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Editorial: Uniting people of South Sudan through development work

By Jacob K. Lupai

July 16, 2015 (SSNA) -- A lot has been sung about unity of people of South Sudan as though unity is all that is needed to address the mounting problems the country faces. There is hardly any mention of a mechanism that brings unity. Disunity is blamed on war as the only evil and peace is sung as the only way to achieve unity. However, there was peace before between 2005 and 2013. It is not clear whether there was then unity among the people of South Sudan. Nepotism, corruption and insecurity were rampant. Land grabbing was at its peak and marauding cattle keepers heavily armed to the teeth, terrorized peaceful farming communities with impunity. The rule of law was flagrantly violated. Murderers hardly faced the death penalty because they were on death row endlessly for unknown reasons.

From the above highlight the absence of war does not necessarily mean people are united. Even in peace time there may be bitterness beneath the surface in people when the system of governance is manipulated to favour others. How then is absence of war means people are at peace and united? In the absence of war the unity of people can be sustained through fairness and equitable development work. For example, the construction of a highway between Juba in Central Equatoria, Bor in Jonglei and Malakal in Upper Nile will encourage easy movements of people, goods and services, thereby promoting trade for mutual advantage and eventually unity of people.

Construction of a highway does not need to depend on the central government. The three states of Central Equatoria, Jonglei and Upper Nile can take the initiative to construct the highway. After all it is now ten years since the comprehensive peace agreement of 2005 and when has the central government constructed a highway in South Sudan linking the states. It is only the USAID that has constructed a tarmac highway linking Juba to Nimule in Central and Eastern Equatoria respectively. This brings us to the system of governance, either a centralized or decentralized one for effective delivery of services. This is discussed later in the article.

Uniting people through development work is not only limited to construction of highways. Development of trade between states is equally important and should be highly encouraged. For example, Western Equatoria and Lakes can develop trade on agricultural products and livestock respectively for comparative advantage and mutual benefit. Trade between states is likely to bring people closer together where contacts are increased. People will get to know each other better and this may promote mutual understanding and trust. In this way people from the different states will develop confidence in each other. This may act like catalyst for unity of people with the same aspirations to improve their living standards.

People of one destiny

There is a slogan that reads, “One Nation One People” highlighted on billboards and in the media. This is meant to reflect what South Sudan is, one nation and one people. However, it is not clear whether critical analysis of the slogan was made. I will strenuously disagree that South Sudan is “One People” and I am not even so sure whether South Sudan is “One Nation” as the slogan wants people to believe. For sure South Sudan will never be “One people” even if the prophets rise from their unmarked graves to preach once more, may be this time on the banks of the Nile. South Sudan is composed of 72 ethnic groups or nationalities. Arguably South Sudan is definitely not “One People” but it is composed of people of “One Destiny”.

The slogan, “One Nation One People” is only a dream that people may need to work very hard to realize it in practice. It is relevant to know that people in South Sudan are divided along regional, tribal, ethnic and clan or even family lines.

Liberation struggle for freedom

As people of one destiny South Sudanese in their different ethnic groups or nationalities were united in a protracted liberation struggle for freedom from oppression, marginalization and treatment as second class citizens. The different ethnic groups fought alongside each other against what was perceived as the common enemy.

Oppression, marginalization and mistreatment made the people of South Sudan to forge a common front of unity regardless of their different ethnic backgrounds. Basically the people of South Sudan did not struggle for freedom as “One People” but they jointly, probably with different agendas, struggled as people of “One Destiny” against the perceived common evil of oppression, marginalization and mistreatment. South Sudanese are people of “One Destiny” in contrast to the misleading slogan that they are “One People”. What happened next after freedom had been achieved is anybody’s guess.

