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Keeping Evildoer Tribal President Salva Kirr Mayardit in Power, Peace Will Not Materialize in the Republic of South Sudan

By: Thabor Ding                                                                          

No Justice, No Peace and Know Justice, Know Peace

February 24, 2015 (SSNA) -- Who will trust who in the Transitional Government of National Unity with Salva Kirr still in power? IGAD, which is no longer a credible body to negotiate peace with anymore, perpetuating to enforce many fake peace agreements to sign, but none of them will materialize if the genocide issue is not faithfully addressed. I would say if there is anybody out there who really believes that the IGAD brokered peace formula of power sharing model, will bring a lasting peace is misleading the South Sudanese people. And indeed if this crippled power sharing model will work, the Juba genocide victims including late Dr. John Garang de Mabour will rise up from their mass graves in the Central Equatoria to get rid of their killer Kiir Mayardit.

The tribal man who spearheaded the assassination of the founding father of the SPLM (Dr. John Garang) in addition to the Nuer genocide, this war will be an everlasting until the last man and last bullet. He (Salva Kiir) is the one who started it and must be dealt with accordingly. Hiring UPDF, Sudanese rebels, Rwandese, and Congolese to fight this war for them, will only protract this war until they (Mercenaries) get tired and only we/us, the South Sudanese are left alone to fight. Paying foreign fighters with oil money to fight his own planned war shows that Salva is a craven as his history of war with Sudan shows.

Despite the absolute rejection of Dr. Riek Machar to reoccupy the a newly created position of first vice presidency as IGAD proposal, I would like to inform the adherents of Salva Kiir Mayardit that the SPLA army Freedom Resistant Movement, is not fighting for Dr. Riek Machar Teny to be reinstated to the vice presidency position, but for complete removal and total dismantling of a genocidal regime of Salva Kiir and his cousin Maloung Awan. The proposal by IGAD, to give a greenlight to an evil man to continue leading South Sudan as president and Riek Machar as first vice president, is not only an affront to the South Sudanese people who are still alive, but also a coordinated plan to kill a newly nascent independent South Sudan.

Consequently, I call this enforced peace negotiation in Ethiopia a counterfeit because I know my prediction will one day come true. There is no way under any circumstances that you would force people to accept somebody who massacred a complete population of county to still be a leader of the remaining population. Salva Kirr Mayardit annihilated a population equal to one county in Juba. The other deadly extermination of the South Sudanese civilians in Jonglei State, by the government of Salva Kirr, was the dropping of cluster bombs. The genocidal regime is implementing its scorched earth policy on ethnic Nuer tribe by bribing mercenaries such as Uganda UPDF, SPLM-N and Justice and Equality Movement.

My future prediction if the IGAD peace will accidentally happen, the most deadly war will breakout in Juba and everywhere in South Sudan which will be the last war and the magnitude of it will be immeasurable. Probably will be more than Rwanda or holocaust.  Salva Kiir will keep his allies forces to help him out in the event of deadly incident. And I am alerting my fellow comrades, the brave SPLA Army Generals on the frontline battle field, that the lethal event is truly imminent and the only preventative action of Salva Kiir’s future lethal event is to completely repudiate IGAD’s power sharing model, and persistently continue with Movement’s objective to militarily remove Salva Kiir and Maloung Awang from power. We cannot allow Salva Kiir and Maloung Awan to get away with the genocide. We must bring them to face justice like any war criminal in the world.

African Union Commission of Inquiry Repudiation to Release Crime Report on South Sudan War

What was the point of forming a commission of inquiry if the commission cannot overtly promulgate the finding?

As I quoted above this article, that when there is no justice automatically there is no peace and I think it’s a general rule of thumb. I have listened to the credible news media such as VOA and BBC, the solely reason for blocking the release of a crime report is that it may destroy the current unconceivable peace process in Ethiopia. Furthermore, I think this will also illustrates the complicity of the AU in the war crimes if it is preventing the culprits (Salva Kiir Mayardit) to be held accountable and for justice to prevail.

