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Thursday, May 28th, 2015

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Vetting and Verification (V &V) Should Always be Upheld with Pious Passion

By Kuir ë Garang

May 20, 2015 (SSNA) -- When President Kiir fired his entire cabinet and appointed a new one in July of 2013, many of us thought it was the advent of a new era of accountability. Sadly, as the subsequent series of events would prove, it was actually the advent of a gloomy era of serious flood of errors. Even for some of us who knew that Mr. Kiir was already an incapable leader as early as 2005, we didn’t know his incompetence would be this destructive and eternally damning. As he metaphorically and fatefully said when he assumed power after the demise of late Garang, the country is running with no ‘reverse gear.’ So it is easy to see why there is no stop to killings, meaningless decrees, economic deterioration, and political intimidation.

But when the cabinet was initially named, a semblance of a democratic process was exercised with a nominal ‘vetting’ of the ministers. There was even a rejection of one of the president’s nominees. South Sudanese therefore thought the dawn of democracy was in the air. However, the acrimonious vetting process of Telar Ring Deng for Justice Minister soon revealed something sinister. Mr. Telar was the only one actually vetted as the rest of the cabinet wasn’t seriously vetted. Telar’s rejection was later understood to be ‘revenge’ as he was seen to be the power behind the president’s decisions.

Our democratic utopia was therefore dashed. The process was even aggravated when the president warned the parliament after they expressed desire to subject the president’s nominees for the speaker of legislative assembly and Vice Presidency, to scrutiny. The president warned parliament that there’d be consequences if they reject his nominees. It was the classic African preference of personality cult as opposed to democratic or parliamentary principles.

While the president found it easy, or even necessary to do away with the vetting process to bolster his hold on the presidency and power, he can now see that the chicken are coming home to roost.

The constant defection of the likes of Peter Gatdet and Johnson Oliny is a result of not following due process in the institution of any given policy proposals. The incorporation of militia into the national army needs to be done in a manner that reduces any chance of such rebellion-prone folks to rebel. A government, or even the army, can’t just make decisions because they feel they are necessary at the time. Long-term effects have to be put into consideration before any decision is made.

We all know South Sudan has become a totalitarian regime that has copied Khartoum’s theocratic totalitarianism letter by letter and word by word. The political atmosphere is stifling in Juba and any political opposition is treated with pious brutality. There are people who are in government’s controlled areas but they disapprovd of the government. They just don’t see rebellion as a solution to the problems in South Sudan. However, the government doesn’t take it seriously that the more they stifle the political breathing space in South Sudan, the more they drive the disgruntled minds toward rebellion. The SPLA and National Security Agents arrest people anyhow and detain them without any due process of the law. Ateny Wek, the presidential spokesperson, argues that the president doesn’t order such arrests. If the president doesn’t order such arrests then who has the authority to do so? Without doubt, we know such arrests are unconstitutional, so why doesn’t the president stop such arrests given the facts that he’s the guardian of the constitution, ideally speaking?

The government brags about having been elected; that it is a democratically elected leadership. However, the president doesn’t explain to the people—who gave him the mandate to rule—the logic behind some of the decisions he makes. He breaks constitutional provisions and finds it unnecessary to explain to the people the reason why. In what nation on earth, even dictatorial ones, does a president select the leadership and board members of the supposedly independent bodies such as media authority? Media authority is supposed to be an independent body that employs people of merit by subjecting them to credential assessment in their hiring process.

Doesn’t the president have something to do, something presidential? It has come to the point in which the president is going to pass decrees employing janitors for his office and the parliament. This president has either been reduced to this level by those who’d want to see him destroyed; or he’s reduced himself to his level through incompetence. Either way, the president needs to wake up and salvage what’s left of his legacy. The failed Nigerian former president, Goodluck E. Jonathan, salvaged his legacy in the last minute. He’s going to be remembered for having conceded election loss and for having peacefully handed over power to President Muhammadu Buhari, rather than through his failures.

It’s time for President Kiir and Riek Machar to realize that time is up for them and that the leadership needs to go to a different, younger class of South Sudanese leadership.

It’s high for the leadership in South Sudan to subject policies to verification and stern vetting mechanics. We know with certainty that cabinet ministers contradict each other day in day out because of lack of systematized verification process. Ministers have to consult one another before they go public in order not to reflect the government as confused and incompetent. The minister of foreign information says one thing but he’s soon contradicted by either the minister of foreign affairs or presidential spokesperson.

Transparency, information verification, respect for human rights and respect for democratic ideals have never harmed any civilians or leadership.

