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Monday, Mar 30th, 2015

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It's our priority to educate the children

By: Sirir Gabriel Yiei Rut

January 4, 2015 (SSNA) -- The number of children who do not get access to schools in my country is as much as the numbers of young children living on streets today, South Sudan politicians have no interest in empowering and encouraging them to go school as it's done in different angle of the world.

While I was there back home before the crisis of the present day in south Sudan, little boys and girls are found almost everywhere in Juba city loitering and working as shoe polishers, sellers of boiled eggs, walking along these dirty roads selling groundnuts and also as bus conductors. Instead to be busy attending their classes my brothers and sisters are working harder to keep our leaders smart and nothing, absolutely nothing is being done to this hopeless kid.

Where are children rights?

It's the right of the child to go to school and if his or her parents are incapable to afford their school fees, it’s the government role to create policies for free education in the country not to watch them spoiling and becoming irresponsible children.

We cannot keep looking at our boys and girls in the hot sun of Juba polishing our shoes, selling us boiled eggs, watching our cars, and selling us groundnuts and we continue to smile and keep silent as if we are giving birth to Goliaths and Sampson. That is too ridiculous.

South Sudan is as fragile as a rats infested house, the educational system in our young nation is completely poor and weak and nothing is being done about this obvious abomination by the ministers concerned. Very unfortunate.  

We cannot often keep taking our children to our neighboring Countries .e.g. Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and among others; for just a mere basic primary foundation which can be done in our country by our domestic teachers. This is ignorance.

Our children needs proper care and guidance, they should not be encouraged to continue to be men and women of their own………. No they are kids and they need our supports so that they will develop interest and concentration to love their books.

South Sudan needs millions and millions of graduates so as to eradicate this chronic illiteracy in our country South Sudan.

I have spoken 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

An Open Letter to President Kiir Mayardit

By Kuir ë Garang

January 1, 2015 (SSNA) -- Leaders the world over think about two paramount things: the PRIMACY of the citizens’ needs and the LEGACY they leave behind long after they have gone. It seems, Mr. President, you think less about the two mentioned above and more about staying in power. There is one thing you have to remember as you stay on: time will come when you’ll be gone either by political necessity or by biological and physiological necessity.

Power ends, but your legacy will not end regardless of what it is. You might go down in history as the first and the worst president South Sudan will ever have; or you can change course and be the best leader South Sudanese will remember for generations to come. The onus is on you!

Here are some things to consider as we begin the New Year.

You are the President

The only person who has the ultimate say in what happens in South Sudan is you. Sometimes your speeches and interviews don’t reflect that. When asked once by a journalist when peace would be realized in South Sudan, you asked the journalist to ‘go and ask Riek Machar.’ That was both ‘unpresidential’ and irresponsible. You were mandated with confidence by South Sudanese in order to do things for them and in order to show optimistic way forward. Riek Machar is a man who’s shown time and again that he wants to lead South Sudan. That we understand very well. However, he’s not the president of South Sudan. You claim legitimacy but you fall short of portraying that. It’s time you remembered that you are the president of South Sudan so act like it. Professing being the president is not what presidency is about; you have to act in the interest of the people.

Stop talking and acting as if there’s someone else; someone who’s actually the decision maker in South Sudan! As the president, you need to account for the atrocities committed by people under your command. Riek Machar will account for his own atrocities. As president of South Sudan, who still has Nuer leaders in your government, what would you tell millions of Nuer, who lost their loved ones in December of 2013? You are the president so answer them like a president!

The Peace Talks

Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was made possible because there was a will to bring peace and the understanding that Sudanese had had enough of war. Taha and Garang, in the interest of Sudanese people, took charge of the talks, showed courageous leadership and made very painful concessions.

You are very much aware that Seyoum Mesfin and IGAD have failed miserably. Unless you take initiative or take charge of these talks, the very people who gave you the mandate will continue to die of diseases, hunger and war. Dr. John Garang has left his legacy in a very beautiful manner. It’s high time you make peace your legacy because developing South Sudan will NEVER be part of your legacy.

Stop the PRIDE and POWER game you and Riek Machar are playing and humble yourself in order to bring PEACE to your people.

Listen to the Citizens

It’s very easy for leaders to be out of touch with people and their needs. And being an African leader, people around you usually lie to you to win favors and be seen as the most loyal. Make an effort to be in touch with South Sudanese citizens without any mediators. This could be in form of well-organized town hall meetings or a monthly radio show in which citizens can call in from rural areas and express their concerns directly to you. In this way, you’ll have a chance to gauge what your aides tell you and what the average citizen’s experiences are.

