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The Three Biggest Threats to Newly Independent South Sudan

By Eric Reeves

July 11, 2011 (SSNA) -- The independent Republic of South Sudan emerged Saturday from the ravages of half a century of war, deprivation, destruction, and displacement. Its freedom was guaranteed overwhelmingly by a self-determination held last January, and, today, it is impossible to resist the celebratory urges evident in Juba, the new capital. But this birth occurs against an exceedingly grim backdrop that suggests resumed war between Sudan and, now, South Sudan is much closer than diplomats and analysts have allowed themselves to say, or perhaps even think. The threats of conflict in the border regions of Abyei and South Kordofan are acute and growing more so by the day; Khartoum also continues to bomb civilian targets in the northern part of Unity State (which is in the new South Sudan) and supports deadly renegade militias.

Indeed, war has steadily become more likely than peace. Having hoped and worked for more than twelve years to help bring a just peace to Sudan, I find only bitterness in offering this warning, but the actions and statements by Khartoum require a hard-headed assessment that seems beyond U.S. special envoy Princeton Lyman, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and his key under-secretaries, the African Union's Thabo Mbeki, and the leaders of nearly all European countries.

Why such a bleak outlook? Let’s attend to three key threats to peace.

Abyei. This region has long been promised its own referendum to determine whether it will be part of Sudan or South Sudan, but it has yet to take place, largely because of disagreements over who should be allowed to vote: only the native Ngok Dinka, or also the migrating Misseriya. The North military seized Abyei in May, but the "Temporary Arrangements for the Administration and Security of Abyei Area," signed by Khartoum and Juba on June 16, seemed to give some breathing space to negotiations over this contested region. Both sides agreed to an Ethiopian "interim security force for Abyei," and the U.N. Security Council authorized this measure on June 27. The ambitious schedule outlined in the agreement would have us believe that, on June 28, an "advance party" of Ethiopian forces would deploy; that, by June 30, the "rules of engagement" and "status of forces agreement" (or, defining the rights and responsibilities of the Ethiopian force) would be settled; that, by July 2, a second advance party would deploy; and that, by July 6, the "main body" would be sent to the region. But it is the height of the rainy season in Sudan, and deployment of an armored brigade of thousands of soldiers is a logistical nightmare. Khartoum is also prepared to create any number of bureaucratic obstacles to sending the troops into Abeyi. So is anyone surprised that no significant deployment has yet occurred?

The Ethiopians will eventually arrive, and they are good soldiers. But they won't have a human rights mandate or clear rules for how they should engage Khartoum’s Arab militia allies. These gaps in their mission are critical, since there can be little doubt that, even if Khartoum’s regular forces withdraw to advantageous positions outside Abyei, their proxies---perhaps claiming to be indigenous residents of the region---will remain. Certainly, the more than 110,000Ngok Dinka who fled in May will not feel secure enough to return.

And how long will the Ethiopians stay? There was grumbling within the Security Council about the cost of this mission and suggestions that it be made smaller (it is, after all, the third very costly peacekeeping operation currently in Sudan). Sooner or later---and I believe sooner---the U.N. will not renew the six-month mandate of this "interim security force," and there will be nothing left to prevent Khartoum from seizing the region again.

Khartoum's position of strength on the Abyei issue was reflected in comments picked up yesterday by The Standard in Kenya: Kamal Ismail Saeed, Khartoum's ambassador to Nairobi, declared, "We cannot talk about a deal on Abyei. This is unlikely, atleast in the coming years." That is, unless the South is willing to allow the Misseriya, who migrate from the north, to vote in a self-determination referendum, which would allow Khartoum to rig the electoral results in ways painfully familiar. It's clear the regime is prepared to wait s long as it takes for this to happen, knowing that Abyei is too dangerous for the Ngok to return, and that it enjoys defacto military control. And this makes nonsense of Khartoum's commitment, per the temporary agreement signed in June, "to resolve peacefully the final status of Abyei."

