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President Kiir’s pedantic tricks in the SPLM Oyee machine

By Elhag Paul

June 26, 2013 (SSNA) -- President Kiir with his pedantic tricks is at it again.  This time he picks on those in the inner circle of the SPLM Oyee machine.  Do not be carried away by the headline grabbing subject of corruption.  This is just part of the trick.  Keep your eyes wide open during this interesting period of power struggle in the SPLM.

On 18th June 2013 Sudan Tribune under the title, ‘South Sudan president suspends two ministers for corruption probe’ http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article46997  reported that president Kiir had suspended Ahmed Deng Alor, the minister for cabinet affairs and Kosti Manibe, the minister of finance for involvement in transfer of millions of dollars for personal benefit.  In the same order the president further appointed Judge John Gatwech Lul, the head of the anti-corruption commission to investigate the allegation within 60 days with the view of bringing prosecution against the accused.  A good section of the society already appears to approve of the president’s action.  This is what is expected in any normal functioning government.  However, I am afraid that some citizens may already have had their hopes raised for nothing.  The reality could be different. 

President Kiir is using the corruption vehicle to get at people he believes have abandoned supporting his leadership in the ongoing struggle between him, his deputy and Pagan Amum.  So the suspension of the two ministers has more to do with their views in the current battle for leadership of the SPLM Oyee machine than corruption per se.  President Kiir is trying to prepare the ground by weeding out all those who have either publicly withdrawn their allegiance to him or those who have remained silent without expressing their allegiance to him. 

Why is the corruption vehicle a charade?  SPLM Oyee itself is a product of corruption and it will not survive without exercise of corruption.  Corruption runs deep in its veins and it is what keeps it alive.  Please see, ‘Fudging the issue- President Kiir and corruption in RSS.’  http://allafrica.com/stories/201206250013.html  We already know that Ahmed Deng Alor is a Don of corruption and there is nothing new about this latest accusation by the president.  The vital thing for the public to note is that nothing will come out of this investigation and here the editorial of South Sudan Nation under the heading, ‘Latest mega-corruption: Is Kiir yet again a toothless bulldog?’ published on 19th June 2013 is spot on.

Judge John Gatwech Lul, is a sworn poodle of John Luke, the minister of Justice and president Kiir.  He is a fixer of the regime.  He runs the launderette of SPLM Oyee.  Having been reduced from the prestigious position of a judge to an SPLM laundry man, his main task is washing of Oyee dirt and issuing clean bill of health to the criminals brought to his attention.  For instance, recently the kith and kin of president Kiir hammered their way into the president’s office safe in J1 in Juba and helped themselves to millions of dollars of South Sudanese money.  Instead of a proper investigation by the relevant organs, the president referred the matter to Judge Lul and as expected he bathed the thieves with legal detergents and cleared them on grounds that the evidence got contaminated.

Unlike Lul, his predecessor Dr Pauline Riek was a lady of integrity who could not allow her character to be tarnished by SPLM Oyee crimes.  While she was leading the Anti-corruption commission she acted professionally and was committed to clean South Sudan of corruption but she was sabotaged and denied the necessary legislation to carry out her duties by none other than president Kiir himself.  This remains a shame on South Sudanese.  Her removal underscores the fact that the problem in South Sudan is not lack of educated people or professionals but rather it is the pugnacity of Dinkocracy. 

Judge Lul in the current case will implement what has already been agreed between president Kiir and the minister of Justice John Luke which is that no SPLM Oyee member will be prosecuted for corruption.  Actually the exoneration of the kith and kin of the president referred to above is the result of this policy.  John Luke is on record that nobody will be prosecuted for corruption.  Please see the following articles, ‘South Sudan: Don Salvatore Allegiance to the Code of Omerta in RSS’ http://allafrica.com/stories/201206100131.html?page=4 and ‘Sudan: Corruption Saga - the SPLM Five Big Guns or the Quintet Squirrels’ http://allafrica.com/stories/201202271279.html?page=2

Reacting to president Kiir’s suspension of the Ahmed Alor and Kosti Manibe; John Luke in ‘South Sudan says lifting immunity not automatic indictment of corruption’ http://wwws.udantribune.com/spip.php?article47040 subtly reiterates and re-invokes the SPLM Oyee policy of no prosecution for corruption.  