Addis Ababa Agreement of 1972

After a protracted armed struggle that lasted 17 years, people of South Sudan at last got a breathing space. This was through an agreement called the Addis Ababa Agreement of 1972 which granted the former southern provinces of Bahr el Ghazal, Equatoria and Upper Nile a local autonomy. Under the agreement the three provinces became known as the Southern Region. Among other things the agreement was for efficient administration and the development of the Southern Region which was neglected for too long.

Barely 10 years into the agreement cracks began to appear in the leadership of the Southern Region. It seems Southern Sudanese then did not know how to manage the little freedom attained through the agreement. There were accusations of tribalism in the regional government. The challenge was how to attain unity in heterogeneous Southern Region. Attaining unity was to recognize and accept the principle of peaceful co-existence of people with diversities. However, this was not the case.

Accusations of tribal domination, hegemony and corruption became ever louder and there was also a louder call for decentralization of the Southern Region. Eventually the Southern Region was decentralized amid stiff opposition from those who had everything to lose in their easily acquired privileged positions in government and in business. The Southern Region was divided into three regions of Bahr el Ghazal, Equatoria and Upper Nile which were the former three southern provinces.

Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005

As the Southern Region was being decentralized another armed struggle was taking place in Upper Nile Region. Those who were bitterly opposed to the decentralization of the Southern Region flocked in droves to join the new armed struggle. As the armed struggle gained momentum its rank and file was swollen up with the various ethnic groups in South Sudan. It was obvious that the various ethnic groups fought the enemy together as people of one destiny but not as one people. From the bitterness of decentralization it was clear that there was no question that the people of South Sudan were fighting the enemy as one people.

The new armed struggle lasted 22 years when a comprehensive peace agreement was signed in 2005. The agreement gave the former Southern Region now called Southern Sudan 6 years of interim period followed by a referendum. In the referendum the people of Southern Sudan would be asked whether to remain united with the North or to opt for an independent state of their own. In January 2011 the people of Southern Sudan spoke loudly. They voted overwhelmingly, about 99 per cent, for independence and in July the self-governing Southern Sudan declared itself the independent Republic of South Sudan.

The vote in the referendum was the real liberation of South Sudan by the participation of all its eligible citizens. The unfortunate noises made by some few misguided individuals that “we liberated you” are nothing but the advertisement of total ignorance and sheer ethno-centricism which is inherently anti-nationalism in modern day South Sudan.

Post independent South Sudan

The people of South Sudan voted overwhelmingly for independence because they wanted to be free at last. They had yearned for development and services. The alternative was to remain in shackles forever. Since the implementation of the comprehensive peace agreement of 2005, the people of South Sudan did not fare any better. Poverty was high and insecurity was of major concern. South Sudan was not food self-reliant.

Urban and rural roads were in appalling conditions of utter neglect. Corruption became part of the culture difficult to eradicate. In all, the peace dividends expected were not forthcoming. It was a huge disappointment after so much protracted armed struggle with the loss of millions of precious lives.

The worse to devastate South Sudan was yet to come when an internal division within the ruling party in government, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), exploded enormously into an open armed confrontation in the city of Juba. The sheer greed for power and hence control of resources is to blame. Also, to blame is the impatience and insensitivity to the consequencs of the open armed confrontation on unity of the country.

There will never be any peace in South Sudan when the focus is only on power sharing. Fundamental is institutional reform in sustaining unity. Power sharing should be the second priority. However, there seems to be deep ill-feeling that the SPLM may never be the same again. In view of irreconcilable differences, the leadership of the SPLM may need to reconsider their positions in the best interest of the country.

System of governance

According to the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011 Artricle 47, South Sudan shall have a decentralized system of government with national, state and local government level. The question to pose may be, to what extent is the decentralized system effective on the ground. Article 48 (1) (d) on Devolution of Powers stipulates that the principle shall be the pursuit of good governance through democracy, separation of powers, transparency, accountability and respect for the rule of law to enhance peace, socio-economic development and political stability.