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

The most misconstrued and misunderstood concept by Jiengs Council of Elders

By Dr. Peter Kopling

May 18, 2015 (SSNA) -- In response to the well-received article by Simon Kur published in SouthSudannation.com, Southsudanliberty.com as well as Nyamile.com. A reader on Southsudannation.com, Mr. Dengchol Machar Atem, a self purported Jieng faithful, Reacted in the comment sections, and addressing Mr. Kur, stated “In your own article Simon Kur, one wonders whether inciting hatred between communities is a way forward. As intellect, why not preach for peace, Love, togetherness, humbleness etc. rather than just inciting hatred.”

It should be pointed out that, this is a very common Jieng Position in response to a dissatisfied and a grumbling nation. What made this unique is, this was a Jieng responding to another Jieng! It seems, while all Jiengs may consider themselves to be one people, the elite in power consider themselves superior to other Jiengs and that not all Jiengs are created Equal.

Take Simon Kur for example, His article brought hope in my heart, telling me, when Jiengs consider South Sudan first, then there is hope for us to be under one nations.

However, Mr.Atems reaction tells me those who do not sing the popular songs coming out of Juba, controlled by the infamous Jieng Council of Elders are consider to be not true Jiengs, worst traitors, Alas how about Madam Garang and her Children? If they are not Jieng for opposing the current genocidal Tyranny in Juba, then who is?

I discover when Southerners complain about the bondages they suffer under the Jieng government, The Jieng people consider it as incitement of tribal violence and when their fellow Jieng complain, they are consider Traitors! Why is this?

Mr Atem, Have you ever asked the question, why we, Southerners, in the first place fought the Jalabas? Was it because they are brown in colors and we are black or was it because they have “Amarats” and we live in grass-roofed houses? Yes I will say it, was it because they have dresses and you Jieng then mostly ran naked in your villages?

From the behaviors of the Jieng government, it seems, your fight contrary to the rest of South Sudanese against the Jalaba was mainly due to material things and the desire for powers. This is very evident, given as soon as the CPA was signed, like children rushing to take the front seat in classes, you the Jiengs ran and grabbed all that is meaningful to South Sudanese, to include even other peoples ancestral lands totally numb to justice and equality for and with others southern brethren.

Look no further than in Juba, every Vehicle with GOSS on it, likely has a Jieng driving it. Government money buys most V8 Vehicles and a Jieng driving it. Jieng owns most “Amarat” and the one walking around looking important and carrying an air of invincibility and authority while dressed suits is likely a Jieng! The street moneychangers in all cities in South Sudan are mostly Illiterate Jiengs, relatives of those in high places.

Mr.Atem, Have you realized what you are saying? What the Jiengs like you are doing is this! You have all taken the advantageous positions in South Sudan, from government positions to wealth, from Military forces to the lands itself! You are comfortable with the way things are and you have no quarrels with the status quo because it benefits you, or at minimum this government is not harmful to you as the rest of us.

Things can remain like this forever and you see nothing wrong with neither it nor any need to change them!

You do not want to rock the boat because doing so will threaten all these Jiengs Holdings, thus when those who are at disadvantage because of your privileges are crying out loud (These writings of mine included) you take it as inciting of violence, because in this violence you stand to loose the most, why because the rest of us have already lost all to you except for our lives but in itself is at risk! Where as for you the Jiengs, you stand much to loose if true equality were to kick in, thus you do not want any writings to expose this evil deeds.

From the perspective of those of us suffering under the Jiengs colonization and oppressions, we see our writings as consequence of your evil and un-brotherly ACTIONS! It is these oppressive and colonial ACTIONs of the Jiengs inciting Violence and breeding divisions not the words written in responds to them!

THESE JIENGS UN-BROTHERLY ACTIONS ARE WORSE THAN THE WORDS YOU READ IN REACTIONS TO THESE ACTIONS!

The actions gives birth to the writings! If you are truly for one nations, then you will preach to your fellow Jieng to stop ACTIONS that incite violence, if we talk about it or not. 

You should ask us as to what is it that we really want? What is it that we consider brotherhood or one nation! Indeed if nationhood and peace matters to you, do not preach about it as you suggested, show it to us, live by example, live and behave like a brother not like an enemy. What you do to me, brothers do not do! Don’t knock me in the head and when I cry, you then turn around say, STOP crying, by doing so you are provoking disunity and inciting violence!

What is nationhood in the world of the Jiengs?  What is brotherhood for a Jieng? Emerging from Nomadic lives to becoming settlers; those who traditionally have no sentimental values to fixed place and cry for a cow rather than a brother’s death are now the one in the drivers seat chatting the path for our national brotherhood, is it any wonder it is disastrous?

Is brotherhood in the Jieng world not simply an alliance to protect the cows at all costs even death to oneself, thus what seems bravery is indeed human sacrifices for the lives of cows, isn’t this actually primitivism at its highest order?

