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South Sudan: A Tumultuous Mixture of Raw Human Hatreds (part 6)

By Wani Tombe Lako

June 30, 2013 (SSNA) -- In (part 5) of these series of articles, I used this extensive quote, in which, in 2007, in Juba, commenting about the CPA, the then President of the GoSS, and the current President of the RoSS, Lt. Gen. Mayardit said, “…it was designed to ensure an equitable and transparent distribution of wealth and resources. It was intended to create a level of ground for all Sudanese political forces so that they compete freely, in their multiple diversities, and so that the Sudanese people themselves democratically choose their leaders in free and fair elections. Above all, it has ensured for you the people of southern Sudan, the right to self-determination while urging us to create an environment for making unity of our country an attractive opinion…”

In 2007, during the internal self-determination era 2005-2011, under the sole and absolute control of the SPLM/A, the iniquitous phenomenon of unequal pay for equal jobs was rife and blossoming all over South Sudan. The SPLM/A lead government of South Sudan was paying discriminatory salaries, to various socio-cultural and tribal categories of South Sudanese. This made me to worry so much about the futures, of the majorities of South Sudanese in a sovereign and independent South Sudan under the rule of the SPLM/A. What the SPLM/A leaders, operatives and members did, during 2005-2011, has nothing to do with equality, equity and transparency in terms of wealth and resources distribution, preached by the then President of the GoSS, and the current President of the RoSS.

Kinky explanations within the remit of compensatory principle were used, to justify these culpable discriminatory economic and financial policies and politics during 2005-2011, by the SPLM/A lead government. It was argued then, and many still argue now that, these negative discriminatory practices were, and are, legal and just, because, these favoured SPLM/A leaders, operatives and members, sacrificed everything for two decades and more, in the bushes of South Sudan, for the liberation of South Sudanese from the Jallabas. Therefore, those South Sudanese, who did not go to the bushes of South Sudan, must not complain about the ubiquitous wages and salaries differentials, for doing similar jobs.

The amusing thing was, and is that, a tribally based caveat was, and still is, attached, to this simple, flawed and debased economic and financial discriminatory reasoning. That is, to effectively benefit from this negative discrimination, as even among SPLM/A leaders, operatives, and members, you have to carry certain ubiquitous tribal tags. That is, you have to have a familiar name, a tribal mark and such like. I have evidence of those who fell/ or still fall outside these tribal and socio-cultural indices, but, who went into the bushes of South Sudan, and yet, they were not, and are not, among the beneficiaries of these negative discriminatory economic and financial policies and politics.

What we saw from 2005-2011 in South Sudan, and what we are seeing now in South Sudan; is the mindset of tribalist (s). This mindset is one hundred percent (100%) similar, with the mindset of Nazis German (s). The evil content of their ideologies is the same, notwithstanding the lack of similarities in their names. That is, the one is tribalism; and the other is Nazism. The final solution, in Nazism, which led to the Holocaust, is akin to what is being perfected in South Sudan; and the international community had already seen it in Rwanda. The fashions in which, inherent humanities of others, are being disregarded with impunity, by tribal oligarchs in South Sudan, is another more evil holocaust and Rwanda; in the making, in South Sudan.

In fact, the place is awash with men and women, who belong to the right tribe (s) in South Sudan, and the tribe (s) that control (s) the SPLM/A, and who were not SPLM/A members until 2005 and beyond, and yet, they are now senior people in the government of the RoSS. Some are in fact cabinet ministers. Not only that, but, they have become more senior SPLM/A leaders, operatives, and members due to their mere tribal identification. Some of these people were, and are recent defectors from the NCP, and they are now more important in the SPLM/A, than those others, who spent their lifetime, in the SPLM/A, but, they carry wrong tribal tags.

This means that, you can become a celebrated liberator in South Sudan, by having the correct tribal marks, names and other associated tags; even if, you stayed in Khartoum from (1980-2005). There are hundreds of proper SPLM/A veterans, who do not belong to the tribe (s) that control (s) the SPLM/A in South Sudan, and who have been abandoned on the liberation and CPA roadside. They did not defect to Khartoum, nor have they rebelled against the SPLM/A, but, they belong to the wrong tribes. With all these practices in place, from 2005 up to date, the SPLM/A still want to lecture us about its dedication to values of equity, equality and transparency in wealth and resources distribution in South Sudan. This is offensive.