South Kordofan. Violence continues to accelerate in South Kordofan, which is on the border between the North and South. It is directed overwhelmingly against the African Nuba people, particularly in the Nuba Mountains. The humanitarian situation has become catastrophic, as aerial attacks by bombers, helicopter gunships, and military jets have made re-supply of necessities impossible and compelled almost all relief organizations to withdraw. In addition to preventing relief efforts, these assaults are intended to disrupt the current agricultural cycle (it is the key moment in the planting and tending season). It’s clear the North's intention is to starve the Nuba and the northern arm of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (which fought with the South during the civil war). At the same time, heavy arms are pouring into Kadugli and Dilling, the two major towns controlled by Khartoum’s military. These include tanks, artillery, APCs, "technicals," and 40-barrelrocket launchers, fearsome weapons capable of shredding an entire village in a matter of seconds.

I've discussed in an earlier article the limitations of the "Framework Agreement," which was signed by Khartoum and Juba on June 28 and meant to deal with "political and security arrangements for Blue Nile [another border region] and South Kordofan."Though a "cessation of hostilities agreement" was clearly central to the "agenda," the document has amounted to nothing more than an agreement to keep negotiating. And, already, President Omar Al Bashir has reneged on his side of the bargain: Shortly after his return from meetings in Beijing, state-controlled SUNA reported, "[Al Bashir] directed the armed forces to continue their military operations in South Kordofan until a cleansing of the region is over” (emphasis added). Bashir also declared that the popular Nuba leader Abdel Aziz El Hilu is "an outlaw that needed to be brought to justice for committing crimes such as killing innocent people."

What does this mean for South Sudan? AlBashir's actions ensure not only that his regime's brutal counterinsurgency will continue in South Kordofan, but also that Juba will feel enormous pressure after independence to assist their brothers in arms, the SPLA/North. The same will be true if fighting breaks out in the Blue Nile region, which is a growing possibility.

U.S. ambassador to the UN Susan Rice said recently, "It's vital that the United Nations be allowed to maintain a full peacekeeping presence in these areas for an additional period of time."

Vital or not, Khartoum has adamantly rejected any U.N. presence in the north after June 9. And, given the military threats already made against the U.N. mission, it’s likely there will be little debate at the U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations about what to do: All personnel who haven’t been pulled out already will be shortly.

Southern renegade militias supported by Khartoum. In addition to direct military threats from Khartoum, South Sudan faces armed opposition from within. There are some six or seven significant renegade militia groups, the most dangerous of them headed by George Athor (a former SPLA general) and Peter Gadet (who changed sides constantly during and after Sudan's long civil war). These two men and their ruthless forces pose perhaps the greatest security threat to the South, and they are backed by Khartoum. (The regime also supported these sorts of militias in Darfur.) These forces have one purpose: to destabilize and demoralize the civilian population in South Sudan. There is no easy solution to this threat, but it must be considered by any who hope to understand what's in store for the world's newest nation.

Eric Reeves is a professor at Smith College and author of A Long Day’s Dying: Critical Moments in the Darfur Genocide.

Twic East Community of South Sudan-USA: We are reprehensible to the unexpected death of Isaiah Diing Abraham Chan Awuol

December 21, 2012 (SSNA) -- To begin with, we would like to give our sincere and heart-felt condolences to Isaiah Diing’s family, his wives and children, siblings, and mother Rebecca Lueth Wel, the Spiritual leader and Pastor in God’s work, close relatives, and friends, Kongor and Twic East community. Therefore, as one family of Dinka Twic East, we feel the pain for the unexpected loss to the Greater Twic Community’s own son. This kind of unanticipated death hurts more than you know.  It is a big loss to the country of South Sudan as well as the world community for his unselfish work for the benefit of humanity.

First, we believe that Isaiah Abraham’s death was politically motivated because such kinds of death are not common in our culture. We believe in face-to-face confrontation where one can argue his point like most diplomats do. But this kind of act was a shock to the entire world, South Sudan as well as the people of the Twic East; we need due process and laws in order to prove the cause of the killings. In this case, we will wait for justice to take its course, as we always do. Dinka Twi East believes that an imperial and fair investigation is imperative.

We the Dinka Twi East people are known for our undeniable leadership style that is always fair and balanced to everyone through any extent of leadership it might be appropriate.

