South Sudan News Agency

Friday, Sep 19th, 2014

Last update08:46:16 PM GMT

You are here: Opinion

Our Heroine: Mama Rebecca Nyadeng de Mabior

By Bona Kueth Machar

August 7, 2014 (SSNA) -- Behind every strongman, hardworking there is always a strong woman. This is the case with Mama Rebecca Nyadeng de Mabior a wife to our late leader Dr John Garang de Mabior, the founder of our movement SPLM/A in 1983 though there were some other movements formed before then but the SPLM/A became the popular movement when it was formed. Dr John Garang was a brave man, educated, freedom fighter and a leader with unique qualities of leadership and his zeal and sacrifices with his comrades in the high command at the SPLA made us free from Arabs hostage.

Mama Rebecca has attributes similar to other African strongwomen who were behind the successes of their husbands during their struggle for justice and freedom from the colonial in the late 1960s and beyond. Those include Mama Nginda Kenyatta wife to former Kenya president Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and a mother to the current Kenya president Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, Zineb Jammeh of Gambia,Vivian Wade of Senegal and Salma Kikiwete of Tanzania just to mention a few, this was proven when the Juba Massacre occurred on 15th December, 2013. Mama Rebecca was the only Dinka who spoke with no fear of contradiction and said the following words ‘’ Nuer are being killed in the street of juba simply because of their ethnicity, Kiir special army are looking for them from house to house and killed them like dogs’’, those words caught the attention of international media and most of them rushed to juba before they were ordered to leave the country, Mama you spoke as a nationalist who cares for the citizens of the Republic of South Sudan, you spoke as a mother and above all a leader who would want to treats her citizens equally no matter their tribes, religion, gender and individual social status.

During your interview you also put your life into risk by accusing the government who was perpetrating all these crimes and injustices you were talking about, Mama Rebecca, you are not just a leader or a nationalist but a HEROINE and a role MODEL to the current generation too. You have given us hope when the situation was worst, you raised our heads when we were down, you told us South Sudan belongs to all 64 tribes when some of us thought that the owners of the land claims their ownership, you cried with us when nobody was at our comfort, you disagreed with people who claims to love you most when we were bullied, you resigned from the government when our wives, sisters and daughters were raped by government security agents, you went to exile when our brothers were forced to eat a human flesh because of their ethnicity, you told us that Nuer community did not happened to be part of South Sudan by chance but God planned it for so long to put you there because it is through this community that South Sudan one day will enjoy the freedom and the beauty of our co-existence in this Republic, Mama through your talks we realized that it was not the entire Dinka community that planned to kill and finish the entire Nuer community who was residing in Juba but a few who felt insecure as their political graphs were at the declining stage and refuses to make a personal observation but decided to killed innocent citizens who were after their daily casual jobs routine because the government cannot provide them decent jobs despite the facts that most of them were graduates, others came to the city to seek education as the same government cannot provide schools in their villages, others were in the city for medical reasons because the government cannot provide health facilities so the entire population was coming to town as oppose to late Dr John vision ‘’TAKING TOWN TO PEOPLE’’. We held the government and its intelligent responsible for these 20,000 lives which were massacred in Juba within less than five consecutive days and justice must prevail.

Mama as a scholar and a patriotic citizen of our republic, I believe that humanity is the centre of our political ambitions because leaders aspire to leads their fellow human beings and as much as we intend to kill the people we lead, our legitimacy and integrity disappeared in the eyes of the public which is why everybody calls for president Kiir to leave the presidency so that apologies are prepared and reconciliation take the stage. Reconciliation and apologies will be and must be the two interchange words for our society to fully reconcile because at some point we made one another pains so much and unless we acknowledge that we owe each other an apology it will take some time to trust each other but I believe in few years to come tribe will just be an identity for the issuance of citizenship and a mean for equal representation in our public institutions.

Mama Rebecca you were truthful, factual and vocal on the issues when the situation was at its worst peak and it is time we individually and collectively acknowledge that patriotism and talk about it publicly, it is true that age is just a number but ideas compounded with nationalism are resourceful and educative.

The author is a Sudanese from the South Sudan and these are my personal views and opinions, in case of any query contact me on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

It is 2014 Folks, not 1991

By Job Kiir Garang

IT IS ABOUT TIME SOME OF YOU WAKE UP!

