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Tuesday, Oct 21st, 2014

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IGAD: From peace mediators to peace destructors

By Michael Gatguat Tap Gatluak

September 24, 2014 (SSNA) -- Recalling back the August 31, 2009 African’s head of States collective assembly in the Libyan’s capital Tripli, you would find that their main agenda was to discuss strategies to construct tranquil states in Africa by 2010. They concurred on creating states where serene and security is guarantee. I still remember their statement to the media when they said; “We are determined to deal once and for all with the scourge of conflicts and violence on our continent acknowledging our continents cultural and economic diversity. We will make sure that no opportunity for conflict prevention is missed, we, as leaders of this continent we cannot bequeath any burden of conflict to the next generation.”

After hearing those compliant utterances, I thought that the Europeans and Americans driven robot African Union which was established on May 25, 1963 in Addis Ababa is eventually ready for people’s government reform. But the sincere agenda underneath is to sacrifices more innocent lives to please their bosses who works hard to keep Africa undeveloped and village. I am expressing disappointment toward our regional and continent leaders due to their little contribution toward creating a flexible and happy environment in the region and the whole Africa.

I personally term 98 percent of the African leaders as “TALKATIVE”; they have the finest speeches in the world yet with rare action.

Why IGAD becomes peace destructors?

IGAD ignored the root cause of South Sudan conflict instead they are struggling to find alternative to save Kiir from being turn in to Hague. This action will help the dictators maintain their power by fighting for themselves.

IGAD is imposing a leader who has failed the 64 tribes of South Sudan and killed more than 20,000 Nuer. I said that because the agreement which was turn down by Dr. Riek Machar on August 25, 2014 was unfortunate, on the agreement the IGAD state agreed to keep the president Salva Kiir on his position.­­

IGAD are fighting for superiority, they are fighting for their personal gains where they must keep the war in South Sudan in order for them to continue receiving their remunerations.

To conclude my argument, I am calling all the South Sudanese and the international community to closely monitor the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) activities or simply form a campaign petitioning transformation of IGAD to another world body.

Long live South Sudan!
Long live the people of South Sudan!

The author is a concern South Sudanese residing in Egypt and former NYSAE general secretary. He can reached at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Exploring every avenue for urgent peace in South Sudan

By Jacob K. Lupai

September 22, 2014 (SSNA) -- Right now South Sudan is going through a situation of uncertainty that many must be wondering what may become of it in the next coming years. Depending on the level of pessimism others may conclude that South Sudan is already a failed state and on its way to the dustbin of history. However, it should be understood that the people of South Sudan are resilient and optimistic, and their optimism had sustained their protracted liberation struggle for fifty years (1955 – 2005) for freedom and independence. There is therefore no room for despair but to explore consistently every avenue in search of a lasting peace in South Sudan.

Without peace there is no way to create cohesion for sustainable national unity. South Sudan may ultimately disintegrate in the absence of an urgent peace. However, this will be unfortunate for the people of South Sudan who had struggled and suffered so much for their call for equality, justice and prosperity in what was then known as Old Sudan.

Basics of liberation struggle

A liberation struggle is not waged for fun simply to lose dear lives and property for nothing. It should instead be waged for a basic and fundamental call for equality, justice and prosperity. A clear example of this was when South Sudan called for equality with North Sudan in the Old Sudan in the arrangement for independence from British colonial rule. As a blatant oppression of South Sudan, North Sudan made it a point to have all the senior positions in the South to be occupied by northerners. When the southern demand for a federal system was rejected by the North there was a bitter disappointment and widespread discontent in the South. This was the genesis of a protracted liberation struggle against inequality and injustice perpetuated by the North. It was obvious for the people of South Sudan that they would have to make expensive sacrifices for ultimate independence.