It is therefore, obvious that, right from 2005 up to date, SPLM/A leaders, operatives and members, supported, and continue to support, illegal economic and financial methods, for rewarding labour, knowledge, skills, and experiences in South Sudan. This is absolute travesty and blatant mockery of what the leadership of the SPLM/A claim to be their concern for equity and transparency of wealth and resource distribution in South Sudan. In fact, the SPLM/A government in South Sudan, inadvertently, instituted a false reward structure, it cannot sustain.

Due to ignorance, greed, hate and revenge, the SPLM/A leaders, operatives and members thought that, they were stabilising their lives, and that; that shall be for a short time only. In real life, in economic and financial terms, there is not such a thing, like getting inflated salaries and wages, plus other fringe benefits, for a short time. That is, short enough time to stabilise someone’s socio-economic position, and then, this person is expected to revert back to actual salary structure, and to carry on normally. Alas, the result is what we are seeing today; that is, theft in President’s office, dura saga, Kosti and Alor sagas, and the lot.  This is equity, equality, and transparency, SPLM/A style in South Sudan, in the past, now and in the future.

I can strongly and validly argue that, from 2007 up to date, SPLM/A leaders, operatives and members, have not yet understood that, equity, equality and transparency of distribution of wealth and resources; is not just an abstract political catchphrase. They do not know that, and it appears, they do not want to know that, all these beautifully sounding words mean that, in the South Sudan, the ordinary woman, child and man, want to tangibly feel them.

The downtrodden peoples of South Sudan  want to see and feel the benefits of these magic words in terms of beneficial medical/health services, educational services, security services, beneficial employment, better and cheaper food, clean water, better and affordable shelter and all reasonable goods and services that a reasonable and caring government ought to provide for all its citizens.

Unfortunately for us in South Sudan, from 2005 up to date, we have not seen these services, being provided for us by the SPLM/A government in South Sudan; neither during the internal self-determination period, 2005-2011, nor during the era of external self-determination, 2011 to date. What are we supposed to do? May be, we should blame nobody because; we are starting from scratch in South Sudan. Or maybe, we are not patient and grateful enough, and we do not appreciate the personal and group poverty of our SPLM/A leaders, operatives and members.

The most glaring facts that the peoples of South Sudan can read between the lines, from the above quote are self-explanatory. That is, we in South Sudan; must not waste our precious political, socio-cultural and moral times, waiting for nonexistent positive leadership from the SPLM/A. We in South Sudan ought not to wait for vacuous equity; equality and transparency, as far as distribution of wealth and resources are concerned, under the watch of the SPLM/A in South Sudan.

The SPLM/A ought to explain to women, children and men of South Sudan, the world at large, including the donor countries as to why, billions of dollars that were poured into South Sudan between 2005-2011, did not achieve any minimum wellbeing for us in South Sudan? If the SPLM/A did not achieve minimum equitable comprehensive development, in South Sudan, during those years of abundance, that is 2005-2011, why should we believe that, the SPLM/A can do better, in these days of austerities measures, characterised by negative discrimination in South Sudan?

I must remind the SPLM/A that, issues of equitable distribution of wealth and resources, ought not to become, political pawns, in the hands and mouths, of some SPLM/A leaders; for tribal and party political purposes. We are talking about the lives of millions of innocent women, children and men in South Sudan. These women, children and men, relied on the SPLM/A; since 2005, and yet, they are being allowed to perish in South Sudan. They are being allowed to perish, in midst of abundance, due to policies and politics of hate and revenge, in South Sudan, practiced by the SPLM/A, since 2005 up to date.

The then President of Goss; and the current President of the RoSS, in 2007, spoke about level political ground, for free competition. I am sincerely wondering now, as to whether, the then President of the GoSS, understood what he was on about; and as to whether, the current President of the RoSS, understands what he was on about? On the other hand, did he then believe in, and does he; now honestly believe in this so-called level political ground for free competition in South Sudan?

