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Wednesday, May 04th, 2016

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An open letter to Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn

By Duach R.Mach

Your Excellency,

April 18, 2016 (SSNA) -- We are very distraught by the death of our innocent civilians (children, women, and elderly people) who were recently massacred by Murle tribe of South Sudan.

We write this petition letter to you to consider our message as your greatest priority. How could we consider ourselves as citizens of the country where our mothers, fathers, Children, and all vulnerable people are not fully protected by the Federal Government?

Recent fighting lasted for many or long hours which allowed the attackers to kill as many civilians as they wanted.

Where were our Defense Forces, as well as our government officials at this horrible moment?

We are writing this letter on behalf of the Nuer Ethiopian Community, residing in the United States of America. We want to assure to you that the unceasing death of Ethiopian civilians is the point of these Murle tribe attacks, and is really going to be a long-term problem if there is no real action taking place to dissuade them. Any believable action from Ethiopian Defense Forces regarding this killing is needed as quick as possible.

On Friday April 15, 2016, 280 vulnerable, innocent people were killed and nearly 150 others were wounded by large group of 4,000 well equipped militias carried out on Ethiopia soil (Kebeles). Very miserable again! Therefore, the killing of 280 civilians within 12 hours, including children, elderly and woman by the South Sudanese Murle tribe, must be put in the books. Why? Is this true the killing was carried out by South Sudanese and killed these civilians on Ethiopian government watch? The Nuer Community in Diasporas is very suspicious... if so, what is the reason for them to kill more than 280 innocent civilians, abduct 108 children, and take 5,000 head of livestock in the recent massacre?

Questions: Where was the Ethiopian military at the time these murders happened in Kebeles? What delayed Ethiopian Defense Forces from rescuing innocent civilians as soon as possible, while the fighting was raging for more than 12 hours? Meanwhile, the two major roads linking Gambella to Nuer Zone are less than an hour, and from Lare to Mading Kebele is prominently wide open? What really caused our Defense Forces to not arrive before Murle finished murdering civilians?

Whatever the case, the Ethiopian Federal Government should take major action very swiftly, and very quickly, without any hesitation, to bring those children to their parents. Otherwise this will be repeated again and again. Does this mean the government of Ethiopia doesn’t care for innocent Ethiopian civilians as long as the authorities are safe for themselves? We have seen such kinds of killing, abduction, invasion and aggressive provocation against Ethiopian citizens, and we have never seen any reaction from the government. This time will not be the same as 9 years ago when the Murle attack happened in Ngor Kebele (Teluth) and later in Palbol Kebele, 7 years ago and the Ethiopia authority failed to act against attackers as they should.

Henceforth, we strongly condemn this barbaric killing by the extremists who attacked and killed the innocent civilians, abducted children, and took thousands of livestock by the hard-headed tribe Murle. This extremist group claims to be the Murle tribe from South Sudan, but are in fact misrepresenting the tribe’s hatred. The entire region of Gambella strongly condemns all sorts of violent acts carried out by the South Sudanese and must not be tolerated. On April 16, 2016, Regional President Ato Gatluak Tut went to all Kebeles, and confirmed the deceases, the wounding of hundreds of civilians, and the many abducted children. He also confirmed the attackers used heavy weapons and wore military uniforms.

A letter send to Prime Minister Haile Mariam Desalegn detailed the circumstances confirming that there has been South Sudanese military involved in the killing. This includes all forms of violence, such as abducted children and severe physical damaged in all Kebeles. The Prime Ministry of Ethiopia must express his statement to the South Sudanese government, condemning the killings in the strongest possible terms, as well as the killing of civilians and abducted children. Also, the government of Ethiopia must demand to the government of South Sudan and her militias to immediately bring back these total of 125 abducted children to their parents.

Gambella Regional population issued statements in which they strongly condemn the killings and urged the government that those responsible be held accountable.

Recent killings have also sparked outrage to entire population of the region. The Region astonishment over the killings of the civilian population by neighborhood are a flagrant violation of international law. Your Excellency, Prime Minister Haile Mariam Desalegn, this is an outrageous crime against such young children, who shall protect this country in the future from enemies; you must put it in real consideration as quick as possible. The savage and despicable attacks on civilians are outrageous. Why did Ethiopia’s almighty military power fail to react so quickly and used air fighting jets? Why didn’t the Ethiopia Defense Force use main road as they can?

