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The broken social boundaries in South Sudan

By Elhag Paul

July 4, 2013 (SSNA) -- The third Equatoria meeting in two years dubbed ‘Equatoria Consultative Conference’ with the theme “Fostering Equatoria Leadership in Building Cohesive Nation” held on 8th and 9th May 2013 at Nyakoruon Cultural Centre in Juba, rattled the presidency.  It is reliably reported that both the president and his deputy were furious with the three governors of Equatoria for holding the conference although Bahr El Ghazal later followed suit.  In the article ‘Machar warns against sliding into regional politics in the country’ (Sudan Tribune, 2nd June 2013) the vice president makes his views against Equatoria’s right to association clear confirming the report.  Surely, there is nothing wrong with regionalism but what we are seeing is a display of ignorance and unfounded fear from ill informed people and this is what is holding the country back from development.   

Unlike the fanatic opponents of regionalism, Dr Machar is not ignorant, but he is an opportunist who wants to exploit every loophole available to get his paws on the presidency of Republic of South Sudan.  Compare and contrast his stance against regionalism with his support for federalism in the article ‘Vice-president says federal system best for governing South Sudan’ (Sudan Tribune 4th June 3023)  In short, in all this hocus pocus of regionalism and federalism, deep inside Dr Machar lies feelings of insecurity masked by his flashing smile.  He is basically afraid of SPLM Oyee losing power.  He prefers to use the securely built-in tribalism in the Oyee machine to accede to the presidency.

It is understood that both president Kiir and Dr Machar ranted demanding to know why Equatorians were meeting at that particular time and what good would that bring to the country.  Strange!  Is it not?  What is wrong with Equatorians meeting?  Do they not have any right to meet?  Of-course they do, but remember that this ridiculous questioning is part of a strategy used by the ruling ethnic groups to keep the whole region of Equatoria under their control within the SPLM Oyee machine.  After all, what is the point of trying to humiliate the governors when the whole event was transparent and more over the resolutions of the conference was submitted to them? 

President Kiir and his deputy want to be the ones to tell Equatorians what they can do and what they can not do.  This is important for them because they can only exercise unfettered power in the country (which they have done now for three decades) by keeping the Equatorians divided and in a state of confusion.  Just as Willie Lynch the enslaver controlled African slaves in America in 18th century, through, “fear, distrust and envy”, the duo is attempting to do the same in Equatoria.  After all, Dr John Garang did it before them.  The biggest threat to the current system is the coming of Equatorians together because if the Equatorians unite, the other equally oppressed tribes in the whole country are likely to gravitate towards them and this would mean the end of the current abusive rule.  So, although president Kiir and his deputy Dr Machar are at each other’s throat now, they are united in keeping Equatoria down. 

Assured by their control of the various militia groups in the country and the sad history of Equatoria in the last three decades, both president Kiir and Dr Machar now want to guarantee that Equatoria remains cowed without any leaders for them to continue with their exploitation of the country.  The reported interaction between the governors and the presidency amounts to intimidation which constitutes violence on the part of the presidency in pursuance and maintenance of oppression.

Jieng oppression is crystal clear for everyone to see in the country.  It does not need research to validate or digging into to convince people.  It is there in your face.  It saturates the entire space of South Sudan.  The starkest evidence is illustrated by the problem of boundaries.  Since 1983 through the SPLM/A, the dominant ruling groups violated all the boundaries that existed between them and the other groups in South Sudan.  The concept of boundary often is ignored by people.  But in reality it is the most important aspect in relationship.   Respect between individuals and communities are maintained by boundaries.  In a sense boundaries governs behaviours of people and through it problems are either solved, or exacerbated between individuals and communities.  Therefore, without question it is a very important aspect in maintenance of peace and stability.

It is only in cases of oppressed groups that often one finds that their boundaries in terms of space, bodies, environment (land), interaction and traditional laws are violated by invaders at will.  