Therefore, all those who are hoping for a critical and factual report of the investigation followed by prosecution of the duo in court may be raising their hopes to be dashed.  John Luke erected a clear sign post as notice to the public last year when he said, “No Prosecution for Corruption in Republic of South Sudan”.

Now that we have explored the president’s action in light of the information and experiences available to us, let us move on to talk about the proposition of this paper which is that the president is using the corruption vehicle as a tool to weed out his opponents in the SPLM Oyee machine and to strengthen his position for the expected leadership contest.

In terms of the leadership contest, president Kiir is in a very awkward position.  First, he has practically proved beyond doubt that he is ineffective, weak and a tribal leader.  Under his watch South Sudan deteriorated to a failed state because he was focused on enriching the so called ‘born to rule’.  Secondly, he knows that his colleagues in the Oyee machine have lost confidence in his leadership.  Thirdly, he is a hostage to the semi illiterate and powerful group of tribalists led by people like Salva Mathok, the deputy minister of interior and Paul Malong, the governor of Northern Bahr El Ghazal.  Fourthly and crucially he has tasted power and does not want to lose it.  So if he is to remain in power he must secure re-election to the post of chairman of SPLM Oyee during the coming convention.  This requires him to be brutal to knock heads.  But knocking heads in an organisation of criminals can be a very dangerous business.  It is this very reason that has forced president Kiir to be selective like a predator stalking a herd while looking for the weak and easy prey.

Ahmed Alor and Kosti Manibe happen to be the weakest quarry in the herd to start the game with.  To send a strong message to the SPLM Oyee membership to tow the line, president Kiir has decided to sacrifice the duo.  Ahmed Alor is sacrificial because he is a foreigner and the overwhelming majority of South Sudanese know that and they would not go out to the streets to protect him.  After all, Ahmed’s opportunism disgusts a lot of people.  All his life in the then Sudan he did not want to associate with South Sudanese.  All his friends were Arabs and he did not want to identify with the South Sudanese cause.  In 1983 as a staunch Arabist and unionist he saw an opening in Dr John Garang’s ideology of New Sudan to become somebody.  He grabbed the opportunity and became a close friend of the late.  During that period he manipulated the late and enriched himself.  When Dr Garang died, he quickly jumped ship abandoning his group of Garang boys and attached himself to president Kiir; again he further enriched himself obscenely.  Now sensing that president Kiir is about to lose, he has began to reposition himself for another leap to place of power.  It seems president Kiir has noticed and hence his present predicament.

Although Ahmed Alor has support in the Abyei boys like Luka Biong, Gen. Pieng Deng, Dr Francis Deng and so on, this would not pose any threat on its own to president Kiir.  This obviously is a huge draw back for Abyei.  Ahmed Alor since Garang days has been the pivotal character distorting South Sudan politics.  The power that Ahmed wields in the SPLM Oyee machine via manipulation should not be underestimated especially in absence of ideology and a coherent policy in the party.  Ahmed is the one person responsible for the invisibility of the minister of foreign affairs and the forceful assertion of Abyeians as citizen of South Sudan contrary to the provision of the CPA of 2005.

With Ahmed’s fall from grace, it now remains to be seen whether this will result in shift in the unarticulated foreign policy of South Sudan.  It is worth remembering that South Sudan lost Panthou to the Sudan due to the machinations of the Abyei boys led by Ahmed and the negligence of Dr Riek Machar.    

Unlike Ahmed Alor, Kosti Manibe’s citizenship is unquestionable.  He hails from an area deep inside South Sudan.  An area that has produced patriots throughout the struggle for secession of South Sudan.  Kosti is not only a member of the SPLM Oyee but a committed loyal member whose character has all along been immaculate.  He is well educated, well mannered and very calm.  Kosti is a force for stability and good but unfortunately a self constructed victim of his very self.  Kosti is very disadvantaged.  He has no local support as proved by the general election of 2010.  He also has no followers in the SPLA as he is not a military person coupled with the oppression of Equatoria has made him to be disposable.  Kosti may have been chosen by president Kiir to make example of because he may not have revealed his political preference and allegiance as to who should be the next leader of South Sudan.  Kosti is reported to be notorious for silence and keeping things to himself and this may not have earned him friends among the Warrap cartel.

