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Wednesday, Jul 29th, 2015

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Acknowledging pain of others

By Kuir ë Garang

July 23, 2015 (SSNA) -- This is one of those articles that sound really naïve and unsophisticated; but it’s undeniably necessary and true. I posted a video on my Facebook page a few days ago and some of my Nuer brothers and sisters were enraged. While their anger wasn’t unfounded, I do believe there should be a safe, necessary manner in which anger needs to be exercised within a larger context of societal, national future. However, I’ve realized the short-sightedness with which we configure our anger and its resultant consequence.

We’ve become a population that focuses on the satisfaction of our immediate visceral reactions without the need to consider the potential effect of our anger, and what we say at the height of our polemical fancies…after all is said and done. No matter the intensity of our anger, hurt and loss, it is crucial to remember that the noble way to mourn and honor one’s lost relatives is to engage in a discourse that’d frustrate any repeat of the past. However, what we seem to care about now isn’t the dreadful past and the possible bright, promising future but the here and now and what we feel.

“I feel anger and a sense of hatred so I’ll make sure I satisfy that!”

The more we cultivate our hatred, magnify our pain and deny the pain of others, the more the hurt we feel becomes entrenched as a cultural phenomenon. Unfortunately, talking about the potential for future inter-tribal cohesive coexistence sounds like an untenable joke to some people given the magnitude of the anger they feel now. But none of us has a choice: living together is the only choice, the end gain! Regardless of what we feel or think, togetherness is the ultimate end.

But there’s one thing South Sudanese need to remember. In any sociopolitical conflict, healing or the possibility of living together as a multi-tribal country rests on acknowledging the pain of those who’ve been hurt. And it’s no secret that the following are acknowledged facts:

1) The conflict started due to President’s mishandling of intra-SPLM problems.
2) SPLM leaders overestimated their influence and underestimated the power behind the president.
3) Nuer were targeted after the mutiny in Juba by President’s militia.
4) War is concentrated in mostly (not exclusively) in Nuer areas.

In spite of these accepted realities, it’s very crucial for the Nuer brothers and sisters to remember that non-Nuer members have also suffered in the senselessness of this conflict. The more we deny that others have suffered the more we foment the entrenchment of hatred in our nation. As long as others don’t deny that Nuer were massacred in large numbers in Juba, It’d be ideal for Nuer to advocate for the loss of their loved ones while acknowledging that others too have suffered and continue to suffer. Denying the pain of others is not only dishonest, but also detrimental to the future of South Sudan.

The culpability story doesn’t end at the point where we come to the conclusion that the SPLM and the President started this war. We have to remember that we also exacerbate the problem through evangelism of divisive language and policies. No one is going to live in comfort if we instigate or fuel inter-tribal hatred. Satisfaction of one’s anger feels good at the moment but all conscionable people should consider long-term effects of that state of mind when anger creeps into our sociopolitical consciousness.

It’s undeniable that corrective measures geared towards finding out structured, conscionable and remedial methodologies are unequivocally necessary. However, focusing our fancies on the immediate delight and enjoyment of anger geared towards others will only position us perpetually in the same sea of hateful stagnation.

The only road to reconciliation is to make sure that others acknowledge our pain while taking the necessary initiative to acknowledge the pain of others. Failure to do so will only have us drink from the sea of bitter reality: perpetual insecurity. Let’s grow up!

Truth...but responsibly!

Kuir ë Garang lives in Canada. For contact, visit www.kuirthiy.info

Juba Airport: Air traffic controllers in precarious and unacceptable situation

By Touembou Ngueyap Romuald

We have suffered enough; we came out from 21 years of civil war. In 2011, we were hoping for a bright future but it's a total mess now. Someone like me, my mind is wild, I grew up in bush, struggle alone to build up myself , my country ... Today the government pay less attention in civil aviation .... Air traffic controllers are suffering here ... we are doing heavy job with less money ... All air traffic controllers here are puzzled by this situation .If there was another opportunity, I am sure that many will leave, said JEPHREH (borrowed name), Air Traffic controller at Juba Airport.

July 7, 2015 (SSNA) -- $ 200it is not the Visa fees to get in South Sudan but the monthly wage of the South Sudanese air traffic controllers. (Sometimes less than that depending on USD inflation). Yes $200 as monthly salary. Here, Working conditions are revolting... Even equipment is still basic and primary; Airport infrastructure is inadequate and non-developed.

Mostly trained in Kenya (8 months training in aerodrome control at EASA, East African School of Aviation), devoted Air Traffic controllers at Juba airport contribute as much as little to the air safety in this poor country of the east of Africa.

