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South Sudanese Coalition of Episcopal Churches Call for Cessation of Violence in South Sudan

Press Release by:
South Sudanese Coalition of Episcopal Churches (SSCEC) in the United States

December 23, 2013 (SSNA) -- As a spiritual body, South Sudan Coalition of Episcopal Churches in the United States is concerned with the level of violence taking place in Juba, Bortown, Akobo and other areas of South Sudan. As a body of Christ, South Sudan Coalition of Episcopal Churches in the United States strongly condemned senseless killing of civilians.

As a result:

A. We are urging President Kiir's government to declare:

  • Ceasefire and refrain from escalating the conflict
  • Protect all civilians across the country
  • Agree to dialogue as a way to resolve any political differences

B. We are urging Dr. Riek Machar and all dissatisfied parties to:

  • Accept ceasefire and/or initiate ceasefire
  • Adhere to principles of democracy that they are advocating
  • Protect civilians, respect their rights and properties in towns and/or areas under their control

C. To the United States and United Nations

We are appealing to the United States government and United Nations to:

  • Exert political pressure on President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar and all opposition parties to immediately stop hostilities
  • Help establish displace camps and provide necessary security protection to civilians displaced by the ongoing violence across the country
  • Use their good offices to bring the disputing parties to a negotiating table
  • Help investigate cases of human rights violations committed by both parties
  • Introduce UN Security Council Resolution to strengthen UNMISS mandate and increase the number of peacekeepers in South Sudan.

Note: As a church, we are seeing ethnic polarization in South Sudan. This is evident in the division among the country’s leadership, formation of political parties along ethnic line and also evident in division in the country army forces.  If nothing is done sooner to mediate the present conflict situation between Kiir’s government and Dr. Riek Machar and other dissatisfied opposition parties, we are afraid that South Sudan will see a repeat of 1991 massacre in which thousands of civilians lost their lives and/or properties. Therefore, in order to avoid that from happening, we are appealing to the United States and the United Nations to do everything in their power to avert another ethnic cleansing from happening again in South Sudan.

Best Regards,

Rev. John Deng, South Sudanese Congregation Saint Paul Episcopal Church, Kansas City MO. And Chairman of South Sudan Coalition of Episcopal Churches (SSCEC) in the United States.

Ethiopia Will Lose its Hegemony in East Africa if it Doesn’t Address Museveni Greed

By Pel K. Chol

Australia, February 10, 2014 (SSNA) -- Ethiopia is the second populous nation in the continent and a most populous in East Africa with a population of 85 million equaling the total population of Kenya, South Sudan and Uganda put together. The country is the fourth largest economy in the continent recently surpassing Kenya, making it the largest economy in East Africa.

Such combined are ideal blessings for any nation to keep its hegemony to a certain extent so as to protect its interests. Ethiopia, being a champion of Africa is blessed with such ideals in a multi dimensional ways, population size, economic wise and military strength, must not turn a blind eye on the situation of South Sudan otherwise it will lose its status if it allows Museveni to do what he likes doing ruining the lives of so many people in Uganda's neighboring countries one of which is DR Congo where over four million people have died in spate of four years, more than those who died in the second world war.

Ethiopia, being a democratic nation with a strong constitution honored and respected by all Ethiopians, would have every right to tell Museveni to bugger off and let South Sudanese decide themselves their own future.  If he (Museveni) got involved as a matter of keeping the neighborhood quiet, then Ethiopia would have every right to use the same phrase too because its borderline with South Sudan is far lengthier than that of South Sudan with Uganda and any noise Uganda may experience as a result of such conflict might also be felt by Ethiopia, Kenya, DR Congo and the Sudan requiring a bilateral response.

However, none of these is an issue which got Museveni involved in the conflict. Rather a friendship and a blood thirst. But what Museveni misunderstands is that he is backing the wrong side. Perhaps, not so wrong in his judgment because Museveni himself has been locking up and killing his political opponents.

The pretext Kiir told the world is now obvious. It is true that the coup attempt was a fabrication and a cover up of his ill conceived policies about what atrocities and gross human rights violations his Gogrial thugs had committed against Nuer civilians in Juba. Yet again he had tried very hard to divert public opinions of his alleged coup thinking that the majority of world leaders are as fool and delusional as his friend Museveni to believe him.

Upon that fateful night, for many innocent victims, many peace loving generals in the army who want to hold Kiir to account for his actions fought back to get rid of him.  While Juba was about to fall, Kiir had ran to Uganda for help to keep him in power.

