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Thursday, Aug 21st, 2014

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Mr. President, we want our votes back!!!

By: Sirir Gabriel Yiei Rut

August 4, 2014 (SSNA) -- It’s clear and undeniable that president Salva kiir and his entourage are not working toward development, peaceful resolution, national reconciliation and unity, prosperity and justice in the young nation as they claimed during these years back.

Our country have been bled dry by the hungry politicians who aims to sucked the country’s resources and manage them on their own ways. Looting national Assets, killing and raping young girls has become a normal thing in my country which have just got her independence three years ago.

South Sudan is bless with both human and resources in which everyone could have been happy if there had been a leader who is wise enough to distributes the development funds more equally to the citizens.

Our nation has been strike by poor leadership which cripples the prosperity process in all sectors. The mechanical of leading the country astray has been the daily song of the ministers no one seem to be a God fearing citizen to do the righteous and do exactly what he was entitle to do.

But we the citizens at the lower level are the victims of their evils deed; we are the primary victims of their ruthlessness and selfishness. We must shine our eyes to do something that will shake them, something that will give them a sleepless night and we can do it soon.

I want all the citizens of south Sudan to say enough is enough to Salva Kiir government, I want every young man, every young woman old age people and capable kids to called for the resignation of Salva kiir mayardit and to do this, you must demonstrate or protest let it be peaceful demonstration the whole world will hear you cry for freedom and they will take side by you.

President Kiir is sitting still on the throne just because he knows only one tribe is the threatening him to leave the presidency. But if the entire citizens rise against him and called for his exit, He will surely come to his senses and realized that he has left with only his relatives to rule.

The source of the power that President Salva Kiir is using to intimidate Nuer communities and public cadres was given to him by south Sudanese citizens and it is their right to take it back from Him. And the only solution to cure this madness and injustices prevailing in our young nation, we must demand our votes we case in the ballots boxes for President Salva Kiir Mayardit. We want him to go and leave the office.

It’s obvious that we the citizens of south Sudan don’t know our future, because if we want to be successful citizens in life, we have to say no to tribalism, corruption, greed and dictatorship in our country. There we can enjoy a new life full of security, peace and harmony in our societies.

We must now look for an ambitious leader to grantee us security, development, democracy, freedom, justice, love, national reconciliation and many others, So that we can witness a new narratives and new least of life once and for all.

President Salva Kiir failed us, and there is nothing to do with him again. We should demand and called for his exit “Dictator free south Sudan” that will be our demonstration song.

The author is a student of political science residing in Egypt; he can be reach through his email address: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Interesting proposal for formation of transitional government in post-rebellion South Sudan

By Jacob K. Lupai

August 4, 2014 (SSNA) -- Juba Monitor of Thursday, July 31, 2014, Vol. 4 Issue No. 153 published on page 6, “Position of the Political Parties on the Transitional Government”. The position of the political parties in relation to the proposed transitional government was interesting. One would have expected the position of the political parties to appear as part of the peace agreement signed between the Sudan people’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in Government and the SPLM in Opposition. In other words the position of the political parties should have been presented during the peace discussions to become part of the overall peace agreement.

The position of the political parties appears as if peace were already attained that people were now eyeing for positions. However, it is still too early to say what the peace agreement will look like if at all there will be one. It is also difficult to speculate what the peace agreement will include. The position seems to be pre-empting what should be in the peace agreement. Nevertheless, foremost what is of interest in the political parties’ position paper is the programme of reform, the most essential for peace and stability in South Sudan.

Transitional government

The political parties in their position paper have come up with a structure and composition of the would-be transitional government of national unity in post-rebellion South Sudan with the main purpose of establishing and consolidating peace, instilling confidence in the government and leading the country to a genuine multi-party democracy. The proposed transitional government may contribute to bringing pressure to bear on the belligerents in the current senseless war which should come to a speedy end. This senseless war is a manifestation of a naked greed for power in which egoism may be a factor.

The SPLM needs to come back to basics. The Vice President of the Republic seems to concur with this when he said that the SPLM is a disorganized party lacking in discipline and commitment (Juba Monitor, Friday, August 1st, 2014, Vol. 4 Issue No. 154, Front Page). Ending this senseless war can only happen through a peace agreement that can also facilitate reconciliation between the warring factions of the SPLM, SPLM in Government and SPLM in Opposition. Without reconciliation between the two SPLM factions, participation of the factions in the transitional government of national unity may make them to be two distinct groups.