1. We are known for our humility, calmness, hospitality, transparency, non-violence behavior, care and kindness to everyone and our desire for mutual respect. We always believe in integrity and dignity of respecting others, and vice versa we demand that from our neighbors as well.

2. Historically, based on whole Dinka tribal history, we the Dinka Twic East people are known for our unselfishness and non-covetous behavior as historical records have shown. We have always acted this way with our neighboring tribes in the Jonglei State. This is what we represent as a people. Also we know that any others who have interacted with us can vouch for this behavior.

3. Our community is known for its law abiding attitudes. 

4. We strive to resolve any dispute by diplomatic means; however we recognize that this sometimes is not enough.

5. We will be diligent and deliberate in our pursuit of justice and the uncovering of the truth in order to bring to justice those who caused harm.

6. We are a respectful and dignified people who want peace with all our neighbors and wants harmony in the country.

7. No matter how our opponents might seem to test our will, yet we always prevail through any necessary way we can if it is our right.

8. Dinka Twi East people do not believe in cold-blooded or the spilling of precious blood of human beings in vain.

9. Our people love fighting that bear truth, if it is a truth based mission than we don’t stay away from spilling the blood for true cost.

10. We believe that this nation was founded by blood of the sons and daughters of South Sudan, who gave their life in order to bring back freedom of speech, worship, and establish our identity without fear or threats.

Secondly and more importantly, Citizens of Twic East Dinka, we need your calm during this challenging time of our people of Dinka Twic East test. Our spirit is being tested, as our reference to you all; most of you might be still remembering what happened to our people before, like these few memorable events in our land in in 1991. We the citizens of Twi Dinka or Greater Twic community at large just need justice to be done in regard to this case of Isaiah Diing Abraham Chan Awuol. Mr. President and Vice President, your Administration is going to carry this man death cross because both of you know how leadership works, and/or where often the buck stops! So no matter what, your current Administration or the SPLM party is responsible when it comes to the security of citizens of South Sudan, and should always be vigilant to protect any single life. Always the praise and the blame are going to hang-upon the current leadership in any case. As the community of law abiding citizens, we are not going to point-fingers to any tribes or regions. We believe our message here is simple and crystal clear about what we need from the current Administration in regards to Rev. Isaiah Diing’s death.  We also joint our voices to other communities in South Sudan to alert our government that the whole world is watching and testing you carefully when it comes to human rights violation; we’re no longer in the times when things were executed in the darkness of shadows.

We are a community that always admires justice the most than violent, however; if justice is not being respected by our opponents. It is our concept to use any necessary ways we can to deal with our adversaries. Anyway, for us to not overdue anything ASAP, we just call upon President Kiir Mayardit, Vice President Dr. Riek Machar and the entire Administration’s to bring culprit [s] to justice through any possible ways that is consistence with South Sudan nation’s Constitutions and code of laws. President Salva Kiir Mayardit and his Vice President Dr. Riek Machar, we need your Administration to hear our voices upon justice seeking concerning Rev. Isaiah Diing Abraham Chan Awuol’s death.

Signed by:

Twic East Community of South Sudan-USA
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Is Khartoum the guiding Star for Juba’s domestic and foreign policies?

By Wani Tombe Lako

February 16, 2013 (SSNA) -- The peoples of South Sudan are now citizens of an independent sovereign State, known as the Republic of South Sudan (RoSS). The ruling political party in the RoSS is the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM). The place is awash with news, about much publicised extraordinary convention of the SPLM due to take place February instant. I just wish that, among the already known extraordinary agenda were issues connected with the name of this ruling party.

The name of this ruling party is creating too many practical and psychological problems for many senior and other members of this ruling party in South Sudan (SS). Many senior and other members of this ruling party in SS have become political Don Quixotes. They think that, the literal meaning of the name of this ruling party justifies the way the majority of them are conducting themselves, within the ambit of domestic and foreign policies of SS. Therefore, majority of members, of this ruling party, find it impossible to wane themselves, from the stale, constipating, and poisonous milk, flowing from the political mammary glands of this ruling political party. 