Although opened from 0430am to 0530pm, the runway 13/31 at Juba Airport long with its 2400 meters long is one of the most utilized in the region. On the 118.4 MHz (Approach frequency), it is about 200 movements daily processed. These mostly consist of commercial airlines, cargo and especially humanitarian and military.

Indeed, since its independence on 9 July 2011, South Sudan has entered in an infernal cycle of violence with political and tribal overtones.

Frustration and exasperation are visible among air traffic controllers at Juba Airport.

The treatment of air traffic controllers here is unacceptable. Don’t speak about UNION or GUILD because the delicacy of the security situation has led to an authoritarian management of the country.

"Promises, promises and promises” said another controller. 03 months without incentives, irregular wages: That is the sad situation in which the valiant air traffic controllers try to work.

Some are frustrated, other revolted. To make ends meet ABID (alias) embarked for 1 year on Rap Music and this seems to smile: it is now one of the remarquable young figures in this underdeveloped country for about 11 million habitants.

LIECH DAMAI RUEI, meanwhile defected in September last year to join the armed rebellion of the Sudan People's Liberation Army.

Yet since 2011, significant efforts have been made by the foreign partners to upgrade civil aviation in South Sudan: US financing through ICAO, technical expertise of the ASECNA (western Africa ANSP) and retraining of air traffic controllers by United Nations mission: Everything has been put to accompany the development of civil aviation in this vast country of 644,324 Km2: Unfortunately the war! From 04 air traffic controllers in 2011, Juba ATS center currently has about 27 active Air traffic controllers which 5 only have license. Two (02) expatriates (Kenyan air traffic controllers Kenyans) also bring their experience. The airport extension started last year by a Chinese company is now interrupted because of instability: War and War again!!!

WE ARE PROUD AS AFRICAN AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS…THEY TOO WANT TO BE PROUD.

The Author can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

End Peace Talks Through IGAD!

By: Luk Kuth Dak

July 6, 2015 (SSNA) -- It's time for Dr. Riek Machar Teny to come up with a totally new strategy in handling the affairs of the movement he chairs. It must begin by admitting that the name SPLM/ A-In- Opposition doesn't make any sense in the real world, that peace will never come to South Sudan by way of the so-called IGAD, and that a unified SPLM/A will never be reconstituted.

Because the deeply seated division has already happened and will not be reversed. The unfortunate reality is that the SPLM/A is no longer the powerhouse movement it once was under the leadership of the late Dr. John Garang De Mabior.

Today, mostly everybody in South Sudan- including fair-minded Jieeng- believe that the SPLM/A has long been buried alongside its founding father, Dr. Garang.

The current SPLM/A, deeply tribal, bigoted, corrupt, divisive and beholden to Uganda, shouldn't be an example to follow. Quite frankly, If anything, this SPLM/A is nothing but a total disgrace to the people of S. Sudan and thier allies around the world. Certainly, that's not what Dr. John Garang had intended when he founded the movement in 1983.

Look where the crooks-Pagan Amum, John Luk Jok and Deng Alor who first instigated the crisis that ultimately resulted in the destruction of the nation- are today? In Juba. By so doing, they have proven what we had all along thought of them in the first place: agents of evil, whose goal from the very beginning has been sedulously dividing our people by using tribalism to foment hatred among them.

Well, they have succeeded. Didn't they?

Their flunkies are now in full blather praising them as heroes, but there is NO question about the innocent Nuer civilians, who were savagely massacred in a broad day light. 

Although the Nuer are well known for bravery and forgiveness among other things, they will never forgive Pagan Amum, for the disparaging remarks he made in the aftermath of the Nuer massacre at the hands of his boss, Salva Kiir.

Meanwhile, Dr. Machar faces increasing criticism from all angles, for not being tough enough with Juba, combine with failure to put together a solid coalition of the marginalized South Sudanese. As a result, the regime continues to score propaganda victories by showing up at peace talks just to distract him from being in the battle field.

Today, his fighters are starving for weapons and uniforms, not to mention that their commanders are ill-trained demoralized by the absence of their Commander-in- Chief.

Ironically, even some of Machar's strong supporters think that he's not the same person by any stretch of imagination. His return to Juba, they insist, is just a matter of time!!

I disagree.

Dr. Riek Machar's a moral leader and certainly a man of his word. He still has a chance to rally the nation behind him, but only if he maximizes his potential.

That remains to be seen.

Luk Kuth Dak is a former broadcasting journalist with Juba Radio. 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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