When the two SPLM factions participate in the transitional government of national unity as two distinct groups, there will never be a way to establish peace in South Sudan. There will always be antagonism. Another complicating factor is the so-called group of eleven (G11) members of the SPLM who were previously detained for their alleged anti-government activities. The G11 claims to be neutral in the ongoing conflict. As SPLM members, to claim neutrality in the middle of a serious conflict within the SPLM leadership, the G11 is untrustworthy and therefore unreliable, and should be on their way to the dustbin of history.

Central government   

The position of the political parties on the formation of transitional government of national unity is commendable, though with some reservation, to bring pressure to bear on the SPLM warring factions to conclude a peace agreement. The cabinet proposed is of 21 ministers, excluding the president, vice president and the prime minister. In addition proposed are 5 deputy ministers and 18 commissions and authorities. This is a huge government by all means with substantial budgetary allocation. It is therefore not very strange when a big chunk of the budget is spent financing the government machinery at the centre leaving the states probably gasping for funds for development.

In the interest of national unity the SPLM cannot afford to ignore the other parties. The other scenario is for the SPLM to reconcile its internal differences for peace within itself. The SPLM needs to sort out its problem in order to bring the badly needed peace and stability to South Sudan. It is very disappointing to the vast majority of people to see the SPLM, the architect of independence of South Sudan, in a great state of disrepair. The SPLM will do an irreversible damage to its image as a political party if the indiscipline in its ranks is not addressed quickly to salvage the country from destruction. This can be done through dialogue.

Since one SPLM faction is in armed rebellion for more than half a year now with devastating effect, a peaceful solution is utterly desirable. The longer the rebellion drags on with untold sufferings of the people, the lower the confidence will be in the SPLM as a political party. People will look at the SPLM in Government as the one capable of bringing peace because it is in charge. The rebellion has little to lose as it is not in charge of running the affairs of the country. The SPLM in Government has the moral ground to offer an olive branch to bring pressure to bear on the rebellion for people the world over to see the difference.

State government

There are two main levels of government in the Republic of South Sudan, the central and state government. There are ten states and a state is headed by an elected governor. The state is autonomous and has a council of ministers of not less than 13 ministers. However, in the political parties’ proposal for a transitional government the state will only have 6 ministers with the governor and deputy governor who is also supposed to hold a ministerial portfolio. The structure and composition of the state government is interesting.

It is noted that the size of the state government is drastically reduced. It is not clear whether this is something to do with austerity measure that the size of the state government has to be reduced. At any rate the proposed size of the state government seems to be a hasty proposal with superficial understanding. In simple terms taking the state government as an implementer and the central government as a policy maker, which level of government needs a bigger size in technologically less advanced economies.

It should have been the other way round. The size of the central government should have been smaller than that of the state government. The deputy governor should not have any ministerial portfolio. There are other talented individuals who can equally have that ministerial portfolio. This is in order to relieve the deputy governor for his or her appropriate duties in the state government. The other thing to note is that the size of the state government should not be limited to what the centre thinks. The state should have the liberty to have the size of government appropriate to its development needs as long as its economy can sustain.

Development projects

In South Sudan people sometimes hear of national projects even if such projects are within the competence of the state. The concept of national projects is used carelessly by people who only day dream. We have experience of the negligence by central authorities of the so-called national projects. At least a national project should be the one that covers more than one state and the central authorities should be collaborating with state authorities concerned for success instead of imposing. However, quite often central authorities ignore the collaborative role of states in implementing projects. This is where problems at times occur.

As the tip of iceberg in agriculture, for example, the central authorities take it as their prerogative to distribute seed to the states instead of the states to distribute the seed to the farmers timely. The central authorities control the funds for the seed and the question is why, where there is so much inefficiency. Due to this poor system this season the central authorities failed miserably to distribute the seed on time. The states received the seed distribution list very late and even the seed have not yet reached the states to distribute to farmers where unfortunately the planting time has long passed. Is this how to develop agriculture? In agriculture timeliness is extremely important. Unfortunately the centre seems to ignore this probably for other motives.

Instead of supporting the states the central authorities think they can also be the implementers without understanding that they are making the technical staff in the states redundant. For example, how could the central authorities work directly with the farmers in the counties, payams and bomas without the collaboration of states authorities? This is what happens in what is supposed to be a decentralized system. Officials in the centre seem not to be aware of the competencies of the states.

As they are in the centre the officials erroneously assume they are in charge of everything in the states. This, of course, defeats the concept of decentralization leave alone federalism which is still a long way off. With the programme of reforms, hopefully, the proposed transitional government of national unity will put things right in the interest of ordinary men and women of the Republic of South Sudan.