Oppressors like president Kiir and his deputy believing in their illegitimate power find it easy to disrespect the Equatorians by carpeting their governors for exercising their right to free association.  They intrude into spaces which under normal situation they should not.  This intrusion is serious because it deprives the Equatorians of the ability to think freely and decide on their affairs without duress.  Whether the presidency appointed them or not, the fact that these governors now are accepted as leaders of Equatoria they must be given that respect of free association with their people.  After all, the right to free association is enshrined in the interim constitution of South Sudan.

President Kiir in Yei in 1997 audaciously called Equatorians ‘cowards and women’ in public meeting.  He repeated the same utterance in Yei in 2004.  This abuse might not have been taken serious at the time, but it actually served to undermine self-worth and confidence of the Equatorians.  It was an attack on their bodies.  It injured their inner selves making them feel powerless.  The current inaction of Equatorians which is induced helplessness is down to the negative language that the Jieng use frequently to violate the boundaries of Equatorian bodies.  Thus the language used to disarm an opponent is therefore the weapon that breaks the core of the self in relationship.  It is also the tool that stratifies societies into classes, have and have-nots, empowered and disempowered and so on. 

Another violation of boundaries relates to the manner in which Equatorian girls/women are treated by the Jieng.  Unprotected given the fact that their men have been divided and terrorised, in most cases, against their will, the women are violated and abused helplessly.  For instance, in 1990s Mangar, the SPLA commander in Kaya murdered a young beautiful girl named Maka by inserting a metal object into her private parts and twisting it round, because she refused to marry him.  Such stories are plenty and wait to be told in details.  It is unfortunate that the so called healing and reconciliation programme may not even touch such stories. 

Similarly, the issue of land grabbing in Equatoria has at its core the fact that the boundaries of environment in Equatoria have been destroyed.  The dominant ruling groups do not care or recognise that there are local rules and laws that govern the distribution of land in Equatoria.  Knowing very well that they are the powers that be, they freely grab land wherever they feel like with impunity causing the local people immense pain.  These oppressors leave their villages and lands intact and deliberately come to destabilise settled communities in Equatoria because they control the SPLM/A Oyee machine and therefore the government of South Sudan.  Take for example the case of Nimule where the Jieng are basically running riot as if they were the indigenous people. 

The broken boundaries of Equatoria both tangible and intangible are things that the oppressors want to maintain at all cost if Equatoria is to remain nothing in the politics of South Sudan.  If Equatoria is to ever rise again its relationship with the current dominant groups and the others need to be clearly re-defined.  That definition must be underpinned by nothing but its interest only.  Which means that Equatorians must first pay allegiance to Equatoria’s interest.  This should be done regardless of their political beliefs and difference.  Equatoria must always come first no matter what because in adopting such a stance it will be and continue to be formidable in balancing out things for the greater good of the country.  For instance, the dominant groups during the war with Arabs did not actually care whether South Sudan was liberated or not.  They were relentlessly pursuing their tribal interest only. 

This stance saw their prominent members frequently selling themselves out to the Arabs and then defecting back to the movement with impunity.  The cause of South Sudan was more or less reduced to a business to be exploited.  They shuttled between Khartoum, Nairobi and the bush like officials commuting between work and home daily.  When the CPA came they became the winners of the day by default.  Unlike the Equatorians who paid allegiance to the liberation of South Sudan and turned out to be the losers.  This is a good lesson that Equatorians must learn.  

What the current governors are doing now though their behaviour rightly is subject to harsh critique should be seen as the first steps towards recovery and rehabilitations of greater Equatoria.

Whether president Kiir will sack the governors or not should not be of any significance at this point.  What is important is for Equatorians to stand up for the interest of Equatoria knowing that the whole region will be behind them and will protect them in any eventualities.  If one governor is sacked who ever replaces him/her should do exactly what their predecessor had done to prove the point.  Now that both president Kiir and his deputy have rebuked Equatoria, this should be taken as a catalyst for Equatoria to fully flex its muscle by throwing down the gauntlet.

