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In Loving Memory of one of South Sudanese finest writers, Mr. Deng Yiech Bachech, I Present to you, his Eulogy!

Date: January 9th. 2015

January 20, 2015 (SSNA) -- In celebrating the life of a comrade in armed, friend, well renounced intellectual, loving father, braved and towering political commentator and one of the finest South Sudanese writer and smartest emerging leader of my generation, I present to you his life and a celebrated eulogy.

On Sunday, December 28th, 2014, hundreds of South Sudanese – Canadians gathered at the First Church of Nazarene in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and commemorated the life of Mr. Deng Yiech Bachech. Mr. Bachech (aka Nyabuony) passed away on November 7th, 2014 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Late Deng’s memorial service was marked by well-defined and profound emotional speeches showcasing that death is an “unnecessary evil.”  If death could be averted by any slightest chance possible or people had the power to bring back to life a departed loved soul, Mr. Deng Yiech Bachech would have been brought back to life on December 28th, 2014.

His memorial service was paramount considering the admiration calls made, which echoed the church’s corridors from the emotional mourners wishing Deng, a towering figure to rest in peace.

Immediate Family

Deng Yiech Bachech was born on September 3rd, 1974 in Dhalap village, Nasir County, Upper Nile State, South Sudan and died at the age of 40. He was a son of Yiech Bachech Deng and Nyabunyni Goldet. Yiech Bachech Deng (father) himself was a war veteran and fought fiercely in the South Sudan’s war of liberation, which led to our nation’s independence on July 9th, 2011.

Mr. Deng Yiech Bachech was married to Mrs. Nyachangkuoth Pal Chang in 1999 in Ethiopia and he is survived by three beautiful children:

1. Goy Deng Yiech

2. Bachech Deng Yiech

3. Nyadieng Deng Yiech

“Nyabouny” (Deng), as many of his friends and colleagues called him died at a very young age considering his political ambitions and projected promising future ahead of him. To say the least, Deng was so articulate and ambitious dealing with life’ shortcomings in this troubled world and momentous technological age.

His well spent short life was marked by successes and admirations even from foes who might have had wished him dead at times. Throughout his life experiences, Deng Yiech Bachech made his marks and he is now resting in his grave delighted and as a blessed man because he will always be remembered as one of our finest South Sudanese writer and a gentle soul.

Educational and work experience

Deng Yiech Bachech first attended a primary school education in Nasir, County and subsequently moved to Ethiopia where he completed it. Upon completion, Deng attended a secondary school and completed it in 1990s with astounding scores. Deng scored 3.20 point grade in the Ethiopia’s secondary school leaving examination. A grade envied by many but only secured by few and well distinguished top notch students like Deng.

As a result, Deng Yiech Bachech secured the rarest United Nations’ University scholarship awarded to only few and gifted ones at the time. Deng attended the Addis Ababa University in 1999 after his successful marriage with his beautiful wife Nyachangkuoth Pal Chang. At the University, Deng pursued a political science degree as a career stream for two years, but then, in the middle, he migrated to Canada for a better life and pursues well-grounded level of education.

Upon arrival, Mr. Deng was admitted at the Nazarene University College in Calgary. A university which was later changed to be Ambrose University. Immediately after a semester or two, Deng transferred to the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon in the province of Saskatchewan, where he finished his studies strong and with “Honors.” Deng Yiech was awarded with Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Immediately after his graduation, Deng returned to Calgary to his young family and worked briefly. After a short while, Deng decided to return to school to pursue further education.

In 2009, Deng Yiech was accepted in the Master Degree Program at the University of Calgary in Sustainable Energy Development. However, before completion, Mr. Deng joined politics and subsequently became the first ever Sudan People Liberation Movement for Democratic Change (SPLM-DC)’s official representative to Canada.

Thus marked Deng’s entry into a political life, and subsequently served as the SPLM-DC’s Director for External Affairs stationed in Khartoum, Sudan. In 2010 during Sudan’s elections, Mr. Deng Yiech accompanied by others abandoned the SPLM-DC and joined the “mother SPLM.” Immediately after the elections, Deng was appointed as a senior office manager by the Upper Nile State’s Governor, Simon Kun Puoch Mar. 