Article 48(2) (b) says that the national government shall respect the powers devolved to the states and local governments. This seems to be the reality in theory. In practice the national government may be so powerful that the system is virtually a centralized one. The national government can remove elected state governors with no warning.

National ministries may transfer staff to the states without the knowledge of the states concerned. National ministries also claim to be in-charge of what they apportion to themselves as national projects in the states with hardly any definition. Failure to develop projects of any significance, the existing projects in the states are now claimed to be national projects.

For decentralization to be meaningful it has to be exercised on the ground. Decentralization in theory is not helpful in sustaining unity. Decentralized governance has been accorded a central place in the discourse on development. This calls for improved people’s participation by way of effective decentralization through local self-governments. In contrast to a centralized system, decentralization is seen to promote efficiency, effectiveness and equity in delivery of services to people.

For South Sudan to be a successful story but not a failed state, the adoption of a federal system of government is essential, characterized by the principle of strict separation of powers and functions between the federal government and the states. Interference in state affairs should not be permitted. Both should be vested with the three branches of power, the legislative, the executive and the judiciary. Each level of government should be responsible and accountable for its own acts and decisions.

Currently the states in South Sudan do not have judiciary and this limits the power of the states to prosecute criminals, making the provision of justice to victims of crime in the states difficult. The states should also have the power to raise taxes for development. In addition the federal government can grant financial aid for particular important investments in the states.

Unity through development work

When the guns went silent as a result of the comprehensive peace agreement of 2005, the feeling and understanding of being people of one destiny appeared to have evaporated into thin air. As if they couldn’t believe it, the agreement brought freedom unseen of to the people of South Sudan. The South had its own army and self-government comparable to any government in Sub-Saharan Africa. Besides marginalization by the North was becoming a thing of the past.

The freedom seemed to have neutralized the people of South Sudan. There was no longer a magnetic pull strong enough to make South Sudanese to have another vision of people as of one destiny. Although poverty was glaringly evident and underdevelopment was felt everywhere, the people were oblivious. The political war was won but the economic war was yet to be won. One would have hoped this was enough to make the people of South Sudan to consider themselves as people of one destiny and the struggle continues.

Contrary to expectations naivety crept in at an alarming rate that greed for power and wealth turned people overnight to be traitors to Dr John Garang de Mabior’s vision of a New Sudan. It was like people had gone to war simply to come and loot public and private resources with impunity. However, during the interim period the perception of being independent through a referendum was so overwhelming that people put up with all the negative behaviors of the insensitive ones.

After the attainment of independence through the referendum the focus should have been on the prosperity of the country. Naturally the negative behaviors cannot be multiplied in independent South Sudan for the unity of the country will be in jeopardy. An appropriate way is to formulate a development programme that is focused on promoting national unity. For convenience there are two main cultures in South Sudan, farming and pastoralism. These two cultures always clash and the consequences are unlikely to foster national unity. National unity is at stake when one culture is greedy for power and control of resources for the sake of domination to rule.

The challenge is how to harmonize the two cultures for mutual advantage in promoting national unity. Development of infrastructures and promotion of trade between farming communities and pastoralists will go a long way to bring these people together and this may promote mutual understanding. Many may know which states are predominantly of pastoralists and farming communities. Linking all major towns in pastoralists and farming communities through highways, waterways and in the future through railways can do the trick of realizing national unity. Airways may be unaffordable to the poor of either culture.

Unity through development work can be real when people are development oriented and serious. States should pioneer investment in development projects to rip benefits with movement of labor across states to tap the knowledge, skills and experience of the highly qualified in South Sudan. They should not wait for the central government.


Uniting the people of South Sudan through development work is not a concept that cannot be realized in practice. It is something that can become real with some ingenuity. South Sudan is rich in various resources. The only challenge is that South Sudan is a nation of consumers who prefer individual development at the expenses of the country. This may explain the high level of corruption and theft of public funds with impunity. According to South Sudan Development Plan 2011 – 2013, corruption in some government institutions is prevalent. Nepotism as a form of corruption is also cited as a major hindrance to good governance.