The African injustice institutions like AU and IGAD backed by American Susan Rice, have miserably failed to fairly negotiate the peace as corroborated by numerous peace proposals. Every time they have a Summit in Addis Ababa, they always bring new draft proposal to be signed even though they don’t work or make any sense. They are trying their best going around the bush in defense of Salva Kiir Mayardit neglecting the core problem which is Juba 2013 ethnic Nuer genocide. The malfunction of African Union (AU) is crystal clear for example the documented histories of unresolved African problems demonstrate.

The AU has never solved any African problems without involvement of America and the European Union.

In conclusion, in any country where there is no justice, there is always no peace and if people don’t know justice, then unquestionably they don’t embrace peace at all. If it happens that Salva Kiir was one of the presidents from a developed country, he should have been on death row in prison period. If it also happens to any American presidents, then it would only take him, five months to live temporarily on earth. Hence, I am urging my field commanders to stand firm on our Movement’s principle that we have to fight this just war of liberation for emancipation until the last day, hour and last minute of Salva Kirr and Maloung Awan. The IGAD peace process is a waste of time. This delaying tactic enhances the illegal president of South Sudan Yoweri Museveni and his vice president Salvtore Mayardit to commit genocidal act. We cannot go back under the dictator to kneel down and worship a criminal who massacred more than 20,000 innocent civilian lives.

What would be the guarantee or preventative action that he will not commit another horrendous genocide?

This is a question for everybody to answer. The ill formula of IGAD power sharing model under the pretext of Transitional Government is a recipe for another war. We must reject any attempt to share power with criminals; Salva Kiir and Yoweri Museveni. We must firmly fight for total dismantling of their tribal regime in Juba because it is a war between Yoweri Museveni, Salva Kirr and the families of the Juba genocide victims, not Dr. Riek Machar. Likewise, I believe it’s up to Riek Machar to be with the family of the SPLA Resistant Movement or with Salva Kiir who virtually assassinated him. I salute General Gatwech Dual, Peter Gatet Yaka, Gathoth Kuoth Hoth Nyang, Tang Ginya and James Koang Chuol Ranley, Gach Yoach, General Dou Atorjoung, Martin Kenyi and all field commanders for the bold decision they have taken to fight back and protect civilians from Salva Kiir’s policy of ethnic cleansing. Let us do more recruitment from the Youths because it is long war that will take years depending on the defeat of this regime and its ally forces. This war will end when he (Salva Kiir) is completely defeated or brought to justice.

Long Live SPLA Freedom Resistant Movement!
Long Live Dr. Riek Machar Teny

Victory is certain!

Thabor Ding is an Agronomist, Current National Advisor in the office of SPLM-USA National Secretariat and form Secretary General is the same office. This article is my own personal thoughts; it does not represent my position in the SPLM Resistant Movement. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

General Lul’s prodigal Return from disappointed SPLM/A-IO to Juba Cold Reception

By Deng Vanang

February 23, 2015 (SSNA) -- Undoubtedly, he was a rising star in the East African sub-region’s recently established fastest growing armed movement, the SPLM/A- In -Opposition.

With full energy and relatively younger age on his side, supplemented with proportional height and good looks to match except the ever unpredictable good luck slipping through his fingers, Lul was apparently on his way to political pre-eminence.

Better known in Nuer community from which he hails as one that has never in a life time steered clear from wadding into depth of controversies with potential to crash any feeble personality into oblivion.

Miraculously, he survived all those difficult rites of passage he encountered with a little scathe including his sojourn as one of ‘Jiech Amer’ in a semi-desert to North – East Kenya from Ethiopia following Col. Mengistu Haile Mariam’s fall from power in 1991.

Now he is back summersault to yet another challenge many have held breaths about whether he shall this time around surmount as he did to previous ones.

