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Thursday, Sep 03rd, 2015

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To the future President and the Commander-in-Chief of the SPLM/A-IO Dr. Riek Machar Teny and all the SPLM/A-IO members at home and abroad

By James Tot Mathiang, Calgary AB, Canada

August 30, 2015 (SSNA) -- On behave of Fangak Community in Diaspora and on my behave, I would like to Congratulate you Mr. Chairman and Commander in chief of the SPLM-IO, Dr. R,iek Machar Teny and all your negotiation team members lead by the gifted politicians General Taban Deng Gai and Stephen Par Kuol Wang for your diligence that led to this compromise peace agreement that was finally signed by the totalitarian regime in Juba. Using all this accepted-wisdom while continuing negotiating in a good faith, was exceptionally ambitious and took a lot of effort and dedication on your part. However, Fangak community is very sure it was worth it all, knowing that this peace will save a lot of lives in South Sudan.

The Fangak community in Canada, United States, Australia and Khartoum Sudan is in serious talk with General Gabriel Gatwech Chan (Tanginye)

The Fangak Community in Canada, United States of America, Australia and Sudan are so dismayed and apprehension when heard the rumors that Gabriel Gatwech Chan known as “Tanginye” and two others politicians from the Fangak Community have left the SPLM-IO. The report infers that Gabriel Tang is not longer loyal to the Movement, though the general disputed or denied his defection. Nonetheless, the Fangak community is trying every possible mean to bring General Gabriel Tang back to the Movement if the defected rumors are true.

A month ago we all heard that some SPLM-IO generals and politicians had defected from the SPLM-IO, and there were some speculations that General Gabriel Gatwech Chan or Tanginye is among the generals who have defected, though Gabriel Tang have never gone to the media to declare his defection from the Movement like his colleagues. Nevertheless, the Fangak community in abroad and Sudan is not here to deny or confirm Gabriel Tang’s defection, because there is negotiation that is still going between Gabriel Tang and the Fangak community in Canada, United States, Australia and Khartoum Sudan.  

Anyone can be mediator, but professional mediators always lay out the ground rules for the mediation process, because rushing to resolve a complicated conflict is destructive sometimes. And identifying the source of the conflict rationally is another technique in any conflict resolution. The more information you have about the conflict, the more easily you can help to resolve it. Normally, it is not the situation, but the perspective on the situation that causes dispute to aggravate and ultimately leads to total disagreement.

As a part and parcel of the Nuer community which has been fighting the Totalitarian regime in Juba after the genocide against Nuer civilians, the Fangak community is working very hard to peacefully bring back whoever is alleged to be defecting from the People Movement or the SPLM-IO. Therefore the Fangak community here in abroad and at home has formed committees to meet with Gabriel Tang, to confirm from him whether he is still loyal to the SPLM-IO or not. And if he does defect, Fangak community will discuss the merits of various ideas, not from Tang’s perspectives, but in terms of benefits to the Movement.

Nevertheless, the Fangak community at large is in serious talk with Gabriel Tang and his associates. On the other hand, the committee which was chosen to oversee the issue is absolutely aware that resolving conflicts in any environment takes negotiation skills, patience and a healthy amount of “emotional intelligence”. The first meeting and the second meeting between the Fangak people in Diaspora and Gabriel Gatwech had involved every member of the community, young, old, men and women in uniform. The community believes that General Tang’s defection is a threat to the Fangak Community, as well as SPLM-IO and that it needs each and every one’s effort.

After meeting with the general for the second time, the community in Diaspora came up with the idea that the community should select 10 individuals from Ayod County and Fangak County respectively to meet with Tang because the phone conference is more costly and unmanageable. Then the Fangak community has chosen 10 people, 5 women and 5 men plus 4 Coordinators to convey the community message to Gabriel Tang in regard to his alleged defection. In both meetings, Gabriel Tang was narrating his personal grievances in the Movement and the concerns he shares with Peter Gadet and Gathoth. After getting the general’s viewpoint on the disagreement, the next step for the community is to ask Gabriel Tang how the dispute should be resolved.  

The selected committee from the Fangak community in Canada and United States contacted the Community Chairman in Khartoum, Mr. Hassan Adam Gatpan, to brief the Fangak community in abroad about the outcomes of their meeting with General Tang, but Mr. Gatpan maintained that the Fangak community in Khartoum Sudan has yet to meet with the general. However, Mr. Gatpan revealed to the committee that the community attended a briefing by the Representative to the Republic of Brazil Mr. James Mawich, who was sent to Sudan by Dr. Machar to meet with Gabriel Tang. In his respond to the questions asked by the committee, Mr. Gatpan related that the representative was just briefing the Fangak community in Khartoum about the results of his meeting with Gabriel Gatwech Chan or Tanginye, but the Fangak elders and the community in Khartoum will still meet with Tang because the community wants to hear from General Tang himself before making any commend about the general.  