Hardly any consideration is given to national development. For example, agriculture is always cited as the backbone of the economy of South Sudan. Agriculture therefore should have been developed for self-reliance in food production so that South Sudan should not have to spend millions of US dollars on food imports from the neighboring countries. However, in the National Draft Budget for Financial Year 2014/15 the budget for agriculture and forestry is 3 per cent of the total budget.

The budgetary allocation to agriculture is below what is expected given that agriculture is the backbone of the economy of the country. With favorable climatic conditions and multiple sources of water, South Sudan could be the breadbasket of the region. However, to increase production 10-25 per cent of the total budget should be allocated to agriculture.

In conclusion, South Sudan has every reason to be a strong united and vibrant country by uniting its people through development work when there is a vision and political will.  

Jacob K. Lupai is the author of the book: South Sudan, Issues in Perspective published in 2014. The book is available in St Joseph Bookshop and in JIT Supermarket in Juba, and at Juba International Airport. For students who would like to borrow the book, copies owned by Juba University are available in the library.

Do you know Garang Boys are problematic in South Sudan’s Politics?

By Peter Gai Manyuon 

July 14, 2015 (SSNA) -- Transitional Constitution of South Sudan 2011 was manipulated by Garang Boys. South Sudan resources looted by the boys and the current crisis was a strategic work plans for five years by (Yaal Garang) with their mother.

Are you aware that these boys are the problem to South Sudanese communities? Are you aware that, they are looking for South Sudan leadership only that their mechanism is not effective?  Are you informed that, out of 75 corrupts officials, 50 are within them? Are you informed that, they bought houses in East Africa region using Country resources? Are you informed that, they try by all means to lead the interim government but they failed politically?  Did you discover that, half of them never when to any formal school? Do you know that most of them studied through distance education from South Africa? Did you know that, some of them are not yet acknowledge as South Sudanese nationals?  Did you know that President Kiir will appoint Speaker of South Sudan Legislative Assembly from the former detainees? Are you informed that, Minister of Interior will be given to one of them?  Did you learn that Comrade Telar Ring and Aleu were pushed out from Cabinet due to request from former detainees? Do you know that Taban Deang Gai and Malong Awan are having underground coup to remove Kiir from power for them to lead South Sudanese, where Malong will be President for six months and Taban vice President for six months and there after elections?  Have you heard of Comrade Taban lobbying for over throw of Dr Machar from SPLM in opposition leadership? And are you aware that Comrade Pagan Amum was misinformed that Kiir will die in the next three months according to special doctor report, so that he can take the leadership using SPLM protocol since Comrade Wani Igga is a Liability and Dr Machar is in rebellion side?

Apparently, it’s well understood that most of the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) members are all thieves. Those in the government, opposition and the remaining three within the former detainees group, they are all liabilities to South Sudanese communities.  South Sudanese must think of how to isolate them all for the peaceful co-existence of South Sudanese masses to be achieved or put in to place. Isolation of the seventy five (75) corrupts individuals who have incited South Sudanese people to killed themselves on ethnic basis is what most people should be advocating for.

It should be from each community to isolate their person from participating in the politics of the nation. Don’t ask me why?

Nevertheless, since the inception of Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005, Referendum and the declaration of the Independence of South Sudan as the Sovereign State on the 9th of July 2011, most of the “Garang Boys” were the one stealing the resources of the Country where they eventually took billions of dollars to foreign Countries for their own investments and benefits.

Absolutely, according to the research I carried out with the help of International experts in East Africa, most of the 75 corrupts political sycophants, 60% out of 75 officials are all Garang Boys. They have built/bought houses in the entire East Africa region due to the resources of the Country that they have looted.  Very disgraceful indeed, South Sudanese are now known internationally, regionally as thieves of their own properties!

