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The Root Causes of Conflicts in South Sudan

Dear Comrades and friends,

May 14, 2011 (SSNA) -- I wish to inform all of you that the root causes of internal conflicts among Southern Sudanese from the past governments to this present government of Southern Sudan are based on an unfair allocation of positions (question of power) and resources on geographical and ethnical basis. One single tribe has always maintained a dominant role over other tribes. South Sudan; as it’s known locally and internationally, is a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural society with more than sixty (68) ethnic groups. If the majority do not consider the importance (or role) of minority groups, then problems or tribal conflicts shall always be on the rise until this question of power and or resources is addressed accordingly, and in a pragmatic manner.

The infamous word “Kokora” is derived from Bari local language, which literally means ‘separation’. First, it was pronounced loudly by most of the Equatoria intellectuals who felt Dinka domination in the Regional Government which was established in 1973 following the Addis Ababa Accord, which granted the people of Southern Sudan an autonomous status within the framework of a united Sudan. A war that started on 18th August 1955, some four months before, Sudan obtained its independence from Great Britain on 1st January 1956.

The root causes of Kokora could be traced back from the time of the signing of the Addis Ababa Agreement, when Mr. Abel Alier Kuai out-maneuvered his erstwhile enemy, General Joseph Lagu Yanga - the founder of Anya-Nya Movement and the principal signatory to the Addis Ababa Accord. Instead of General Lagu to take charge of the affairs of Southern Sudan as it was stipulated in the agreement, President Jaafar Mohamed Nimeiri hastily handed over the Regional Government to his longtime puppet Mr. Abel Alier who negotiated and signed the agreement on behalf of Sudan Government. Unfortunately, President Nimeiri abruptly appointed and commissioned General Joseph Lagu to head the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) sprinkled all over Southern Region with his Headquarters in Juba, while Mr. Abel Alier to head the High Executive Council in Juba. The two gentlemen were under specific roles, supervisions and directives of President Nimeiri in Khartoum – playing the game of Tom & Jerry against each other. This kind of appointment remained a bone of contention between the two Southern leaders to date.

During Abel Alier’s reign as from 1973 – 1978, and again from 1980 – 1982, he entrenched himself by placing his own tribesmen (Dinka) in all the strategic and powerful positions. They controlled finance, public service, judiciary, education, administration, prison service, wildlife service, police service, legal affairs, regional assembly etc.  The non-Dinkas found themselves deprived from the regional government and eventually advocated for division of Southern Region in Juba to be divided up into three sub-regions of Equatoria, Bahr El Gazal and Upper Nile. In June 1983, President Nimeiri issued a Presidential Decree dividing the Southern Region into three fragile regions of Equatoria under Governor James Joseph Tombura, Bahr El Gazal under Lawrence Wol Wol and Upper Nile under Daniel Koat Mattews.

At the same time, the war broke-out once again in the South which resulted to the birth of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/ Army (SPLM/A) under leadership of Dr. John Garang de Mabior. The same political domination was also applied again in the movement where out of five so-called Permanent Members of Politico-Military High Command (PMHC), four were from Dinka; including Col. John Garang as a Chairman & C-in-C, Lt. Col. Kerubino Kuanyin Bol as Deputy, Capt. Salva Kiir Mayardit Deputy Chief of Staff for Security & Operations and Major Arok Thon Arok as Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics & Administration. Lt. Col. William Nyuon Bany, who hailed from Nuer, was the only non-Dinka in the SPLM/A leadership’s hierarchy to get the position of Chief of Staff.

The minority tribes who joined the SPLA in their thousands found themselves left out in the movement’s leadership and participated only as canon porters and nothing else. That was why many Equatorians in the initial stage had hesitated, or perhaps were reluctant to join the SPLA/M. They perceived it as a Dinka movement and the bulk of Nuer sided with Anya-Nya II respectively voicing the same concerns. However, it took Col. John Garang and his henchmen nearly three years to create fictitious titles like the one known as “Alternate Members” of Politico Military High Command to accommodate few non-Dinka like Galario Ornyang, James Wani Igga, Dr. Lam Akol, Yusuf Kowa and Dr. Riek Machar in the SPLA leadership’s hierarchy.  The same kind of political dominion is currently replicating itself in the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS), which is repeating the same mistakes of the past without any shame.

The rampant corruption and nepotism, which is the making of the so-called “land grabbing”, money laundering, denial of job opportunities and the selective promotion of SPLA officers and other security organs are based on this kind of setup where checks and balances are not relevant at all levels of GOSS. One may wonder why Southern Sudanese are still fighting themselves while they have already got what they have been fighting for. Alas! The truth is that we are lacking a visionary leader who can accommodate our diverse community’s interests fairly.