In the last meeting that last for 4hrs, Gabriel Gatwech Chan has mentioned two important issues which were partially validated by the community in Diaspora, but the community as a whole will discuss and come up with the position paper after August 30, 2015 meeting. Before the phone was cut off in the last meeting, Tang suggested that the community should contact Dr. Riek Machar about his return to Pagak because the accusations are simple especially in the military.

In conclusion, though there are a lot of negative forces playing, the Fangak community in Khartoum Sudan and Diaspora are yet to declare Gabriel Tang as a defector, until the end of meeting on Sunday August 30, 2015. Positive or negative the community will come up with position paper, that confirm or dismiss the allegation.

Written by James Tot Mathiang on behave of coordinating committee of Fangak Community in Diaspora. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Editorial: With peace deal, will Gen. Museveni’s expansionism vision in South Sudan come to an end?

By Milton Allimadi

New York, August 27, 2015 (SSNA) -- The biggest loser with the South Sudan Peace Deal is Uganda's Gen. Yoweri Museveni.

Salva Kiir has not been ruling South Sudan since December 2013 when his power struggle with then Vice President Riek Machar started. Museveni is the real power.

Terms of the peace deal call for Uganda troops to be pulled out of the country in 45 days. Many students of the South Sudan conflict don't believe Kiir can survive long without Uganda's army, which has been doing the fighting for him and has sustained heavy casualties.

Many Ugandan dead are believed to have been buried in South Sudan so as not to create turmoil from their relatives within Uganda if the true magnitude of the losses were to become clear.

South Sudan opposition leader Machar has for long claimed that the conflict was instigated and sustained by the Ugandan dictator of 30 years Gen. Museveni. It's believed Gen. Museveni advised Kiir to "neutralize" Machar.  Kiir sent elite troops against his then Vice President in December 2013 at his official residence in Juba. Machar, a wily veteran of many of the conflicts, first in Sudan and now in South Sudan, somehow fought his way out.

Within weeks his own loyalists defected from the army and joined him in his strongholds in the northern part of South Sudan. Machar declared in January 2014 that his forces would soon capture Juba.

Gen. Museveni quickly stepped in. Thousands of Ugandan troops rolled across the border with trucks and tanks. Uganda's air forces also started bombing Machar's positions and reportedly killed many civilians. A few planes have been shot down. Human Rights Watch and the U.N. also condemned Uganda's use of cluster bombs.

Horrific war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed by all the combatant forces: Salva Kiir's anemic army; Uganda's robust intervention force;  Machar's opposition fighters; and the assortment of militias that have emerged since fighting broke out.

Why has Gen. Museveni intervened militarily in South Sudan? Because military expansionism has always been his nature -- to control neighboring countries, plunder resources from those countries, while also keeping his over-sized army busy less it turns on him domestically.

In 1990 about 5,000 soldiers of Uganda's army invaded neighboring Rwanda disguised as a guerrilla army called Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF).  Gen. Paul Kagame at the time was a senior officer in Gen. Museveni's army, as head of military intelligence.

Gen. Museveni's ambition was to install Kagame as a pliant ruler in Rwanda and eventually annex the country.  The invasion and war culminated in the 1994 massacres when the plane carrying then Rwanda president Juvenal Habyarimana, who belonged to the Majority Hutu ethnic group, was shot down.

For years the popular narrative was that the plane was downed by Hutu hardliners opposed to a peace deal. Last year the BBC aired a ground-breaking documentary "Rwanda's Untold Story" in which former Kagame senior military and political associates say it was actually Kagame himself who ordered the plan downed. The conflagration that Kagame knew would ensue would then give him the excuse to seize power, which he did, according to the former aides interviewed in the documentary.

In 1998, Bernard Debre, a former French minister said the missiles used to destroy the plane, which was also carrying Burundi's president Cyprien Ntaryamira was provided to the RPF by Uganda, which in turn obtained them from the United States, according to an article in The New York Times -- which the U.S. denied.

Kagame, an ethnic Tutsi, had the most to lose in a peace deal; elections would have resulted in the majority Hutus, 85% of the population, retaining power.

Once in Rwanda power, Gen. Kagame then helped Gen. Museveni invade Congo in 1996. Mobuttu Sese Seko was deposed. Gen. Museveni and Gen. Kagame installed Laurent Kabila in power.

But Kabila soon resented his domineering patrons, Museveni and Kagame. Not surprisingly, he was mysteriously assassinated.  Kabila was succeeded by his son Joseph Kabila.

Then Kagame started resenting Gen. Museveni's domination. Their armies fought two bitter battles in 2000 and 2002, not on their own territories, but in the city of Kisangani, in the Congo, the country they occupied and from which they plundered billions of dollars in mineral resources. The armies clashed over the right to steal Congo's diamonds; the 2002 battle left more than 1,200 civilians dead and destroyed 4,000 buildings.

