroad. Ghandour, however, pointed out that the Sudanese Government cannot interfere in the process of how the South selects its delegation but if it wants to achieve peace with Sudan it should alter its delegation members” (Sudan Vision, March 4, 2012).

In spite of the independence of South Sudan, Khartoum still behaves, and considers South Sudan, as if it is still just one of its provinces. South Sudan, to those in Khartoum, is just but a colony to be manipulated at will no matter how it may claim to be independent. In fact, judging by their official demeanors, utterances and actions, South Sudan independence is yet to register in the minds of Khartoum officials. They might be milking the past. During the 1960s as many African countries were shedding off colonization, it was not uncommon for the head of a newly independent African state to receive direct orders from London or Paris. For example, the market and the price of their agricultural produce were pre-determined according to the whims of the former colonial master.

By publicly asking an independent state to alter the list of its delegation to the negotiating table, Khartoum appears to be harboring a neo-colonial mentality of the past whereby African independent states remain subservient to their former colonial masters in spite of their proclaimed independences. Yet, there is nothing on the ground to substantiate Khartoum’s European-ness over Juba. South Sudan has more resources—oil, arable land, minerals etc. South Sudan does not depend on Sudan’s market for agricultural produce nor oil: China is the main consumer of most raw materials from Africa. With the commencement and the future completion of the Lapsset project, Khartoum will be more dependence on Juba for economic opportunities than vice-versa.

Therefore, to prevent Khartoum from proclaiming unmerited propaganda war against Juba, President Kiir must stand behind Pagan and his team. After all, whatever that Pagan present at the talks is what President Kiir and his cabinet proposed and consented to, to be presented at the negotiating table. Picking another person will not change the parameters of the talks since none of the South Sudanese chief negotiators would ever venture outside the officially sanctioned mandate from the government of South Sudan. Khartoum displeasure with Pagan could be attributed to Pagan’s sharp-shooting, take-no-nonsense approach to negotiation. Take for instance Khartoum ludicrous claim of South Sudan’s aggression reported to the UN Security Council today: such gibberish would not be entertained before Pagan.

There are unconfirmed rumors that President Kiir is considering replacing Pagan Amum. President Kiir must never listen to one-sided story from Khartoum. Any changes called for must be initiated and executed by both parties—Khartoum must also replace the head of their delegation if Juba has to reciprocate in kind. Since when has Khartoum been the official advisor to Juba? Do they really have South Sudan’s interest at heart? Definitely not and so is the implausibility of their call to ouster South Sudan chief negotiator. Assumed that President Kiir give in and recall Pagan tomorrow, will South Sudan replace the next head of the delegation if Khartoum is not happy with him?

PaanLuel Wël is the Managing Editor of PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese bloggers. He can be reached through his Facebook page, Twitter account or on the blog.