The dissolution of the entire cabinet by  President Kiir Mayardit in July 2013, most of the Garang boys/ orphans ganged themselves and blindfold Dr Riek Machar for the support that was not accomplish for (Dr. Machar)  to be the flag bearer of the SPLM in 2015 general elections that was supposed to take place early this year.  Dr Riek was not aware that the “boys” he is dealing with are all thieves who are experts in destroying his ideology of becoming the President of South Sudan. Machar was not informed about the vision and the mission of the group. Very interesting politics of 21th century in South Sudan!

Suddenly, after they realized that Kiir Mayardit and Riek Machar were not of the view to have a common goal of signing a Transitional Government of National Unity (TGONU) where (Garang Boys) presumed to be part and parcel of the peace initiatives, they eventually formed a collusion called “former G10” that is integrated in to the SPLM-in Government and other three (3) remained isolated and now are very confused of where to go. 

Apparently, these great thieves of late Dr. John Garang are the problem to South Sudanese people. It is the time for South Sudanese communities to re-think what mechanism to isolate them politically.

Obviously, the combination of these crass individuals known as “Garang Boys” has led to the loss of lives and properties among the great communities of Upper Nile region likewise to South Sudanese in general.

The methodology of manipulation is the ideology of Garang Boys and their mother Rebecca Nyadeang De Mabior. Rebecca Nyadeang should know that, the legacy of Late Dr. John is spoiled already by her children which consists of John Luke, Majak De Agok, Taban Deang Gai, Gier Chuong, Deng Alor, Oyai Deng, Gathoth Mai, Pieng Deng, Kuol Manyang, and the South Sudanese who is leading in corruption Comrade Pagan Amum as well nickname as Elder Son of Late Dr. John.

Practically, the current crisis was initiated by the comrades within the SPLM as the ruling party of South Sudan in this 21th century.  Taking the people of South Sudan to zero level was a strategy from these bums of hooligans known by the name former G10 or detainees. It is well acknowledged that all Late Garang Children known as” Yaal Garang or Nyadeang” are the one that created the confusion between General Salva Kiir and Dr Riek Machar.

It is well understood that, most of these politicians were the one behind the scene in the newest nation. After they failed from lobbying for the positions from International Community to lead South Sudanese in the Interim period, they ended up divided themselves and some joined SPLM in the government and some ended up in the middle and now they don’t know where to go. What a disgrace?

More so, in 2012 May, most of “Yaal Garang” plot a coup against President Kiir and Machar as well in 2013 June where they finally disagreed among themselves on who to lead the people of South Sudan in case they succeed in their plot. What lead to their disagreement was the issue of who to lead if they accomplish their mission of killings the two gentlemen.

Even God almighty have realized that, the combination of Pagan Amum, Taban Deang Gai, Deng Alor, John Luke, Majak De Agot and their mother Nyadeang Garang is a big shame to South Sudanese people globally.  

God almighty who created these useless politicians in South Sudan territory should re-think of what could reconcile most of the civil population at this particular period of time.

These categories of people were the one who manipulated the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan 2011 and billions of dollars got disappeared in their hands. 

These boys have one ideology of ruling the people of South Sudan but the only issue is that most of them lack support from their communities across the Country. Due to  disagreement between Dr Majak Agot and Comrade Taban Deang Gai lead to their movement separately up to this movement , where they divided themselves in to  SPLM in government, SPLM in opposition and SPLM former Detainees that eventually joined genocidal government in Juba.

Hence, the orphans of Late Dr John Garang are seriously looking for leadership day and night in South Sudan. The problem is that no one is supporting them from the citizen of South Sudan, due to their background of corruption cases, chronic tribalism and illiteracy. Even though they managed to confused Dr Riek Machar and General Salva Kiir Mayardit to clash among themselves in 2013, this time around they will never manipulate any one again in the Country because most of the citizens have eventually known them properly.

None of the former G10 or detainees does not deserve leadership in South Sudan due to their background from their respective constituencies across the Country.