Being a parrot for SPLM/A – IO and a thriving one, none imagined a few months ago he would fall from the crest into the hallow of this political valley that has so far signified his monumental fall from stiff political Mount Everest. This is courtesy of his uncharacteristically burning political ambitions, the euphemism for insatiable quest for power.

Beaming in the company of his two better halves that were conspicuously ill-fitting for the occasion as he returned while two more others allegedly held sway in the opposition SPLM/A – IO, he projected himself in public light as nothing short of a ladies’ man he is usually known for than seriously aspiring politician who is now ready to shed off military fatigue with three piece suit.

While his dalliance with David Yau Yau, the Administrator of Greater Pibor administrative area that received him at Juba International Airport connotes yet another misstep in his faulty political calculus.

That only gives Yau Yau an encouragement that his political model of Greater Pibor, Lul has mimicked for Greater Akobo, is at least admired by some quarters across the country than the failure with which quite a good number of people associate.

Unfortunately for Lul, the reception by Yau Yau typified the height of an ominous foolhardiness coming from someone known by his colleagues as clever. For it beats logic as to why someone of his caliber could copycat an already failed experiment of Greater Pibor.

He too miserably failed to strategize on how best a lonely defector returns to the folds he once left. Although it is understandable he couldn’t walk into the lion dent that mirrors from a distance the rebel held Greater Akobo and recruit a few disgruntled rebel soldiers with whom to come along without being foreseen by ever detective microscope of Prophet Dak Kueth and heavy handed Chief of General Staff of SPLM/A – IO, Simon Gatwech Dual.

He could instead have done himself something better by gathering a few hungry lost boys currently wandering in the streets of Nairobi in order to bolster the lonely figure in which he arrived to a cold reception by government in steady decline from the promising shadowy government that passes for the SPLM/A – I O and in which no doubt he lost both.

By arriving alone he lost the pompous image for which the government courted him in the first place to be offered anything substantial when the welcome grows cold and wanes while his loss of presence in SPLM/A – IO and trust of the Nuer people the former mainly represents is apparently evident.

This made one curious Lou Nuer elder sum up his political obituary with a single liner: It is the curse’ ghost Prophet Ngundeng Bong spelled against Lul’s biological clan that haunted and extinguished his once increasingly shining star.

Lul’s resounding long term fall from grace to grass began when he exchanged tirades with the son of revered freedom icon, Mabior Garang De Mabior over a little known website that was established for the SPLM/A-IO during its hard time by volunteers abroad. Lul was in for the adoption of the website to become an official mouth piece of the movement which Mabior vehemently opposed.

Although the angry exchanges between the two equally ambitious young spokesmen, Mabior for the political wing and Lul for the armed wing, were treated by a few as petty power struggle, most in-depth political analysts viewed the disagreement that horsed off some tribal lines with potential repercussion of disorganizing Dr. Riek Machar’s master plan of trying to put Bor community on movement’s band wagon, if Machar’s eventual throwing of his heavy weight behind Mabior is anything to go by.

It is likely from this in house misunderstanding Lul’s proverbial Chinese journey of a thousand miles out of SPLM/A-IO began in earnest by swapping what would have been wonderfully lasting legacy with perishable cash and villa in East Africa regional hub, Nairobi.

This pact with government, so to speak, typified a zero sum game. It is a total wind for him and a raw deal for the government. For had the combined value of such fortunes utilized by the government to build a full pledged primary school or a dispensary in one of the backward parts of South Sudan, it could be enough to perch considerable votes to extend President Salva Kiir’s term of office in the next election the lonely returned Lul can’t now and will never deliver.

Much as his excuse that Riek Machar’s abandonment of the original pursuit of avenging the death of massacred Nuer in December, 2013 and eventual violent overthrow of Kiir’s regime for a political strategy of renegotiating himself back to vice presidential position is quite mild and lame. Since political differences can’t be solved with crude vengeance and neither is the lack of one having an influential slot with which to correct and prevent the bad past from recurrence in transitional government meant for ushering in the everlasting structural reforms.