August 7, 2014 (SSNA) -- It would take a lifetime to heal someone who is blind in the brain than someone that is optically dead. History has not been on the better side of ours, as far as South Sudan is concerned. It is what a layman would say “the past is the only way forward”. “Our Heroes did it and we just have to finish some pieces of the remaining puzzle”. Sadly enough for me and for most of us, the world is growing smaller and smaller into an archetypalvillage and that kind of mindset does not apply anymore. It is time to be honest. Some paths might be considered uncharitable and I agree with the many few out there. But it is always sensible to look around and analyze whatever paths you have been through. Did you try them? Where they worthy of trying? If yes, what were the outcomes?  Many would agree with me that Dr. Garang’s times were probably the better years for most of us that were lucky to be alive till today. However, those sweet years gone by have led to a breed of South Sudanese with fixated mentality. The mentality, that shamelessly echoes in silence that the leadership of that immature nation is “ours”. By ours, I mean the “dinka’s”. It is this same mentality that has dwarfed us eternally or so it seems.

And if we do not wake up as a separate generation from the one that passed, we will be the stereotypical Somalis, the Rwandese, the Iraqis, the Bosonians, the Kosovans, the Serbs, the Afghans and the list goes on. The world is watching.

In the early 2000s, a group of Bar-el-Ghazal political hustlers led by Majut Yak coined the, today, famous phrase (at least among them):  “Garang down”. Sadly for most of us and luckily enough for them, they won the lottery. Dr. John Garang died unceremoniously. The ululations were and still are ingrained on their lips. The results are there for most to see: fat bellies, private homes/land everywhere, wastage of national treasures or resources, tribal governance etc.  Enough for our taking! Another shadowy group came out from the abyss of what we all thought was the very enemy of ours: Khartoum. Led by Chan Reech Madut, they held a belief that Dr. Garang was the biggest tyrant to have led the people of South Sudan during the arms struggle. When they set foot in the region, their transition into Kiir’s government was bread and water. They naturally clicked with some of the most misleading presidential advisors in the shape of the likes of Telaar Deng and their concerted hustling efforts have led to the worse post-liberation bloodshed in the history of that country. Very sad!

Right now, these shady old guards, most of whom left Canada after Kiir became the president are now filthy rich: self made millionaires who got their wealth at the expense of lives of the innocent majority. Their wealth is now their shield. They shed no blood while every civilian who had nothing to do with this nonsensical power struggle dies by the numbers. You could sense some celebratory tone in their silent voices when the president first declared that the group of 11 accused of orchestrating the, later dismissed, coup were to be killed by firing squad. Riek and his cohorts fortunately escaped unscathed and it was a breath of fresh air when the president had to swallow his own vomits and declare them innocent.  The bottom line is Kiir is a failed leader. A lot of it can be blamed solely on his own utter failure. He surrounded himself with people that are not only selfish and greedy but very thoughtless.

For the president, he decided to dump all the people that he had been through thick and thin during the war against the Khartoum regime and replaces them with nothing but greedy, thoughtless, uneducated bunch of groups that did nothing but threw the country under the bus for their own selfish gains. If we consider people of the South as brethrens, why were the votes by the people of Abyei ignored when they overwhelmingly chose separation? Not a voice was raised in their recognition. As a matter of fact, the president precisely depicts himself as contradictory and to say the least; a dishonest hypocrite. When the Machakos agreement was signed in 2002, Kiir vehemently argued that If Abyei was to remain in the Northern side, he would rather have preferred to go back to war and when they chose to be autonomous by an overwhelming majority, he (the president) decided to remain silent. Either he did not have the balls to do so or he probably was stuck in the mindset that we have come to get accustomed to over the last 9 or so years i.e. maybe some dinkas are more  important that other dinkas or tribes. Archaic mentality!

Anyway, without being too wordy, my view point is that we are caught up in a web of political cul de sac. A view that a certain section of the political demographic seems to think that the leadership of that country is somehow inheritable and that if anyone out of their tribal league flexes their muscles in their attempts to run for that higher seats, they are branded as traitors and rebels. You are only safe if you exude the SPLA/M PPROCLAMATIONS backed up by some tribal favours or affiliations.  That is what we have turned into: a sad reality of our time. Dinkaism. This is the true fingerprint of our utter failures and unless we change this sort of mentality, we can only see not beyond our toe fingers. I am sure most of my dinka brothers who are complaining right now would still be doing so if the person in opposition to authority or, to put it right, those that were thrown overboard by the current dictatorial self-made oligarchs were some of the fringe or smaller tribes. Someone once said that people are inherently resistible to change. It is even worse to them if the person in question is one that does not have his hands utterly clean. This is true in the case of Riek Machar and sadly for most of us, the story is told over and over again with the emphasis that he should not rule without looking at the situation from a multilateral viewpoints in relation to the kind of political doses we have been offered over the few years we have been independent as a country. The complaints are now ringing the loudest because the person in the limelight happens to be Dr. Riek Machar Teny.