Gen. Museveni and Gen. Kagame eventually came to a truce; they turned their energy to something more lucrative -- continuing to loot the Congo. Meanwhile the body counts from their militarism mounted; estimates of Congolese dead exceeds six million.

Some of the dirty work --killing Congolese civilians and plundering resources-- was done for Gen. Museveni and Gen. Kagame by militias they trained, including the notorious M23, which was also commanded by senior Rwanda military officers, including the minister of defense Gen. James Kabarebe, according to the United Nations.

After atrocities committed by M23 in the Congo city of Goma, U.S. President Obama personally phoned Gen. Kagame and warned him of consequences if he didn't pull back his proxy army; meanwhile, the United Nations deployed an intervention force spearheaded by Tanzanian and South African troops.  M23 was defeated and many fighters and commanders fled to Uganda and Rwanda in December 2013.

By December 2014 Gen. Museveni was already eyeing South Sudan. He knew that Kiir was much more pliant while Machar has always been mercurial with a very independent streak. Salva Kiir would be a better partner for the long run; by controlling Kiir, Gen. Museveni  would also control and dominate South Sudan with its oil fields and other riches.

This could only be done with Machar out of the way.  That's why Kiir attacked Machar in December, accusing him of plotting a coup, which even the U.S., not a big fan of Machar, dismissed as fantasy.

Unfortunately for both Gen. Museveni and Kiir, Machar survived; so far.

That's why for the last 20 months South Sudan has endured horrific warfare. Gen. Museveni has been trying to eliminate Machar.

There's also another profit-motive. The airport in Juba, where the U.N. ships relief supplies and those for U.N. peacekeepers is operated by ENHAS the private company owned by the notoriously corrupt Uganda foreign affairs minister Sam Kutesa who is now ending up his post as President of the U.N. General Assembly; his company acquired the U.N. contract illegally since he didn't disclose his ownership when ENHAS bid for it. Kutesa's daughter is married to Museveni's son Brigadier Muhoozi Kaenerugaba. When The Black Star News brought this fraud to the U.N.'s attention rather than revoke the contract the world body engaged in covered-up by disabling links on its website showing payments to Kutesa totaling almost $30 million.

Without Gen. Museveni's expansionism and Kutesa's profiteering in South Sudan, Kiir and Machar would have long ago concluded a peace deal.

Now with the eyes of the world on the South Sudan conflict after President Obama personally addressed it during his recent Africa trip Gen. Museveni's space for maneuvering has disappeared.

It's believed by many observers of the conflict that it was Gen. Museveni who advised Salva Kiir not to sign the peace deal when all the parties met in Ethiopia last week. He wanted Kiir to insist on revising the deal to allow Uganda's army to remain longer in South Sudan. Even when he finally signed the deal Thursday, Kiir complained and voiced doubts that it would endure.

Many believe he's speaking on behalf of Museveni.

The obstructionism last week had backfired. The White House in a statement released by National Security Advisor Susan Rice, gave Salva Kiir a 15-day ultimatum to sign; but in reality Rice was speaking to Museveni.  Reportedly President Obama had said "enough is enough."   While in Ethiopia Obama had also pointedly said any African ruler who claims he's the only one who can hold his country together means the leader hasn't done a good job.  Museveni has in the past made that statement in Uganda.

Now that the deal is signed Gen, Museveni has 45 days to pull his troops from South Sudan. Some observers believe he will try to disguise some Uganda troops and some former M23 fighters also shipped there by Uganda as Kiir's fighters. However the verification mechanism created by IGAD, the regional body that handled the negotiations should be able to prevent this.

Gen. Museveni himself faces domestic political heat during elections next year  -- he will need his troops back home if he wants to successfully rig the vote again.

If Uganda troops leave Machar himself should not be tempted to again march on Juba to seize power.

The South Sudanese have suffered immeasurably.

Give peace a chance.

Uganda intervention is the stumbling block that prevents peace to prevail in South Sudan

By Gatwech Ruot Nyoat

August 25, 2015 (SSNA) -- Before the onset of December 15, 2013 outbreak of war, the movement of Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) was witnessed in the border town of Nimule at the time when President Salva Kiir started to relieve generals in the army, issuing executive order to remove Dr. Machar’s executive powers and final dissolution of the whole government of South Sudan with exception of himself in power on July 23, 2013. This was anticipated by most citizens that President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda was behind the scene of most decisions made by Salva Kiir with his support and believe that he would be the rescuer in case the situation went out of order. With all ills intentions of Museveni for people of South Sudan and his warmonger business in the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes Region, he was the first to convince the regional leaders and the Obama’ administration that he would prevent infrastructure in the capital Juba and help in evacuation of foreign nationals out from South Sudan.