Why many SPLM /A senior and other members did choose to stand, as independent candidates, in the 2010 general elections? Was it not because they were politically asphyxiated by the SPLM/A, under the same President? Was there any semblance of level political ground for free competition in SPLM political parlance in 2010? Is the ubiquitous absence of press freedom in South Sudan, according to the UN specialised Agencies, a semblance of this level political ground for free competition? What about the beatings, arrests, harassments and even killings of thinkers and writers in South Sudan? What do the SPLM/A say about these issues in terms of free political competition in South Sudan under their absolute rule?

On the other hand, are ubiquitous discriminations, in various governmental institutions, on the bases of political affiliations, where people are expected to belong to the SPLM/A, by all means, a process of building level political ground, for free competition in South Sudan? Is the issuances of direct and indirect threats, against individuals, who do not belong to the SPLM/A, in South Sudan, categorised by the leadership of the SPLM/A, as the best political fashion, for building level political ground for free competition in South Sudan?

It is very sad and pitiful for SPLM/A leaders, to be preaching to the whole world on morality of freedom of political competition, when they are actually fighting tooth and nail, to create rough and unequal political ground, for restricted political competition, in South Sudan; from 2005 up to date. 

I strongly argue that, the political literature which has been manufactured, by SPLM/A leaders, operatives and members, since 2005 is misleading. That is, the characterisation of other South Sudanese, who do not belong to the SPLM as enemies of the peoples is offensive. That is, South Sudanese, who do not necessarily want to belong to the SPLM, for perfectly objective political reasons, are called Black Jallabas (which means Northern Sudanese, or collaborators with Northern Sudanese); and therefore, traitors. This is not, in any sensible political fashion, contributive to the creation of level political ground, for free competition in South Sudan.

Funnily enough, this kind of political witch-hunt, and reminiscence of the Spanish Inquisition, is only practiced on selected individuals from tribes that do not control the SPLM/A in South Sudan. By doing this, the SPLM/A leaders, operatives and members, want to taint the political image of every South Sudanese who does not belong to the SPLM/A. This means that, to the SPLM/A leaders, operatives and members; any South Sudanese, who does not belong to the SPLM/A, is a political, social, cultural, tribal, economic/financial, security, military, moral, religious, mythical, ideological, technological and psychological enemy.

Therefore; is this a logical political position, to adopt, by a political party, which claims to be keen on issues of level political ground, for free competition in South Sudan? It is incredible, how those governments, that are critical players, within the framework of international community, support such kind of a political party, such as the SPLM, with its double political standards as explained above? The SPLM/A has dangerously adopted some peoples’ political theory of, “you are either with us or against us”. I must inform all SPLM/A leaders, operatives and members that, level political ground, for free competition, means, freedom of expression, freedom of association, and freedom of conscience.

The then President of the GoSS; and current President of the RoSS also spoke, in 2007, about his support for the notion of democratic choice of leaders. Therefore, for a people to have the chance to exercise their right to democratically choose their leaders, they have to be guaranteed their personal and family security. The prevailing political environment in South Sudan in 2007; as well as the current political environment in South Sudan, in towns like Juba for example, how can the SPLM/A leaders, operatives and members, make the peoples of Juba safe in the process of choosing their leaders?

How can a people who are being coerced to think in a unilineal political fashion, develop the capacity to choose their leaders democratically? How can a people who are being politically mislead day-in-and-day-out, have the chance to choose their leaders democratically? Can a people who are not being given the chance to think freely, develop the capacity to choose their leaders democratically? How can a people who are being reminded, via threats of State’s violence, day-in-and-day-out that, without the SPLM/A, their lives would be either lost or useless; think of political alternatives to the SPLM/A?

How can a people who are being manipulated to think, and believe that, the SPLM/A is South Sudan, and vice versa, develop the sense of democratically choosing their leaders? How can a people who are being socially, politically, and militarily socialised, to feel completely dependent on the SPLM/A, develop the capacity to democratically choose their leaders? How can an organisation like the SPLM/A, that is not founded upon principles of democracy, become the custodian and guardian of democracy, in an undemocratic region, saturated in offensive governance, under the control of tribal oligarchy?