Conclusion

South Sudan is bleeding and so peace is a matter of death and life for those who have experienced nothing but destruction and devastation on daily basis. The SPLM must by all means rise above the unnecessary wrangling over leadership and save innocent lives. It is utterly unacceptable for South Sudan to be a laughing stock in the world after emerging energetically as an independent state in decades of relentless liberation struggle.

Our Sudanese counterparts and those who were opposed to the independence of South Sudan are by now laughing hysterically at how primitive South Sudanese are, only know how massacring each other over earthly leadership; people barely two years of independence are tearing the country apart. What is so sweet about being a leader of a country that is burning or bleeding when those innocent faces with angel smiles are perishing everyday under unnecessary gun fire?

In conclusion, protecting leadership does not necessarily mean fighting for leadership come what may but it also means relinquishing leadership as the price to pay for peace, stability and unity as the ultimate manifestation of deep nationalism.

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

Desperate Situation: The suffering people of South Sudan have been abandoned

By Tongun Lo Loyuong

August 4, 2014 (SSNA) -- With South Sudan edging closer to the predicted famine that is poised to affect a third of its population, and with the peace talks to end the devastating civil war exhibiting little urgency, it is not far-fetched to conclude that the international community has abandoned us.

The appeal for $1.8 billion, a funding threshold required to arrest the humanitarian situation and South Sudan’s rapid descent into famine is yet to be reached, as funding commitments made by several members of the donor community remain unfulfilled.

But I guess such reluctance from the donor community is predictable, as most members of the donor community have probably never experienced surviving on water lilies, or going to bed with an empty stomach growling for a mouthful.

In addition, the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan has now earned the label “man-made,” which means it could have been avoided. The implication, which has been publicly voiced by some, is that South Sudan’s political leadership is to blame for creating the humanitarian crisis and the conducive conditions for the impending famine.

WHO GETS WHAT

It is common knowledge that the international community tends to respond to these kinds of crises after the fact, when graphic images of vultures waiting to feast on the corpse of a starving child begin to circulate in the media.

They tend to respond even more swiftly if the humanitarian crisis is a result of natural disasters, such as earthquakes, hurricanes and Tsunamis, just to mention but a few examples.

It is understandable, therefore, that there is an overall reluctance to clean up a humanitarian mess created by reckless leadership and greedy politicians in South Sudan, only that it is the hapless poor South Sudanese in remote rural areas who are bearing the brunt.

The politicians’ immediate family, relatives, stolen wealth and illegally accumulated assets are all stashed away in safe havens in the region, or abroad in the Middle East and the West.

GOVERNMENT’S PREOCCUPATIONS

Our political leaders, who hold the key to ending the suffering of our people, also seem to have forgotten where we all came from when it comes to suffering from hunger and starvation.

The government of South Sudan seems to not be bothered, as demonstrated by its recent squandering of a reported $1 billion in arms purchases from China.

Meanwhile, the humanitarian community appeals for funding that is not forthcoming to prevent an impending humanitarian catastrophe billed as the worst in our history.

The government remains preoccupied with counting the cost of war and committed to allocating funds for its continued execution, which further exacerbates the already dire humanitarian situation in South Sudan.

HOLLOW UTTERANCES

Amidst talk of the resumption of peace talks to deliberate the composition of an interim government, opposition parties and “civil society” groups are equally consumed with who gets what position in the interim arrangements and the “new political dispensation.”

This is at the expense of embarking on robust policy advocacy and channelling of collective efforts to mitigate the impending famine so as to, if partially, alleviate the suffering of the vulnerable South Sudanese women, children and the elderly in the conflict hotspots who are poised to be affected most when real starvation hits.

Since the violent outbreak in mid-December last year, the suffering South Sudanese poor have been treated to endless but hollow utterances of public condemnation after atrocities committed in the wake of every violation of the several agreements and re-commitments to agreements signed on cessation of hostilities in the past several months.

INEFFECTIVE SANCTIONS

Threats of targeted sanctions, travel bans and asset freezes of the perpetrators of civilian atrocities and gross human rights abuses remain but threats, ineffective enough to scare even a dog.

The handful of targeted sanctions, travel bans and asset freezes that have been handed out by the Americans and the Europeans are toothless and have circumvented the godheads and lords of the civil war and the real peace spoilers of the peace process.

In short, the international community has not done enough. They know it. And unless regional and international efforts are redoubled to coerce the parties in the conflict into urgently signing a peace agreement or risk facing serious punitive measures and consequences, South Sudanese will continue to feel abandoned.

Tongun Lo Loyuong is a South Sudanese expert and researcher in international peace studies. He studied at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana and is currently pursuing a PhD in the UK. Email:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or leave a message on his blog: http://tloloyuong.wordpress.com/. This article first appeared in the Kenyan Daily Nation.

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