Media Freedom and Political Opposition

South Sudan is doing exactly what Sudan was/is doing. Your administration is doing the same thing you took up arms to fight. I don’t know whether you don’t see it or you just don’t care. Newspapers are censored if they criticize your administration, political opponents are intimidated, arrested or killed and you rule through a decree like dictators do. These are not part of democracy you seem to sing on regular basis. You’re doing exactly what the likes of Nimeiri, Abboud and Beshir did. It’s high time you make South Sudan different from Sudan.

Political opposition and the Media are a mirror through which you can evaluate your performance. Allow people to criticize your administration and then answer them with facts about what you’ve done for South Sudanese. Intimidating journalists and opposition figures gives an impression you’ve failed to deliver.

Let different political parties debate openly on South Sudan Television. Get your best political brains to tell South Sudanese your side of the story in open televised debates. This will garner you more respect than the way opposition figures are intimidated now.

What you have to request through relevant ministries is journalistic integrity. Journalists who violate their codes of ethics shouldn’t be arrested by security personnel. They should have charges filed by government lawyers and it’s up to the judge to decide.

Decrees

The word decree appears only once in the South Sudanese Transitional Constitution. And it’s only something to do with failure by parliament to pass the budget bill within 45 days: 88 (7). So where does ruling by decrees get constitutional legitimacy? Dictatorial leaders rule by decrees because they override their constitutions or don’t care about it. Whoever advised you to rule by these unconstitutional decrees is contributing towards your unpalatable legacy. It would have been better if these decrees where constitutionally mandated.

Building a nonpartisan Civil Service

No country that hopes to prosper can walk even a mile without a functioning civil service. There has to be nonpartisan civil service that should remain in place regardless of what party is in power. Civil Servants shouldn’t be loyal to any political party. The main purpose is to make a given ministry streamlined and functional. In South Sudan now, the minister is everything. And when the minister is removed, there’s hardly anything that remains to tell the next minister what to do. If you hope to do anything in South Sudan without a nonpartisan civil service then you are living in a delusional limitless dimension.

Ask seasoned experts in neighboring countries, or even in the ‘west’, on how to build and strengthen a civil service sector in South Sudan. Records in any ministry should remain for future records even when the minister is gone. How do you expect to develop a country when the minister goes with records of that given ministry?

President Museveni and Uganda People’s Defense Force

No right-minded South Sudanese would dismiss the role Uganda played during the liberation struggle. Museveni and UPDF have helped us a great deal. However, Museveni is a political and diplomatic brother and everything he does for us is primarily in the best interest of Uganda and Museveni’s political ambition. Museveni’s help to South Sudanese wasn’t and isn’t offered pro bono.

And we also know that without UPDF, the ‘White Army’ would have probably gone to Juba and this could have caused a bloodbath. But as you are well aware, Museveni’s help to us during the liberation struggle was a function of Beshir’s backing of Lord Resistance Army (LRA). And his current help is an attempt to keep Sudanese president Omar el Beshir away from South Sudan and to project himself as Eastern African ‘strong man.’

The gravest part of UPDF presence in South Sudan is that it portrays you as an impotent president whose army can’t protect the capital and the government. Museveni tells the world that he’ll only withdraw from South Sudan if Juba is secure. This tells South Sudanese and the world one thing: you are incapable of protecting your capital city and that you are president only because UPDF is protecting you. That doesn’t sound like a situation of a strong president. It doesn’t matter what you say about your military strength, UPDF presence and actions have portrayed you as weak, incompetent and someone whose presidency they have protected. That undermines South Sudan as a nation!

So wake up Mr. President and listen to your people, allow free media and free political opposition, build real civil service, bring peace to South Sudan and create respectable South Sudan’s army instead of the current medley of tribal militias that make up the SPLA.

Kuir ë Garang is the author of “South Sudan Ideologically.” For contact, visit www.kuirthiy.info

Nuer must not be complacent while their enemy is working for their detrimental

By Pel K. Chol

December 30, 2014 (SSNA) -- As the South Sudanese civil war is entering into its second year, the signs are appearing bleak for the SPLA in opposition which most of its fighters are from the Nuer ethnic group. It is not to proclaim a negative publicity that the rebels don’t have the number nor the support of the population against the genocidal regime. Rather it is an observation which compels me to admit what the majority of us have since longsighted but do not want to reveal.