The President of the RoSS quote above ended by proclaiming the glory of self-determination and such like. I have to be perfectly clear here, like in many more fora that, I support the decision of the peoples of South Sudan, in their free choice of secession from the rest of the Sudan, and the establishment of sovereign Republic of South Sudan. However, can the exercise of self-determination, as external self-determination, as in our case in South Sudan, positively change a human society like our own?

There are many difficult questions which, we must ask ourselves, and see if, the SPLM/A lead government in South Sudan; can answer such questions, positively, in the best interests of the peoples of South Sudan. For example, is the South Sudan socially, culturally, financially, politically, technologically, morally, militarily, and generally underdeveloped, right now; because it was within a hitherto united Sudan?

On the other hand, is the secession of South Sudan from the rest of the Sudan, the missing link in terms of general development, and advancement of South Sudan? Was the unity of South Sudan, to the rest of the Sudan, the cause of universal inter and intra tribal fights, in South Sudan? Was the unity of South Sudan, to the rest of the Sudan, the cause for rampant corruption in South Sudanese political and administrative institutions? Was the unity of the South Sudan, to the rest of the Sudan, the cause for tribalism, ethnicity, and nepotism in South? See you in (part 7).

The author is Professor of Social and Rural Development and Lecturer in Laws. He be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Do we still need Kiir’s leadership?

By: Justin Ambago Ramba

June 29, 2013 (SSNA) -- No way can South Sudan continue to have Salva Kiir as its president, and still hope to catch up with the rest of the developed world. This is a politician who already has enough problems within his SPLM party. And if anything, he is only working hard to weaken the very party that saw him to power, by relentlessly emptying it of any democratic values, if any ever actually existed?  Once he succeeds in privatizing his political party, then he will of course turn to the country and that’s where we all as South Sudanese must be concerned and vigilant.

The President should never dream of another term in office, not even a single extra day once his present tenure runs out. The past eight years are more than enough for anyone with a bit of gray matter in the brain to pass such a simple and straight forward judgment,  since it isn’t a rocket science to see where the “herd mentality”,  is leading this country. There is no talk here about the type of legacy the president wants to leave behind him, for this article is here to say it all.

No one can deny the attempts by SPLM Bahr al Ghazel to manipulate the public opinion and possibly misled the voters in South Sudan, when it declared its support for Kiir’s candidacy for the 2015 presidential elections. However based on common sense and taking into consideration the latest events of December 2012 in Wau city, and its suburbs leading to loss of lives, you can see why the regional conference's resolution could have been more of an expression of wishes, than readily becoming an early campaigning exercise.

Still on the recent political developments, one particular game changer is undoubtedly the controversial dismissal of the two top ministers and the media exchanges that followed (more on this in a separate article); one cannot see why President Salva Kiir won’t be rejected by electorates from a well-known section of the Bahr Ghazel voters. He too risks falling off with an overwhelming majority of Equatorians where his popularity has now hit its all-time low. Talk of the Greater Upper Nile, a secured political backyard and an ethnic  stronghold for Kiir’s arch rivals, Dr. Riek Machar, Cde Pa’gan Amum Akech and Madame Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior and you know that “The Man in the Hat”  stand no chance in these parts.

While everybody is concerned about the ailing condition of our new country, it is absolutely necessary to unearth all the dirty tricks that President Kiir and his top SPLM leadership are bent to use in order to remain in power.  The declared power greed, tribalism, nepotism and herd mentality are undoubtedly asphyxiating Africa’s new born.

The SPLM has not yet run out of ideas; nonetheless it has definitely run out of good ideas. Whatever the apologists say, the beautiful baby needs to be rescued from Kiir’s fatal grips. For with his hands all over the place, blocking any chances of term limits, even when he has already run out of ideas, he can surely smother this nascent country, should all of us suddenly cease to be vigilant. As blank as he is, let me warn you that, in his current state, he is just the ideal candidate to metamorphose into yet another lethal,  totalitarian,  undemocratic and most ruthless tyrant ever, should he be given the opportunity.