Deng served in this capacity until he was removed and shortly was reappointed as a Deputy Director in one of the South Sudan’s second largest oil company in the country. Deng served as a Deputy Director until South Sudan entered into the shameless civil war instigated by none other then President Salva Kiir Mayardit on the 15th of December 2013.

Immediately after the onset of the crisis, Deng decided to side with the victims and joined the revolutionary armed group against Salva Kiir ruthless regime in Juba. Afterward, Deng moved to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for a short while and where he later died from stroke.

As a political commentator, Deng Yiech Bachech decided to write and become a giant political commentator in 2006. He has written many articles and read widely. Until his death Deng remained one of the finest political commentator in South Sudan of my generation. Deng’s last article before his passing was on March 18th, 2014, titled “The December 15 Revolution: A Just Cause,” and was published by the South Sudan News Agency. Considering this short biography, it’s therefore imperative to conclude that we have lost a legend of unique characters.

Personal reflections

I knew Deng Yiech in person. But, it was in his writing where I really got to know him well and far better. It was here, in this front, in the field of writing where I got to know him far better and discovered his real ambitions and intellectual capacity as a man. I have realized, and it’s respectable to mention that his supreme writings were meant to change peoples’ perceptions and provoke honest political debates.

For anyone out there, for credibility sake of this writing, I must say, I have no bloodline or blood relation with Deng Yiech Bachech. And so therefore the authenticity of this piece is sound and genuine.

Deng was an honorable man and I admired him for who he was and what he becomes in the pen’s world. As a brother in this new trajectory and as peoples’ person as he was, I must say that he was a shrewd figure. His critical writings were intended to achieving peace, justice and democratic ideals in South Sudan through honest political debates and thus connubial to mine.

It was here, in this front where I discerned his bravery and unmatched political ambitions. It was here, in the field of writing and having read his writings and between the lines where I uncovered his fullest potentials for my generation.

Deng’s well-articulated pieces often provoked debates, annoyance and could even take one’s life prematurely like that of Isaiah Abraham. A brother in a pen’s world too. A man whose life was taken away from us prematurely by thugs and enemies of peace and development in South Sudan under Salva Kiir’s scalawag government.

Deng Yiech Bachech has alluded to this savagery reality in his last piece. He wrote, “We are afraid of telling the truth. It’s sometimes understandable to fear because of strange circumstances.” The question is, why, he, Deng Yiech Bachech was not afraid of his own life in such strange circumstances? I don’t know and have no speculated answers to fill the buoyant.

But based on Deng’s eloquent writing, one can equate his love for his country and his peoples’ freedom from any autocratic regimes that would come and go.  Based on Deng’s showcased bravery and humanistic ideals, I have requested Deng Yiech Bachech’s immediate members to allow me to write this brief biography. In loving memory of Deng Yiech Bachech one of the finest South Sudanese writer, I presented to you his eulogy. I thought this would be my immortal gift to his young beautiful children Goy, Bachech and Nyadieng Deng Yiech.

In my brief comment during Mr. Deng’s memorial service, I remarked that Deng died at a wrong time. A tragic time. A time where South Sudan as a country needed his talents; and I must assert that we wanted his unquestionable intellectual and thinking capacity than any other times.

In closing, brother Deng, I should say and with broken heart, rest in peace but you will be missed dearly. Your friends in the pen’s world will miss you. The world at large will miss you. South Sudan as a country is saddened that you are gone and departed forever. Your family, your beautiful young children Goy, Bachech and Nyadieng Deng Yiech missed you greatly.

This can be affirmed through their stated below respective remarks. For example, Deng’s elder son, Goy had this to say: “you might be dead, dad, but you will still be in our hearts.” Bachech on the other say this: “my dad was a very smart and educated man, but he died… and didn’t achieve all he wanted to accomplish. I loved him. We loved him so much.” Finally Nyadieng, the youngest child say “we love you dad and we missed you very much. I wish I have power to bring you back to life.” These statements are indeed profound and not sugarcoated but testament to unconditional love.

