South Sudan News Agency

Sunday, Apr 20th, 2014

Last update07:00:08 AM GMT

You are here: Opinion

Ukraine, Crimea’s Proxy War has Overshadowed South Sudan’s Crisis

By David Mabior Atem Kuir

March 20, 2014 (SSNA) -- The Ukraine and Russia’sproxy war has overshadowed South Sudan crisis as international community’s pressures are exerted toward Ukraine, Crimea. Ukraine political crisis started as people protesting and demanding their leaders to redirect country’s bilateral relations to Europe instead of Russia. Those demands were not met that resulted into peaceful protests that led to death of protesters. After that, political situation became uncontrolled of which Ukraine’s president stepped down and left the country to Russia for political asylum. However, Former Ukraine’s president was strong ally to Russia since the shared geo-political and cultural ties that led to the President of Russian ordered troops to occupied strategic areas of Crimea. Crimea’s political administration convened and endorsed controversial referendum that occurred on March 16, 2014. The ballot boxes for Crimea’s referendum were labeled in two ways; join Russia or remains part of Ukraine. Concerned were already raised in the media that types of questions asked in the ballot forms were confusing.

One-week proxy war has drawn a lot of media attention internationally compared to South Sudan crisis of 4 months where innumerous atrocities were committed and continue to be committed against civilians and properties. World leaders are not balancing their condemnations nor searching for equal concrete solutions to both crises. This is what makes me think that Ukraine, Crimea crisis has overshadowed South Sudan crisis where sizable number of South Sudanese civilians were displaced, killed and continue to be kills since warring parties are still engaging in an intensive war. Therefore, International community especially signatories to the Comprehension Peace Agreement (CPA) should uphold their moral obligations and responsibilities for two reasons: 1). That CPA is unfinished business and the case in point is Abyei’s referendum that was conducted in October 2013 but none of international community’s leaders had not acknowledged Abyei’s referendum. Furthermore, Abyei referendum was conducted on the basis of the CPA and African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHLIP) that gave the legitimacy. 2). That international community had work hard to achieved South Sudan’s independent in 2011 but it has not work hard to supports and sustains good governance, peace-building, rule of law, health care, education, food security and infrastructures that would have reduced level of frustrations among citizens. Moreover, South Sudan was a region that had suffered marginalization in the hands of Islamic regime in Khartoum that was favored by the British administration when they left Sudan in 1956 that left South Sudanese were in darkness for years. 

Role of Canadians in South Sudan’s intra-conflict:

There are many ways Canadians’ government can assist in bringing peace and stability by pressuring and engaging warring parties to respect secession of hostility that they signed on January 23, 2014. An urgent intervention will be a show of solidarity and responsibility o our lineage country since we are always affected by what happened in our home country. Our dual citizenship is a “political tie” between the two nations; Canada and South Sudan. Our socio-economic tie comes with a responsibility which is a reason I expected Canadian government to play a crucial role in bringing a peace in South Sudan. We are emotionally and financially affected due to loss of love ones and relatives scattered into multiples displaced and refugee camps in neighboring countries where they required relatives’ financial supports aboard. Therefore, Canadian government should not underestimate the four months civil war that claimed thousands of innocent lives, displaced million people, and destructed physical infrastructures in three states Jonglei, Upper and Unity.

Ottawa’s Visit to Ukraine:          

AS South Sudanese-Canadian, Ottawa has given an attention to one part of the region (Ukraine) that created an imbalance. Canada is known around the world as a caring nation that promote core values of freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law, justice, development, humanitarian assistance. Last week, Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Honourable John Baird led the delegation to Ukraine to paid condolence on behalf of the Canadian government. This week (third week of March), H.E Stephen Harper, Prime Ministry of Canada announced his visit to Ukraine as reported by the media. I have got away with two things from that. 1). Ukraine, Crimea has overshadowed South Sudan crisis completely. 2) Our Canadian government is not attending both crises in the same way maybe because of political and economic interests; weak bilateral relations between the government of South Sudan and government of Canada, Ukraine-Canadian influenced Canadian government, and Ukraine diplomacy in Ottawa.  All these are my intellectual assumptions but I would be interesting to know why Canadian government takes South Sudan crisis lightly? However, I should also admit that government of South Sudan Liaison Office that was closed in Ottawa two years ago did not shined well politically in Canada due to inability of individuals that were appointed to that office. There was no meritocracy benchmark followed because of nepotism and corruption that had led to hand-picked of unqualified individuals that failed to orient Ottawa toward South Sudan. Therefore, our government has felt the pains of weak bilateral and multilateral in internationally. It is an obvious that nepotism and corrupt have overridden national interest for individuals’ welfare.