This shows how unpopular this dude is and that is why Ethiopia would need to intervene whatever way possible because if Kiir was a popular President among the South Sudanese, he would not have sought external support from  Uganda or Sudanese rebels operating inside South Sudan territory who are all now terrorizing Jonglei, Unity and the Upper Nile States. 

Another reason why Ethiopia can support Dr. Riek is because Dr. Riek has the backing of the majority of South Sudanese who all stand behind him including some prominent figures such as Rebecca Nyandeng, Deng Alor, Majack Agot, Lol Gatkuoth, Pagam Amum and many more.

Ethiopia must understand that the political situation in South Sudan is not a contention over leadership between Nuer and Dinka. Rather it is a quest for justice and establishment of a true democracy in South Sudan between democratic sympathizers, Dinkas included and a brutal dictator who acts like Isaias Afewerki of Eritrea whose rule has now emerged as an iron fist and crush who ever dare questioning his leadership style. Ethiopia would have nothing to lose if it chooses to push Museveni out of South Sudan. Rather it will gain an admiration from the majority of South Sudanese who are exhausted with Kiir and Museveni.

Kiir himself does not know any clue about the rule of law and what democratic principles are. This reveals why his administration is at odd with his SPLA party members majority of whom were educated in USA, UK and Australia holding masters and Ph degrees while Kiir does not even have an elementary certificate. The December 15 violence is an indicative of his illiteracy thinking that when he is the president of the Republic, then everyone else is useless and should listen to him. That is why he formed a private army with military unaware of that and ordered this illegitimate army to disarm members of the real army. When they resisted then he said it was a coup and it is Dr. Riek's fault and his team who see his policies as a cancer to the nation.

All of Dr. Riek's team including thoseKiir had jailed and those who ran for their lives now staging rebellion have sound knowledge of democratic governance and at best would work very well with the Ethiopian government should they get support and form a government . They felt victims to Kiir simply because of their wise knowledge about how democratic system should work in South Sudan.

Ethiopia must intervene to help restore democracy in South Sudan because if Museveni continue his military involvement in South Sudan, then Museveni would be the strongest man in East Africa by default worse than Idi Amin. To me and many other democratic sympathizers in South Sudan, Museveni does not deserve that connotation. He watered down democracy in Uganda, now he wants to water down democracy in South Sudan and East Africa in general.

How could anyone be certain that what he started in Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and Somalia is going to stop in South Sudan? As long as IGAD and the West turns a blind eye and deaf hear on his evil tactics and resource seek meddling, he can make things as bad as hell wherever he wants to. Obviously, he created carnage in DR Congo, Rwanda and Burundi and Somalia in the eyes of USA and her allies and yet no one condemned his evil favoritism. Let not underestimate that he could help change the regime in Sudan and also destroy wonderful democracy Ethiopia is now enjoying by supporting OLF being assisted by his mercenary Ugandan Peoples Defense Force (UPDF).

Hence, Ethiopia must intervene before Musevini's tail even grows longer or else it would be too late to cut. Currently the mighty Ethiopian army would have no match with Uganda army.

If the freedom fighters far from being a standing army could inflict pain and suffering on Ugandan military with tanks and attack helicopters, then how could they match a mighty Ethiopian force.

My advice to Ethiopia is that they should intervene for your own hegemony, defense of democracy, and stability of East Africa. Ethiopia!  Intervene and get Museveni out of South Sudan.

The author is a post graduate student in the Centre of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism he could be reached on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

SPLA clashed with Athor’s Loyalists, 13 dead

June 16, 2010 (Khartoum) -- South Sudan's army said on Wednesday 10 members of a renegade militia and three soldiers were killed in a gunbattle in the region's Jonglei oil state.

A 35-strong search team came across George Athor's rebels on Tuesday, a day after it had flushed him out of a hideout, according to the southern army (SPLA).

Athor launched a rebellion after failing to win Jonglei's governorship in an April election, accusing the south's dominant Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) of rigging the vote. Last month Athor said he was coordinating attacks with two other militia leaders in Jonglei and neighbouring Unity state, raising fears for regional stability in the run-up to a potentially explosive secession referendum due in January 2011.

There have been reports of scattered attacks but they have not coalesced into a large uprising.

"The reconnaissance platoon found his new place suddenly and there was an exchange of fire near Dier village in Khorfulus County," SPLA spokesman Kuol Diem Kuol said.