The political Bureau (PB), which is the highest political organ of the ruling SPLM is actually a rubber stamp used by one ethnic group (Dinka) to dominate others by using their numbers to impose decisions on others. There is no fairness in it. Serious decisions are made behind the back door. Even the so-called ‘deputies’ used to wonder when decisions are passed and announced publicly. This is also applied to the Council of Ministers which is being chaired by H.E President Salva Kiir himself.

Some GOSS Institutions like Ministries of Finance, Internal Security, Public Service, Education, SPLA Affairs (Defence), Bank of South Sudan, Regional Cooperation (Foreign Affairs) and all the security organs are dominated by one ethnic group – the Dinka. This makes it difficult for other ethnic groups to voice their concerns publicly. 90% of minority groups do not reflex themselves in the political mirror of Salva Kiir’s government. During the Regional Government which ruled the South for 10 years as from 1973 – 1983, most of the minority tribes used to be represented by their community leaders. For example: Oliver Batali Albino came from the smallest tribe in the South – the Makaraka. But he was made a minister by Abel Alier. The same with Mr. Mr. Simon Mori Dedimo and Dr. Pasisco Ladu Lolik who headed the ministries of Information & Culture and that of health respectively under General Joseph Lagu in 1978.  Now, such tribes like Taposa, Anyuak, Lokoi, Didinga, Lokoro, Acholi, Murle, Balanda, Mondu, Nyangwara, Baka, Abakaya, Makaraka, Jurbel, Maban, Boya etc.. are not represented at any level of government from GOSS ministers, Independent commissions or GOSS under-secretaries and yet they possessed most qualified personalities capable to manage such institutions. While during the war each community mentioned above participated actively in defending the Southern’s cause against the successive regimes in Khartoum.

President Salva Kiir must learn how to share the nation’s cake equally with all Southern Sudanese communities. Not everything to be Dinka! That is why there is a need for change within South Sudan leadership where minority tribes should be represented.

The author’s name is withheld for security reasons.

Attached bellow is the lists of SPLM Political Bureau members, GOSS Presidential Advisors, GOSS Ministers, Independent Commission Chairpersons, Under-secretaries and other security organs. The list of South Sudanese in the Government of National Unity is not included, where Dinka are still dominating all key strategic positions there.

SPLM Political Bureau Members

No.
Name
Position
State
Tribe
1.
Cde. Salva Kiir Mayardit
Chairman
Warrap
Dinka
2.
Dr. Riek Machar Teny
1st Vice Chairman
Unity
Nuer
3.
Cde. James Wani Igga
2nd Vice Chairman
Central Equatoria
Bari
4.
Cde. Malik Agar
3rd Vice Chairman
Blue Nile
Funj
5.
Cde. Pagan Amum Ukec
Secretary General
Upper Nile
Shilluk
6.
Dr. Ann Itto
Deputy Secretary General for Southern Sector
Eastern Equatoria
Madi
7.
Cde. Yasir Saed Arman
Deputy Secretary General for Northern Sector
Northerner
Khartoum
8.
Cde. Daniel Awet Akot
Member
Lakes
Dinka
9.
Cde. Kuol Manyang Juuk
Member
Jonglei
Dinka
10.
Cde. Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior
Member
Jonglei
Dinka
11.
Cde. John Luk Jok
Member
Jonglei
Nuer
12.
Cde. Jamie Nunu Komba
Member
W. Equatoria
Zande
13.
Cde. Mark Nyipuoc Obong
Member
W. Bahr El Gazal
Jurchol
14.
Cde. Clement Wani Konga
Member
C. Equatoria
Mundari
15.
Cde. Alisio Emore Ojatuk
Member
E. Equatoria
Lotuka
16.
Cde. Taban Deng Gai
Member
Unity
Nuer
17.
Cde, Paul Mayom Akec
Member
Lakes
Dinka
18.
Cde. Awut Deng Acuil
Member
Warrap
Dinka
19.
Cde. Akol Paul
Member
Warrap
Dinka
20.
Cde. Deng Alor Kuol
Member
Abyei
Dinka
21.
Cde. Nhial Deng Nhial
Member
Warrap
Dinka
22.
Cde. (Late) Samson Kwaji
Member
C. Equatoria
Pajulu
23.
Cde. Paul Malong Awan
Member
N. Bahr El-Gazal
Dinka
24.
Cde. Lual Diing Wol
Member
N. Bahr El- Gazal
Dinka
25.
Cde. Abdul Aziz Adam El Allawe
Member
Nuba Mountains
Nuba
 