Africa Union (AU):

The idea of Africa Union (AU) to established Commission of Inquiry headed by H.E Olusegun Obasanjo, Former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; to investigate alleged human rights violations is an important step but premature at this stage. Timing is not right. Securing and containing a rapid killing of innocent people will be a first priority then followed by the works of Commission. If a commission of inquiry starts its work right now what human rights violations alleged are they going to investigate? AU should help IGAD to expedite peace in a timely manner, which reduce killing of innocent people and destructions of materials. Therefore, starting an investigation right now will beg questions that do investigation alleged of human rights violations stop current fighting? What accountability, reconciliation and healing AU talked about while innocent civilians are still dying in silent!

In conclusion:

Ukraine and Russia’sproxy war has overshadowed South Sudan crisis as international community’s pressures are diverted to Ukraine, Crimea. Human suffering is the same regardless of what region. Saving lives is important step than prioritizing bilateral relations, political and economic interests. I am appealing to international community and particularly Canadian government to rethink their devoted attention to one region while South Sudan crisis somewhat left unattended. On the other hand, I appeal to AU and IGAD redouble their efforts to bring long-lasting peace before investigation of alleged human rights violations. Also, IGAD countries should remain neutral. Interfering in South Sudanese internal affairs put innocent people lives in a very vulnerable situation as thousands and millions are displaced from their ancestor lands. Current war is not people grievances but leaders’ interests. South Sudan’s territory should not be made as a theater of war by other interest groups to pursue their political and economic interests. Last but not least, IGAD countries should maintain neutrality by deploying impartial forces for the Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (MVM) as well as Protection and Deterrent Force (PDF). Doing that will achieve a long-lasting peace, which will save innocent people lives and valuable properties if anything was left in three states of Jonglei, Upper and Unity.

David Mabior Atem Kuir lives in Canada. He can be reached at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Is South Sudan a Country of Comedy and Rhetoric?

By Peter Gai Manyuon

“RHETORIC The art of making life less believable; the calculated use of language, not to alarm but to do full harm to our busy minds and properly dispose our listeners to a pain they have never dreamed of. The context of what can be known establishes that love and indifference are forms of language, but the wise addition of punctuation allows us to believe that there are other harms - the dash gives the reader the clear signal they are coming.” ― Ben Marcus

March 20, 2014 (SSNA) -- After having viewed, read and listened to the ongoing campaign on the media through various channel of communications by Juba government, I have acknowledged after evaluating the government institutions that are trying to exaggerate and preaching propaganda full of lies to the target audiences globally, about the incident that happened last year 2013 December where many were massacre and other were burned in houses in juba as well in other places in Greater Uppernile region. Moreover, you find that there is serious competition within the click of government employees in Juba specifically between Minister of Information and Broadcasting Mr. Makuei Lueth, Mr. Ateny Wek Ateny the Press Secretary, and Mr. Philip Aguer the Spokesperson of the Sudan People Liberation Army (SPLA) in South Sudan.

However Rhetoric refers to the study of the technique of using language effectively and also the art of using speech to persuade, influence, or please; oratory. Moreover,excessive use of ornamentation and contrivance in spoken or written discourse; bombast speech or discourse that pretends to significance but lacks true meaning:

Meanwhile Comedy refers to the popular entertainment composed of jokes, satire, or humorous performance.

Nevertheless, there is no specific person that is given the task to talk to the media; everyone is talking in juba including those who do not know how to use communications tools and approaches to deliver the message to the audiences.