Furthermore there is really nothing so especially good about President Kiir’s leadership to warrant the contemplation of yet some weird ideas that involves a secret deal to amend the current transitional constitution solely to extend the current transitional period and satisfy President Kiir’s ego and greed for power.

While we hope for a peaceful and secure South Sudan, we call upon all citizens to take their national duty to rid the country of Salva Kiir and his imminent totalitarianism very seriously. Fixing our nation’s future through a new     popular choice come 2015, must be   everyone’s highest patriotism. For the minimum we as a nation stand to gain by successfully carrying out  this exercise is to initiate and institute the new culture of peaceful transfer of power within our political parties and equally so at the nation’s  highest level, the country’s  presidency.

You have heard in the past it is said that,” practice makes perfect”.  But let me tell you this, practice in fact makes permanent. Whether what you practice a good or a bad thing, practice won’t change its nature, but only makes it permanent. If what you practice is a good thing, you are likely to become permanently a good person. But if what you practice is a bad thing, there is no way that you can become a perfect individual. All that practice does is to make your habits permanent.   Good or bad, practice only makes them permanent. 

There are dozens of examples where longer terms in the presidency had gone bad for those countries. The current talk amongst Africa’s elites is that, African leader's tenure in office must be limited to two terms regardless of their popularity or the success of that regime. History has shown that the longer a ruler stays in office, the more there is a tendency for him to become corrupt and develop dictatorial tendencies as he begins to see the throne as his personal property and makes every effort at consolidating  his power and position.

What we are seeing in Africa today is a lack of vision. No one is born with presidential qualities; they are almost all acquired skills. Besides a president does not operate in isolation, he works in partnership with others. It means therefore that anyone can do the job. If Presidents Salva Kiir and his next door neughbours – Museveni of Uganda and al Bashir of Sudan, want to go down in history as great leaders, they should bow out now and let others take over. Lessons should be learned from great retired leaders like Nelson Mandela, Jerry Rawlings (Ghana) and Sir Ketumile Masire of Botswana.

Without sounding too personal and disrespectful, President Kiir is not just a disgrace to South Sudan or his own people in Warrap State who are trapped in a viscous circle of hunger and disease and continue to die from them, but he is indeed a big disgrace to humankind. Apart from indulging in his usual foolish rhetoric, what has he done to satisfy even the most basic needs of his people – not to say those in his immediate backyard?

If you are visiting my own country (South Sudan) now, it is only the foreign NGOs and a few of the international institutions such as the World Bank (yes, the World Bank) could be seen attempting to help our people through various (although understandably unsuccessful) initiatives. Our own "leadership" is busy enjoying the trappings of power and blaming his colleagues, or Khartoum.  The West which in all practicality remains to be the only one source of survival since the country squeezed itself into a self-imposed, some kind of austerity measures by choice.

It is also my firm belief that the amending of the constitution by some power-hungry leaders so as to prolong their undeserving stay in office is a troubling trend that should be condemned and curtailed. If such crookedness is left unchallenged, there is no doubt these leaders will plunge their countries back to the era of dictatorship. It's therefore critical that the international community at large puts its ubiquitous influence of these leaders so that they leave office gracefully. Africa has enough dictators without the "new African democrats" putting their names to the list.

Someone out there may for argument sake say that the determining factor in this kind of matters is better left for the level of contribution an individual African president has towards the development of his country.  If the president has made a tremendous impact on the lives of his people, they will want him to stay in office for as long as he is good to them. The downside to this argument is that, left unchecked these heads of states soon turn dictators. Again there are very few African presidents out there, obviously Salva Kiir excluded, who apparently can rightly   claim, that their long stay in office has actually impacted positively on the people. Statistics however show that it is in fact the opposite.

Once in a while, we may also want to look at a president who finds it difficult to part office from the African perspective where phased out a leader is likely to face “survival dilemma”. Traditionally, the power structures of many African communities was/is a "chief" or "tribal" model where the ruler holds power until he/she dies and then passes it on to his sons.