The fashion in which, Khartoum has become the comprehensive hanger and scapegoat, on which the SPLM hangs and blame its comprehensive shortcomings, is becoming politically offensive and unacceptable to many discerning South Sudanese. Juba cannot just sit there, mimicking whatsoever Khartoum is doing. Juba needs to draw comprehensive functional domestic and foreign policies, which are not dependent on jingoistic and confrontational variables with any country and including the Republic of Sudan (RoS).

There is no Sudan to liberate. There is South Sudan to liberate from the dehumanising, and suffocating poverty, illiteracy and innumeracy, tribalism, insecurity, lawlessness, crippling unemployment, dictatorship, hate, and all other ills and evils of political clientelism. It is a fact that, we have fought bloody and nasty civil wars for what we have now achieved. We separated from the rest of the Sudan in order to be on our own.

We must stop blaming other peoples including the Sudanese for our hunger, thirst, cattle wrestling carnage, tribal warfare, embezzlements, lack of positive planning, and all unscrupulous policies and conducts that we indulge in. The more we continue to blame others, the more we look comprehensively inadequate. Even the current proliferation of rebel groups, call them militias, or whatever, if you will, the bottom line is that, these are South Sudanese. Whether they are being used by others, or they are not being used by others is immaterial. It is a South Sudanese ordeal, and we must find the solution within our own socio-economic, financial, political, moral, religious, tribal, and psychological formations.

The ruling party in Juba must forget liberating the whole Sudan now; it must save the SS from the danger of collapse. Please, let us move on. The senior and other members of the ruling party in Juba must learn to differentiate between personal problems and national issues. It is true that, current senior members of the ruling parties in Juba and Khartoum know themselves; their personal problems must not be allowed to stifle the futures of South Sudanese.

It is true that, the RoSS came to existence via human sacrifices; we must not found the solid moral pillars of this country on hate. Let us entrench the foundations of this nascent State on human reasonableness and love. The ruling party in SS must indoctrinate the peoples of SS with human reasonableness and love. The ruling party in SS can only lead us by positive example. I hope that, when the operatives and managers of the SPLM meet in Juba this month, they must not waste too much time on their own future political fortunes, as individuals and as a political party. They must concentrate on the viability of SS as a country, in which, they want to play their politics.

People are dying of hunger in Eastern Equatoria, women, children and men are being butchered on daily basis in Jonglei State, the whole of Greater Bahr El Ghazal is one massive killing tribal field, and Juba is a classical wild-west town; and yet, the SPLM is thinking about liberating the Sudan. Do we sincerely think that, Khartoum has something to do with all these misfortunes which have befallen our downtrodden peoples in these different places in SS? Can we blame the Jallabas for the human carnage in the homestead, and near the homestead of the President of SS? If the Jallabas have any thing to do with this, can the people in the homestead, and near the homestead of the President of the RoSS, not refuse to kill themselves? This sounds stupid, but, what else can I say?

Many senior SPLM politicians are in record, retorting that, South Sudanese politicians learnt the art of corruption, from the Jallabas. Now then, have the 4 billion dollars which have been looted, by the SPLM politicians, happened, because, the Jallabas have also looted, 4 billion dollars, or what? To become good liberators of South Sudan, do SPLM politicians have to mimic, what the Jallabas are doing in spirit and letter? Is Khartoum the guiding Star for Juba in all what Juba does? So, are we in South Sudan, going to blame the Jallabas, for making SPLM politicians, learn bad manners? So therefore, we can say, but for the Jallabas, our SPLM politicians are excellent politicians and rulers?

When I wrote the booklet titled, “Secession is not the panacea for the underdevelopment of South Sudan”, many peoples in South Sudan called me all types of names. Many refused to see the logic beyond the word secession. Many of our downtrodden peoples were made to believe that, mere secession from the rest of the Sudan, shall miraculously transform the SS into land of milk and honey. Unfortunately, the majority of SPLM supporters, operatives, managers and leaders, also believed that, what we needed most was just breaking away from the rest of the Sudan, and the rest is history. Well, the rest is not going to be history, and shall never be history.