Col. Joseph Bakasoro did it when the SPLM deselected him in 2010 general elections.  He ran for the governorship as an independent candidate and handsomely won.  This was evidence that if a candidate is honourable and liked by his/her people he/she can easily win regardless of the odds.  He, Bakasoro, or Luis Lobong or Clement Konga or Alfred Lado Gore etc should enter the fray now with that experience in mind.  Let them contest for the chairmanship of SPLM party itself with the intention to later contest for the presidency of Republic of South Sudan.  If SPLM deselects them, let them then agree on one of them to stand for the presidency as an independent candidate.  SPLM is already a soiled organisation and its current leaders are tainted beyond retrieval.  Any none SPLM/A candidate nominating himself/herself for the presidency stands a better chance of winning.

Some people may ask as to why Equatoria should do this.  The answer is simple.  This is the first step in the road to full recovery from oppression and helplessness.   It will signify that the people are beginning to regain their confidence and also value themselves.  Thus they can take decisions for themselves and not be told by others of what they should expect and do.  The nonsense spoken about freely of Equatorians being nominated by the duo in the presidency as running mates should be seen an insult to the most capable section of the society.  Why should someone else decide what is good for Equatoria?  Is this not a concrete evidence of Equatoria’s subjugation?  Is Equatoria not capable of making its own choice?  Why can one of the others be a running mate to any of the mentioned Equatorians?  For example, Dr Riek being a running mate for Bakasoro or Lobong.  Is this scenario not contemplated just because Equatoria does not have militia?  Why should South Sudanese be held captive to warlords? 

Mathematically using the results of the last census, an Equatorian candidate stands equal chances of winning the presidency of Republic of South Sudan.  In fact such a candidate may by default even have an edge over the others for the following reasons.    SPLM Oyee poor governance has had a very negative impact on all the other 60 tribes or so of South Sudan.  For certain, most of these tribes do not want anything to do with the current leaders for obvious reasons – violence, land grabbing, raping of young girls and women, abuse of power, looting, lack of foresight, massive corruption, lack of rule of law and you name it.  SPLM has totally failed to provide any kind of direction or service to the people.  As it is now, they have outsourced service provision to the NGOs without incurring a dime.  SPLM Oyee has neglected the organised forces which supposedly are its backbone.  SPLM Oyee’s rule has tarnished the image of South Sudan internationally squandering the initial good will from the international community.  The majority of South Sudanese tacitly now accept that if South Sudan is to be saved from catastrophe it needs a leader from any of the smaller tribes.

If South Sudan manages to produce a leader from one of the smaller tribes in 2015 and that is if at all elections are held, it stands a better chance of stabilising the country which is what everyone would want.  But this can only happen if the smaller tribes can put their act together for the general good of the country.  The smaller tribes need to know that this is a duty to be performed by them at all cost for the stability of South Sudan.  The current ruling ethnic groups must accept that they have decimally failed in leading South Sudan.  Their behaviour with state resources and abuse of security apparatus beggars believe.  South Sudan today is a failed state because of their utter mismanagement. 

Therefore, the people of South Sudan should not give the current rulers another term to plunder the country further.  If South Sudanese want to dig out this country from the current mess, then the way forward is already suggested above. 

Digging the country out involves restoring the broken social boundaries and relationships between the various ethnic groups of South Sudan.  So, if South Sudan is to be saved at all, Equatoria must rise up, carry the torch of governance and shatter the myth of majority waved in their faces day in and day out endlessly.  Thus, it necessitates that a president from the minority groups comes to power to play the role of a unifier and a fair and just arbiter.

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

The Author 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

South Sudan: ‘A Failed State Status’ overshadows the country’s second Independence Anniversary!

By: Justin Ambago Ramba

July 4, 2013 (SSNA) -- South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation, only two years old, for that matter, but as a direct consequence of the poor leadership style by its elites who are largely drawn from the former liberation movement, mostly  last minute – ‘Post Naivasha converts’, the country has been fast tracked to face life’s most unpleasant experience. The experience of having been consciously failed by corrupt politicians, then labeled a failed state, and then expected to celebrate an independence and freedom that only exist in the   books and the country’s constitution, but nowhere else on the ground.

No normal human being goes around celebrating failure, and still expects not to be seen as one who rightly deserves it. But there is now a coincidence, and a precedent is about to be set, if you can call it so, as the Failed States Index 2013 Launch Event is scheduled by the Fund for Peace for Tuesday, July 9, 2013 - 9.00am-11.30am at The University Club, 1135 16th St NW, Washington, D.C. – the same day south Sudan is also set to mark its second independence anniversary.