Perhaps this is, in a small way, why African leaders cling to power. And we should not judge African democracy by the same standards as European democracy, not because it is inferior, but simply because it is different, another apologist will add. But then in a setting like South Sudan, how many paramount chiefs do we have and is this the contract that our citizens from the 100+ ethnicities have entered into within themselves on one hand and the government on the other?

At this juncture one would like to assume that the same members of the international community who have all through helped South Sudan throughout the last three decades will continue to lend in help for us to finally embrace democracy and the rule of law. By this it can go as far as to put and sustain maximum pressure on President Salva Kiir, to hold to the principle of democratic transformation, and make sure that the new country’s first ever elections are indeed a multiparty exercise of the highest standard and must be help on time, no later than January, 9th 2015, for this date in President Kiir’s own words, “is always sacrosanct   in South Sudan’s politics”.

Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba is the Secretary General of the United South Sudan Party (USSP). He can be reached at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Abyei’s Future Status in South Sudan

By Deng Vanang

June 28, 2013 (SSNA) -- This article is in reply to the question posed by one of those who read my June 15th, 2013 opinion piece titled: On Abyei enough is enough. I wished to address the reader’s concern much earlier but my little bit busy schedule at the time I read his/her responsive concern couldn’t allow me to do so. Now that I have got some ample time I would like to answer his/her shilling concern no matter how unsatisfactory to him/her it shall sound. In the process of answering I beg the questioner to bear with me as I take him/her through somehow delicate historical trajectory that snakes around the story. The reader though appreciated me for the elaborate way I tackled the subject matter, s/he remained in the dark on what Abyei will be, a state or a county like Pibor, if it joins Republic of South Sudan by which ever means. S/he told me I fell short of telling him/her and the rest of what status Abyei shall be if it is incorporated into South Sudan. For him/her s/ he loathed Abyei becoming a state of its own. Should that happen, s/he said his/her home county of Pibor should as well be made a state. This fear is not found in this particular reader alone, several brothers and sisters in different parts of our beloved country share the same with him/her. The skepticism is traced to the distribution of power and resources that accompanies the creation of geo-political units not only in South Sudan but the world over as well.

In South Sudan different from other countries, sadly the process of creating such units is shrouded in serious flaws. Instead of bringing services closer to the people, the process is adversely used to reward the few while denying more deserving multitude. This is the case when all states and counties irrespective of land mass and population sizes are treated equally and not equitably in sharing out both national and states’ annual budgets among them. That is the main concern bothering our brother/sister in particular and the rest in general.

However, this narrative cannot proceed without the privilege of sharing with you the fact that I actually wrote this article in the dead of the night of Tuesday 25th June 2013 at Africa Regional Conference on an Inter-party dialogue and democratic consolidation in Naivasha Simba Lodge where the late hero Dr.John Garang heatedly negotiated Comprehensive Peace Agreement with Ali Osman Taha. And in a spacious suit not far away from the one that housed John Garang throughout the entire negotiations period, now turned into a mini-museum of sorts. This flash back, has undoubtedly given me the accurate view of the details behind Abyei’s protocol, being the subject currently under discussion.

Answer

To answer the concerned questioner and the rest of his/her colleagues in the interactive world of social media, during the negotiation of Comprehensive Peace Agreement in Naivasha eight years ago, the area became as it is still today the focus of dispute between the north and the south. Each side claims it as its own. To defuse the tension that almost brought the negotiations to a standstill; the mediators suggested the area should be administered right in the centre, the presidency until its fate is decided through peaceful referendum by native nine Ngok Dinka fiefdoms.  The Presidency at the time was joint one under President Omar Hassan Albashir and First Vice President Salva Kiir Mayardit when our late hero Dr. John Garang unfortunately and suddenly passed on. Abyei Currently continues to enjoy the same special status but under separate presidencies of both Sudan and South Sudan until it goes in one way or another. That is to be an integral part of South Kordofan State if it goes north or Warap State if it turns out to become part of the new Republic of South Sudan.

Therefore, it is not the largeness of land mass and neither the population size as some people may think that makes Abyei a special case with distinct geo-political status. It is rather the conflict over its ownership as each rival side claims the disputed territory for itself being the reason behind such a status. For Abyei occupies an area of 4,000 square kilometers with an estimated population of far less than three hundred thousand souls. All the two features fit Abyei in the category of a county, especially in demographic term of population.