In conclusion---Our thoughts and prayers are with the loved one of those killed and seriously injured. We stand together with the people of Gambella Ethiopia in this time of sorrow. Condemning the violence and barbarism committed by the Murle tribe of South Sudan will never be forgotten. Such a massacre cannot go unpunished. More than 280 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in Nuer Zone, and the total children abducted from the Gambella Region this month alone is 125. For instance, the Bolim-Kun Wareda, Mangok Kebele, Chatyier Kebele, Banyrial Kebele and Madiang Kebele, attackers were declared by the South Sudanese Militias to be no retaliation to any reason that were drawn by Ethiopia, particular the major Zones, the Nuer Zone and the Anyuak Zone. The same militias also coordinated another attacked on Anyuak Zone, Jor Kebele and other surrounding Kebeles, took at least 11 children, and killed dozens innocent civilians The Nuer community condemns all these sorts of evil acts. This must not be tolerated.

The Nuer Community in Diaspora stands in solidarity with the families who have lost their loved ones during this difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers are with them. We know Ethiopian Defense Forces always was, always is and always will be strongest Forces ever! We condemn these horrific crimes in the strongest terms possible.

The author lives in the United States. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Joining the EAC: What it means for South Sudan

By Kuach Tutkuay

March 25, 2016 (SSNA) -- The news of accession of South Sudan to the East Africa Community was received with mixed reactions by South Sudanese; with some describing it as a long overdue decision while others, in a rather extreme stance, describing it as an economic subjugation by the EAC to open up tunnels to divert their meager dollar to Nairobi, Kampala, among others. Ironically, citizens of EAC member states received the news with mixed reaction as well with some citing economic benefit of the increased market size and new market in South Sudan while others question the criteria used to admit South Sudan given the violation of human right and the political instability. Some fears that the EAC may become a haven of dictators considering the current happening in Burundi, Uganda and South Sudan. However, the writer believes that there are both advantages and disadvantage to this effects which are discussed below.

Advantages: to begin with, EAC engages in regional infrastructural projects development like road and rail networks. Uganda has already started a construction on a railroad connecting Juba and Kampala. South Sudan as a land lock country will benefit from this transportation networks to a greater extent. Communication infrastructure will also improve through the EAC’s regional communication networks such as the EASSY internet cable. Access to the ports of Mombasa and Dar es Salaam will make it easier for South Sudan products like oil to reach the international market.

South Sudan will also participate in the Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA) to establish academic standards and regional academic exchange programs. The standards of higher education in South Sudan remain comparatively challenging; universities produce graduates who cannot meet the desired technical competencies. These academic standards, coupled with coming of highly skilled university lecturers from the EAC member countries, will see a complete overhaul and a paradigm shift in the quality of higher education system in South Sudan.

The country will also benefit from technological and knowledge transfer; well established firms from the EAC member countries will establish branches in South Sudan bringing in their advanced technologies. This may provide an opportunity for the domestic firms to adopt those technologies. Since EAC provide for free movement of labor, qualifies human resources from the EAC member countries will increase productivity in South Sudan and that will facilitate rapid growth in all sectors. There may be fears that foreign workers will take jobs from the citizens but that depends, to some extent, on institutional capacity to formulate sound labor policies. Lastly, the South Sudanese students who live in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, etc, will not have to pay for visa or student pass as the membership takes effect. They will not have any more trouble with the police over kitambulisho or kitu kidogo. There will be more freedom for South Sudanese who want to work or study in EAC member countries.

Disadvantages: South Sudan does not export any product apart from oil; they import everything including agricultural products. The domestic producers may not compete on equal terms with well established firms in EAC member countries. This places South Sudan at a competitive disadvantage in the EAC market. Since South Sudan is dependent on import for consumer products, the price of the imported product may be high compare to locally produced ones and this may increase the cost of living; market stability will lie entirely in the hand of the importers. South Sudan will also face lost of revenue in terms of customs duties.

The literacy rate for South Sudan stands at 30% compare to Kenya at 87.4% and Uganda at 73%. This mean a comparative disadvantage for South Sudan in terms of mobility of human resources; thus, a higher influx of graduates from the EAC member countries to go and compete with high school and primary leavers in South Sudan, actually making them jobless, to say the least.