Interestingly, they don’t know the sequent of using the channels of communications and observing its implications at the same time. On the other hand, the ongoing campaign spearheaded by people who are known as propagandists in the territorial Country of South Sudan, you can evaluate ,validate and comprehensively come out with an illustration of how the media have been manipulated or mislead by just a portion of individuals who are opportunists in Juba.

Each and every one knows how the Media has been misuse wrongly by the dictatorial regime in Juba up to date; once you open the self station Television known as “SSTV” you will see only public Relations, comedy and rhetoric are introduced to the management of the Television to be broadcast. To me as the person who has studied Journalism, Public Relations and Diplomatic studies, absolutely Juba government has gone beyond breaking Media Laws and its ethical principles that governance the profession. What am seeing in Juba is Public Relations only, no news which have got accurate information, there is no fairness in reporting, no objectivity in Media houses specially SSTV and Radio.

Withstanding, the abnormality usage of the media by the Sudan People Liberation Army (SPLA) information and Communications department, Minister of Information and Broadcasting, President Press Secretary and the Minister of foreign Affairs in South Sudan need another approach because, South Sudan Television (SSTV) and Radio have been use as the houses of propaganda and persuasions not the Media house that promote the democratization processes and observing the objectivity, fairness, accuracy in reporting national issues to the target audiences globally.

More interestingly, not all of them that need training on how to communicate effectively using communications ethics and diplomatic approaches but there are those that don’t even one day study art of public speaking, public relations and strategies. There are ways that people who are dealing with the press in the office of President in every Country can learn before talking to the media on the issues that are so complex and tangible like the current crisis of the Republic of South Sudan; where many politicians have been given treason charges and the rests are on trial in Juba the South Sudanese Capital.

Roles of spokespersons

Remember the credibility of the spokesperson is important, too. Spokespeople allow the public to put a face to the act of investigating and resolving a crisis or big event. How a spokesperson handles public and media inquiry, in addition to what he or she says, helps establish credibility for an organization or institution, and contributes to the public's transition from the crisis stage to resolution and recovery. Government of South Sudan should choose again carefully the individual(s) who will be charge with the role of spokesperson; not only on the individual's familiarity with the subject matter, but also on his or her ability to talk about it in a way that communicates.

The spokesperson gives institution human form. One area of control that must be exerted by the Institutions public information officer is to insist that its spokespersons be trained because we know that few are born. No one should represent the entire organization unless he or she has invested time and energy in developing the skills of an effective spokesperson. The question is, are the spokespersons of Kiir in Juba well trained on the issues of Public Relations Strategies? To me big no, most of them have got no skills to do the needful to the President, they are just there for the sake of getting blood money in South Sudan, especially the person like Makuei Lueth who is too arrogant need to be expose in order for him to get inform intellectually about how to communicate effectively to target audiences. I would refer the Minister or whoever is claiming as the spokesperson in Juba to read “a book title Communicate Clearly by Robert Heller”

Furthermore, for matter of fact beyond reasonable doubts, comedy and rhetoric has been the only way leaders from the Republic of South Sudan have been practicing both from the Sudan People Liberation Army (SPLA), the government of South Sudan Officials who are Ministers, and when you look in to how they are addressing the media, they always forget steps of addressing Press globally but to my dismay, they have taken  media as the only way of public relations forgetting the implications behind the press.

And that is why in develop Countries, a position that deal with information and communications is always given to someone who specialized in that particular field of specialization but for the case of South Sudan, you find that everything is mixed up and that is why there are always errors in the government of South Sudan in term of making diplomatic approaches and communications. Most of the personnel’s in Kiir Mayardit government are always on the media talking words that lack intellectual dynamism and no reality at the same time.

There has been lot of releasing statements, media war and propaganda within the President spokespersons, disputing of realities and facts is number one, moreover, it seems they are competing on whom to address the media in South Sudan among themselves, people like Ateny, Makuei, Marial, Malak and Aguer are confusing the audiences on who is giving the right information or bad information to the public. And therefore, that is why there are always a lot of statements published on the media and at the same time, the same people denied the reports. People are confused of which is which in South Sudan as the Country.

So, when you attain or listen, view to one speech from those whom I have mention their names, you will find that, most of them are not sure of what they are saying, what they always says is propaganda that lack legitimacy and facts, because their words that they always use in the Media are full of persuasion, motivating and captivating some time to the audiences who are viewers, listeners and readers as well.