If we look at the strategies on how the war has been fought, while taking away our emotions, we could certainly acquiesce that we are either lacking strategy or becoming too complacent. That itself has become an aid to the enemy which is working hard for our detrimental. You only need to look at the behaviour of its top leadership such as the President and his chief of staff as well as the remarks made by its supporters to see the facts for yourself.

Despite that, I optimistically think, it will take a great deal of time for our leaders who need to be political scientists to realise that the participation of Kiir in IGAD led peace talks is just to circumvent the conditions that could lead to sanctions and isolation of his government by the international community. It is not a commitment for a genuine peace.

Kiir is trying to appear as a good guy in the eyes of the international community by carefully buying his time while covertly conducting military operations under the guise of peace deals. How many times did one see them appearing on SSTV when they attacked our forces and negatively accused us that Riek Machar’s forces have yet again attacked our positions?

We have seen that thousands of times but done little to counter that while Kiir and his cronies are fully determined to bury justice in South Sudan.  

This time round, it would be up to us whether to let our people down particularly the families of those Kiir had murdered cold-bloodedly or bring justice and establish an adult government where everyone is equal before the law.

For the latter to happen, we should not be parsimony on peace talks not because we didn’t initiate the violence but of many defects that followed.

On January 23, 2014, when cessation of hostilities was signed, we were fully in control of the Greater Upper Nile (3 states). Despite the peace agreement, Kiir had invited the Uganda People Defense Force (UPDF) and other mercenaries such as the Sudan rebels.

All these groups attacked our positions and since then, Kiir and his collaborators have regained control of more than 80 percent of the three states while IGADD is standing idly by issuing only the rhetoric.

Worst still was that our forces in their defensive positions did not have enough weapons nor the ammunitions to confront the enemy. What they were doing to survive the onslaught was to resupply from their opponents, a form of classical insurgency which was effective only in the 1960’s. A continuation of this style would exhibit a complete lack of understanding or the strategy into how we could win this war.

From the Juba points of view, the insignia of the war is that, it will be won militarily. Yet we are putting little emphasis on the planning and organisation as well as the political will to invite others.

Kiir has turned South Sudan into a killing field for the Nuer. He had armed all the ethnic groups throughout the country to kill Nuer beside the invitation of the UPDF and the Sudan rebels to do just that.

One could ask what the stakes are for such foreign forces to get involve into an affair of another sovereign state especially when they were supporting the perpetrator and a criminal.

Well, if our leaders show a little bit of common-sense, they could not be hesitant to counteract Kiir’s strategies and turn South Sudan into a killing zone, not just for the Nuer as Kiir had aimed, but for everyone including any living nature that dwells in it.

It won’t take too long to get someone into the cabal because Museveni’ regime is as unfriendly as a fire, not only toward its neighbour but beyond its borders. The DRC, Angola, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Eritrea and Mozambique are few countries which cannot put up with him.

Museveni was the architect of the Congolese Crises which the United Nation Security Council dubbed ‘Africa’s world war’ as 11 African nations got involved in the conflict. If it wasn’t for the mighty army of southern African states which threw him out, he would still be conquering the DRC today. It wasn’t IGADD or the UNSC that shown him the exit but it was Angola, Zimbabwe and Namibia while South Africa played political role in favour of her neighbours.

For the Sudanese rebels who operate inside the South Sudan soil, there is a good reason to eliminate them, if they overlooked their course as they did, so that stability in South Sudan and Sudan can be accomplished. Despite these obvious signs of attraction, we are unable or unwilling to invite others.

About Kiir’s military strategies, he dismissed the former money lover, General Gathoth Mai and replaced him with Paul Malong Awan. Since Malong became the chief of staff, he expressed clearly that he was going to recruit one million people from his Greater Bar El Ghazel to catch Riek Machar in Nasir and end the rebellion in a month.

Malong was right in recruiting thugs from his clan as well as the control of Nasir but was erroneous in underestimating the power of the oppressed. His troops suffer miserably whenever they try to crash the rebellion.

As we see the bravery displayed by our young men in all the battle fields, the question that one would like to ask is that, for how long can we sleep and continue to be unprepared while the Dinka plus our active minority such as the likes of Buay Malek and other Nuer money lovers in Kiir’s government are determined to defeat us?

The war we are fighting has all the ingredients for a success yet we are lacking planning and organisation as well as the training of our forces. All those are detrimental to failure making this unlosable rebellion a unwinnable one.