In loving memory of Deng Yiech Bachech, this piece was written by J. Nguen Nyol with a full consent of immediate family members. Should you have any question regarding the content of this writing, please don’t hesitate to reach the author at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

For any other questions pertaining family matters or helping hands to the bereaving family, please contact Nyachangkuoth Pal Chang at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or1-587 – 894 -3595.

Salva Kiir’s Attack on His Own Legitimacy Claim

By Riang Yer Zuor Nyak

January 20, 2015 (SSNA) -- When the war started in December 2013, Salva Kiir, Barnaba Marial Benjamin, Michael Makuei, Ateny Wek Ateny, and many others could be seen on televisions, local or international, talking about Salva as a legitimately elected president, or the government as a legitimately elected one. Beginning from August of last year, IGAD joined the singing and started referring to Salva as the “elected, incumbent president”.

The SPLM/A’s response to this claim has been consistently that Salva and his government are not elected ones. Rather, they are constitutional. Any claim of legitimacy should spring from the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011. Using the 2010 election as the source of his legitimacy would be futile attempt to twist an obvious reality.

The 2010 Elections

In April 2010, the Republic of the Sudan conducted national elections for all positions, except for those of the County Commissioners. This was because the Interim Constitution of the Republic of the Sudan and the National Election law did not recognize such positions. The positions to which the law authorized election included the position of the President of the Government of Southern Sudan. Salva Kiir was elected to this position as head of the autonomous regional government. This was in line with the provisions of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

The national election law gave the holders of the elected positions five years to serve before the next elections. The anticipated time for the next elections was April 2015, and this is still the case for the Republic of the Sudan.

The Independence in 2011

In fulfillment of the provisions of the CPA, South Sudan conducted a referendum in January 2011 on whether it should remain part of the Republic of the Sudan, or it should secede from the union to form an independent state of its own. The people of South Sudan overwhelmingly chose secession over the unity of the old Sudan.

On July 9, 2011, the Republic of South Sudan was born as the newest or youngest state in Africa in particular and the world in general. On that day, a new and independent transitional constitution was promulgated to establish the new state. It is this constitution that gave Salva Kiir his new four-year mandate as the President of the Republic of South Sudan. As such, his term began counting from that day to the 9th of July 2015.

The Legitimacy Question

Any one elected or appointed under a constitutional provision can claim legitimacy. However, such legitimacy is usually bestowed up on certain conditions and behavioral requirements. Once the person ceases to meet those requirements, or once those conditions disappear, legitimacy can be lost. This is not different with Salva Kiir.

Under the Interim Constitution of the Republic of the Sudan, 2005 and the Interim Constitution of the Government of Southern Sudan, 2005, Salva Kiir was elected to administer the region for five years. His mandate was to last up to April 2015. Within that period his legitimacy would run uninterrupted if he did not commit any behavioral mistake, or if he did not cease to function due to other conditions.

However, Salva’s time was interrupted on July 9, 2011 when South Sudan broke away from the rest of the Sudan. As a result, condition (remaining as part of the old Sudan) disappeared. Allegiance to remains as the current Republic of the Sudan ended, and a new allegiance to the new state with a new constitution began. This condition ended the April 2010 mandate, as it ended the former autonomous status of what was then one of the regions of the Sudan. That mandate went together with the electoral legitimacy, for you could not have one without the other.

Under the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, Salva was given a new mandate as the President of a new sovereign state. The new constitution gave the president four years before a new election could take place under a new and permanent constitution. The new term and mandate gave a legitimacy that would run through July 9, 2015.

The End of the Constitutional Legitimacy

Salva Kiir started the process of ending his constitutional legitimacy, leading to the current situation, a long time ago. He intentionally violated the constitution here and there, and a step-by-step process. The last step was the eruption of violence on December 15, 2013. Some of these violations are discussed below.

1. Appointments of Ministers

What I believe to be the first violation of the new Constitution came after the proclamation of Independence. Salva appointed ministers to his cabinet and sent their names to the newly reconstituted legislative assembly in a sealed envelope. He only needed the assembly to approve what was in the envelope without seeing exactly whose names were on the paper for approval. This went against Article 113 which gives the National Legislative Assembly the power to approve presidential nominations of ministers.