Therefore, there has been a rampant use of  Comedy and Rhetoric in communications in South Sudan, sometimes, other are using them unknowingly because they thoughts other might not know what they are talking about but in really sense, most of South Sudanese have lost trust in those guys who are known as propagandists in the entire republic.

Nevertheless, the issues that they always address you find that, sometimes they deny what they reports the other day. The question is; are these guys tactful enough? Or they are just trying to destroy the government of Mayardit using that methodology of not telling the truth and realities on ground?

Recommendations:

Government of the Republic of South Sudan should take the people who are claiming to be spokespersons in their respective capacities for a good training, so that they get to know how effective communications can be send to the huge audiences through the channels of Communications like electronic media, print media and online media as well then stammering on the camera with no words and ended up insulting people unknowingly. They need to be train on the Government Politics and Public Relations; how spokesperson link political issues with publics, is very important, audience analysis is very important to any spokesperson. Before you release any information, you need to analyze your audience and information management as well is very important to be observed at this scenarios.

President Kiir should appoint people who have background in Journalism, Public Relations and Diplomatic studies to be the spokespersons for the nation then bringing in persons who’s their education background is doubtable to the entire citizen of South Sudan.

The author is Independent Journalist and Columnist who had written extensively on issues of Democratization and Human Rights in South Sudan; you can contact him through; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . He is currently writing a book on tribalism and Corruption in South Sudan.

The junk yard mentality drags president Kiir back to another big cabinet!

“Is it the last kicks of a dying horse”?

By: Justin Ambago Ramba

March 19, 2014 (SSNA) -- It was barely eight months ago when President Salva Kiir tried to fool the world when he staged the July 23, 2013 president led coup in Juba.  At first he dismissed all his ministers together with his long time deputy Dr Riek Machar.

Asked as to why such a mega purge? The president who was clearly hiding something, simply answered that he was seeking a lean government, given the country’s economic conditions.   

Of course not only did the lean government became a reality, but it almost brought about  an end  to the current leadership as now symbolized by the inevitable disintegration of what was a loosely patched SPLA/M.

Today as I write, South Sudan is back to yet another big cabinet following the new “republican order”  another phrase for the over used  “presidential decree”  in which the president reversed his previous stand on lean government and brought back a king size  cabinet of 57 ministers.

To say the obvious, the president is now doing everything in his capacity not to bring an end to the crisis that he personally begun in Juba on the eve of December 15, 2013. What we are witnessing is a president that is struggling to survive by clinging to power even at the expense of his once declared principles.

Is going back to a king-size cabinet a good thing for a country whose only source of revenue is oil, and that oil industry itself is already down to one third of its total capacity? And why should we be made to believe that the way out of our current political crisis only lies in have another very big cabinet?

In a country where even primary school drop outs are aspiring to become ministers, maybe president Kiir sees in what he is doing a way to pacify the ongoing rebellion from engulfing the whole country.   However my question is why then create ministries for things we don't do and leave things we do without any ministry.

Like all these things called tourism, investment, labour, defence, etc. we don't have them! Do we? Things like investment and tourism don’t go hand in hand with our national choice of instability, insecurity and inter and intra-tribal wars.

Again talking about the ministry of defence! This can turn out to be a mere duplication now that our capital city and other main installations and strategic towns are stuffed with the Ugandan UPDF mercenaries in the name of defending these places.

Also soon our country is set to play a host to some 15,000 strong mercenaries from the four IGAD countries – Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and Burundi, leave alone the 12,000 UNIMISS troops already in the country. Can’t it be seen that the country is being over defended to the extent that it has become defenceless.

The ministry of Wildlife & Fisheries! Yes this one seems to make some sense only that it has always been assigned the wrong role. Who can’t see that South Sudanese are now wild and eating themselves like fish?  Hence the reinstated ministry of Wildlife and Fisheries should have indeed replaced the ministry of Interior.