Lul’s trouble is in forgetting too quickly his constant placement on endless and equally frustrating study tours outside South Sudan despite senior military rank he held at Bilpam, coupled with ramshackle Mercedes Benz into which he generously invited me along Airport – Malakia road in late 2012 which obviously told of marginalization in the military he was painfully undergoing. His sorrowful situation at the time made the 15th December, 2013 incident the falling heavenly manna he tenaciously grabbed with both hands.

However, he lost grip of the incident he only heard about while in Addis Ababa and hence, the need to put his personal interest before its veracity like the rest of his colleagues who flocked back a head of him.

A wheeler – dealer self - styled orator, Lul and I crossed the swords of Damocles for the leadership back in our youthful days in Nairobi in 1990s.

First, it was our mortal struggle in outwitting each other for the leadership of probably well-known Nuer dominated South Sudan National Youth Consolidated Program, SSNYCP in Nairobi, Kenya. In its first and last elections in 1998, I, he and two more other candidates squared it off over the Chairmanship. We were the most hopeful candidates at first, but two little known and late comer candidates pulled up a surprise against two of us.

The culprits were purely Nuer’s failed guerilla politicians chased scrambling for safety from South Sudan by Garang to Nairobi where they found solace in meddling with youth politics so as to make themselves relevant by throwing their dead weights behind the hotly contested elections but which regrettably  ended in chaos.

These politicians were fearful of me as more politically mature among my competitors. They thought could I wind and take charge, of this youth outfit, I could most likely transform it into more formidable one to challenge their political, but factious might.

Like their factions, they made candidates appeal to clan loyalties except me who stood on the Nuer nationalist platform with well-organized manifesto which exuded more promising development programs and solid unity for forward looking youth.

This left Lul to pull Lou Nuer youth on his side, one Tut with Jikany and Lony Rut, current coordinator of SSUNDE, with Fangak and Bentiu youth. It was the latter that won followed by Lul and Tut came third. I emerged a distant fourth.

Among them I scored the morale victory as a nationalist more keen on uniting youth with likely forging of subsequent unity of their fractious godfathers while they became more of clan warlords interested in benefiting from the spoils of disunity of the Nuer people. And with my talent had the ability to craft a winning coalition with Lul who commanded a formidable Lou Nuer youthful force.

This alliance made minced meat of green horned Lony and Tut’s previously strong factions. In this bare-knuckle struggle for an empty power, SSNYCP became a pale shadow of its former self as the winner, Lony who claimed Chairmanship became more feebler in charge of disorganized faction with less coordinated program of action.

Fortunately, Lony surpassed us with zeal and moved on patiently to make something out of nearly nothing as Tut left for resettlement in Canada with his disillusioned Jikany supporters joining me. In the later date I and Lul dropped out of youth politics in which both us lost interest as we grew more politically mature and met again somewhere in late Dr. Michael Wal Duany ‘s led South Sudan Liberation Movement/Army, SSLM/A in 2002.

In SSLM/A, Lul joined the armed wing as the student in Nairobi while I as new graduate threw my lot behind political wing. I as the spokesman for the movement and Lul becoming ranked military officer, the movement decided to share out military ranks amongst all its ranks and files.

Whether a politician or military officer, everybody should be given the military rank for anticipated integration into Southern Sudan national army following the soon to be signed CPA.

Lul grabbed the opportunity with tenacity among others by getting the rank of a Colonel. That is his previously few stars combined with those of his late alternate commander and photo journalist, Isaac Ruach Kong as the way of propping him in order to make up for the lost brother.

But being morally loaded Philosopher unlike the rest I detested the bias of a civilian getting such a rank many foot soldiers of over twenty years in the frontline without break were not dreaming of getting.