Article 113 (2) states that “Appointment of the Ministers of the National Government shall be approved by a resolution of the National Legislative Assembly adopted by a simple majority vote of all members.” This gives the Assembly the power to scrutinize the nominee to see if they meet certain constitutional criteria as provided in sub-Article 3.

Sub-Article 3 provides that “Ministers of the National Government shall be selected with due regard to the need for inclusiveness based on integrity, competence, ethnic and regional diversity and gender.” The act of forcing the Assembly to approve a list without scrutinizing individual nominees before they could become ministers did not give the Assembly the chance to meet such a constitutional obligation. It follows that the process was unconstitutional.

2. Recruiting and Training of Tribal Militia

The other significant violation came with the recruitment of a personal tribal militia, which has become known as the ‘Gel Weng’. Article 151 (3) of the Constitution does not provide him with the option of organizing his own private army without a provision of a law. It states, “No person or persons shall raise any armed or paramilitary force in South Sudan except in accordance with this Constitution and the law.” If he saw an urgent need for his personal militia, then Salva should have gone to the National Legislature to get some sort of approval or some legislative act of authorization, as this type of undertaking needed a law and money, and the National Legislature supposedly holds the national purse as stated in Article 55 (3) (d), read together with Articles 87 and 88.

Article 55 (3) (d) says that the National Legislature has the competence to, among other things, “…authorize annual allocation of resources and revenue, in accordance with Article 87 of this Constitution…”

While Article 87 talks about allocation of resources and revenues, Article 88 talks about general budget proposals and estimates to be presented by the President to the National Legislature for approval and enactment of an appropriation bill.

Therefore, the whole undertaking of recruiting, training and deploying the Gel-Weng was very unconstitutional.

3. Removal of Governors

In 2013, Salva started revoing state Governors allegedly exercising a constitutional provision. Article 101 (r) of the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan allows removal of a Governor only when there is a crisis in the state. It states that the President may “…remove a state Governor and/or dissolve a state legislative assembly in the event of a crisis in the state that threatens national security and territorial integrity…”

In Lakes State, there was a crisis—an insecurity that remains to exist as of current. Salva removed Chol Tong on the pretext that there was insecurity in his state. In Unity State, there was no insecurity of any sort. Yet, he removed Gen. Taban Deng Gai without explanation. Those who were aware of the political differences between Salva and the two gentlemen knew that the removals were politically motivated. The Constitution does not provide for politically motivated removals.

After removal, the Constitution provides for temporary replacement, which Salva did by appointing care-taker Governors. After that, an election has to take place within sixty days. Article 101 (s) states that the President shall “…appoint a state care-taker Governor who shall prepare for elections within sixty days in the state where the Governor has been removed or the state legislative assembly so dissolved in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution, the relevant state constitution and the law…” This provision of the Constitution has not been fully honored by Salva Kiir. He appointed care-taker Governors who have served beyond sixty-day Constitutional requirement. Elections have not been organized ever since the care-taker Governors were appointed.

In addition to the two initial care-taker Governors, he has appointed two more care-taker ones, replacing Kuol Manyang and Paul Malong Awan, respectively. Therefore, as of now, there are four Governors who are serving unconstitutionally. Their mandates do not stem from the Constitution. They owe their legitimacy to Salva Kiir, not to the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011.

4. Taking and Retaining Political Power

At the beginning of the violence, Salva and his group were constantly talking about a coup plot that they had discovered and foiled. They kept talking about their murderous acts as protecting the Constitution, or against unconstitutional act of trying to take power by force. Article 4 (1) states that “No person or group of persons shall take or retain control of State power except in accordance with this Constitution.” Two words: ‘take’ and ‘retain’ are very important elements of this provision.

As their statements reveal, they are doing what they are doing, pretending to be preventing unconstitutional takeover of the political power. But, all evidence point to the lack of violent takeover on the part of Salva’s political opponents. Instead, Salva and his group are the ones trying to retain power through violence, which is unconstitutional.