The Author is an Independent Journalist and Columnist who has written extensively on issues of Democratization and Human Rights in South Sudan. He could be reach on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Elias Nyamlell and Eric Reeves: What I suggest to Al-Jazeera Inside Story program

By Tor Madira Machier

July 12, 2015 (SSNA) --  South Sudan is the pot which everybody will, ( after he get tired) eventually come back and drink from it, the man on the left side of the screen told the Al-Jazeera’s Inside Story program during the earliest hours of Thursday.

Four days ago, I turned my eyes on the Qatari based Al-Jazeera English’s Inside Story program at 2:30 am, Cairo local time (the 9th of July) which officially coincides with the fourth South Sudan’s independence anniversary, coming across a very, if not disturbing , dark sided program titled, “South Sudan political or personal”. On the same time I was following a very interesting Egyptian comedy on the al Masr tv channel. At first, when I saw the title of the program, I did not had an interest to watch the program but as soon as the presenter welcomed his guests live from Juba and Northampton, I saw that the guests are Elias Nyamlel Wakoson and Eric Reeves, a monitoring and evaluation officer at the so called Ebony Center for Strategic Studies and a professor at Smith College respectively which drew a lot of attention from me forcing me to leave the comedy and shift to their program.

After Nyamlel was asked, he responded in a language full of bias and so, do the white guy. They both now are in possession of each one’s feeling and analysis towards South Sudan where it came to my sense that they are representing the views of the South Sudan government which defines the rebels as the major factor in the violation of the ceasefire agreement prompting me to suggest that a rebel representative could have been invited to the program to express and represent the rebel camp as the case defines the role of the program.

What I usually know is that when a certain TV station hosts more than one guest, I am sure that the two may and in any case must have differing opinions. If they share the same view, then there is no need for the presenter to host the two or more. An example may be the Al-Jazeera Arabic Hitijah al-Muakth of Dr. Faisal Gassim.

To me the viewers of that program nor the presenter did not obtain from these guys a piece of opinion. But they further complicated and misrepresented the picture of what is happening in South Sudan as it is from the case of Nyamlel who said ‘’ Our people says, if two brother fight, they don’t have to break the water pot……because after they fight they are the same ones who will come back and drink from the same pot they refused to break” according to him, he means that there is no any kind of solution to the conflict in South Sudan and that Dr. Riek Machar and Salva Kiir will come back when they get tired and that we have to wait when they are tired and from my point of view, he is not only Jeopardizing the peace initiative under the auspices of the IGAD, but he is also ignoring the suffering and the pain inflicted upon the grassroots citizens by the current civil war. From Nyamlel and this gentleman, I do only see a language which lack from the beginning to the end transparency and balance. But in my understanding and analysis of Nyamlel’s words, he is trying to convice the environment in Juba so as to be conducive for his soul.

With the Eric Reeves, the two when further to talks in a way that do not reflect the mechanism of how the conflict in South Sudan could be ended. Eric Reeves, an American old man, afflicted with Riek-phobia reached even to the point that Peter Gatdet and Gabriel Tanginye are to be blamed for the days-out violation of the January 23rd cessation of hostilities of 2014. Until the end of their interview, they did not touch the other side of the warring parties (government camp). I blame them two for their bias but less to Elias Nyamlel who by the time of the interview was in South Sudan’s capital Juba which for me means that he may be taking care of his life and thus make his words environmentally friend to the security in Juba which is the set of the slaughters and thus more blame to the white guy who is always known for his anti-rebels writings and commentaries. Gabriel Tanginye is just defending himself as well as Peter Gatdet.

Tor Madira Machier is a South Sudanese student living in Egypt, he is the author of an upcoming book: THE END OF THE BEGINNING: THE NUER AND THE DINKA, A REFLECTION OF SOUTH SUDAN’S CULTURE OF ETHNIC HATRED. He can be reached at:

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