"From the SPLA side, three were killed and eight wounded and from Athor's side 10 killed."

Athor did not answer calls on Wednesday.

Earlier Kuol said SPLA troops attacked Athor's forces in the village of Wunlam on Monday night, after they were led to the hideout, also in Khorfulus County, by one of Athor's men captured in an earlier fight.

"He is running with less than 30 soldiers. They are his close relatives from the village ... Our forces are now pursuing him. We expect his capture within days," said Kuol, adding the SPLA captured 13 of Athor's men and radio equipment on Monday.

Last week the SPLA said it chased militia commander Galwak Gai out of his base in Unity state, which includes oilfields operated by the Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company (GNPOC), a consortium led by China's CNPC. French group Total holds a largely unexplored oil concession in Jonglei.

South Sudan, the source of most of Sudan's oil, secured a referendum on whether to split off as a separate country in a 2005 peace deal that ended more than two decades of civil war with the north.


Darfur and the Diplomacy of Abandonment

By Eric Reeves

March 16, 2012 (SSNA) -- For more than a year and a half the Obama administration has been engaged in a callous and largely surreptitious disengagement from the ongoing human catastrophe in Darfur. This disengagement has taken many forms, and had various articulations. In August 2010 the phrase of choice was "de-emphasizing Darfur" in U.S. Sudan policy. In November 2010 a senior administration official spoke of "de-coupling Darfur" from considerations of whether Sudan should be on the State Department list of terrorism-sponsoring nations. Darfur, home to hundreds of thousands of in desperate need, now commands no significant policy attention in the Obama administration.

For example, this week Dane Smith, Obama's senior adviser for Darfur, declared in Pittsburgh that the Obama administration believed that "regime change" in Khartoum would be counterproductive. This message has been conveyed by the United States to the various rebels groups in Darfur and two other northern states currently under genocidal siege by Khartoum's military forces, Blue Nile and South Kordofan. These rebel groups, united uneasily under the banner of the Sudan Revolutionary Front, include the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army-North as well as the most powerful Darfur rebels movements. They are politically and ideologically heterogeneous, but if militarily united have the power to bring down the tyranny in Khartoum that for twenty-three years has been responsible for massive ethnically targeted human destruction, wholesale denial of humanitarian assistance, and systematic displacement of nearly 10million human beings.

Why should these rebel groups forgo an opportunity---should it exist---to compel a change of regimes in Khartoum? Why are members of this ruthless security cabal no more in need of removal than Libya's Qaddafi, Syria's al-Assad, or Afghanistan's Taliban leadership---all examples of regime change that the United States has supported or is working for? Does it not matter that Darfuris are being asked to negotiate with a regime whose president and defense minister are under indictment by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity and genocide?

It has long been clear that only regime change offers the chance for true peace in Sudan: the National Islamic Front/National Congress Party regime is not a force for peace, but a potent catalyst for ongoing rebellion and military violence---and not just in Sudan. We need only look at the current widespread assaults on the civilian populations in Blue Nile and the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan, conflict along the North/South border (including Khartoum's bombing of a refugee camp inside South Sudan with more than 20,000 civilians), the increasing likelihood of all-out war between Khartoum's forces and those of the new Republic of South Sudan, long and bitter resentment of the regime in eastern Sudan and Nubia in the far north, and the continuing violence in Darfur.

Why does Dane Smith counsel "engagement" with a regime that has never abided by a single agreement it has made with any Sudanese party? Why should rebel groups sit down with a regime that conducts indiscriminate aerial attacks on civilians while denying international humanitarian aid to many hundreds of thousands of desperate people in South Kordofan and Blue Nile? Because, Smith says, rebel efforts to overthrow the regime would "polarize the Arabs against everyone else, so they can say, 'Arabs are under attack. Islam is under attack.'"

And yet the entire population of Darfur is Muslim. How could Muslim Darfuri rebels create the impression that "Islam is under attack"? And more to the point, what in the broader insurgency---which includes a number of Arabs---could give the impression that "Arabs are under attack"? It is difficult to imagine an argument that could hold less force within the African ethnic groups that have been attacked on the basis of their ethnicity for the past twenty-three years---under the banner of an aggressively Islamist and Arabist ideology. The rebel groups, despite their many shortcomings and abuses in Darfur, arose precisely in response to the fact that "Africans were under attack" in the region, and had been since the NIF/NCP regime came to power by military coup in June 1989.