A year later, when I shared with my war veteran dad the idea of sharing out of military ranks which I rejected, he protested against my ignorance about the importance of military in a third world country like South Sudan. His natural wisdom lived to demolish my philosophical hypothesis following the formation of GOSS and post-war SPLA in which Lul Ruach, irrespective of his young age, short cut and fast lane maneuvers, was only added one more rank to become Brigadier general with which he is today comfortably engaged in some sorts of horse trading.

Deng Vanang is the Author of a book: South Sudan the Making of a Nation, a Journey from Ethnic Polities to Self-rule, State and Democracy. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Why our ‘Intellectual Journey’ doesn’t lead to ‘a Coherent Political Ideology’

By Kuir ë Garang

Charity begins at home and the originator of that charity most likely ends at home.

February 20, 2015 (SSNA) -- I was advised by some colleagues several times to join a certain policy forum. I refused three times citing the fact that the forum is too 'elitist' and most of the times the elites are out of touch with the average folks like me. When the reminders to join the forum became really constant, even from people I've not met personally but know me from my writings, I finally gave in and joined the forum.

My innocent assumption was that the forum would merely be a discussion or critiquing of policies that'd be beneficial to the country. I expected to see policy suggestions [only] and how they could be modified and perfected into usable policies for the government of South Sudan.

Naïve me! I was disappointed to realize that the debates were no different from those vexatious ones on my Facebook wall: circular, partisan, hypocritical, dishonest with education taken at face-value. Big theories are suggested without context! Partisanship is so much intellectualized that it takes one through rigorous analysis to discern disguised partisanship. My disillusionment became so intense that I had to unsubscribe from the forum in less than two weeks.

Believe me, if leaders argue with ‘take it or leave it’ conditionals then I wonder how the leadership we have (or are building) inside and outside the government of South Sudan can be salvageable. Leadership is about relationship building and bringing the best out of people (Corrales, 2007). The purpose of leadership, Corrales argues, can only be achieved through building of strong relationships. Are our leaders (inside and outside) the government doing that? Even Dr. Nyaba, who’s done more through writing than anyone in South Sudan to highlight the problems we have in the country, does little to build relationships with ‘the other side’ or even within the Chollo community leadership. It’s always a blame-game (see IGAD’s ‘Peace Talks’ & Arusha Intra-SPLM dialogue).

Perhaps the RISC model (Rapport, Initiative, Structure and Commitment) can help in our leadership purpose; and that is, influencing our people into coalescence of canonical togetherness…or simply, doing good (Corrales, 2007).

If the learned, veteran politicians and the nation's elites have the same mindset my younger Facebook friends have, then Kiir and Riek aren't our major problem. It seems our ‘intellectophere’ is either irrelevant in national coexistence, or our national future is being intellectually crippled by intellectuals with holier-than-thou attitudinal ontologies. We are learned but we don’t know how to give our knowledge context and relevant usability. We seem to have what cognitive psychologists call ‘declarative knowledge’ as opposed the helpful ‘procedural knowledge’ (Van Greenen, 2004).

And this reminds me of a very excellent article written by Dr. Adwok Nyaba (SSN December 30, 2014) about ‘Our intellectual journey towards a coherent political ideology.’ Anyone who’s not read that article should do so in its entirety. The article pinpoints, with surgical precision, the problems in South Sudan and within SPLM. These problems range from poverty of democratic mentality and ideals, indifference to development of institutional capacities, incoherent sense of nationhood (post-1956 & post-2005), the infamy of militarism mixed with the malady of tribal essentialism, lack of essential development programs, the Siamese-twins problem of the SPLM-SPLA, the primal nature of our tribal relations etc.

We can all agree that Dr. Adwok’s article is very crucial to our structural, functional and governance problems in South Sudan. The question then becomes: are the power holders in South Sudan able to easily apply the content of the article? If not, then the appropriation of what Dr. Adwok wrote needs to be procured in a manner that’d make it beneficial to us through the power holders.

Pointing out the problem is part of the solution but devising how the problem should be tackled shouldn’t be left out. Without intersubjective understanding among the political actors, nothing can be possible. Institutions aren’t ‘brute physical facts’ as Stephen Krasner (1999) has said. They exist because people exist.