The dragging of the duo into the mud is also a serious warning to the other contenders.  Pagan has made his ambitions clear and it appears he may not be in good book of president Kiir.  Pagan being in the same predicament like Kosti without local support from the Chollo people may soon find himself in difficulties.  In the general election of 2010 he failed to win a seat in his home area.  However, he has advantage over Kosti as he appears to have some support in the SPLA and among the Bor people because he is a ‘Garang boy’.  Although this support puts him in a better position, there is no guarantee that he will not be dragged into the mud.

While president Kiir plays this roulette he has seriously compromised his own position and the welfare of the SPLM Oyee machine itself.  His advisors seem to be short sighted and they may have miscalculated badly.  This game which is supposed to strength president Kiir’s position ironically may be the very one that speeds the demise of his regime.  President Kiir enjoys the presidency because of the combined support of his tribe and their control of the SPLM Oyee machine.  By targeting Ahmed Alor and Kosti Manibe, he has automatically lost the support of the Abyei group and the Equatoria SPLM Oyee members.  The Abyei group due to marriage alliance may now shift their allegiance to Pagan Amum or even Dr Riek Machar in a trade off possibly for influence on foreign policy in South Sudan.  So what is emerging is the disintegration of the unity of greater Jieng which also means the loosening of their grip on power.

In effect, president Kiir’s opponents will now be the potential beneficiaries of his short sighted action.  Instead of strengthening his position, he has opened up himself to unnecessary attack weakening his authority and support base.  Ahmed Alor and Kosti Manibe are members of the SPLM national liberation council, the highest organ of the SPLM Oyee machine.  As far as it is known there is no mechanism in the organisation which will halt them from participating in the debate on the leadership question.  So, Ahmed and Kosti will have their day of revenge when things come to the NLC especially on the dispute over the voting system that decides the leadership of SPLM Oyee.

This drama should be a lesson to all those from the smaller tribes in the SPLM Oyee machine that they have no future in this organisation.  This is an organisation that serves one particular ethnic group.  It uses members of the other ethnic groups as fodder for its growth and enrichment of the ‘born to rule’.  If you swim with them, do not be surprised when they push you away from the deep clear water into the mud.

In all, president Kiir with his pedantic tricks is now stoking the disintegration of the SPLM Oyee.  This is good news for the country.  He should be encouraged to carry on.  We say well done to him and his advisors.  The disgruntled abused groups now have to carefully calculate on who to support for leadership in South Sudan because they have no future in it.  Wisdom dictates that Equatoria should pick up the mantle and challenge for the position of leadership to rescue the country from total collapse.

[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

Political months Ahead: How Kiir manoeuvred his deputy and neutralised his venom

By: Lueth Bol Dengker

June 26, 2013 (SSNA) -- The south Sudan’s leadership conference will be an interesting episode to watch. It will be an all-out war. However, the most interesting part is when the top two will perhaps go one on one. Whoever wins, will win by a knock-out, not by points. This is the only way you can win a match and embarrass a referee, who is squaring up with your opponent to influence the outcome otherwise.

Political landscape

The current and future political landscape in the south Sudan is apparently poisonous-one that everybody fears, and a rocky place to ride. In such environment, only political Asti odes will survive. The SPLM convention will mark water shed and protests for the politicians who will not make it. But those protests will add salt to the wound .Regional conferences have been conducted, with Bhar-el-gazel, endorsing president kiir .Equatoria, might have followed a similar note. If that endorsement is anything to go by, then the president will take it all.

With the upper Nile region left, and from the look of things, Machar’s supporters may outnumber the incumbent’s, and toe the line to endorse him. There are no significant inroads that such a move could alter the overwhelming balance of support for the president, before the election. On the other side of the coin, you will find out that the opposition parties are climbing a ladder without steps. This means that they have no formidable platform or network that will bring diverse thinking intellectuals together to post a powerful opposition to the government. I wanted to say that the opposition parties are comprised of a group of “garden boys” who are neither team players nor game changers. Whatever, they articulate is a “bear hall talk” and a cosmetic exercise simultaneously.