Whether it is an arrangement or mere coincidence, it is bound to have a huge impact on how South Sudan will eventually celebrate its second Independence Day  Anniversary – unfortunately as a failed state with an alert sign of impending, imminent and probably inevitable and what…etc…………..crisis. God only knows!

In this particular case however it could still be urged whether the country went on to become a failure after it had seceded from Sudan, or was it in fact born a failed state? Like a rat giving birth only to another rat; so has the long failed Sudanese state given birth to a failed off spring – the Republic of South Sudan?  Yet a failed state simply refers to a state that has failed to protect and provide services for its citizens.  

To many people including the author, South Sudan’s secession from Sudan on the 9th of July 2011 was supposed to mean independence from Khartoum. However, evidence has it that the new country under the current SPLM’s leadership seems more drawn towards its previous foes.

Borders have never been demarcated, and millions of citizens remain trapped in the wrong country, most of who are forced to live a sub human life, under the weight of a political decision that they took, but were not followed by parallel action by their politicians in the new state. As I write now, many South Sudanese citizens are preparing to celebrate yet another independence anniversary in “Babylon” against their wishes, while they await transportation back to their ancestral homes in South Sudan.

Possibly out of intricate economic and security necessities, neither Sudan nor South Sudan seems ready yet to let go of each other. The umbilical cord now left only in the form of the pipelines that navigate through the swampy terrains deep in the hinterlands, then across the desert to Port Sudan on the Red Sea, continues to connect Oil fields of South Sudan to the international market. Do you call this independence, dependence of interdependence?

It could be this continuous dependence by this new state on its former rulers in Khartoum for trade and export route that has invariably impacted on the various aspects of life to its citizens. Already a new South has emerged in the new state of Sudan following the secession of South Sudan, and is battling the central government in Khartoum.

To ignore the stability or the absence of it, along the borders of the two now separate countries, and their effects on both sides, is to pull a blanket on a huge mountain on facts which obviously led to where the two countries are now, with Sudan and South Sudan occupying the third and four positions respectively in 2013’s list of the failed states.

Talking about the Failed States Index, the United States’ think-tank, the Fund for Peace, which annually releases its list of the world’s failed states, uses a system where it grades countries according to how seriously and terribly they have failed.

The think-tank also classifies the situations in these countries as:   Critical,   In Danger,   Borderline,   and Stable   Most Stable.  If you prefer to read   the list in the traditional way, that we commonly use in our educational system, putting the best candidates in the top positions; you simply turn the list upside down. But because this exercise is mainly to measure failure and not the other way round, hence it is produced the way it is.

Completely befitting the realities on the ground the 2013 list of countries by order of appearance in the Failed States Index of the United States think-tank Fund for Peace, stands with Somalia, DR. Congo, Republic of Sudan, Republic of South Sudan,  etc ………in that order. Together with others, these countries are very weak and are all in a critical situation, needing immediate local, regional and international attention.

Failed states have several attributes in common e.g.  : Weak and/or ineffective central government that has little practical control over much of its territory; failure to provide public services; rampant corruption and widespread crimes; refugees and forceful displacement of populations; sharp economic decline.

U.S. National Security Strategy America of the 2002 concluded that the US policy makers were now threatened less by conquering states than they are by failing ones." For a country whose foreign policy in the 20th century was dominated by the struggles against powerful states such as Germany, Japan, and the Soviet Union, the U.S. assessment is striking.

The US administration isn’t alone in diagnosing the problem. U.N. former Secretary-General Kofi Annan had warned that "ignoring failed states creates problems that sometimes come back to bite us." the  French former President Jacques Chirac also spoken of "the threat that failed states carry for the world's equilibrium." World leaders once only worried about who was amassing power; now are worried about the absence of it.