Political leaders are audience and consumers of intellectuals’ works. Understanding the general psychology, state of mind and intellectual capacities and consciousness of who is in power helps in devising mechanics and avenues of knowledge provision for purpose of ideological creation and reification.

Intellectuals (whatever that means) in South Sudan needs to remember that leadership is about relationship building and appropriation of knowledge with people-people relationships in mind. We in South Sudan seem to think of knowledge in the abstract or in self-serving appropriation!

Besides, we have the problem of hypocrisy in South Sudan. Most, if not all of us, are mired in what I call ‘stuck-in-the-past syndrome’ in South Sudan Ideologically (2013). And as Adwok highlighted, some South Sudanese leaders don’t want to let go the past and embrace future-relevant ideas and facts to develop the country. We are all stuck in the past in one way or another.

With no doubt, we have ten states in South Sudan. These ten states, midwifed from the previous three regions of Bahr El Ghazal, Upper Nile and Equatoria, are constitutionally recognized. However, most of us (Nyaba included) talk and write as if the previous three regions have constitutional relevance. These regions are stuck in our heads and we simply can’t let them go! Some of us talk of Greater Upper Nile and Greater Equatoria!

However, our intellectual and political integrity depends on saying things that make sense. We tend to ignore this fact; however, it exposes the hypocrisy we exude on daily basis.

If the learned in South Sudan can’t let go this simple fact, then why do they blame the semi-illiterate generals and politicians, who can’t seem to understand that SPLM is now a political party and that SPLA is the national army.

No one should advise if he/she can’t lead by example! Greater Upper Nile is constitutionally defunct and exists only in our heads. If we have nostalgia for these three regions then let’s wait until we go back to them through the abolition of the current ten states. There and then can we have political and intellectual currency to utter that [Greater X…]! Let’s be consistent to be believable and respectable! What in God’s name is ‘Elders of Bahr El Ghazal?’ What’s the contemporary or constitutional relevance of Bahr El Ghazal to Lakes State and Warrap State? Nothing! The only relevance is a past that’s stuck in our heads!

Yet, we hope to develop ‘a coherent political ideology!’

Another good example of intellectual dishonesty and hypocrisy (in this discourse) comes from my own county (Twic East). Some potential intellectuals, who can help in the development of ‘a coherent political ideology,’ come out here as very hypocritical and untrustworthy, intellectually!

Twi people (or Twi Dinka) were part of Kongor District from the mid-1970s to mid-1990s and prior to that, they were part of ‘Bor District’ (Sammani, 1984). Kongor District is the one that is now divided into Duk County and Twic East County. The ‘Bor District’ housed (until mid-1970s) the Dinka sub-tribes of Hol, Nyarweng, Twi and Bor before being divided into Kongor District (Twi Dinka, Nyarweng Dinka & Hol Dinka) and Bor District (Bor Dinka & Thony Dinka). These subtribes have distinct Enthno-dialectal differences (see Ethnology of Africa, 1930; Beswick, 2004) despite having forged a close existential relationship for centuries. Because they were part of the ‘Bor District’ they were known collectively as Dinka of Bor District (see Raymond Kelly, 1985, Willes & Douglas, 1995).

Sound intellectuals and politicians know that this close relationship, good neighborliness and brotherhood can be maintained without falsification of identities.

However, against the required intellectual integrity, the intellectuals among the four subtribes are mentally stuck with the old, defunct ‘Bor District’, which they left in 1970s. While the District was named after the now inhabitant of ‘Bor County’ (Kelley, 1985) the other three subtribes were erroneously referred to as ‘Dinka Bor’. The inhabitants of Twic East County and Duk County are not ethnolinguistically ‘Bor.’ The Bor Dinka (now the inhabitants of Bor County) would call me ‘Cuir’ and President Kiir would be president Ciir!