GOSS Presidential Advisors:
 
S/No.
Name
Position
State
Region
Tribe
1.
Fr. Pio Kuac
Religious Affairs
Upper Nile
G. Equatoria
Shilluk
2.
Mr. John Kong Nyuon 
Security Affairs
Jonglei
G. Upper Nile
Nuer
3.
Dr. Joseph Nguen M.
Social Service
Unity
G. Upper Nile
Nuer
4.
Mr. Kennedy Kayin 
Peace and Reconciliation
Jonglei
G. Upper Nile
Murle
5.
Mr. Kong Kong Bol
Border Conflicts Resolution
Unity  
G. Upper Nile
Nuer
6.
Mr. Alfred Lado Gore
Diplomacy 
C. Equatoria
G. Equatoria
Bari
7.
Mr. Tor Deng Mawien
Decentralization & Inter-Governmental Linkage
Warrap
G. Bahr El- Gazal
Dinka
8.
 Madam Rebecca  Nyandeng de-Mabior
Gender& Human Rights
Jonglei
G. Upper Nile
Dinka
9.
Mr. Lual Diing Wol
Political Affairs
N. Bhar El-Ghazal
G. Bhar El-Ghazal
Dinka
10.
Mr. Joseph Lagu Yanga
 Special Advisor
E. Quatoria
 G. Equatoria
Madi
11.
Mr. Telar Ring Deng
Legal Advisor
Lakes
G. Bahr El-Gazal
Dinka
12.
Lt. Gen. Salva Mathok Geng
Advisor on SPLA Affairs
Warrap
G. Bhar El-Gazal
Dinka
13.
Steven Madut Bak
Regional Cooperation Affairs
Warrap
G. Bahr El-Gazal
Dinka
14.
Cornillo Befo
Monitoring and Integrity in Governance
C. Equatoria
G. Equatoria
Bari
 
 
 GOSS Ministers:
 
S/No.
Name
Ministry  
State
Region
Tribe
1.
 Mr. Kosti Manibi   
Cabinet Affairs  
Western Equatoria
G. Equatoria
Moru
2.
Dr. Cirino Hiteng
Presidential  Affairs
Eastern Equatoria
G. Equatoria
Lotuka
3.
Mr. Nhial Deng Nhial    
SPLA & Veteran Affairs
Warrap
G. Bhar El-Ghazal
Dinka
4.
Mr. Gier Chuang Aluong
Internal  Affairs
Jonglei
G. Upper Nile
Dinka
5.
Mr. David Deng Athorbei
Finance & Economic Planning 
Lakes
G. Bhar El-Ghazal
Dinka
6.
Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin
Information
Jonglei
G. Upper Nile
Nuer
7.
Mr. Michael Makuei Lueth  
Parliamentary Affairs
Jonglei
G. Upper Nile
Dinka
8.
Mr. Madut Biar Yiel
Telecommunication and Postal Services
N. Bahr El-Gazal
G. Bahr El-Gazal
Dinka
9.
Mrs. Nyanlok Tiong Garluak 
  Animal Recourses and Fishers
Unity
G. Equatoria
Nuer
10.
Mrs. Awut Deng Achuil 
Labour, and Public Service.
Warrap
G. Bhar El-Ghazal
Dinka
11.
Mr. Lino Makana
Transports and Road
W. Equatoria
G. Equatoria
Zande
12.
Mrs Jamie Nunu Komba
Housing & Physical Planning
W. Equatoria
G. Equatoria
Zande
13.
Dr. Ann Ito
Agriculture & Forestry
E. Equatoria
G. Equatoria
Madi
14.
Mr. John Luk Jok
Legal Affairs & Constitutional Development
Jonglei
G. Upper Nile
Nuer
15.
Dr. Luka Manoja
Health
C. Equatoria
G. Equatoria
Bari
16.
Ms. Agnes Losuba
Gender, Social Welfare& Religious Affairs
Central E. State
G. Equatoria
Kakwa
17.
Mr. Stephen Dhieu
Commerce & Industry
Upper Nile
G. Upper Nile
Dinka
18.
Mr. Deng Alor Kuol
Regional Cooperation
Abyei
Abyei
Dinka
19.
Mr. Garang Diing Akuong
Energy & Mining
N. Bhar El Gazal
G. Bhar El Gazal
Dinka
20.
Jemmy Lemi Milla (late)
 
Cooperatives & Rural Develop.
C. Equatoria
G. Equatoria
Pajulu
21.
Dr. Michael Mille Hussien
Education
W. Bahr El-Gazal
G. Bahr El-Gazal
Fertit
22.
Mr. Gabriel Changson Chang
Culture & Heritage
Upper Nile
G. Upper Nile
Nuer
23.
Lt. Gen. Oyay Deng Ajak
Investment
Upper Nile
G. Upper Nile
Shilluk
24.
Mr. Abdallah Albert
Wildelife Conservation & Tourism
E. Equatoria
G; Equatoria
Abakaya
25.
 