Moreover, the July 2011 Doha "Peace Agreement" that Smith touts is a disaster. It has been overwhelmingly rejected by Darfuri civil society, both within Darfur and in the diaspora. It represents an agreement between Khartoum and one small, militarily impotent, and politically unrepresentative rebel "grouping," a factitious entity cobbled together by the United States and Qaddafi's Libya. Negotiations in Doha produced no significant achievements in the critical area of human security, which continues to deteriorate in Darfur despite the presence of a $1 billion per year "hybrid" UN/African Union peacekeeping force. At Doha, Thabo Mbeki, former president of South Africa, Ibrahim Gambari, the head of the hybrid mission, and Burkina Faso's Djbril Bassolé, the diplomat actually designated as the UN/AU joint negotiator, wrangled and jostled for control of the negotiations. So much went wrong, and so little was actually achieved, that one close observer of the earlier process that led to the 2006 Darfur Peace Agreement in Abuja (Nigeria) described Doha to me as "Abuja replayed as farce.

In short, in the interest of avoiding the impression that "Arabs are under attack" and "Islam is under attack," the rebel groups are being urged to halt efforts to change the regime and to participate in a peace process that has already been rejected by the people the rebel groups claim to represent.

On the same recent occasion, Smith took the opportunity to acknowledge that "we haven't seen justice served in Darfur." But he didn’t suggest what the United States is prepared to do to see that justice is rendered at the ICC, or that impunity in Darfur is ended---impunity that sustains an ongoing epidemic of sexual violence, and radical insecurity in many camps and rural areas, while the Central Reserve Police (the Abu Tira) has become a lawless force, murdering, robbing, and kidnapping at will. It's true, as Smith notes, that "Darfuris not the same as the same place it was in 2003 and 2004," but the notion that after 2004 things were bad but not really so very bad ignores a number of indicators. Since 2004 there have been more than 650 confirmed aerial attacks on civilian targets; since 2007, when the UN Security Council authorized the hybrid force, more than 1.2 million Darfuris have been newly displaced, according to UN and aid group estimates. Many tens of thousands of women and girls have been raped, and continue to be raped. The UN High Commission for Refugees estimates that 264,000Darfuris remain in eastern Chad as refugees---too fearful to return even as they face increasingly limited prospects of humanitarian assistance.

Smith went on to point out that "in 2003 just 18percent of Darfur was considered urban settlements, but today it is 50 percent urban." But as Smith must understand, this increase is due overwhelmingly to the growth of squalid, under-served camps for displaced persons in the immediate environs of major cities and towns. These people will not leave the camps because of security conditions, and because many of their villages and agricultural lands were either destroyed or seized by Khartoum's militia allies. And the evidence from the past sixty years is clear: the longer displaced persons or refugees stay in camps, the less likely that they will ever leave.

There are very few jobs in the camps or the adjacent urban areas, and as the economy of (northern) Sudan continues its sharp contraction, there will be even fewer. Economic hardship will fall disproportionately on the poorest, who struggle to secure or purchase enough to eat. Children, some of whom have been in camps for more than eight years, are losing any sense of connection to the land and the agricultural way of life their families have known for countless generations.

This way of life is dying, even as much of the land around these overcrowded urban areas faces unprecedented environmental distress. A sobering study was released last month by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization showing that "current wood harvesting is causing the degradation and depletion of existing resources" (Land Cover Mapping and Wood Energy Analysis of Darfur’s IDP Regions). This seventy-five-page study augurs poorly for the future of Darfur: in those areas where people are most concentrated, the imbalance between wood energy production (biomass) and demand is shockingly great. In Nyala, capital of South Darfur, the annual accessible supply potential of wood fuel for 2011 was 52,000 tons; but actual demand was 366,000tons. Since wood energy is critical not only to cooking but to the makeshift industries that have sprung up in the camps (like charcoal production), we may expect to see even greater costs incurred by families that are already unable to afford sufficient food, as well as the collapse of many small employment sources.

Darfur may not be seeing the levels of violence that marked the early years of the genocide, but Smith's casual historical bifurcation downplays not only violence after 2004, but the needs of the people displaced by that violence. The Obama administration, like the Bush administration before it, has been unable to conceive of a global or truly strategic Sudan policy that makes Darfur integral to all future negotiations. Meanwhile, Khartoum continues to play one region of the country against another in order to create diplomatic disarray and retain political power.