When Museveni got the greenlight from regional leaders and the international community behind the curtain, he started his devilish work by supporting the genocidal government of Juba that targeted and killed more than 20,000 Nuer civilians in the watch of international community and regional leaders without condemnation of this act of atrocities. UPDF did not stop its war of interventions in Juba, but continued its military support by using clusters bombs against the rebels and the civilians on Juba- Bor road. The international community did not give an ear even when the cluster bombs that are banned internationally were used and Uganda being signatory to the treaty is not held accountable up to now. United Nations (UN) experts reported the use of cluster bomb but no country regionally or internationally which condemns the use of cluster bomb. Why is that so? It is because Uganda did not go to war alone in South Sudan without the concern of others even though it has its own hidden agenda with the regime in power. It is with the support of the IGAD countries that viewed Museveni as an elder brother and the grand old man of the region in which his intentions cannot be questioned. The other regional leaders feared of Uganda support from the US because of its stands on the war on terror in Somalia and the Lord Resistance Army (LRA) of Northern Uganda. The Ugandan war planes are not only targeting the rebels but also the civilians in the greater Upper Nile no voice that call Uganda to account. Ugandan leader is being seen as key figure to bring peace in South Sudan while all destructions in South Sudan are all his own making. Museveni does not want to see South Sudan with leader who has vision for the country. For instance, the mysterious death of Dr. John Garang De Mabior, the late General George Athor and the current disappearance of Peter Abdelrahman Sule, the leader of the United Democratic Front( UDF) and others are believed to meet their fate in the hands of Uganda.The plan of Museveni was to help Salva Kiir to assassinate Dr. Riek Machar so that Kiir stays in power because he is yes man for him. The disappearances of South Sudanese politicians and opponents of the government in Juba clearly depicts the true color of Museveni and his ally whom he mentors. He wants to rule South Sudan as part of Uganda without knowing that he puts himself to the war that he will face the consequences in the long run whether he exit or not.

The recent conference in Kampala by the So- called frontline states_ (Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and the Sudan) was an attempt by Ugandan President to derail the IGAD- Plus Compromise Peace proposal as he had been dragging the IGAD countries by their feet in the past 20 months of South Sudan civil war. It was strategy to make amendment that favors only the regime in Juba in order to undermine the role of other African countries that became part of IGAD- Plus.  President Museveni called the document of IGAD- Plus as white man thing while he relied on white man to stay in power for almost three decades. What president Museveni and his ally Salva Kiir do not know is that the world has come to realize that Museveni is manipulating the IGAD peace process as the frontline military fighter for Salva Kiir and peace mediator on IGAD heads of States and Governments.

If the region and the internationally community really mean what they say about peace to prevail in South Sudan, Uganda interferences can be halted if it were removed from the peace process and being pressure to convince Kiir to sign with immediate effect.Without countermeasures to ensure signing of document by Kiir the international community and the region will be viewed as toothless entity without enforcement. Mr. Salva Kiir has to make tough decision whether to rescue himself by signing the peace agreement or allowing the generals that committed atrocities to prevent him to sign because of fear being held accountable if peace comes. If Uganda troops are not called out of South Sudan, the war in South Sudan will spread to its neighbors like a wild fire because of many interests in the region and internationally.

The people of South Sudan are just waiting for the international community to make the IGAD-Compromise Peace Agreement realistic by standing firm to its decision by calling the government of Salva Kiir to accept the call of the peace to come to South Sudan. It is known fact that ordinary people of South Sudan want peace, but the military leaders in Juba that committed gross human right violations and atrocities should not be allowed to take South Sudanese people hostage by derailing the peace process. You hear people saying we will consult with people of South Sudan and if they accept peace we will sign it. Who are the people to be consulted when all stakeholders had signed the IGAD-Plus with exception of Salva? Are they not the section of military elites and the Council of Dinka Elders that are against peace because they are beneficiaries of the war? Is it not the Ugandan President who thinks that his relationship with Salva Kiir is more important than sisterly and brotherly co-existence between ordinary Ugandan and South Sudanese citizens?

Finally ,the international community and the regional countries that want South Sudan to be at peace with itself should stand united against Uganda interference militarily and being anti-peace in the region by using its military in DRC, Somalia and South Sudan. Uganda intervention in any country in Great Lakes region and the Horn of Africa had not beneficiary to any of the countries, so why allowing this warmonger and dictator to ruin the region?

South Sudan peace process is a practical test for the region and international community that needs to be addressed amicably; otherwise the spoilers of peace will use the failure of international community and African Union as scapegoat in the future. This stumbling block of peace by President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda makes the government of Salva Kiir so intransigent by not signing the peace deal. This needs urgent solution by all peace loving nations of the world to call President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni out of South Sudan.

The author is a recent MA graduate from University of Notre Dame, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, South Bend, Indiana, USA. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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