Bor only applied to Twi people because of their administrative inclusion in the ‘Bor District,’ however, Twi intellectuals, while they apply research-based debates or methods in some aspects, refuse to apply the same method in the case just cited. You wonder why! They want to look politically good…but they know what that means in terms of intellectual and scholarly integrity!

There are tons of books to establish what I just cited (in addition to what elders can say). And Dr. Nyaba should probably ask the likes of Dr. Majak D’Agoot and Dr. Lual Achuek Deng (in the spirit of intellectual journey) the essence, intellectual and scholarly soundness of ‘Greater Bor.’ What historical facts (Oral or written) support ‘Greater Bor’ etymology? Is it an administrative area, a geographical area, or a dialectal group?

Consulting historians like Douglas Johnson may help! Here, intellectual soundness and historical-facts are sacrificed for political expediency or prudence. It’s not about scholarly establishment of facts, which is required, but political necessity. Is that the message to our youngsters?

And we wonder why we have incoherent political ideologies and a herd of confused young ‘intellectuals’; and some misled western scholars like Stephanie Beswick in Sudan’s Bloody Memory, who beautifully presents the correct ethno-histories and ethno-dialectal categories of the four subtribes but added that the ‘Eastern Dinka’ are now referred to as  ‘Dinka Bor’. Or Deborah Scroggins, who says Kuol Manyang is a ‘Twic Dinka’ in her book Emma’s War (2004).

What does that say about our ‘intellectual journeys’, ‘incoherence’ of ‘our political ideologies’ and how we make political decisions? Is preferring political gentlemanliness over facts a good way to act as role models for the younger ‘intellectuals?

Sadly, this is the very problem we have in Juba! And as Peter Thatcher (2013) argued in Leading by Example, “Behaving with integrity is…about standing up for what is right however uncomfortable that might be.” To create a sense of togetherness through gigantic falsehood (or conscious misleading of uninformed masses) is to create a great disservice to our people, the integrity of our intellectual force and a blemish on our scholarly claims.

Does this tie in coherently with our ‘intellectual journey toward a coherent political ideology?’ Sadly yes!

We need to ‘live what we are thinking’ as Weldon Long said. Some folks in Kiir’s leadership see research-based or knowledge-based decision making as an inconvenience to their political agenda. They understand its value but it’s an ‘inconvenient truth’ as Al Gore said about the facts of climate change. Democratizing SPLM would chip away on the powers of the president! Strengthening institutional structures for accountability would reduce the chance of the corrupt to embezzle public funds.

For younger learners like me, I’d love to see our leaders and intellectuals appropriate their knowledge in a usable manner, lead and live by example and take it upon themselves to embark on people-people creation of honest understanding. I’d want to look up to leaders and intellectuals who don’t make decisions because of their convenience but because of certifiable facts future generation can learn from. If intellectuals make decisions because of convenience then why would we blame Kiir Mayardit? If we are stuck with defunct administrative centers that no longer exist then why would we blame an illiterate commander, who sees the power of the guns as the only solution to his remaining relevant?

Even if SPLM had a sound political ideology, a coherent policy framework and feasible programs to implement, all would mean nothing if inter-tribal relations are still thorny or if they are informed by falsehood or conscious skewing of facts. Our intellectual journey and coherent political ideology needs intellectual honesty, reduced partisanship and tribal essentialism; and application of reductionist appropriation of knowledge.

Theories can be understood or interpreted differently. And postmodernist theories (while ridiculed as ‘everything goes’) are a cautious reminder that positing something without providing context is to either leave one’s audience with confusion, or to have done nothing helpful at all in a functionalist sense.

If our intellectuals aren’t consistent or functionally honest in their intellectual outputs, then we can’t wonder much as to why our ‘intellectual journey’ doesn’t lead to ‘a coherent political ideology!’ It’s informed by politics rather that facts!

Kuir ë Garang is the author of ‘South Sudan Ideologically.’ For the list of the cited works see the version of the article on

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