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South Sudan Law Society Launches “In Brief”, a Periodic Newsletter

Juba, September 20, 2013 (SSNA) -- It is my great pleasure to introduce to you the inaugural edition of In Brief, a periodic newsletter from the South Sudan Law Society (SSLS) highlighting issues of interest in South Sudan’s justice sector.

This edition of In Brief covers a diverse array of topics.

  • Victor Lowilla’s article on pretrial detention explains how criminal defendants in South Sudan are all too often treated as ‘guilty until proven innocent’.
  • Victor Bol’s piece on civil society’s efforts to have their interests reflected in a new NGO Bill shows the positive impact that an organized civil society can have on governance and rule of law.
  • Alicia Luedke’s analysis of conflicts that are emerging over the demarcation of administrative boundaries points an urgent need for the Government of South Sudan to clarify its position on community landownership.
  • David Deng’s article on homicide rates in Akobo and Pibor sheds new light on the scale of inter-communal and politically motivated violence in Jonglei State.

We hope that these brief snapshots of the SSLS’s work can be of use to academics and practitioners interested in the inner workings of justice systems in our new nation.

For additional information about the SSLS, including a list of our publications and a regularly updated database of South Sudanese laws, visit the SSLS website at

Yours sincerely,

Wani Mattias
Secretary-General, SSLS


A unique and analytical book on pre-independent South Sudan, Sudan’s liberation struggles and the present governance problems


Calgary, AB, September 18, 2013 (SSNA) -- South Sudanese prolific author, poet and publisher, Kuir ё Garang, has just published a new book, South Sudan Ideologically: Tribal Socio-Democracy, SPLM Ideologues, Juba Corruptocrats, Khartoum Theocrats and their Time-Frozen Leadership, which analyzes South Sudan and South Sudanese through an unapologetic Afro-centered philosophizing. The book amplifies the voices of liberation heroes that have been downplayed in history and to the present; especially the wise chiefs of the infamous ‘1947 Juba conference.’

South Sudanese were subjected to the horrors of Turko-Arab slavery, dehumanization of Arabo-Islamic hegemony and misappropriation of the concept of civilization. While Tribal South Sudanese had stream-lined governance systems, democratized decision-making process, methods of problem solving and value systems, they were still regarded as uncivilized. The wisdom portrayed by the likes of Chief Both Diu and Lado Lolik in 1947 was ignored or downplayed by the British, the Egyptians and the Sudanese Arabs. We now know what became of Sudan soon after 1947: deception, mediocrity, dishonesty and chaos.

While the author has been highly critical of the British, the Egyptians and the Arab Sudanese, he has also analyzed South Sudanese liberation wars, ideologies, events and the figures behind them in a nonpartisan, nontribalistic manner. A good example is a balanced account of the SPLA under late John Garang (Ph.D.) and the 1991 ‘Nasir Declaration’ by Lam Akol (Ph.D.) and Riek Machar (Ph.D.)

Kuir ë Garang was born in South Sudan and lived as a refugee in different African countries before moving to Canada in 2002. Kuir holds a degree in Philosophy from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He’s written seven books, including the controversial book on Race, Color and Race, Is ‘Black’ Really Beautiful? and a politicalNovel The Pipers and the First Phase. He’s also a regulator commentator on South Sudanese political issues. In all his books, Kuir tries to present a dignified African sense of self without relying on Euro-centered definitions and conventionalized Euro-centered truism; all of which do no justice to the essence of African-ness.

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(South Sudan Ideologically, The Nile Press, 2013, pp.266; $20)

The book is now available on and

Land Grabs: Will Cameroon Bear the Brunt of Herakles' Implosion?

For Immediate Release
September 18, 2013
Contact: Anuradha Mittal, +1 510 469 5228
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Oakland, Ca, September 18, 2013 (SSNA) -- The embattled Herakles Farms palm oil plantation project in Cameroon appears to have now gone off the rails. Recent news of CEO Bruce Wrobel's early retirement from parent company Sithe Global, plus charges of corruption filed in the US by Cameroonian NGOs and the virtual disappearance of All for Africa, an NGO (chaired by Bruce Wrobel) that granted a faux "green" legitimacy, combine to indicate that failure is at hand for the maligned project.

The word on the ground points to a dire financial situation and an erosion of faith in Herakles Farms by investors and company's own workers. Herakles Farms had purported to herald a new era of "sustainable agriculture" by replacing old-growth rainforest with palm oil plantations. But the company has faced a series of setbacks since the Oakland Institute and Greenpeace International released a report in May 2013 documenting false promises, risks, and legal flaws in Herakles' planned operations.

Since the report's release, we have seen the following developments:

  • On June 18, 2013, Reuters reported a Cameroonian senior official stating, "We have asked them to forget their original deal signed with MINEPAT." The Herakles Farms project is being renegotiated with the plantation's surface area reduced from 73,000 to 20,000 hectares.
  • On June 13, 2013, two Cameroonian NGOs filed a complaint in the United States via OECD against Herakles Farms for corruption.
  • Senior staff have left the company, including the Project Director and Senior Vice President for Agriculture.
  • Herakles Farms is now harvesting logs from its project area rather than developing a palm oil plantation.
  • On September 12, 2013, Greenpeace released evidence that Herakles Farms has been logging illegally even after the suspension of their activities in May 2013.
  • Ongoing dispute with former staff members and a subcontractor over the non-payment of salaries and fees.
  • On July 30, 2013, Sithe Global announced that its CEO, Bruce Wrobel, who is also the CEO of Herakles Farms, was retiring from the company for unspecified reasons. Sithe Global, Herakles Farms, and All for Africa share the same New York address.
  • All for Africa, the NGO chaired by Bruce Wrobel, appears to have vanished. Its website is not accessible anymore and the contacts previously provided online no longer function.

"Even if the size of the project is reduced, the fragility of Herakles Farms is a high concern," said Anuradha Mittal, Executive Director of the Oakland Institute. "It is an unsustainable project, led by a company known for serious wrongdoing, which will take over and destroy people's farmland and Cameroon's vital natural resources. Given the project is well below minimum sustainability standards, it begs for immediate intervening review and action by the Cameroonian government," she continued.

Full press release available at

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The Oakland Institute is an independent policy think tank working to increase public participation and promote fair debate on critical social, economic, and environmental issues. Starting 2011, the Institute has unveiled land investment deals in Africa that reveal a disturbing pattern of a lack of transparency, fairness, and accountability. The dynamic relationship between research, advocacy, and international media coverage has resulted in a string of successes and organizing in the US and abroad.

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