I will tell you for the rest of us what brotherhood is not. It is not letting you sit on my great grandfather and fathers land, it is not letting your cow graze freely in my farm, it is not your cows being safer in the country than my children! It is not letting you take my sister by force.

The greatest ills the Jiengs have engineered in South Sudan are ethnic displacing and land grabbing. Unless any peace brings an end to this evil we shall be locked in perpetual war. Was this not at the core of our 50 years of struggles against the Arabs? It surprises me that the shadowy Jieng Council of elders have not learned this lessons the great Satan in the North themselves came to bitterly shallow.

Brotherhood to us is not letting you Jieng occupy all the critical posts in the country: The presidency, Defense minister, Chief of staff, Minister of interior, Chief Justice etc.

So Mr. Atem, as you can see this is neither my government nor that of the nation, this is not a national government but rather JIENG NATION!  What makes it mine?

Why do I want it to stay peaceful, why do I want it to last forever? What makes you different and better than the Jalaba occupiers that came before you?

Therefore, being it is a malignant Government, robing my Children of their tomorrow and giving it to your Children alone in exclusivity, I want it to fall!  Simply, because your Children will do worse to mine!

I want nothing to do with Jieng nation but all to do with a national government!

I said it in the past and someone said it recently, Nationhood is family-hood. In a family you have your brother. He has his house and you have yours, He has his wife and you have yours. To have peace you must respect his house and his wife. You cannot cry fault when you impose yourself in his home and he denounce you and kick you out. Unity does not mean you squats in your brothers’ house and sleep with his wife and reduce his personal space. You have your house and your wife. What makes you family is Mutual respect!

I know I am right because the golden rule says “DO UNTO OTHERS AS THOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO YOU.” Mr. Atem just imagine if for whatever reason a given tribe convinced themselves that they have rights to everything in South Sudan in exclusions of others and literally occupy South Sudan as you the Jieng have down, Will your (Jiengs) reactions be any different from ours? If the table where to be turned, will you still hold the same position you articulated above?

If Riek Machar was the President of South Sudan and turn around and killed Dinka and Clear Juba of Dinkas as Kiir did in black December 2013 against the Nuer, will you (Jiengs) not have done worse than what the Nuer did to you in revenge attacks?

Therefore, choose this day between brotherhoods by actions vs. continuing in the path of enmity, which shall continue to bleed the nation. If those of us who expose this evil actions are silenced like Isaiah Abraham or not! As you can see, he does not talk anymore, are we any better?

(He who maintains silence in the face of a massacre is a murderer himself)

Dr Peter Kopling Josep, MD, lives in the Republic of South Sudan. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Peace, not Appeasement

By Deng Vanang

May 9, 2015 (SSNA) -- Just, durable and sustainable peace is deeply rooted in openly and honestly discussing the root causes of the conflict. It is these root causes that distinguish between who is an aggressor and aggressed. With this finding, the aggressor is served with reasonable punishment and aggressed rewarded with verdict of innocence.

The aggressor is then asked to pay the aggressed the losses he incurred in order to restore him to safe position before the time of the inflicted harm, be it physically or materially.

With punishment, aggressor is taught invaluable lesson that crime doesn’t pay and never to repeat the costly exercise in future. While this apportioned punishment cools the enraged heart of the aggressed that there is a lot to gain morally when standing on the side of justice that sets social trends for exemplary life of peace and stability.

From this point of view, it is not the appeasement in apportioning blame to all sides of the conflict by mediator just to be seen fair that matters but just peace that points out where wrong or right lies so as to craft practical solution that addresses the crisis at hand amicably.

As it is impractical for two sides of the conflict to be both right and wrong and equally not the retribution against the perceived wrong doer the best way forward but reasonable act of deterrence becoming the hallmark of justice system if premeditated crime shall be anything of the past.

Window shopping for peace that treats the aggressed and aggressor as equally wrong or right is not only impractical approach to unravel in more foreseeable future, but also a cruel method of covering the wrongs of one side with which to get away. It is a recipe for even more disaster than the one people seek to tackle now.

In families and societies immoral behaviors are taken as normal struggles of daily life, then there exists a continuous tendency of the same being committed over and over again with dire consequence of such set ups remaining in vicious cycle of stagnancy or retardation or even both.

Again, warring parties don’t choose the kind of peace each wants. The course peace takes is dictated by myriads of ingredients, such as root causes both principal and subsidiary, disastrous effects – long term and short term and most sustainable remedies to the conflict.

Yes the perceived wrong doer may own up while the wronged honestly accepts and forgives for a just peace mutually acceptable to all sides can be attained.

However, in the case both sides pull the ropes the mediator has the final word based on his fair assessment of what really caused the conflict.