The philosophical, sovereign, social, cultural, legal, economic, financial, security and technological and many other implications of secession; within the remit of our own political paradigms, have been kept under thick political carpets, and the majority of our downtrodden peoples, have no clue about them.  The majority of our peoples shall not know the true reasons why we seceded form the rest of the Sudan, besides the commonplace reasons of being free from comprehensive marginalisations, and to become first class citizens in a seceded SS. Now, in a seceded SS, how many of us feel free? The answer is, very few of us. How many of us feel like first class citizens in the seceded SS? The answer is, very few of us. How many of us are not marginalised in seceded SS? The answer is most of us are marginalised in SS.

For example, sometimes ago, in the near past, I asked some one, an economic and financial question. This person is a senior member in the SPLM, and is a minister. I asked him, if we secede from the rest of the Sudan, and we have 100% control of the oil revenue, how are you, as the ruling party, going to use the money? His answerer was, “we shall tell the peoples of South Sudan the answer, not you”. Well, the President of the RoSS has told us the answer now, within the remit of the 4 billion dollars looted.

When we seceded from the rest of the Sudan, we as the peoples of SS, did so without detail political, economic, financial, security, legal, constitutional, moral, and socio-cultural road maps, as to where do we want to be at certain political times, and how do we get there. We were just told, let us secede and we shall discover what we need to do. The SPLM as the ruling party has made many peoples of SS to begin questioning the primary logic of secession. The majority of the peoples in SS do not understand why for example, the SPLM, as the ruling party in SS, keep telling them that, they are suffering now in SS, because, political Khartoum is against them, and thus, it is responsible for their sufferings.

Did we separate from the rest of the Sudan, so that, Khartoum remains the guiding Star, for our domestic, and foreign policies? Is it reasonable at all, to make political Khartoum, the comprehensive indicator, for our domestic and international performances? A RoSS cabinet minister was quizzed about human rights in SS, and out of the blues, he said, “look at Darfur, and Blue Nile, we are better than the Sudan in upholding, and protecting the human rights of the human person”. The question was not about comparative analyses of human rights case-law, of the two Sudans. This shows you the mindset of SPLM politicians. They want to be ministers in Juba, but, at the same time, they want to be guided by Khartoum, in terms of political and other cushions, to brake their various falls, as it were. This is unacceptable.

It is also unacceptable to blind the peoples of SS, with competition among SPLM politicians, in terms of Khartoum and Jallabas bashing. The content analysis, of various political and other utterances of top and junior ministers in Juba, is very demoralising. This has also infected politicians in the States. You will hear a remote and forlorn SPLM operative, in an obscure place in SS, blaming Khartoum for his local comprehensive dilemmas! What is happening to polity, politics, and policies and leadership in SS, under the SPLM?

How can the peoples of SS, celebrate the birth of sovereign RoSS, with honest joy, if they are being made to feel inadequate and insecure, by the appalling performances of SPLM as the ruling party in SS? How can the peoples of SS, celebrate the glory and sanctity of comprehensive freedoms, if they are being made to feel comprehensively unfree, by the shameful comprehensive performances of SPLM, as the ruling party in SS? How shall the peoples of SS, recover from excruciating traumas of prolonged civil strife, if the SPLM is perfecting the instruments of jingoism, as a way of diverting the attention of the peoples of SS, away from SPLM comprehensive failures, to rule and govern, the peoples of SS, according to requirements of constitutionalism and the rule of law?

We in SS must develop new economic, financial, social, and cultural templates, for comprehensive positive development of SS, without making the success of these templates, dependent on vacillations of the body temperature of the relationship between Juba and Khartoum. While relationships with Khartoum are crucial, they must not be characterised by tit-for-tat attitude of political adolescents. These relationships must be characterised by mature leadership and management, with inbuilt adjustment mechanisms, without destroying the whole framework of relationships. These adjustment mechanisms shall not require the movement of the whole government between Juba and Addis or any other capital. We must avoid reactive and panic imbued adjustment mechanisms.