Smith shows no sign of appreciating Amnesty International’s recent report, "No End to Violence in Darfur: Arms Supplies Continue Despite Ongoing Human Rights Violations," or other reports that suggest just how great violence and civilian insecurity presently are in Darfur. Smith has also yet to make a public comment on the effective demise of the UN Panel of Experts on Darfur, authorized by UN Security Council Resolution1591 (March 2005) to monitor an arms embargo and a ban on all offensive military flights by Khartoum. Nor has he spoken directly of the ominous reports on humanitarian conditions, sometimes smuggled out of the region, including a substantial, unreleased Tufts University study of a year ago: "International humanitarian capacities have been seriously eroded and impaired to a point that leaves Darfuris in a more vulnerable position now than at any other time since the counter-insurgency operations and forced displacements in 2003."

This is, as I have repeatedly argued, "genocide by attrition," a deliberate effort by Khartoum to further attenuate the humanitarian presence following the expulsion of thirteen of the world's most important relief agencies in March 2009---half the total humanitarian capacity in Darfur. Recently I have received authoritative reports of visas and travel permits being denied to humanitarian workers trying to reach Darfur---a continuation of the pattern of obstructionism, harassment, and intimidation that has marked Khartoum's response to relief efforts for more than eight years. Radio Dabanga reports almost daily on the local impact of this war on humanitarian assistance: people continue to die, in large numbers, from a lack of food, clean water, and primary medical care. Khartoum suppresses mortality figures, as well as reports on malnutrition, even from areas that are experiencing emergency levels of malnutrition.

A diplomacy of abandonment has proved the path of least resistance for the Obama administration, and the face of that abandonment is Ambassador Smith. That he would presume to tell the people of Darfur to accept the present regime of génocidaires as a legitimate negotiating partner is a measure of the moral rot at the center of the Obama administration's Sudan policy.

Eric Reeves, a professor at Smith College, has published extensively on Sudan, nationally and internationally, for more than a decade. He is author of A Long Day's Dying: Critical Moments in the Darfur Genocide.

The Literature of Politics in South Sudan

My reading of Kuir Garang’s Article: “People First, A Response to Dr. Lam Akol”

By Deng Bior Deng

November 16, 2012 (SSNA) -- Maybe not with writers of Poetry, opposite words in ordinary language follow the same sequential opposite patterns in the context they are used in given situations whether in politics, science, history, etc. The introduction of Kuir’s second article referred to above, as was in his first article: “MR. NICE GUY and MR. WHIMSICAL”, remains to be contradictory because the praise he gives to Dr. Lam seems inconsistent with his criticism of him in his preceding paragraphs; that is my view of the semantics of the word, “whimsical vs. oxymoronic”.

I know that Dr. Lam will not turn the issues raised by Kuir into matters between the two, which means one does not expect his response to this second article of his brother’s son, Poet Kuir Garang; hence the subject may be open for public discussion, so my response here is to open it up should I be the first. Let me go point by point:-

Policy coherence vs. consequential incoherence.

This policy (the Nasir declaration) was adopted by SPLM/A and therefore it had contributed (not instigated) to the reformation and coherent functional SPLM/A. It is the coherence of this policy that led to the positive change in the SPLM/A policy, especially in the capitalization of self-determination to its advantage that became a blessing in disguise to South Sudan which was bogged down in the vision of New Sudan. Reading from this juncture, there is no justification maintaining that there was a consequential incoherence of the policy because of its wrong implementation; so, what would be the rationale of describing Dr. Lam as being whimsical if he was the brain behind the Nasir move? Wrong implementation of a coherent policy does not render it incoherent.

As for the nasty consequences in the practical application of the Nasir coup, no side could be immune from blame including the SPLM/A, but that is what led to the split in the Nasir faction. In this case, Dr. Lam was caught up between three unpredictable formidable enemies and Fashoda agreement became a tactful position which resulted in the eventual compromise of the three camps in the CPA. Politics being the art of the possible, Dr. Lam made a good exit from Fashoda arrangement; that was not being whimsical or incoherent because the main discourse was not missed. He disagreed with Garang because of Self-Determination; agreed with Khartoum on Self-Determination; disagreed with Khartoum when it reneged on Self-Determination; and agreed with Garang when the latter signed a protocol on Self-Determination. Where is the inconsistency on his part? Dr Lam has always been firm on the right of the people of South Sudan to Self-Determination.