The mediator in pursuit of just peace shouldn’t be blackmailed by consequences of his perceived just act no matter how dire they may be. In avoidance to take the course of justice for fear of the side his act will adversely affect, then justice that could resolve conflict is not served.

It is equally scaremongering and defense mechanism at best to the benefits of the wrong doer as cited by some opinion writers.  To them, a stronger SPLA backed by its local defense forces could manage to marshal and destabilize the country if bad peace is imposed on the government in the country built on the foundation of tribal sentiments.

The said opinions are advanced without considering the fact that the same SPLA with the full backing of Uganda’s People Defense Force, UPDF, the allied Sudan’s rebel groups and locally trained multi-ethnic militants has been contained by a pre-dominantly single ethnic armed group in the name of SPLA-In- Opposition. What if it is the UN’s backed military intervention, can SPLA and its allies survive in the face of such onslaught?

Whereas, the same advanced hypotheses wrongly defined South Sudan’s problem as that of tribes which hate themselves than the lack of equitable development as promoted by corrupt and tribal politicians who use resources to divide and rule tribes in order to maintain tight grips on positions of political supremacy and economic plunder.

Truth be told, before formation of SPLM/A back in 1983, not a single tribe mobilized itself and occupied the land of another or had been in constant feud with another save for isolated peaceful land encroachments and sporadic rustling incidents orchestrated by a few individual cattle entrepreneurs.

If United Nations peace keeping force takes charge and forms people - centered government that delivers social services in healthcare and education, roads and communication networks as well as creates favorable environment conducive for rule of law, freedom of speech, fair employment, and business and trade these politicians will just be deprived of recruitment ground to wage self-serving wars against one another.

Also citing cases of Somalia, Iraq and Libya so as to influence the third party’s intervention in a way wrongly favorable to certain side or else South Sudan will go the same way those countries have taken is an empty political rhetoric.

The deterioration of situation in these countries followed third party’s intervention that aimed at totally supplanting the favored opposition with hated establishment.  It is a win -loss political approach.

In Somalia it was destroying Ahmed Farah Aideed with Ali Mahdi in the past and currently Al-shabaab with moderate Islamic groups. It is pitting Shiites against Saddam Hussein’s Sunnis in Iraq. In Libya, it is propelling long aggrieved people of Benghazi over and above Tripoli’s ruling clique.

That is all done at the expense of creating a whole new system in those countries comprised of members with no criminal records from all warring sides followed by rigorous process of national reconciliation and healing.

The same quarters similarly feel warring parties be given an ample time to make peace in order to avoid an imposed peace from outside that shall rather serve to aggravate the already worse situation in South Sudan.

The problem is not shortness of time given to parties to make their own peace but it is impossibility of these parties to reach a workable peace agreement even if given a century and the destruction the war shall cause the longer it takes while rumbling on.

Within a span of a year and half, the war caused the death of modest estimate of 50,000 people, displaced 2 million others and unknown number of those it maimed, then how destructive it will be if allowed to go on indefinitely in discretion of the warring parties?

When it is common knowledge worldwide the longer the conflict takes, the more it creates high human casualties and material destruction while arousing in the process terrible emotions too difficult for the parties to reach comprises for any future agreement.

Another impractical opinion doing the round among some members of academia is that South Sudan’s war should be ended by world powers’ consensus, probably in the United Nations Security Council. When it is known to all and sundry members of global UN, regional and sub-regional blocs in AU, Arab League, etc. hardly agree on a single course of action ever since the cold war’s era.

Given the current multi-polarity of the world, five permanent members of UN’s Security Council such as US, China, Russia, Britain and France are even more divided. With US as sole super power is getting more weakened to impose its will by over ambitious China and resurging Russia as formidable challengers.

Hence, required unanimity of decision with subsequent action remains a distant mirage. Although US with its Western allies in European Union, EU still wields some considerable leverage to bulldoze its way against certain set obstructions.

Though given a considerable period of time, South Sudanese leaders failed to come up with political will to address issues of bad governance for the last ten years that eventually caused December, 2013’s violence as well as their unbridled intransigence to reach a required compromise at peace talks. 

With mediators’ failing suggestion of two principals that include those accused of political and economic crimes in yet to be released AU’s Commission of Inquiry reports be barred from purposed Transitional Government of National Unity, TGNU.

Or South Sudan to be governed under the UN’s trusteeship for a five – year term also falling flat on its face.

It is now safe to say that let the benevolent world in the next rounds of peace talks intervene in whichever way it thinks fit.

That is in the best interests of ordinary, economically deprived, ethnically divided and long suffering South Sudanese, being the real victims of this war so as to rid the country’s dented image of warmonger Generals, corrupt politicians, incompetent bureaucrats and pseudo intellectuals.

Deng Vanang is a Journalist and Author of ‘’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 .

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