Our foreign policy must not also become a single issue foreign policy, whereby, whenever we appear in the United Nations (UN) podium, our national address is always predicable. It is always about complaining against Khartoum. This undermines our standing. Suppose suddenly, Khartoum becomes shrewd, and unilaterally removes all the reasons for the complaining. What shall happen? I can tell you what shall happen. That shall be a catastrophe for the SPLM. The SPLM shall be left with nothing to do, and say. However, the comprehensive appalling living conditions of the peoples of SS shall continue to deteriorate, and the world shall be watching. For Khartoum is now out of the equation. What next?

I said what next above because, in reality, Khartoum is not the cause of the myriad of our domestic problems. The SPLM wants to use Khartoum as the wrong prescription for the wrong diagnosis. Most of our peoples in SS do not know that, the reasons why many governments in the West and elsewhere, appear to love the SPLM, is not because, these governments love the peoples of SS. It is only because, these Western governments, and the USA, have axes to grind against Khartoum as it were, and the SPLM wants to take the opportunity, to ride on these high waves of anti-Khartoum feelings in the West and USA. This is very dangerous. Suppose Khartoum’s relations with the West are in tip-top conditions, and lucrative, including relations with the USA, where shall the SPLM go? Please think about this very hard!

Khartoum ought to be treated objectively. We must not use Khartoum to run our domestic and foreign policies. It is dangerous. Relations with Khartoum must be managed with political prudence, to maximise positive comprehensive reciprocities of the peoples of the two Sudans, not just governments. Our domestics and foreign policies must not become single issue policies. This thing called oil must not become the panacea for our underdevelopment. We are far better off, and richer without the oil if, we all work together, and not just the SPLM working alone, and working wrongly. Khartoum must not become the guiding Star of our domestic and foreign policies.

The author is Professor of Social and Rural Development and Lecturer in Laws. He can be contacted at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

SPLM Tactics of Scaring Away Voters in Southern Sudan

By Dr. James Okuk

March 26, 2010 (SSNA) -- These days after having realized that many voters are not on their side, the SPLM failing leaders and panicked supporters resorted to treacherous tactics of scaring away the people in Southern Sudan, especially in the states and counties where the SPLM popularity was proven to be minimum than expected by the sleeping and incompetent candidates in Juba and other capital towns and villages of the Southern Sudan. Their aim is to see to it that the polling dates on 11th – 13th April 2010 does not find the SPLM-DC’s and independents’ supporters existing in the designated electoral constituencies because their votes are already foreseen to be negative against Salva Kiir and his handpicked candidates with their so-called running mates.

After the surprising support that the majority of Southerners have shown publicly for Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin and his team of Southern political parties and independent candidates because of their sincerity in the path for genuine democratic change, the elections-fevered SPLM leaders and supporters started to move around gossiping and telling the people to leave and go to Northern Sudan or neighboring countries to avoid a bloody war that is coming in April. “Kiir and his group shall never leave the government power even if they fail elections… and Dr. Lam and his team shall never be allowed to sit in government offices in the South if they beat SPLM in the ballot boxes because the bullet boxes shall be commanded to maintain the status quo,” some top leaders and supporters of SPLM have been heard telling the public.

Other bad SPLM elements (accompanied by some indiscipline SPLA soldiers), and who were part of voters’ registrars, have also been seen moving here and there these days threatening the people to throw away their voting cards because in April whoever will be found with such cards in his/her possession shall face a torturing arrest and other punitive measures accorded to traitors by the liberators of the people. Even some of them took away the voters cards from the people they demarcated as non-SPLM supporters. To some extent, so far and so bad, some people have thrown away their voting cards in order to avoid any bad thing befalling them when April arrives. Some of these scared people were heard saying: “Why do I risk getting tortured or killed because of being a voter; to hell with the voting card so that I can live in peace and carry on my daily activities without fear from the SPLA torturers…”

Yes, as far as the survival-rule is concerned, these scared people of Southern are right though their attitude is harmful to the germination of democracy in Southern Sudan at this important early stage. But they are not to blame because theirs is only protection of their dear bones and lives against the SPLM scaremongers and killers of democracy in the South. Something must be done urgently so that the fear is removed from the voters’ hearts before it is too late. Let the SPLM eliminate them and this shall get into history as the sacrifice and public ransom paid for changing from guerilla dictatorship to civilian democracy.