Environment
 
 
 
26.
Mr. Joseph Ukel
Higher Education, Science & Technology
W. Bahr El-Gazel
G. Bahr El-Gazal
Jurchol
27.
Mr. Makuach Teny Yok
Youth, Sports & Recreation
Unity
G. Upper Nile
Nuer
28.
Mr. James Kok Ruai
Humanitarian Affairs & Disaster Management
Jonglei
G. Upper Nile
Nuer
29.
Mr. Paul Mayom Akec
Water Resources & Irrigation
Lakes
G. Bahr El-Gazal
Dinka
30.
Mr. Pagan Amum Ukac
Peace & CPA Affairs
Upper Nile
G. Upper Nile
Shilluk
31.
Mary Jervas Yak
Human Resource Development
Warrap
G. Bahr El-Gazal
Dinka
 
Plus two ministers without portfolios!
 
That totaled to 33 ministries all in all.
 
GOSS Independent Commissions and Chambers:
 
S/No.
Name
Commission
State
Region
Tribe
1.
 Dr. Pauline Riak
Anti-corruption 
Lakes
G. Bhar El-Ghazal
Dinka
2.
Dr. Deng Dongring 
Public Grievances Chamber
Warrap
G. Bhar El-Ghazal
Dinka
3.
Mr. Steven Wondu
Auditor Chamber 
C. Equatoria
G. Equatoria
Kuku
4.
Rev. William Chan
Relief & Rehabilitation 
Warrap
G. Bahr El Gazal
Dinka
5.
Mr. Jarkuc Barac  
De-mining Authority
Jonglei
G. Upper Nile
Dinka
6.
Mr. Peter Guang Akiech
Peace & Reconciliation 
Upper Nile
G. Upper Nile
Shilluk
7.
Mr. William Deng Deng
Demobilization, Disarmament Reintegration  
Warrap
G. Bhar El-Ghazal
Dinka
8.
Dr. Bellario Ahoy Ngong
HIV/AIDS 
N. Bhar El-Ghazal
G. Bhar El-Ghazal
Dinka
10.
Mr. Isaiah Chol Aruai 
Census, Statistic and Evaluation 
Jonglei
G. Upper Nile
Dinka
11.
Mr Lawrence Korbandy
Human Rights 
W. Equatoria
G. Equatoria
Moru
12.
Alakaya Aligo Samson
Reconstruction and Development Fund
C. Equatoria
G. Equatoria
Kakwa
13.
Mrs Philister Baya Lawiri
Civil service
E. Equatoria
G. Equatoria
Lokoro
14.
Mr. Robert Lado Loki
Land Commission
Central Equatoria
G. Equatoria
Kakwa
15.
Mr. Dhiou Mathok
Employees Justice Chamber
N. Bahr El-Gazal
G. Bhar El -Gazal
Dinka
16.
Mr. Ben Robin Oduho
War disable, Widow & Orphans
E. Equatoria
G. Equatoria
Lotuka
17.
Prof. Ajuoi Magot Chol
Southern Electricity Corporation 
Jonglei
G. Upper Nile
Dinka
18.
Mr. Gabriel Mathiang Rok
Southern Sudan Fiscal, Financial Allocation & Monitoring
Lakes
G. Bahr El-Gazal
Dinka
19.
Mr. Kawach Makuei
War Veterans
N. Bahr El-Gazal
G. Bahr El-Gazal
Dinka
20.
Mr. Daniel Deng Lual
Bureau for Community on Small Arms Control
Warrap
G. Bahr El-Gazal
Dinka
21.
Mr. Koak Guok
Local Government Board
Upper Nile
G. Upper Nile
Nuer
 
GOSS Under-secretaries: 
 