As I have already stated, in a future to be seen, the most primary decisions and policies are made within SPLM party structures and will continue to do so. This is because the SPLM is the most irreversible tsunami of south Sudan’s politics. You must be a 140 pounds political giant, to be able to instigate a wind of change, against such a dominant party.

The outcome of political debates and political battles in the SPLM and its branches will continue to shape the content of the government. The key role modules in this arena are the SPLM and the SPLMYL and possible alliances.

The SPLM youth league, under its current leader has been a mouth piece since the days of our late leader, and is perpetuating the same nature now, upon which I can assert that; there is no leadership in the youth league, because the current leadership, has elements factored with selling -out the legacy of the youth league and a double agent - abusing the league’s platform to save the master at all costs. With his sell-out tendencies, his master will be be-abled to capitalise. He is a traitor who can never be trusted to carry out the mandate of the youth to its logical conclusion.

The league is in disarray, however, current status of the youth wing will not change the outcome of that conference then, or in 2015 general elections, but it will dramatically do thereafter. The youth fells that they are not represented because the current leadership constitutes the group of “house boys” who were nominated at the back yard, not whom the youth elected, and only represents the interest of the master less they are fired. It is highly inconceivable that a house boy can easily be turned against his master unless his master is deposed.

This is why it is crucial to comprehend the style of contest within the SPLM and its youth wing by measuring the roles each will eventually play when the battle is at stake. Who wins the war or who wins the battle, will be determined by the dynamics of such styles in across the spectrum.

One of these styles is that; patronage rather than ideology is now the key inertia of the SPLM politics and will shape the run up to the convention. It is still inevitable to discern some ideological consistency’ regarding the factions that coalesced around Dr Machar and President Kiir. Kiir, looks set to defy the political harmony and that is where his problem is’ because if he doesn’t, he risks losing power. And if he continues defying the SPLM Legacy; it’s not a sin to second Machar’s warning that; SPLM will be a “football”. 

What makes the president so irritant rather articulate is that; he knows’ once he lose power, he will never be back to the throne and he would have gone a failed president. He must have tasted the glory of being in the state house and insists not to buy that luxury of losing it. So, he will do anything in his power to win by hook or crook. You may level him incompetent at your own peril. But that is not the point. In Africa you don’t have to worry about being a success or a failure, or even abuse of human rights. What you need to do is, steal public money, build mansions and buy the poor to vote for you when it comes to elections. Question is; how long are you going to be stealing? There is no doubt’ the buyers and the bought are all thieves. The difference is; the buyer is the big thief and the bought is the small thief, all bear the same conviction.

If you still are wondering what simple strategy Mr “Tiger” is capable of, then you might not have monitored his personality from the angle of incident.

It is simple; smile and laugh in the public, but in reality you behave like a monster, a tyrant who will target perceived enemies without mercy, and because of that fear few dare to speak openly." That is why in South Sudan, everybody feels irritated even with a closest friend because majority has become a security personnel. In this regard, people fear the army of spies that surround the crown. Without a code of conduct, not because those codes do not exist, but because they have relentlessly been violated, these spies are fiercely willing to silence discerning voices of reasons by detention, brutal attacks or even massacre them, in an effort to install complete fear in the “opposing and opposition” in order to take full control of the embattled party and build a fault consensus, that will pave the way for a long reign of the incumbent and subsequently seal power struggle.

As I strongly suggest that power should remain in Bhar-el-gazel for some time {I understand it is not a kingdom}, I also belief in the accommodation of those individuals who have the potential. You can call me silly, stupid and many more, in so much that I would, if you do not agree with me that we, Bhar-el-gazelese have been the face of the revolution and had been extremely sidelined in the leadership circles during the struggle. Power, being in Bhar-el-gazel, is a privilege, the same way as it has been for Upper Nile years ago, and I belief we are not immune to the chance we have now. However, we do need to be killers, dictators and triblists, rather act as people holding the keys of authority and perfection.