It is true that for the leadership we have in South Sudan, we can dig into the woodwork and unearth a better leader than the two we have right now. However, the sad reality is that that option does not exist. It is like looking for a dislike button on a facebook. It does not exist. Unless someone comes up with that option, that is what we have got. In my last article, I happened to have described Dr. Riek Machar as the “ultimate Messiah”. It vexed a certain section of the blogosphere: mainly my brothers from my side of the tribal divide: DINKA who still hold, and god knows when they will drop them, the grudges of the 1991 political upheavals in which some thousands were killed by “Riek” forces. Was he entirely responsible for every person that died that year? Maybe! The forces were on his side and anyone would say he was and still is guilty by association. However, all I am saying is it is about time we turn the pages. My view is not bashing Dinka because I happen to be one. It might sound like an oxymoron but the reality is getting even clearer. The way the current government is operating is for everyone out there to see. Many extinguished people within the Kiir administration were targeted and dismissed. However all my harsh critics and especially from Twi East failed to make a comment or a recognition that those that were sacked were Twi going by the numbers although we have people from other tribes. I have never heard a complaint from anyone although am sure some might have done so silently.  

Dr. Lual Achuek Deng, Rabecca Nyandeng, Malok Aleng, Atem Yaak Atem, Atem Garang Kuek, a close friend of his (the president): Dr. Majak Agoot and even including our MP who pretended that the ”government is our government”. Some of the hardworking people like Philip Thon Leek and the likes of Makuei Deng Majuch were also at the end of the whooping by this current administration. Makuei by the way is a hard worker than Achuil Tito who claimed he would hold the chief of police post better although he has absolutely no credibility.  Once he was given the post, he became richer and powerful for absolutely no reason.

I am a proud dinka but at the same time I am a concerned one. The few aforementioned people represented especially by Mr. Kiir Mayardit have brought shame to the WORD DINKA. And the disappointing part is that there are people within my own circles who think that I am just against them. That is not true and I surely will never be against anyone except when what you are doing is contrary to the visions laid forth by our forefathers: Garang being the exemplary one. Riek is the best alternative for me and in my opinion; many kids in South Sudan will be left behind in all aspects of life if Kiir remains our president for as long as he wants. Wake up and let’s change that country into a better one!

The author is a former master of sergeant, former SPLA/M Medical assistant (MA), and currently an Industrial Safety Inspector in Edmonton, Canada. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Like a leopard can not change its spots, Machar cannot change

By Elhag Paul

August 7, 2014 (SSNA) -- The layers of disguise worn by Dr Riek Machar from mid December 2013 are peeling off and the true Machar is gradually revealing his character through his own words. The saying that a leopard can not change its spots seems to be true in the case of Machar and the SPLM leaders.

Soon after escaping lynching by President Salva Kiir’s militia, Machar with others rightly set up a resistance to fight against the former’s regime of terror. Machar offered hope by embracing democracy and federalism. Until recently, Machar acted in line with his declarations and he has been greatly appreciated and commended.

However, Machar’s language has started to change after the IGAD meeting of 10th June 2014 which set out a time frame for achieving peace within 60 days. As of today, the clock as expected is ticking away and it is only remaining 3 days for the deadline. Time is running out fast, realism dictates this frame work is unworkable and failure is awaiting the incompetent IGAD.

Now that Machar is seeing the prospects for peace, he is beginning to play real politik by jostling to achieve maximum gain for himself only. Out goes the democracy he has been singing and in comes his dictatorial approaches to things as always. Intrinsically, there is nothing wrong for Machar to fight for his survival and his people, but he should have at least been honest to the other oppressed people of South Sudan. He should not have raised their hopes knowing very well that he has no intention to deliver.

Machar should never have presented himself as an alternative national leader who would care for all. It is here that anybody with good values and principles would have problems with his leadership. This already does not bode well for the Nuer and the people of South Sudan.

Some readers may ask as to why am I raising doubts about Machar now? Any person who claims leadership must be scrutinised and any pretensions exposed for the public to make informed decisions of whether to support or not. Machar is on record that he wants democracy and federalism in South Sudan. Again, Machar is on record the he wholeheartedly supports inclusivity in the Addis Ababa talks. So far so good.