Most of the foreign businesses in South Sudan the likes of Equity, KCB, UAP Insurance, etc are major source of employment and most of these employees are high school leavers and diploma graduates. If they can get qualified graduates from their home countries as the EAC allows, why would they keep low skilled employees at the expense of their operation. That will make many people who are working now jobless and that reduce per capita income. It is not just that, oh my! One big problem for South Sudan is that there is no good policy on profit repatriation by foreign companies. That mean all the profit earned will be recouped back to their home countries leaving the country with nothing.

To provide some recommendations, there is a need to conduct a survey to find out critical sectors that would require foreign expertise, for instance, education sector has received teachers from Kenya and Uganda over the past eight years. The said sector will then be open to foreigners while other sectors remains protected. There is a need to formulate policies regarding profit repatriation by foreign companies. There must be a limit to the profit they takes back to their countries to save South Sudan from extensive cash outflow. But before all these could mean anything to South Sudan, the nation needs to prioritize peace. A real peace must come from the hearts of the leaders, not from the paper.

The writer is a chairman of Naath Youth Network in Kenya; a freelance writer, a blogger and a peace advocate. He can be reached This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or follow him on twitter @kuach444

Dr. Boutros Boutros Ghali: a man of mission

By Ambassador Dhano Obongo

March 26, 2016 (SSNA) -- On November 14, 1922, in Cairo, Egypt, Boutros Boutros Ghali was born into an Egyptian Coptic Christian family. He went to glory on February 16, 2016. His grandfather was a former Prime Minister of Egypt from 1908 to 1910 when he was liquidated.

Ghali earned his initial degree in 1946 from the Faculty of Law. Cairo University, and in 1949 a PHD from the Sorbonne, University of Paris, France, one of the world’s most prestigious educational institutions.

In 1980 Dr. Ghali became President of the African Society of Political Studies.

His political Profession advanced well under the aegis of the late Egyptian President, Anwar Mohammed El-Sadat. Dr. Ghali served as Egyptian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs for the 14 years 1977 to 1991.

Under Islamic Sharia law Christians are regarded as second class citizens so that such a senior post is seldom accorded to a non-Muslim in Arab-Muslim nations including Dr. Francis Deng who was State Minister of Foreign Affairs during the presidency of Nemeir.

Exceptional was in the Iraqi regime of Saadam Hussein when a Christian national, Mr. Tariq Azaz, became Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Dr. Ghali qualified as teacher, politician, and diplomat. In January 1992 he became the sixtth Secretary General of the United Nations, the first Afro-Arab to do so serving until December 1996. A second term in that office was vetoed and blocked by the government of the United States of America. Ghali spoke fluently in English, French, and German as well as his native mother tongue, Arabic. In 1978 he joined and played an active role in the Camp David negotiations which were signed in 1978 in the White House.

I extol Dr. Butros Butros Ghali because I admired his personality and was inspired when in Senior Secondary School, he cultivated an interest in me to dream of joining the diplomatic service. Fulfillment came in 2006 when Dr. Lam Akol became the first South Sudanese Minister of Foreign Affairs in the former united Sudan. He implemented the CPA quota of South Sudanese workers in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Khartoum, Sudan.

Dr. Ghali accomplished his mission on earth through loving and serving his Savior Christ Jesus as well as his homeland, Egypt, known also as the mother of the world, or in Arabic Um –aldonyia. He has a very rich legacy in international relations especially in the arena of multilateral diplomacy. The world will remember as well as the African continent.

One of his South Sudanese friends was Uncle Bona Malwal, former Minister of Culture and Information under President Nimeiri. When Ghali became UN Secretary General, Malwal asked him to invite Dr. John to the UN. Ghali joked. “Bona, do you want to destroy the UN? “

Uncle Bona responded that he wanted to invite the leader of his people’s cause and not a rebel Leader. Ghali was a friend of South Sudan and not just Uncle Bona. I thanked uncle Malwal for a job well done.

Last year a group of senior ambassadors were selected for an advanced training seminar and I happened to be among them. The Egyptian Diplomatic Studies Institute provided an opportunity to interact with Dr. Ghali for an hour. Despite his health, he accepted meeting with us. He was very lively and interesting. He implored us to stick together and not be ethnic based as we were the future of South Sudan.

Now he has gone to glory and sits at the right hand of his Savior, Jesus Christ. We will see him again in the second coming. On behalf of South Sudanese society and my own behalf, I take this opportunity to extend condolences to his beloved family and to the Egyptian Embassy in Juba, Republic of South Sudan, for the loss of a great man. We will miss Dr. Ghali. May the almighty rest his soul in peace.

The author can be reached at email address: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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