As people of one destiny South Sudanese fought and died together in trenches for freedom as comrades and people of one diversified and colorful family, South Sudan. This spirit clearly made people of South Sudan what they are today, people of an independent country of their own. Prior to independence this spirit of togetherness was manifested when Dr Lam Akol and Dr Riek Machar rejoined Dr John Garang for that great and historic achievement of the comprehensive peace agreement (CPA) of 2005 that restored relative peace to South Sudan and made the Old Sudan never to be the same again. It was not clear whether without the unity among Dr Lam Akol, Dr Riek Machar and Dr John Garang there would have been any CPA that would have brought independence to South Sudan.

Era of relative peace

In the beginning of the CPA the people of South Sudan became euphoric. The CPA was seen as bringing conditions of paradise on earth in South Sudan. The rampant insecurity experienced during the northern colonial rule was to become a thing of the past. Indeed the beginning of the CPA showed signs of relative peace. This, however, was short-lived as conditions began to deteriorate as though the post CPA government was not prepared for governance. Poor governance characterized this era. However, President Salva Kiir Mayardit asserted in no uncertain terms that unity was not made attractive and threatened that crossing the referendum date was a redline. This is a shining legacy of Salva Kiir Mayardit which he should not squander for unwarranted petty leadership quarrels that have unfortunately turned violent.

The sheer determination for independence made people to deliberately turn a blind eye to many shortcomings of the post CPA government. Given the history of long wars of liberation, poor infrastructure, limited capacity for governance and weak state institutions, peace could have been short-lived. Nevertheless, the CPA era was considered as a preparation for independence. Rocking the boat was not an option in the face of mounting insecurity, corruption, nepotism, land grabbing and arrogance.

Also, it was not uncommon to hear some simple-minded claiming they were the only instrumental in liberating the people of South Sudan from the yolk of the North. The so-called loud mouth liberators must have actually liberated themselves from poverty because theft seems to be their trademark. Land grabbing as part of theft was on the rise with the government absolutely doing nothing, a sure license for rampant land grabbing.

Land grabbers who were identified as soldiers used guns to impose their criminal act of land grabbing with the government turning a blind eye, contrary to the government’s claim that no one was above the law. It was very difficult to understand why was there such an outrageous indiscipline among soldiers who illegally occupied people’s plots of land when there was commander-in-chief, minister of defense and general chief-of-staff who were all supposed to be in full control of their soldiers in the effort to promote army-civilian cordial relations for national unity. It should be clear to those concerned that land grabbing won’t sustain national unity.

Independence of South Sudan

If anyone in the world doubts the unity of the people of South Sudan as people of one destiny they should think again and better look at the results of the referendum for independence. The results were 98.43 per cent Yes for independence and 1.57 per cent No for Unity of Old Sudan. This also confirmed that there were no people as instrumental liberators for the 98.43 per cent of people who voted in the referendum liberated the South.

Arguably the people of South Sudan did not vote overwhelmingly for independence as one people but as people of one destiny. Those who think and talk of the people of South Sudan as one people are grossly misleading others. The people of South Sudan fought for freedom as people of one destiny against oppression because this was the common denominator. After the CPA and independence there was little cohesion among the people as cracks began to appear.

The euphoria after the referendum and independence gave way to bitter disappointment as the people wanted their government to deliver security and basic services as the anticipated peace dividends. Despite the initial euphoria claims of corruption, nepotism, exclusion, and domination of government and business by some ethnic groups seemed to have eroded people’s enthusiasm in the government. Above all the security of individual and property was and is of major concern. This has been the most important expected peace dividend. People have been disappointed with poor delivery of security. The government therefore has a lot to improve security.

Incident of 15 December 2013

The incident of 15 December 2013 should not have taken place if people had strictly adhered to the vision and mission of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).

According to the SPLM Manifesto 2012, Comrade Salva Kiir Mayardit, the Chairman of SPLM, in his letter addressed to citizens of South Sudan said in part that, “Although South Sudan became a sovereign state on 9 July 2011, we still have much work to do to liberate our citizens from the ravages of poverty, lack of basic services like health care, education systems, and infrastructure and food security. A new nation comes with new challenges. We must face those challenges with innovative solutions and a bold approach. We have no interest in repeating the mistakes of the rest of the world – indeed, we will learn from them”.