If we would lose this war, one would see Nuer dying in vast number more than those massacred in Juba not just in the hands of the rogue regime but by anger, disbelief, frustration as well as the agony of being a Dinka slave for centuries. We better let that not to happen.

When the war started, we were so close to removing Kiir militarily and that could have been a big luck if we did dispose him because, we did not prepare or planned for it. But now that we have become aware of his evil ideology and brutality, we have done little except that our leaders have become too obsessive of either ending the war politically while Kiir is attacking our forces day in and day out or falsely believing that Nuer have never been defeated by Dinka.

We need to get our mindset out of this wilful disregard of facts. Firstly, we are not only fighting the Dinka but a group of thugs including some Nuer all of which are fighting for their wallets. Secondly, the Dinka are recruiting into the Dinka led government in their thousands.

But we have not been countering that. All the White Army we see defending towns in Upper Nile are just doing it for the love of their identity because they didn’t like what happened to Nuer in Juba. Not that there is an active encouragement for them to defend the towns. There has not been enough encouragement too for our young men and women who are now in the refugee camps.

The Nuer abroad have not been able to contribute enough money to support our people who are stranded in UNMISS compounds some of which can actually form dozens of regiments if not divisions based on their experiences.

Hence, we have allowed ourselves to become keyboard warriors who want to see the victory of our men on computer screens with little attribute.  Or we have become a passive population who will one day go by the wind depending who wins. This is as bad as ethnocentrism if we base our belief on those aspirations.

Our leaders have made enough mistakes prior to the war and now we do not need any more of those. The major one was the lack of empathy when they watched Kiir training his private army but were unable to understand neither his motivation nor the interest about what he was going to do with it.

It still appears that we have not yet learnt the lessons countenancing the history to repeat itself. Here are some of the reasons which prompted me to formulate such expressions.  Kuol Manyang has repeatedly said that the rebellion in Greater Upper Nile will be brought to an end in 2015.

Yet, we seem not to take those comments seriously. The Dinka are recruiting themselves for an all-out war in 2015 to defeat us. But we do not have any plan not only to win the war but even to defend small towns such as Nasir. Many people, prior to the recapture of Nasir by the Dinka, were saying that the Dinka could never set foot on Nasir disregarding any strategy they could have established to defend it. What I would like to say to you my friends is that it could be good if we are mindful with the fact that rebels do not win by losing towns and cities.

Now that the Dinka are gearing up to attack the Lou Nuer counties, we are still making the same statements that Lou had never been conquered by anyone who used force on them. Are we still going to continue being over confidence which allows us to get the facts wrong? Instead of being over confidence about our strength, why don’t we become over prepared so that we could instantly subdue our enemy?  

An over preparation would imply an active encouragement of our young men throughout the Nuer land and in refugee camps to join the rebellion and get trained properly before deploying them into battlefields. We also have to work conjunctively with our brothers from the Greater Equatoria to train as many young people as we can to match Kiir’s forces. The job that democratic sympathisers who live abroad could do is to facilitate funds so that we could be able to meet our goals and strategies.

Failure to plan a head would be a great upheaval for our movement. We are never going to topple this genocidal government if we do not do enough. Instead what will follow is the dissatisfaction of our forces back to the government when they see that we are not fully committed, a phrase I hate to say.

A cording to counterinsurgency principles, Kiir is ticking all the boxes that would victimise us forever if we do not take a different stand.

Worst of all are our active minority whom we call the Nuer Money Lovers who betrayed the blood of our people Kiir had lit in South Sudan. We see them collaborating with our haters, going back to the government and coming back to our areas trying to convince us that Kiir did not kill our people eventhough almost every one of them including former chief of Staff, General Gathoth Mai, had a relative or know someone Kiir had killed.

A person by the name of Yiey Puoch, from Upper Nile whose sister and his six nephews and nieces were killed by Kiir’s forces in Malakal is a perfect example. Yiey fought against Kiir’s forces in Malakal seeking justice for his family but was not resilience enough to make it to the end. He allowed greed to override sister’s life. He went back to the same government which created a deep hole on his family.

I personally don’t understand what kind of heart and brain these people have re-joining the death camp eventhough the person who has killed them has never shown any kind of remorse. For such a people to understand that they are as worse as Kiir, someone among them has to be exterminated, the same way Kiir did to our people even if it means burning them alive. No Sympathy.

The Author of this article is awaiting graduation for master Degree in Macquarie University’s Centre for Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism. He could be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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