Long before this 2013 failed states list was released; many other reports compiled by renowned International organisations have preceded it, expressing much criticism of South Sudan under President Salva Kiir’s SPLM rule.  Some SPLM apologists , driven by the ‘herd mentality’,  were quick to condemn these reports,  as they exposed the massive and continuous encroachment on citizens’ Human Rights by state agents, lack of free speech, curtailed or absent free press, compromised rule of law…etc.

While well-known SPLM apologists continue to refer to every report that is critical of the SPLM government’s records specifically on Rights, and calling it fabricated and unrealistic, this time around my surprise was unmatched, as the government’s mouth piece seems to have matured-up over the years, given his silence, since the coming of the 2013’s list of failed states into the public domain.

SPLM ‘Thomases’ not satisfied with the report can demonstrate self-respect and political maturity by scoring the government’s performance against the 12 factors, in a kind of self-audit to see where the government of the day stands in as far as issues including security threats, economic implosion, human rights violations and refugee flows.

Those who want to know more about the Failed State Index are advised to visit the Organisation’s website, however I have included in this article, for the purpose of quick reference all the Factors  used by Fund for Peace to ascertain the status of a country.

Social factors: Mounting demographic pressures, Massive displacement of refugees, creating severe humanitarian emergencies,    widespread vengeance-seeking group grievance,   Chronic and sustained human flight.

Economic factors: Uneven economic development along group lines; severe economic decline.

Political factors: Criminalization and/or delegitimization of the state - Deterioration of public services.    Suspension or arbitrary application of law; widespread human rights abuses;   Security apparatus operating as a "state within a state";   Rise of factionalized elites;   Intervention of external political agents.

South Sudanese have, come a long since the 1947 Juba Conference, with loads and loads of experiences which should have taught them many things, the most outstanding being that social evolution is always a history of accidents, and un-intended consequences. Out of frustration, we have heard people saying that had ever visualized that some nincompoops would skewer South Sudan’s dream or disembowel   their great grand parents’ vision for an independent egalitarian  South  Sudan; they would have elected to let the country implode on its inglorious weight

Again equally, those seeking to resurrect current leadership as the best thing not to happen to South Sudan, seem to forget their roles in the bush politics, and subsequently in the Government of South Sudan (GoSS) which they were able to convert in the broadness of the day to another GoSS of their own making, the Government of Self Service, and the fact that history punctually recorded them as the men and women who led the introduction of tribalism and mediocrity into South Sudanese politics.

Today, people glorify the politicians that rendered the South Sudanese dream of years, and decades a fractured fairy tale. Many passively consult a historical amnesia that betrays buffoonery, while others actively seek to doctor or revise history, in order to rehabilitate the self-battered images of the tribal gods of their political pantheon.

Members of the National Legislative Assembly, the Council of States and the ten States’ Assemblies,  who prefer convenient compromises to hard choices born of principles, which have been the furniture of immortal and revolutionary changes, are equally guilty of failure to  challenge the non-visionary policies of the executive, while   consciously rubberstamping  whatever comes their way.   The outcome is that before they realized, they have been crowned the best bunch sycophants to have led the new born country into premature failure,   breaking with it all the set records in the failed states indices and their histories.

No doubt these men are great and original. But unfortunately the parts of them that are great are not original, and the parts of them that are original are not great. These flaws in their individual characters, is meant to sabotage whatever dreams they claim to have because the colour of one’s dreams must issue from the colour of one’s eyes.

These people unfortunately, are the principal players, upon whose shoulders will lay the responsibility of fast tracking South Sudan into the infamous club of failed states.  Like many other sub Saharan African countries, South Sudan is a nation, from an amorphously, conscripted conglomeration of tribes. Ontologically compromised by circumstances surrounding her birth, it could only take men of great genius, charisma and invincible character, to forge a nation out of a motley band of strange bedfellows.

Subsequently today’s government has wrecked South Sudan beyond measure. Ethnicity has been enthroned. Bad leadership mutated and peaked. Military brigands and civilian thieves now hold south Sudan to a ransom; creating a cabal of elitist leeches, masquerading as patriots. South Sudan has become a playground of international mafia. They sell and buy, ranging from everything to nothing.