The above is an indication of no to war. For the vision of the SPLM it is to build an inclusive secular democratic developmental state, to spearhead rapid human and sustainable economic development and environmental green economy.

The mission of the SPLM is to construct a knowledge economy in South Sudan and to build a nation and a society inspired by peace, freedom, justice, unity, prosperity and progress.

With the vision and mission of the SPLM as shown above, how on earth couldn’t have the incident of 15 December 2013 been avoided. One thing might be certain. It was uncontrolled greed for leadership, power and hegemony, something contrary to the vision and mission of the SPLM. The incident of 15 December 2013 risks tearing up the country with Upper Nile and Bahr el Ghazal poles apart, and Equatoria concentrating on peace and development as part of its well known characteristics.

Search for peace in South Sudan

There is no military solution in sight in response to the ongoing senseless war of destruction. People must be wasting their valuable time if they think a military solution is imminent. It is only unfortunate that events have turned ethnic as the vicious struggle for power between the Jieng and the Naagat ethnic groups seems to suggest, with tribal militias being employed with devastating effect. The vision and mission of the SPLM seem to have been thrown out contemptuously through the window.

The search for peace in South Sudan should be a national agenda but not restricted to those in government and opposition or to the Jieng and the Naagat as the only dominant participants. There are people who do not subscribe to such a senseless war of annihilation and destruction simply to maintain the status quo of either the Jieng or the Naagat domination.

Part of the mission of the SPLM says, “The SPLM will ensure democracy under the rule of law and good governance, to safeguard fundamental human, economic, social, cultural and religious rights and freedoms”. The question is how does this senseless war in conformity with this part of the mission of the SPLM?

It is clear that people may need to rise above personal interest for the overall prosperity and unity of the country.

Conclusion

It is not yet too late that South Sudan has reached a point of no return but only to disintegrate into three independent states of Upper Nile, Bahr el Ghazal and Equatoria as in the former Soviet Union or in the Balkans. As the people of South Sudan had endured decades of destruction, the 9-month senseless war is nothing but a warning for the people to double their efforts in search of an urgent and lasting peace to save the country from utter destruction. It is possible that the country, led by an Equatorian may save the situation.

President Salva Kiir Mayardit and Dr Riek Machar have a legacy of being freedom fighters for the dignity of the people of South Sudan. Both had put their lives online to bring us to where we are today. It is therefore important that the two should think carefully.

In conclusion, to simply throw away the shining legacy of a freedom fighter that restored the dignity of the marginalized and oppressed poor of South Sudan is something that somebody should really think seriously about it. People are looking at the two leaders for their humanity, irrespective of their individual ambitions, to save the country from complete destruction.

Jacob K. Lupai is the author of a new book, South Sudan, Issues in Perspective, which will shortly be launched in Juba, South Sudan.

South Sudan conflict: What women silently do?

By Angelina Malual Dak

September 22, 2014 (SSNA) -- As I scrolled and kept going through various daily articles in the media, I discovered that very few women are involved in writing articles which led me to enquire about the role of women in South Sudan's conflict.

I also found many young men questioning the existence and the contribution of the females to end the country's civil war. I was prompted to write an article where I can tell you exactly what a woman silently does.

I am not literally encouraging silence instead I am calling for the participation of all age group because when the execution of South Sudanese emerged it did not spared any particular age class.

Before I tell you what women silently do, I would like to recall an old time proverb which stated that; "Behind every successful man there us a wise woman, and behind every respectful child there is a great mother."

Beginning at home if we did not rest you and taught you to be wise and strong man who can distinguish his duties from others, today you would not care to reject the oppression; therefore, you must all admit that after God your mothers designed and silently made you the man and the fine lady you are today.

We traditionally educated and practically taught you how to literally stand your ground without stepping on others toe. We took you to the public institutions and taught you how to pick the right friend and the helpful wife who could be the best mother to you and your children.

I am not denying that there are also careless mothers who teach their children to live on other people's sweat and could not live to be a man of his own which results on futile and purposeless life.