5. The Deaths of the More than 20,000 Ethnic Nuer in Juba

The deaths of the more than 20,000 civilians began on the 15th of December and it continued until all the remaining ones had to take refuge in the UNMISS compounds. They were specifically targeted on the basis of their ethnic backgrounds. Every indication points to such an act as premeditated. This act of unjustly killing people went against the very Constitution that they claim to protect.

Under the Bill of Rights, Article 11 of the Constitution talks about life and human dignity. It states, “Every person has the inherent right to life, dignity and the integrity of his or her person which shall be protected by law; no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his or her life.” The way these people were murdered was such that they had no right to life, no human dignity and the integrity of their persons was never respected. The law simply failed to protect them as their lives were taken arbitrarily on the streets, in their homes and in their cars.

It was an ultimate act against the Constitution.

Now, Is Salva A Legitimate President?

I shall begin by saying that Salva is not an elected president, and any claim of legitimacy should not come from the 2010 election. It follows that he is, instead, a constitutional president. Any claim of legitimacy should come from the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011.

However, by his behavior in office, he has eroded away all the constitutional legitimacy that was bestowed on him by the Constitution. Right now, he only stays in power because he can. His attempt to organize an election to legitimize his rule so as to meet the constitutional deadline is a sign that all along, he has been talking of himself as an elected president, just to fool the people and win their support—internally and externally. He really knows that he is not an elected president.

After all, he admitted his lack of electoral legitimacy by stating, quoted on the 13th of January 2015,  that “Those of Riek [Machar] and their friends are trying to hold the country back from going for elections so that they keep the government in hang, so that when the term of this government comes to an end in July, they come out and say you have no legitimacy, which I don’t think our people will accept”. He further stated, “The simple reason for going for elections is to avoid power vacuum and losing legitimacy.” That is one big brutal attack on his own electoral legitimacy claim, as it is clear from his two statements that he is after the constitutional mandate when he talks of the loss of legitimacy in July.

Another problem that Salva is facing is lacking of things to say. The only thing that he can always come up with is some intelligible attack on Dr. Riek Machar. In his statement, he talks of “Those of Riek Machar and their friends…” as “…trying to hold the country back from going for elections so that they keep the government in hang…” Before Salva’s statement, Riek Machar had not made any statement since the talk of the election began this month.

It was only after his (Salva’s) statement that James Gatdet Dak, the Press Secretary of Dr. Riek Machar, was quoted on the 17th of January 2015 as having made a statement to this effect. He was quoted to have said that “’Our leadership rejects this and asks the South Sudanese and the international community to reject it.’” So, where does Riek Machar come in, in Salva’s statement? He just attacked Riek Machar before Riek Machar said anything. Was he trying to pre-empt so that he could later say, see, I told you that Riek Machar was against the election? It was just a sign that he was not even comfortable with what he was saying, and was trying to blame someone for something.

Anyway, it also shows that he knows that he has completely struck down his constitutional legitimacy by ruling the country in contravention with the Constitution. That is why electoral legitimacy has always taken precedent over constitutional one.

So, if not a legitimate president by election, and not a legitimate president by constitution, can Salva really still go around and talk of himself as legitimate? Legitimacy comes and goes. When it is there, then it is there. But once it goes, it no longer exists. Just because it was for Salva, that doesn’t mean that it will always exist for him. He can try as many as he wants to run an election to restore it. But, he will not regain it by running the elections that he and his group are talking about.

I personally believe that the elections that they are talking about in Juba will never take place. Talking about them only betrays Salva’s usual claim of legitimacy on the basis of the April 2010 election, a thing that places his supporters in a tongue-tied position at a time when their only point of support is electoral legitimacy.

There are many reasons for me to take the position that the elections will never happen. I will talk about these reasons in my next article. In the meantime, let us all keep listening to Juba on this issue.

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

More reshuffles will not prevent President Kiir government from decaying

By: Sirir Gabriel Yiei Rut

January 18, 2015 (SSNA) -- It must be a terrible life to be a minister in this government, knowing that you may be fired at the drop of a hat for no particular reason other than suspicion of your disloyalty.