Misconstrued Query,

The misunderstanding here is that Poet Kuir intended to invoke what he calls constructive discourse on Dr. Riek, hence he evaded the accolade he first gave him; that in itself is a presentation of trite writs from a poet to his audience. Let me treat this query in that context.

The problem of Kuir is that he thinks the only explanation as to why “Dr Riek isn’t implementing anything in 1991 policy paper” is that he didn’t author the vision enunciated in that policy paper . It is mind-boggling why he couldn’t consider the more obvious explanation that the system in Juba in which he is number Two would not allow him to implement such a policy. This is more plausible especially when he admits that the “SPLM is full of crooks”. Perhaps, he would have been right to question Dr Riek whether or not it was morally acceptable to continue in a government which has no policies and does not allow any positive contribution in implementing any. But all in all, our country is now independent to the credit of 1991 policy; both Dr. Riek and Dr Lam deserve praise.

At the Helm of Foreign Ministry.

I don’t understand why Poet Kuir should be confused and even surprised by the fact that the CPA stipulated for partnership between the NCP and SPLM in the implementation of the agreement. The relevant facts in the CPA, as signed by the SPLM and NCP, were the basis on which the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and indeed all ministers, exercised powers. Given this irrefutable truth, the CPA had reconciled both the interests of the then Sudan and South Sudan. Yet, if the CPA, according to Kuir, was signed not because the SPLM knew it was good for South Sudanese but because it was the best option, then, what option was missed that should have been better than the best option dictated by the circumstances of the time and why missed? Did this mean that the SPLM must have betrayed the best interest of the South by signing the CPA? If that be the case, why then would Dr. Lam bear the blame for the opportunity the SPLM missed in the CPA with regards to foreign policy? Moreover, even if it is possible in a Government, one cannot conceive that Dr. Lam would have had his own foreign policy in a Government where the First Vice President at the higher echelon of the Government was a South Sudanese with veto powers higher than his minister of foreign affairs. But what was the real specific SPLM foreign policy which Dr. Lam did not implement any way?

As a Poet, I presume that Kuir should be able to distinguish between saying that the interests of South Sudanese are not necessarily contrary to those of the North Sudanese, and saying that all Northern and Sothern Sudanese interests “became compatible given CPA stipulations”. The first part of the above sentence reflects the meaning of Dr Lam Akol’s statement whereas Kuir made the last part of it. What was agreed in the CPA was what both sides thought was in their interest. This is what all agreements between adversaries or enemies are all about. For the information of Kuir, the mood of the South Sudanese was in support of the CPA which he now denigrates by claiming that the CPA was signed under pressure and that compromises had to be made that were not in our interest. If this is his line of thinking he will continue to be ‘surprised’.

There is some rhetorical off-the- line statement from Kuir about what he calls the SPLM crooks misunderstanding of the political policy and leadership mannerism of Dr. Lam. I don’t grasp what Kuir would have advised Dr. Lam to do in order to change the minds of the so-called SPLM crooks about him. Dr Lam has explained sufficiently that his differences with those Kuir termed “SPLM crooks” was about their exclusive politics. Hence, perception or misunderstanding does not arise. He also made it clear that Salva Kiir was buckling under their pressure. Dr. Lam did not throw in the towel, this is why he is still active in politics.

Building a Prototypical Ministry.

Again, Kuir is being poetically idealistic in trying to make a distinction between the words, “opportunism and pragmatism”. It would not be to the interest of our people if Dr. Lam had stooped down in order to take a prototypical Ministry because it was a matter of policy not positions. Therefore, if the SPLM could not forward specific policy upon which this prototypical ministry would run, Dr. Lam might risk being a stooge by selling his own dignity for a position; that is opportunism. In any case, the point Dr Lam was making was that President Salva Kiir was so worked up by the ‘SPLM crooks’ to the extent that he was not ready to give Dr Lam a ministry. So, the suggestion was in the abstract.


Lack of democracy in our contemporary history and in our historical struggle under the SPLM leadership, accounts for many missteps not only for Dr. Lam, but for the South Sudan as a whole. However, the missed point from Kuir is that he missed what Dr Lam mentioned that people have to struggle to bring about genuine democracy. Kuir also did not elaborate on what were the missteps of Dr. Lam then. Rightly or wrongly, I believe that Dr. Lam had played his political art very well up to the realization of the referendum leading to our independence.

My Redundant Addendum

This was, indeed, a redundant addendum because Kuir misunderstood the intention of Dr Lam Akol. He did not say that he did not read Kuir’s books, but was rather encouraging him to keep writing.