Provisional vacuum

However, what cannot be ruled out is the likely hood of it being declared a state if it joins South Sudan as some people in the area band around such an idea.  They can even be at liberty to exploit the absence of legal provision that could determine what geographical area and population size the state supposes to have.

The exploitation of this provisional vacuum exactly came to light during 2008 SPLM’s Second National Convention when Abyei was awarded roughly over thirty delegates several times above the number of each county’s delegates and slightly below that of state’s delegates. That alludes to the fear currently gripping those who suspect Abyei shall be rammed down the throat of South Sudanese as the 11th State of South Sudan despite its tiny geographical area and population size. With callous aim of getting robust resources it doesn’t deserve from the national pool.

But that should not be the issue people could get bogged down on with unnecessary waste of valuable time and energy debating about it. It is not a necessity at the moment whether it shall be a county or a state for it is fool hardy to quarrel over who should get what chunk of meat from the game that is still alive and kicking in the wild and yet to be killed. And it would do us more justice to avoid any divisive question about Abyei that aims to get us backward rather than forward as some people might need to pose it as an excuse to make the area look like the preserve of Ngok Dinka with sole responsibility to liberate it. This negative concept is coupled with the blame game as to how Abyei switched side to the north in 1905 in the first place and at times causes some people to say that is none of their business to liberate the land that is now threatening the return of two hostile neighbors to war. Without asking themselves, if people of Abyei like Pieng Deng, Deng Alor and only to mention a few from Abyei participated in liberation of South Sudan in which we are today, why shouldn’t the concerned individuals mind liberating Abyei? Their inverted thinking is not isolated anyway. It is the same thing which causes a relative unease between the ex-allies in original SPLM/A at presence. Divided into two separate entities by South Sudan independence in 2011, the SPLM north faults SPLM South for deliberately using it in pursuit of liberation of South Sudan the former had nothing to do with.

Additionally, skeptics ought to know that any piece of land that lies within the national borders doesn’t give its local inhabitants the prerogative to either annex it to another country or liberate it if invaded by a neighbor. It is the duty of national army to either defend or liberate it if invaded by a hostile neighbor. What may be needed from the natives of the area is the emotional urge that can serve as morale booster for the national armed forces in the course of liberating the area from the invaders. Conversely, resources in any integral part of South Sudan like it is the case in several unitary states globally are well defined within the national revenue bracket except the allocated percentage as may be determined by the country’s national constitution.

Hence, in a nutshell Abyei like any other disputed border areas such as Heglig, Kupranath, etc. with people and immense mineral wealth should be wrested from the control of anybody that claims them as his. Their resources no matter how minute they may be shouldn’t be traded off as small benefits that spoil what are considered to be bigger gains extracted from oil fields currently in operation. 1999 inaugural opening of Bentiu oil fields to the benefit of the rival north and to our advantage should not in any way repeat itself. Not to allow continuing under our nose and watch is the issue of Kapoeta gold presently being mined by foreigners in cohorts with local cartels and neither the same to be allowed to take roots in West and Central Equatoria States where timbers are illegally logged by outsiders next door. This is the responsibility of any leadership with constitutional obligation to dutifully safeguard public interests and not least that of future generation which shouldn’t be mortgaged for the comfort of the present few. Overlooking such matters of posterity is the reference point at which the governing party SPLM scores poorly for it desperately pursues short term interests that are more beneficial to it directly. One of these short term interests is the way it is being high on its toes to cut deal on oil flow with Sudan government that has snatched many parts of our land with people and resources. Desperate to refill bank accounts that have run drier due to oil shut down and subsequent biting austerity, SPLM’s big men are ever busy to ensure Tharjath and Polouch’s oil flows north again while leaving to their fate people and resources trapped in disputed border territories already over run by Sudan.

Deng Vanang is a Journalist and member of SPLM-DC’s National Executive Council. He can be reached at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . NB: The views expressed above are solely mind and not attributed to SPLM-DC as the party.

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