Today President Salva Kiir and the embattled SPLM ruling party are set to navigate the entire country on a rudderless ship. Riddled with corruption, people have come to see the status quo as the triumph of greed and superlative kleptomania. While they pretended to have been shocked by the news of the country being declared, a failed state, only in that case better than Sudan, DR. Congo and Somalia, these criminals are responsible for every bit of this mess.

The important question here and now is, whether this status of being a failed state, a thing that is likely to remain with the country, or are there ways out of it and how, if any? Based on the 12 parameters of state failure, it is apparent that South Sudan has become what it is now as a consequence of many processes that entered into interplay, since the day the Arab slave traders and their white European colonialists counterparts set feet on the land following the infamous Berlin’s 1884 Scramble for Africa Conference.

Africa’s states were designed to fail; Sudan and so South Sudan are no exceptions. First they were designed by people who had only their Imperialistic interest at heart.  If there was any love in them for anything African, it was for the continents natural resources and cheap labour.  It took both the invaders and their native puppets to disfranchise this giant of a land.

But when it comes to undoing of this mess that has piled up since the dawn of history, it is only true visionary and selfless sons and daughters of the land, who can be looked to, to undertake the task. The fact that South Sudan now ranks the fourth among the failed states is indeed a thing to worry about. But there comes another bigger, should things continue to go in this same direction - from bad to worse.  

Whereas reluctance by the political forces to take the Failed states index report seriously and embark on seeking a consensus to bring about a radical change in the status quo, from the top to the bottom, any sluggishness poses yet a thread that could drag the new country towards the top of the list, to rub shoulders more intimately with those of Somalia and the DR. Congo. Unfortunately these are all possible Scenarios given the current leadership style. This week has made itself, a weak for contemplations and not celebrations.

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

Burden of History behind Ngundeng Bong’s Big Picture

By Deng Vanang

July 2, 2013 (SSNA) -- As South Sudan independence’s day celebrations fast approach, it is time to reflect on people and events that had shaped history leading to freedom on 9th July 2011. In introspection, Journalism famous adage returns with a vengeance back to the news rooms. That professionally taken picture is worth a thousand words is not any different from that of Prophet Ngundeng Bong featuring here in this opinion piece.

Born of Nyayiel Malual, an octogenarian woman well fast her menopause to Bong Chan, Ngundeng was a perfect match of Biblical Isaac born of Sahara to Abraham.  In any true sense of the word, Kalam later named Ngundeng was quite an extra-ordinary child according to Nuer religion duty bound to make history that didn’t only reverberate within South Sudan common borders but went well beyond international ones he couldn’t catch a glimpse of with naked eyes except through divine sight.

His divinity made him to foretell the onerous life South Sudanese would endure under a series of colonial repression, first under Turkey followed by Anglo-Egyptian condominium rule and finally the Arab half casts of north Sudan. Like Prophet Isaiah foretold the destiny of Israel and South Sudan as punished and eventually blessed as feared and prosperous peoples on planet earth, Ngundeng equally predicted the happy ending of such strings of colonial occupation in South Sudan which he imparted with that of Ethiopia to an anointed bull that came to be popularly known to Nuer historians as Tungkernyaang. In fulfillment of the oracle, Ethiopia became a sanctuary for South Sudanese fleeing dropped off bombs and overhead flying Russian made antinov war aircrafts of the Arab based successive regimes in the Sudan. While Israel provided first military support ever to be granted to South Sudanese Anyanya rebels in late 1960s to 1972, a year when Addis Ababa Peace Agreement that brought local autonomy to Southern Sudan was signed under the watch of Ethiopian head of state and government, His majesty Emperor Haile Selassie, nicknamed Jiathnyaang by Nuer.