In the first instant, this evil tactics have been taken lightly but now at this later stage when it has been discovered that the whole fiasco is a fabricated schedule from the above authorities in the South, it has to become a moral duty to diffuse it on an alertive mode. Scaring the people not to vote for their leadership choice is not very different from rigging the elections by filling the ballot boxes with ghost votes. An empty ballot box counted in a constituency with many supporters of a popular political party or an independent candidate is useless and a terrible blow to democracy compared to a filled one by fraudulence, at worst cases. Some of us are even tempted at this moment to say that it is even a lesser evil if the SPLM scaremonger tacticians opt for rigging elections with more ghost names than denying the people to vote in their very constituencies where they have been registered. 

Please the scared SPLM leaders and supporters, rig the elections if you found yourself a loser in the democratic transformation path in Southern Sudan, but leave the people alone to enjoy the peace of their settlements. Don’t scare the people away with your lies and threats!!!

Surely, the South Sudan shall fall with failed SPLM leadership because it is not the nature of elephant to fly, and thus it is a waste of time to teach it how to fly. Most of the leaders at the top leadership hierarchy of SPLM today have never passed through school of democracy and have no experience how the game is supposed to be played fairly. That is why the panic has been the ruler of their hearts and minds. Even though they were courageous and gallant fellows on the gun during the war time, yet, the process of democratic transformation has proven them cowards of the people's power; alas!!!

Fellows who try to hoodwink the public that SPLM is still a child, and thus its dictatorship must be tolerated till further notice in 2011, are playing with the dictates of human civilization in the South. Toleration when tribes are killing each other internally and externally exacerbated by the SPLM bad politics of hegemony, where corruption spree is legitimized shamelessly, is so devastating to be tolerated by a people who want to liberate themselves from former Northern oppressors in order to form their own Southern country in near future.

SPLM bad leadership must go if genuine change has to come in the South Sudan for a better future of a new nation. Five years is enough to evaluate and judge bad leaders from the good ones. The South can do better without necessarily being ruled by the current incompetent president and company who don’t want to quit as they failed badly.

Thus, it is high time for the National Elections Commission (NEC) and international observers, including the United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS) to note this bad act of emptying the ballot boxes before time in the areas where the SPLM has lost popularity and credibility. Let’s not joke with democracy or mock it because the consequences shall never be desirable even to the very SPLM scaremongers’ tacticians. God save South Sudan from SPLM badness!!!!

*Dr. James Okuk is a concerned Southerner for genuine democratic change in the beloved country-in-the-waiting, reachable at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

The Logic of War: Khartoum's Economy After Southern Secession... a précis

By Eric Reeves

July 3, 2011 (SSNA) -- What is the logic of Khartoum’s military actions in Abyei and South Kordofan? Why has it engaged in such deeply threatening actions in the weeks leading up to independence for the Republic of South Sudan? What are the politics within the regime that animate this immensely dangerous course of action, including not only seizing Abyei militarily, conducting an immense military operation in South Kordofan, with unambiguous ethnic targeting of the Nuba people, repeated bombing of locations inside South Sudan, but also engaging in a large and ominous military buildup near southern Blue Nile? Why has Khartoum created a situation so volatile and threatening that Kyung-whaKang, the UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, declared following a recent assessment mission to Sudan: "If this renewed fighting in border areas doesn't stop and it further spreads to other areas of South Kordofan and Blue Nile, then obviously it's war again."

There is no simple answer, but these actions suggest that the very worst elements in the National Islamic Front/National Congress Party regime are fully in charge, and that the security threats South Sudan will face in the coming months and years are many and acute. But to understand fully the obstacles the nascent nation of South Sudan will confront, it is critical that we understand the intense economic distress in North Sudan that follows more than two decades of gross mismanagement, rampant cronyism, profligate military expenditures, and exorbitant self-enrichment by the National Islamic Front/National Congress Party regime. Khartoum's recent, highly threatening military actions in and along the border regions cannot be understood outside the context of what has already occurred, and what is impending, in the economy of the North.