However, the run-up to the national convention is primarily about access to state resources for the benefit of particular interest groups irrespective of their ideological attributions.  It is for this reason that SPLM and its alliances, will stand behind Kiir. It also explains why the president striped his vice of the powers he once was given ,and why he purged those rumoured to topple him, replacing them with his closest, allies in order to strengthen his grip on the party.

While there is a group of the discontented fellas, those opposed to the president has not consolidated into a coherent faction, and consists of a spiralling, confused and an often realigning mess, a group of power angry politicians without an agreed champion’. Indeed, the vice president has put himself in this uncomfortable spot, by availing himself to run for presidency. Mr Machar needs to calculate his steps well. First, he must know that he is not going to win. Secondly, if he runs against the incumbent, and doesn’t win, he will most certainly lose his position within the SPLM and in the government. If, by sympathy, he is retained, then he will lose influence because he would have been neutralised.

The author of this article, is a south Sudanese living in Australia. He can be reach at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

More rough times ahead for South Sudan!

By: Justin Ambago Ramba

June 25, 2013 (SSNA) -- Of recent everything and everyday has come to look the same for South Sudan before even celebrating its second Independence anniversary. Under President Salva Kiir’s leadership, the peoples’ hopes for an agrarian society have long evaporated while his Excellency continues to hire and fire and rehires and fires again. Does he really has anything to show for?!!

Eventually a new country is brought to an abrupt halt as a result of incapacity right in the top office. Today neither the country’s internal politics nor its external engagements are any closer to its peoples’ expectations. For in both cases the thermometers have persistently recorded very high reading, especially so lately when scales seem to offer no any assurances.

The strained relationship between Juba and Khartoum continues to dominate the news headlines. And as things are far from being rosy, there are every reason to predict that president Kiir’s administration is yet to face huge challenges ahead, as it struggles to adjust amid all these hiring and the firing drama of senior officials and ministers alike.     

First this administration is not doing well to secure the future of the country’s Oil industry which represents over 98% of the revenues. Kiir has been to China last year, and he was referred back to sort out things with al Bashir. Not too long he was also in Japan, and no much was heard, with exception of the old wild talk about a certain Toyata company which accepted to build the pipeline to Lamu. Nothing new!

Secondly this government’s performance in the field of Human Rights will continue to strain relationship with the international community which has for a very long time, carried the burden of filling in the gaps in the weak economy and rudimentary service sectors.  

The US administration and the Communist China are all working day and night to deter Al Bashir of Sudan from implementing his declared threats to shut down the oil pipelines. As things stand now, one can say that President Kiir can only pray for the goodwill of these two superpowers to pressure Khartoum into reversing its hostile position on South Sudan’s Oil industry. 

With China, it’s of course business and truly business without attaching any of those strings like Human Rights Records or Good Governance, issues often brought to the table when Western governments deal with Sudan and South Sudan and in line with their policies towards most third world countries. 

For this reason alone, it can be said that whether the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) enters Khartoum and takes over the seat of power or it is the other way round with the ruling NCP succeeding in putting an end to the country’s many rebellions or /and completely eradicating the indigenous people in the Nuba Mountains, Darfur, or the Blue Nile Region, all these could be Okayed by China as long as they never impact negatively on its multibillion dollar business investments in the country.

While  the South Sudan and Sudan relationship are important for the Chinese interests in the region, it cannot be overstressed that they too [Chinese] , like it is case with the above scenarios, see no point in favoring one side over the other after South Sudan has become a sovereign state, run from Juba and not Khartoum any more.

The Chinese need the Oil, which is mainly produced in the South, and can only at the present be transported through the Chinese built pipelines across the North, for export to China and elsewhere. In this case, the best that China can do as a way to safeguard its investments, is to discourage and disapprove any of the very frequent political brinkmanship that characterizes the North Sudan and South Sudan relationship.

It’s in China’s interest if the two Sudans can rather take their historical hostilities away from the Oil industry or other areas where Beijing has, and is planning to invest. If the Sudanese and the South Sudanese fail to see the relevancy of sticking with programs that will alleviate the sufferings of their poor citizens, and rather engage in promoting border warfare and subversive activities to undermine the sovereignty of the other, then China for its own interest will be forced to discipline the two.