What ministries does South Sudan actually need at this stage of its negative developmental indices? You don’t have to be a Nano Physicist to answer this question. By the look of it, one can say that South Sudan has always been at war with over 2 million dead.  It badly needs a ministry for Funerals and Bereavement to say the least. This will suit our peoples’ life style that Salva Kiir’s government has prescribed for them!

Even the things that South Sudanese youth do every day and often take it for granted and here I mean cattle raiding/ rustling (in fact cattle theft), has all through been a deadly game. Don’t those they leave behind deserve government sponsored funeral sessions?  Say every Saturdays of the week? The widows and mothers will obviously need some bereavement arrangements.  Don’t they deserve that?

You see when we talk about issues like Peace, Reconciliation and Nation Healing bla la bla bla, we need to be serious. For today as you read this article, South Sudan’s major mis-manager, the SPLA/M is at war with itself.

Not so long ago, the current SPLM/A –Opposition leader Dr Riek Machar was himself the person heading the National Healing & Reconciliation Process in his capacity by then as the Vice President of the country and a deputy Chairman of the SPLM party. What later happened to him and that big dream of National Healing & Reconciliation Process, is everyone’s knowledge.

There is also the story of the  charismatic ex-SPLM Secretary General who now languishes in the regime’s detention cell, facing a kangaroo court for crimes that keep changing names, details and magnitude each time there is a change in  president Salva Kiir’s mood.

From the day the comrade was put under house arrest six months ago, every week the charges against him grown by geometrical progression. It’s Pagan Amum Akeich, a common household name in both Sudan and South Sudan that I am talking about.

At a certain stage he was made the minister for PEACE and Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) Implementation with Khartoum. Now following the FOUR RIGHTS AGREEMENT between Juba and Khartoum, Pagan Amum finds himself incarcerated to leave way for the likes of Telar Deng and Ateny Awek Ateny.

Maybe the Peace we badly need in South Sudan is now imprisoned with comrade Pagan Amum in that cell which only suits criminals but not freedom fighters. The National Healing & Reconciliation Process too might have been dismissed together with Dr Riek Machar Teny!

Think of it objectively and you are likely to see for yourself the points I am trying to make here. Or simply ask yourself  is it not these two, Riek Machar and Pagan Amum, each with his followers and supporters that president Salva Kiir would want to reconcile and reach peace. At least as a starting point to a nationwide peace and the much talked about National Healing & Reconciliation Process?

The other thing that caught my eye is this ministry for Disaster Management and humanitarian bla bla bla.  We can all remember well that since this ministry was first created some months ago, the country went from having a few disasters here and there to what can be called now a nationwide disaster. Maybe it was a ministry for Manufacturing Disasters, but not managing it.

My question then is, “Has this too familiar ministry in any way controlled any disaster or is it that, it even escalated the already disastrous situation in the country? The answer is obvious. However someone somewhere is busy manufacturing these disaster through poor leadership.

Maybe it is time that disasters go back to where they came from.  This ministry of disaster should be housed within the presidency, for it is there that all the disasters befalling the country are manufactured. At least if it is kept there, there is a chance that it will catch up with the master minders!

So far the above could be some of the ways how any of these futile attempts at diverting people’s attentions from what is brewing in Addis Ababa can rightly be exposed. Who doesn’t know that the popular quest for an interim government without the two (Kiir & Machar), has very much gained momentum in the Addis talks! 

The other good news is of course none of the previous corrupt ministers who served under these two gentlemen will be considered in the interim cabinet. In short if you have had yourself known as an honourable, or his/her Excellency, you are out of the interim period. The idea is to have an interim period free of any hangovers.

This is where the country stands now and not some dubious moves to remanufacture what was already diagnosed as unwise practice. Didn’t we all agree that we wanted a lean government? If so why then this sudden return to the scrap yard? The answer lies with the new politicians of the “Belly” who will be appointed in the few coming days join in the feast while the entire country is practically sinking at an unprecedented pace.

Dr Justin Ambago Ramba is a concerned South Sudanese citizen and a voice for the millions who remain voiceless in the country.

More Articles...

Page 22 of 509

Our Mission Statement

To bring the latest, most relevant news and opinions on issues relating to the South Sudan and surrounding regions.

To provide key information to those interested in the South Sudan and its people.