During war time when men are depressed, we, the women reconcile them and create a dependable environment to help them takes a triumph decision. When you were born I became the garbage cane where all dirt are thrown, I excitedly carried you for nine months and tried to please everyone even if they step on my core rights just for your sake. I sold out my most expensive necklace and tirelessly treated you when you were ill and advise you when you go astray.

My contribution on December 15 conflict

When I heard the first bullet on the night of December 15, I quickly ran and grape you by the hand and took you to a place that I can grant your safety until morning. Your father and I were standing outside guarding you when you were in a deep sleep.

By December 16, I was the first to go out to establish a save exit like a dove sent by Noah to check and confirm the life existence after the flood. Mothers like myself were helplessly raped and killed yet were glad that you will live to bring the man who abused their life to justice. I did not openly fight to escape my death because I confidently knew that I will live in you.

On December 18, we arrived in Tongping's United Nation Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) camp and by evening I brought you the first meal and I went to bed with empty stomach for another two more days due to the shortage of food. I did not care because whenever I see you smiling and how energetic you are, the reflection motivates me and make the happiest mother I am today.

I am not a politician neither a soldier but a mother who gave birth to:

  • A brave warriors like Captain Nyapuoch and General Gatdet Yaka.
  • A wise and powerful leaders like Chancellor Angela Merke of Germany and Dr. Riek Machar of South Sudan.
  • A good decision maker like the Savior Malual Biel and Low Tang who saved Dr. Machar's life.
  • Heroes like Mr. Mabior Garang de Mabior together with General Dau Aturjong Nyuol who preferred to answer thenational call.
  • The best South Sudanese artist like Zahra Ali (AKA – Queen Zee) and the peace Nobel awarded Emmanuel JalJok.
  • And the list goes on.

I know there are so many out there whose contributions shines like the Sun and their names are written in the center of every South Sudanese heart.

Why constant conflict in South Sudan and Africa as whole

With very limited knowledge and as a mother who was internationally labeled as the Minister of Interior in the most successful and happy family houses, I argue that the reason why South Sudan does not have peace is because we turned away from God which resulted on the Bible's fifth book Deuteronomy 28:15-68. I don't want to talk about how desperate the West will be if Africa (farm and village according to the West) decided to be independent in economic and political wise. Depending on the daily media outlet reports, it is obvious that African's leaders are puppets to Europeans and Americans and the Africa's citizens are slaves to their leaders.

"Unity will never come when we are not loyal and devoted to the nation"

As I come to the conclusion of my argument, I would like to call on the new generation of South Sudan to firmly stop exercising racism, tribalism, clanism, nepotism and injustice. I am urging you to stop blindly following your elder's divisive advices.

Long time ago before technology was introduced, we used to build our knowledge base on family, relatives and friends told stories and their own life experience but presently you have a various verification sources where you can easily confirm any sensitive or general information; Please block and stop believing on our ill advices which brought regrettable destruction to South Sudan and Africa in general.

"Our tribes should not be seen as source of distinction but a source of national prosperity and strength."

My message to South Sudan elders and intellectuals; be advice that whenever a consultation subject about South Sudan conflict is brought up, we must all admit that Nuer were discriminately massacre, by implementing this, ultimate solution to our long-standing struggle shall be found. We, South Sudanese should learn to recognize our differences and respect them as they are for our common good.

I intentionally said that because South Sudan is a land of my children, I cannot sit and watch you destroying it in the name of politic when our age is virtually over. I am begging your pardon to seek calm in South Sudan for the sake of our children.

"If you don't understand the energy it took to exit woman's womb when midwife asked the mother to push, push and push, you would scarcely discern the force required to manifest a dream."

Finally, I would like thank you for giving me this chance to mention this few tips about what women silently do. It is our responsibility to teach our own communities the importance of dignity and respect for one another regardless of ethnic, economic or academic differences. – All females should join me in writing articles.

Long live South Sudan!
Long live citizens and nationals of South Sudan!

Angelina Malual is the chairperson of Bentiu women group in Egypt and the mother of Zee Machar. You can contact her via email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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