On a personal note, not withstanding my opinion on Kuir article, I am happy to say that Kuir Garang, a poet, a linguist, a politician and intellectual has a potential for future leadership in South Sudan.

My reading of another Kuir article: “ Dr. Lam Akol misses the point; an analysis of his reply to Kuir Garang article.”

Today it is Kuir Aguer, yesterday it was Kuir Garang on the same subject: “LAM AKOL.” It is my interest that we engage more Kuirs; perhaps, this time to give Lam Akol more Adwoks, more Gatwichs, or more Wanis etc, so that we do not fall prey to more Mayardits. I hope the two Kuirs have their independent thinking than certain SPLM brothers who think South Sudan is SPLM and nothing else. Definitely South Sudan does not have fanatics like the Muslim brothers of NCP/NIF.

The SPLM-DC believes that, behind its objective policies, a political party must have a strong youth that will gradually replace the party leadership; therefore, there can be no selfish political interest of Lam Akol engaging the youth for a political dialogue. Political policies are Nationally based and must not be arrogated to leaders, except, maybe, by those who have some group agendas somewhere (sometimes tribal or clan based as with the traditional politics of Islamic Countries); but even so, political dialogue does not necessarily prey on the youth any selfish political interest. The problem is that political freedom does not exist in South Sudan under the SPLM repressive rule which is why the SPLM-DC must struggle to engage the youth. I think such conversation worth the effort and time if it can attract sympathy from people like Mr. Kuir Aguer and Kuir Garang. There is no another way to show honesty further than continued dialogue.

It is good that both Kuirs want to promote their political image by engaging Dr. Lam Akol. Maybe, even the responses of other independent thinkers who agree with Dr. Lam can be attributed to him and hence let me be Lam…..(number something) in such responses!. Kuir Aguer wants Dr. Lam to clarify his position and that of SPLMDC on important National issues. This is what Dr. Lam had been doing all along; but let us continue meandering on and on around issues; it begs a lot to be understood sometimes, especially in such SPLM tribally divided Country of South Sudan. The issues the two Kuirs express their concerns are: The 1991 SPLM/A split, His tenure(Dr. Lam) as Sudan Minister of Foreign Affairs and the formation of SPLM-DC. Below are my comments, as member of SPLM-DC, not Dr. Lam!


The consequences of 1991 split within the SPLM/SPLA were of course unfortunate and if Dr. Lam had, in any paragraph of his reply to Kuir Garang, used the word ‘unfortunate’ to describe the consequence of this episode, then, I do not think that Dr. Lam had been evasive or in denial of his involvement, and hence, Mr. Kuir Aguer need no more words for Dr. Lam to clarify himself in this regards.

But let us also recognize the other aspect that there were grievances of other communities since the foundation of SPLM/SPLA from 1983 to 1991. Part of the 1991 coup manifesto was to stop the splm atrocities against the civil population which was clearly manifested in the Nuer payams of Akobo, Wuroor, and Panjak counties, the Murle payams of pibor counties, the Mandari payams of central Equatoria counties, the Dinka of Duk Padiet, and the Jonglei Dinka payams of twic east county(then, known as Kongor), etc. Here, it can simply be put that the 1991 coup was exploited for revenge by the victims of splm/spla atrocities in some of those and other areas in South Sudan; Let me reserve here my answer to the question that may be asked: Why then, did the Dinka become prey to the 1991? Maybe, President Mayardit has a better answer being heir to the SPLM/A seat and now being deputized by Dr. Riek.

The consequences of 1991 were of course unfortunately unforeseen by the coup leaders; but again; it would be dishonest to say that the way the splm/spla oppressed the population was justified to continue that way without being addressed on pretext that we had to liberate the country first while we were doing something that was near to genocide against the same people we had been claiming to liberate. Here was the dilemma between foreseeing and un-foreseeing the consequences of the 1991 saga. Both the Nassir coup Leaders and the SPLM/A are not immune from blame. Yes, we need not duel on past history than focus on how to forge ahead for a better future, hence we need to accept that we were all wrong and apologize to our people; that is the best way towards our unity. Dr. Riek must be appreciated for apologizing on behalf of the Nassir coup leaders including Dr. Lam. I don’t see any more ball in the court of Dr. Lam here; instead, this ball is in the court of SPLM/A.