Talking about democracy, federalism and inclusivity is one thing and acting pro actively in promoting the process to yield a democracy and federal system is another. Unless the former (expressed ideals) is seen to be driven by the latter, then the whole process is a sham. In my previous article, ‘President Kiir violates the May 2014 Addis Ababa agreement’, I referred to Noam Chomsky, the renowned American philosopher on the issue. Here is what Chomsky said back in the 1960s: “A new society arises out of the actions that are taken to form it, and the institutions and ideology it develops are not independent of those actions. In fact they are heavily coloured by them, they are shaped by them in many ways. And one can expect that actions that are cynical and vicious, whatever their intent, will inevitably condition and deface the quality of the ends that are achieved.” http://www.southsudannewsagency.com/opinion/articles/president-salvatore-kiir-violates-may-agreement

Machar’s actions in relation to democracy and inclusivity are cynical and vicious and this as highlighted by Chomsky are likely to “deface the quality” of any government led by him. Simply put, Machar will likely lead a government not different from the current one of President Kiir where tribalism and injustice rule supreme. Do not forget that Machar deputised President Kiir for 9 years in which he actually said nothing against the system and nothing in support of the people of South Sudan.

Let us face it and let us now look at why Machar’s actions are cynical and vicious. “Machar writes to UN Chief over stalled South Sudan peace process” reports Sudan Tribune on 25th June 2014. http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article51471  Please also see, ‘South Sudanese rebels express readiness for direct negotiations with government’ http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article51925

In this report, Machar openly undermines the role of the stakeholders and subtly rubbishes them as unimportant. His arrogance matches President Kiir's. “It was unnecessary for the talks to adjourn. The two parties should have engaged in direct negotiations while the other stakeholders are reserved for consultation role. On our part we are ready for talks with the government to end the crisis.” James Dak, Machar’s spokesman asserted. So all along Machar was talking about inclusivity while in fact he has been working behind the scene for exclusive talks between his group and the government. What is shocking in this revelation is Machar’s honest perception of the stakeholders. He does not value them or even rate them as his equal. Machar only considers them as aides. People who can be consulted. “Stakeholders are reserved for consultation role” only.

This speaks volumes. When people talk of stakeholders and inclusivity, it is meant to address issues of marginalisation, disenfranchisement and equality. It is meant for the people to have a real say in what affects them so that they become owners of the end product. It has not been meant for stakeholders to be “reserved for consultation role.” This derogatory phrase demonstrates the contempt SPLM/A as a whole has about the people of South Sudan.

For the SPLM groups inclusivity means the people of South Sudan can only be consulted for advice which they are at liberty to take or discard. It is not about genuine participation, recognition and equality on the issues under discussion to solidify legitimacy of the whole peace process. From this it is clear why the trio: SPLM-IG, SPLM-IO and IGAD worked hard to keep the stakeholders out of the whole process. Their lip service on the issue is designed to squeeze the stakeholders out of the entire process so that it only remains an SPLM affair, the very party and people responsible for mass death, insecurity, refugee problems for the neighbouring countries and massive internal displacement of citizens.

As things stand, they have in fact succeeded because the stakeholders who matter and could voice the needs of the people are excluded. For example, Mr Peter Sule and UDF party who abusively have been prevented by President Kiir not to travel to Addis Ababa although he was officially invited by IGAD. Although SPLM-IO boycotted the peace talks on the issue, in reality they were fighting for their own satellite groups.

Now the stakeholders have been squeezed out with the fate of the country left in the hands of the very people who have destroyed it. What chance has South Sudan got? The question IGAD and the African Union must answer is: how can SPLM/A rescue what they have already decimated? The SPLM has no idea how to manage the country. They have not had any programme of action since 2005. Both President Kiir and Dr Machar so far have not even articulated any idea of bringing the people of South Sudan together. Then, how convincing is it for them to be the people tasked with security of South Sudan and the stabilisation of the country and the region.

The IGAD process is becoming a real joke. No wonder, the despair with the incompetence of IGAD and the dishonesty of the warring groups is alienating the masses. The result now is product like the recent call for action in Equatoria. Please see http://allafrica.com/stories/201403260279.html        Unfortunately the current IGAD process has taken a negative turn with the people now convinced that in order for anybody to be heard they must wield some form of hard power rather than soft one. Instead of IGAD being a solution, it is now an added problem. If any hope is to be restored for peaceful solution, then the international community need to respond to the suggestion in, ‘Time for actual solutions for South Sudan – replace IGAD with eminent persons at once’ http://allafrica.com/stories/201406250587.html

Like a leopard can not change its spots, Machar can not change. He remains the same Machar that we have always known. He has once again squandered a golden opportunity for him to wash himself clean from his controversial past to emerge as a true leader in South Sudan.

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

The author lives in the Republic of South Sudan. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

More Articles...

Page 22 of 584

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.