S/No.
Name
Ministry
State
Tribe
1.
Selvatoria Garang Mabior
Finance and Economic Planning ( Finance)
Warrap
Dinka
2.
Aggri Tesi Saboni
Finance and Economic Planning ( Planning)
C. Equatoria
Kuku
3.
Elisabeth Manou Majok
Commerce & Industry
Jonglei
Dinka
4.
William Ater Machiek
Energy and Mining
Lakes
Dinka
5.
Juma Stephen Luga
Telecommunications & Postal  Services
Central Equatoria
Bari
6.
Martin Mou Mou
Education , Science& Technology 
Warrap
Dinka
7.
Dr.Olivia G. Lomoru
Health
C. Equatoria
Bari
8.
Eng. Reymond Pitya
Roads & Transport
Central Equatoria
Bari
9.
Ochan John Bongomin 
Electricity Corporation
E. Equatoria
Acholi
10.
Dr. Daniel Wani
Wildlife Conservation & Tourism
Central Equatria
Bari
11.
Crispin Abugo Paul
Urban Water Corporation
W. Bhar El-Ghazal
 
12.
Eng. Isaac Liabwel C. Yol
Water Resource & Irrigation
Lakes
Dinka
13.
Jaden Emilio
Agriculture and Forestry( Forestry )
Central Equatoria
Pajulu
14.
 
Agriculture and Forestry ( Agriculture)
Warrap
Dinka
15.
Dr. Mokuei Malual
Animal Resources and Fisheries
Warrap
Dinka
16.
Bortel Mori Nyomble
Co-operatives &Rural Development
W.Equatoria
Bari
17.
Mrs Salwa Jebril
President’s Office
Warrap
Dinka
18.
Abdon Agaw
Cabinet Affairs
Jonglei
Dinka
19.
Mark Nyikang Yomon
Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly
Upper Nile
Shilluk
20.
Mrs Rebecca Jashua
Labour, Public service &HRD
Upper Nile
Shilluk
21.
Dr. Julia Aker Duany 
Parliamentary Affairs
Jonglei
Nuer
22.
Mr. Majok Guandong
Regional Co-operation
Jonglei
Nuer
23.
Gordon Soro Yisaya
Local Government Board
Central Equatoria
Bari
28.
Justice. Reuben Madol
Judiciary of Southern Sudan
Warrap
Dinka
29.
Jeremiah Sawaka
Legal Affairs& Constitutional Development
C. Equatoria
Bari
30.
Mrs. Margret Matthew Mathiang  
Gender, Social Welfare& Religious Affairs
Unity
Nuer
31.
Peter Baptist Abaker
Culture & Heritage
W. Bhar El-Ghazal
Balanda
32.
Justice John Wuol Makec
President, Judiciary S. Sudan
Warrap
Dinka
33.
Justice Chan Rech Madut
Vice President, Judiciary SS
Warrap
Dinka
34.
Mr. Elijah Malok Deng
President, Bank of S. Sudan
Jonglei
Dinka
35
Mr. Cornelio Koryom
Vice President, BOSS
Warrap
Dinka
36.
Mr. Jok Madut Jok
Youth & Sport
 
Dinka
37.
Mr. Michael George Garang
Information
Jonglei
Dinka
38.
Mr. Ambassador Moh Ajang
Humanitarian Affairs
Upper Nile
Dinka
39.
Mrs Beatrice
Peace & CPA Implementation
C. Equatoria
Kakwa
40.
Mr. Akuei
Investment
Jonglei
Dinka
 
SPLA, Internal security and other security organs:
 
No.
Name
Position
State
Tribe
1.
1st Lt. Gen. James Hoth Mai
Chief of General Staff SPLA
Upper Nile
Nuer
2.
Lt. Gen. Ping Deng Majok
Deputy Chief of Staff for Administration & Finance
Abyei
Dinka
3.
Lt. General Deng Wek
Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations
Jonglei
Dinka
4.
Lt. General Biar Atem
Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics
Jonglei
Dinka
5.
Lt. General Mabuto Mamur
Deputy Chief of Staff for Moral & Political Orientations
Eastern Equatoria
Lotuka
6.
Lt. General Majak Agot
South Sudan National Security Service (Special Branch)
Jonglei
Dinka
7.
1st Lt. Gen. Achuil Tito 
Inspector General Police
Warrap
Dinka
8.
1st Lt. Gen. Agasio A. Tong
Inspector Gen. Prison Service 
Warrap 
Dinka
9.
1st Lt. Gen. Aru Maan Chot
Inspector Gen. Fire Brigade
Jonglei
Dinka
10.
Major General John Lat
Military Intelligence
Lakes
Dinka
11.
Major General Marial Nuor
Public Security
Lakes
Dinka
 

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