Scramble for Africa   

In scramble for Africa emanated from November 1884 – February 1885 renowned but infamous Berlin conference in Germany, Italy alike other European powers was equally determined to claim her portion from the divided Dark Continent thrown up for grabs. Ethiopia saw the only ally on her western border to help contain the Italy’s surging might. The ally on hand was none other than South Sudan where prophet Ngundeng lived with fame spreading like bush fire across the globe. Then King of Kings Menelik II, a descendant of King Solomon from relationship with queen Sheba, who ruled the autonomous tribal kingdoms of Ethiopian modern - Empire state from 1889 -1913 paid a surprise visit to Ngundeng at Wecdeng village in present day Uror County, Jonglei State; perhaps the first ever foreign leader to do so. He shared the volatility of predicament that faced him in his home country with Ngundeng. Without hesitation, Ngundeng generously offered to help by giving Menelik II a bull called Tungkernyaang. As Tungkernyaang was being led away, Ngundeng urged his court messengers to go and cut off the tail lest South Sudanese would go one day to Ethiopia and stay permanently there while forgetful of the liberation of the land they left behind. Onto Tungkernyaang Ngundeng imparted divine power of ‘’Deng’’, Nuer and Dinka refer to as heavenly spirit that would enable King Menelik II repel the Italian invading forces. In Tungkernyaang too, the destiny of both South Sudan and Ethiopia was conjoined. Through that divine spirit Tungkernyaang created a special social bond between the two peoples within the African continent through cordial relations and firm inter-marriages never to broken no matter how deep the differences that arise may be. One country can hardly make do without the other. That is in as far as when SPLM/A left Ethiopia in 1991 after the fall of Mengistu Haile Mariam’s Derg regime, Liberation had to stall until the movement returned to Ethiopia in 1996 and flourished once again. The Ethiopians through Derg regime and its successor, the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front, EPRDF didn’t only offer sanctuary and weapons but also sacrificed lives and limbs to help in the liberation of South Sudan.

Battle of Adwa

After conquering Somalia – the current main land, Italy next catch was Ethiopia. Like the highland erosion sweeping down freely over and through the plains, Italy was unstoppable to bring Ethiopia under her strangling hold. As everybody knows by then Africans were all stateless with no means of communication networks and diplomatic relations connecting them. Every group of people was isolated from the rest armed with crude weapons for self defense and Almighty God was only one for them all as they tried, in back to back fighting, to fend off European multi-prong invasions. It is in these encounters whole of Africa was over run and molded into fragmented colonies under different European powers rivaling over political influence on an international stage and unexploited mineral riches to boost respective competing economies back home.

But one country stood out like a sore thumb and went against the grain.  It is feudal Ethiopia that stubbornly resisted being subdued under colonialism of any kind and by anybody. Ethiopia owed this success story of colonial resistance to South Sudan through prophet Ngundeng Bong Chan courtesy of Tungkernyaang offer in 1896. The year marked the period when Menelik II returned from consulting with prophet Ngundeng in South Sudan. Up on his return to Ethiopia with renewed courage and energy following several victories against his forces by Italy, he fought and won the last battle of Adwa on first March 1896 with profound historic proportion that until now resonates around the bewildering world. That was the historic battle of Adwa, birth place of the late and prominent Prime Minister, Ato Meles Zinawi when backward Africans crudely armed with shields and spears faced off with an organized European army well equipped with automatic rifles. At that ferocious battle, Ethiopia didn’t only defeat what was one of the then super powers in Europe and the world but also came out of the ordeal as celebrated African hero – an unbowed and never colonized country in Africa ever since and up to date.

Ethiopia not being brought under the colonial York saved her from the agony of Western cultural pollution with distinct national characteristics. Such under scored peculiarity set her apart from the rest of humankind in terms of Amharic language, calendar, dress code, cutlery system and foreign policy. The same uniqueness embodies Ethiopia as an authentic African state, making her the perfect choice for the permanent seat of an OAU/AU and not necessarily due to Emperor Haile Selassie’s, another king Solomon’s descendant, central role in the continental organization’s founding in May 1963.Which as well follows in the context of Ngundeng Bong’s prophecy in the anointed bull, Tungkernyaang that not only served as the triangle of history intertwining South Sudanese, Ethiopians and Jews through Menelik and Haile salesie as descendants of King Solomon; but also liberated Ethiopia in 1896 and South Sudan almost 99 years later which should by itself grant Ethiopia Country Diplomat, CD vehicle plate number one in the Republic of South Sudan and vice versa.

Deng Vanang: Journalist and National Executive Committee’s member of South Sudan leading opposition party, SPLM-DC. 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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