As for SPLM-DC, I don’t see how it is connected with 1991 saga while it was founded in 2009! But, I agree, it is time for us to reconcile and push our Country forward. This is what we had done in 2010, but it was watered down by SPLM Government when it reneged from the all political parties resolutions of 2010.


On foreign or any policy, the position of the Government is always adhered to by its’ Executives. If political parties in a coalition disagree on a specific policy, the party in disagreement must present a documented policy position in regards. The question arise: Was there any specific SPLM policy document presented to the Government, approved by Council of Ministers and Dr. Lam refused to implement? The ABC report, which the SPLM had a right to independently object, was a report and not a policy position on foreign affairs. The SPLM as a political party disagreed with the report, that was okay; but still, the position of the Minister in respect thereof had to be a Government position and if the SPLM did not take action in this regards, the Minister acted on behalf of the Government. Yet even if the SPLM were to have had specific policy position on foreign affairs or specific reports like the one of ABC, any such position must require the agreement of the council of ministers which recommends to President for approval upon which the 1st Vice President had the right to veto according to CPA; so, would the SPLM Minster of Foreign affairs bear the blame more than the SPLM 1st Vice President? This was a matter of how a Government system works and not how the Minister should have worked. Political Parties disagree with Governments not Ministers in the Government!! I am not at this juncture being evasive or defensive; I have only explained a point of misunderstanding on an issue.


QUOTE: However, our nation is at a crossroads and the solutions to the immense challenges facing our country today can only be provided by inclusive parties with compelling visions for guiding our nation into the future we deserve, not by a protest party whose vision is nothing more than the protection of Dr. Lam Akol and his friends from being humiliated by the SPLM as he revealed in his only instance of candor in “I and others with me refused to accept humiliation. Such was the birth of SPLM-DC in June 2009.” A genuine change agency would come in the form of a protest against the abysmal performance of the SPLM in delivering development to the nation, but not in the form of a cocoon whose sworn mission is to shield a few from being humiliated by the SPLM. In the absence of a platform for national development other than a protest against SPLM’s humiliating treatment of some of its members, is the SPLM-DC worthy of being considered as a genuine alternative to lead real change in South Sudan? END QUOTE.

Of course there was a justification for the founding members of SPLM-DC to form this political party, calling it a protest party is not a qualified way of convincing our people against its’ objectives; if Mr. Kuir failed to understand why this party was lounged in 2009, that does not bother any body, but it was to his advantage if he had tried. But why would Lam and his friends allow themselves to be humiliated any way if they have the ability to form a political party, this is a vague challenge.

Political parties can agree to form a coalition Government, if this is what Kuir means by inclusive parties guiding our nation into the future we deserve, then, that is right; but if it is that these parties will just remain as satellite parties for SPLM in the Government, then, I doubt how their visions can be realized in the SPLM Government. There is nothing in politics as an inclusive party in another party; that is a political fallacy professed by political opportunists.

QUOTE: “In keeping with the pattern of ducking questions is the way in which he re-framed the question to recast it as a choice between either forming a new party or remaining in the SPLM to end up as an opportunist. Clearly, forming a new party is an option that has the support of many South Sudanese (even in 2009) if the new party has a visionary platform unlike the myopic one that is suggested by the motives behind the formation of the SPLM-DC. But remaining in the SPLM doesn’t necessarily mean winding up as an opportunist; he could have remained in the SPLM and became a competent leader if you had wished and if resources would have allowed. Therefore, he had more than two options and his attempts to dupe readers into believing there were only two options available to him prior to founding the SPLM-DC is engaging in an either/or logical fallacy. END QUOTE.

Clearly, Mr. Kuir Aguer, with his prejudice against the SPLM-DC and Dr. Lam is being even more myopic (to use his word). A visionary platform of a political party is explained by the party manifesto and not by statements used to answer a specific point of dialogue in a political debate on a specific topic. Dr. Lam had seen that the SPLM did not live up to its’ expectation enunciated in its’ manifesto. If he had remained in such a party, that would amount to opportunism, hence, the decision to form a political party was the right option; so how logical would this option be a fallacy? Mr. Kuir needs to acquaint himself with the SPLM-DC manifesto than to pick up pieces of reasoning here and there to make a political point.

Most of the speech of Kuir on this topic is a generalization that does not need my comments. However, I have to conclude here that the SPLM-DC is ready for compromises with South Sudan political parties including SPLM; but this requires a free democratic space which the SPLM and its’ Government does not allow.

Deng Bior Deng is a member of SPLM-DC, He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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