This, of course, is regardless of how you may have served the people of South Sudan. Honestly, how can we run a country like that? A colleague of mine jokingly said to me that “Mashalah fi duol jaahin lom, at least they have international friends coming to them” and I agree.

Make no mistake, I feel no compassion whatsoever for the potential victims because they joined SPLM-Juba faction with their eyes wide open hoping to pursue personal and not national interests. So they must reap their harvest of sorrows.

I am really more concerned about the damage that is being done to our country’s potential through mismanagement and sheer waste of precious time and resources as ministers are hired or fired at President Salva Kiir Mayardit and his close colleagues' whims. Our land is tied of welcoming fresh bonds.

I do agree that there is a lot of deadwood in the Cabinet and, of course, if we try and quantify the losses to the country caused by the actions of some of these ministers, they would definitely be in prison were we in a normal democracy where there is accountability.

Some obvious names pop up in my brain which I am sure my dear readers are aware of.

Throughout my experiences, I have learnt that if you want to change the results of a system, you change its structure because it is the structure that determines behaviors and the output you get.

The results we are getting from the SPLM-Juba faction management style are not solely determined by who occupies what position at ministerial level; it is because we have a fundamentally flawed political system.

As long as we have a system where a partisan President has the sole discretion of appointing ministers, their loyalty will not be to the country first, but to the party and in our case to the President and lately his close friends, regardless of their competence or intent.

We certainly have a structural problem and this has been the case for many years. Ministers that are corrupt and incompetent, but loyal to the party have tended to get away with it despite the damage they continue to cause the country. The recent purges are a clear indication of how flawed our system is.

Of course, the situation is made worse when you have a dictatorial President because he will tend to protect his incompetence and position by appointing yes-men who will not dare challenge him. Ask expelled SPLM-Ministers. This leads to substandard solutions to our problems.

I would certainly prefer a system where Parliament is responsible for appointing ministers and these ministers are accountable to Parliament with the President only having oversight. This removes patronage bias and creates some collective accountability. That is what I will definitely promote as President.

Our country will continue to stay arrested by the selfish pursuit of power and privilege by a few at the expense of having smart and ministers around who can deliver to the millions of our people who deserve a better life.

For far too long we have bought the lie that only those that participated in the struggle have the inalienable right to rule, even when they have shown us that they are disinterested in creating the future we desire. Their core competency will remain being popular within the party structures and groveling to the President and his entourage, nothing else.

We can also no longer pretend that SPLM in its totality stands for our good because throughout their disastrous reign, we have seen how they only stand for themselves.

We must believe that as a nation, our potential must only be limited by our imagination and not by guns or fear. South Sudan has all it needs to be a great and prosperous nation and it is our responsibility to ensure that all South Sudanese take the opportunity to live to their full potential and gain access to opportunities to serve others in public office if they so wish.

The sad reality is that amongst us lie all the skills and talent we require to take South Sudan forward but we continue to be limited by a political system of patronage that draws talent from a limited pool with limited competencies and narrow political motives.

In my opinion, leading South Sudan into the future will take a totally different kind of leadership than what we have seen within SPLM-Juba faction we cannot accept the caliber of the average SPLM cadre to lead this nation into the 21st century.

We also cannot have leaders and ministers who have conflicts of interest as is the case with most of them. Our political leadership must never be in business or be involved in money making ventures because this creates a serious conflict.

As a result, our public resources are not allocated or managed efficiently and this has led to the plunder of our resources, patronage and corruption and theft.

The long and short of it is that, no amount of Cabinet reshuffle will change the fact that our political system no longer serves the interests of the country and those involved in it are therefore not the people we should expect to create the South Sudan we imagine.

In my opinion as Cde. Sirir Gabriel, the President can reshuffle all he wants, but this will not lead to new results. We are stuck in a rut of entitlement to power, non-accountability, mismanagement and lack of national interest.

That is not about to change until we begin to source talent outside political party structures.

I have said my words and may gods of the land hear my voice...

Cde. Sirir Gabriel Yiei Rut is a writer and commentator and He is the Chairman of SPLM Youth League Chapter in Egypt he can be simply reach through This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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