On the other hand, the Western governments and especially so, countries like the US, UK, Norway, although all had directly invested heavily in the wake up to South Sudan’s independence, they are all terribly disappointed with this new country’s record on Human Rights and Good Governance.

Reports,  year after year from the Human Rights Watch (HRW), the International Crisis Group, the Center for Journalism Studies (CJS), and the US State Department, are all critical of the performance of Salva Kiir Mayardit’s government on Human Rights which has persistently been characterized by gross violations.

As a concerned South Sudanese citizen, it doesn’t in any way take me by any surprise to read the numerous reports about my country’s appalling Human Rights records under President Salva Kiir’s leadership. Nonetheless these reports as written by the international bodies and other foreign countries friendly to South Sudan are to be seen as signs of concern by South Sudan’s friends and all those well-wishers.

It also encourages the people that their plights have really reached the international community, thanks to the development in the ICT; no death in the most remote parts of the world can go unreported. But as the deaths after deaths [e.g. Engineer John Luis Silvino, Isaiah Abraham, and many others] have now been brought to the attention of the world and rightly acknowledged as extra judiciary killings, the next step would be to hold the president and his executives responsible and work hard to bring them to the book.    

Did I hear someone mention the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague? Yet the people of South Sudan expect these countries like USA, Britain, Norway and others to do more than just condemning Salva Kiir and his government for running not only   a police state, but in fact presiding over slaughter houses being manned by butchers who relate to the president through kinship, and patronage.

It’s true that corruption and graft are ubiquitously practiced at all levels of Kiir’s government, and be reminded that these vices were allowed to take root by design. President Kiir and his cronies, planted it, then nurtured it and are now harvesting its fruits. Everything here happens for a reason as designed by His Excellency.

And it can no longer be held as a secret that President Salva Kiir Mayardit had planned to buy loyalties in order to cling to power. This,  he has made by many other ways,  including handing out millions of dollars of the public money to his associates, kinsmen, loyalists and cronies.

He also had over the past years,   been very reluctant to prosecute his ministers and executive officials who were accused of grafts in the millions and billions of dollars. This has been the situation throughout his tenure in office over the past eight years.  He was clearly avoiding any attempts  that could be seen as stirring  the political waters within and without the SPLM party, as his way of buying loyalties, the old fashioned Jallaba style. But this must end, and so must Kiir’s term in office ended as well, come 2015.

No one can be made to accept the president’s  latest move to fire two of his most senior ministers- Deng Alor and Kosti Manibe, just like that and  without  asking even the most basic  questions,  like why now and not before?  Whatever that thing which forced Salva Kiir to part ways with these two senior comrades, has more to do with Kiir’s own survival in power and as a person than it is to do with the good of the Country.

This being the case, whatever the president's hopes to avoid by sacrificing,  both Alor and Manibe must for sure be something very huge and an imminent danger. It must also be so huge, that preventing it can only be by  sacrificing Hon. Deng Alor & Hon. Kosti Manibe. In other words only sacrifices of their calibers were necessary to secure the redemption of whoever was (were) to be redeemed. If it is true that everything in politics has a price, then the price being paid by the SPLM rulers through their sacrifice of two of their most senior members is so big that it can never go unnoticed.

However the track records and history of this leadership, past and present, have undoubtedly pushed SPLM’s friends before the enemies to pass a very strong verdict  against Salva Kiir and his leadership style,  both of which are now beyond human redemption.  And completely unredeemable as it is, and by all standards, this government is heading towards a self-inflicted disaster of the implosion type...

As stated somewhere in this article, President Salva Kiir lacks both the political shrewdness and the necessary pragmatism to settle the border demarcation stalemate with Khartoum.  Nor is he a visionary leader to guarantee a steady flow of his country’s Oil to the world markets, through Port Sudan, Lamu, Mombasa, Djibouti or otherwise. Talking without taking actions is NOT being visionary!

Whatever that president Kiir is up to in his last days in office, will NEVER buy him the trust he has so far lost. And when you look far on the horizon, you can only see more hard times ahead for a leader who has nothing more to offer! Is it not time that he calls it a day and packs!

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

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