It is insufficiently appreciated just how badly this economy is performing, even before enduring what Finance Ministry officials acknowledge will be a 37 percent decline in oil revenues ($2-3 billion annually) once the South secedes. The IMF has sounded the alarm, warning of a "permanent shock" to the economy. This comes even as inflation is 15 percent and rising; foreign exchange reserves are extremely low, hindering international trade; subsidies for petrol and sugar have been cut, prompting a number of protests; and more painful cuts are coming---at the very time the regime acknowledges the need for much higher taxes. In a desperate short-term measure, Khartoum has engaged in selling large tracts of Sudanese farmland to Arab and Asian investors, a terrible decision from the standpoint of both national economic development and food security. Unsurprisingly, the Sudanese Pound has experienced a de facto devaluation of about25 percent. Growth in the economy has shrunk dramatically (to about 3 percent) and gives signs of shrinking further. Gone are the days of double-digit growth rates, huge oil riches, and foreign journalists marveling at the cafébars that were gently misted in various spots in upscale Khartoum and Omdurman.

But lurking behind this disastrous news is an even bigger overhang on the economy: more than $38 billion in external debt (some $30 billion in the form of arrears, accrued largely under the NIF/NCP). Even in its best years, the oil-dependent economy of the North could not begin to service, let alone repay this gigantic debt. It will continue to drag the economy downwards unless the IMF and World Bank structure some form of debt relief, which Khartoum disingenuously claims is "90 percent" achieved on the "technical side." But this is where the regime's military behavior along the border regions intersects with its economic prospects.

So far the U.S. and the Europeans have offered only tepid criticism of Khartoum for its military seizure of the contested Abyei region and its increasingly genocidal military campaign in South Kordofan, particularly the Nuba Mountains (predictably, the African Union and Arab League have entirely been unwilling to speak honestly about these realities). But politically it will be impossible for the Obama administration to remove Khartoum from the State Department list of terrorism-sponsoring nations while ethnically targeted violence escalates in South Kordofan; and the U.S. must oppose on "principle" any application for debt relief by a terrorism-supporting state. It was, of course, foolish of the Obama administration to make this issue one for negotiation: Khartoum either does or does not support terrorism, and in fact there is considerable evidence that it still does, chiefly by funneling Iranian weapons to Hamas.

The terms of the "deal" the Obama administration struck with Khartoum also do not include countenancing what has occurred in Abyei, South Kordofan, other contested border areas---and the relentless suffering and destruction in Darfur, which seems to have been accorded "parenthetical status" in the Obama administration’s discussions of Sudan's crises. The U.S. openly promised to assist Khartoum with debt relief if it fulfills its obligations under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (2005). But Khartoum is very far from fulfilling a range of obligations, leaving even an expedient Obama administration with little wiggle-room, given the seriousness with which Sudan is regarded by a substantial part of his key political constituency.

But without debt relief, economic problems that are already deeply threatening become insoluble. Some in the regime surely understand this, and so the decision to adopt the present militaristic and threatening posture towards South Sudan---now less than a week away from independence---represents a triumph of the worst impulses within the regime: nationalism, Arabism, Islamism, embarrassment over "losing the South," contempt for the international community, and a belief that more of the lucrative Southern oilfields can be brought by force into the North (some 75 percent of Sudan’s oil production and proven oil reserves lie in the South). Only such conviction about enhancing oil revenues can make war seem "affordable."

This calculation is disastrous, and indeed in the short-run can only diminish oil revenues further: the South will fight with tremendous determination to preserve its territorial integrity, however resolutely it has resisted Khartoum's military provocations so far. Oil infrastructure in the South will become a prime target for the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) in all-out war. Khartoum has only one rational economic decision to make under the circumstances, even from a purely survivalist perspective. But though always capable of vicious and ruthless calculations, Khartoum’s serial génocidaires have never been considered men of reason. The consequences of their world-view are now conspicuously on display, and nowhere more so than in the disaster toward which the Northern economy is moving.

Eric Reeves 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.

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