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On Abyei: Enough is Enough

By: Deng Vanang

June 15, 2013 (SSNA) -- No one whether locally or internationally can still argue there is more hope to resolve Abyei stalemate peacefully. It has been everybody’s wish that dialogue could prevail over wrangling and peace over war. But all the well wishers, South Sudanese and Sudanese of good will are put to shame by intransigence of some of ruling elites in Khartoum. For many peaceful options were suggested and equally exhausted that resulted in failed negotiated settlements. These were Comprehensive Peace Agreement, CPA that devoted one of its protocols on Abyei referendum in tandem with that of Southern Sudan in 2011, Abyei Boundary Commission, ABC whose findings were rejected by Khartoum, The Hague Court of Arbitration whose ruling remains gathering dust on the shelves due to Khartoum refusal to implement it. Then, came Khartoum invasion of Abyei in response to its alleged provocation by Juba in the run up to independence declaration. The whole world weighed in to resolve the crisis, urging both side to establish the Abyei joint administration and keep off the area militarily, but Khartoum refused the proposal while Juba has ever since been begging the AU and UN to either sweet talk out or flash out Sudan armed Forces all in vain. This resulted in recent out bust by President Kiir in accusing the two bodies of bias.

That is true because when South Sudan was allegedly invaded and took over the oil field of Heglig, the whole world was on her neck while condoning the same invasion and takeover of Abyei by Sudan. Khartoum has not only taken over the urban parts of the disputed territory, but further urges Miseriya Arab to drive out the Ngok Dinka from their remaining ancestral rural land. One of these atrocities is recent cold blood murder of Ngok Dinka paramount chief, Kuol Deng Kuol not in his own house, but in the hands of AU peace keeping troops who supposed to protect him.

If such atrocious killing could not jolt AU and UN into action, then what else? The gruel act has caused President Salva Kiir Mayardit and all concerned patriotic South Sudanese to question the AU/UN’s motive of lulling us into deep sleep while Miseriya are busy ethnically cleansing Abyei of all Dinka Ngok people over night. The same concern has made leader of Minority party, SPLM-DC in parliament, Honorable Onyoti Adigo to propose the transfer of Abyei to a neutral administration run by UN and AU so that Abyie referendum takes place in October as planned. This is normal procedure in UN system whereby two rival groups over a disputed territory are asked to vacate it in order for a peaceful referendum to take place whose verdict shall be respected by both sides and problem solved once and for all. It happened in colonial times back in 1940s – 1950s and recently it was the case in Estimore, Indonesia and Kosovo. Then, what is unique about Abyei’s issue which is even more genuine and complicated to attract action than that of Estimor and Kosovo. Unlike Ngok Dinka with Arabs, Estimoris are from the same Asiatic race with Indonesians as is the case with Kosovars and Serbians.

My own proposals

Due to Khartoum’s intermittent failure to listen to the voice of reason, South Sudan government should redirect its efforts in the following alternative avenues:

One, issues an ultimatum to Federal Republic of the Sudan to withdraw from Abyei within specific time frame for UN-AU to take over and organize a free and fair referendum as scheduled.

Two, failure of which it shall tantamount to declaration of all out war by Sudan against Republic of South Sudan.

Three, South Sudan should by now begin sending troops and essential relief items for the returning Ngok Dinka to Abyei.

Four, due to austerity biting government and everybody, all South Sudanese citizens in and abroad should be asked to contribute whatever they have, be it Dura, clothe, fair of shoes, money, medicines, etc. as part of general efforts towards an impending war with the Sudan.

I proposed all the above simply because Sudan is gravely exploiting vulnerability of South Sudan. This vulnerability is in form of our dependence on Sudan as our main supply route for cheaper consumer goods and source to which our oil pipelines are connected besides our current economic depression.

All these weak points have made South Sudan beholden and slave to Sudan. Therefore, it is high time for South Sudan to choose between food and her dignity. Now it is up to the South Sudan to assert sovereignty by relocating her business interests to neighboring East Africa and like Jews leaving Egypt never to look back again. Or failure to do so, South Sudan shall remain deprived of her valuable territories through black mails by using food and oil pipelines, confined in an abject poverty and virtually bartered at will.

South Sudan is land birthed out of our nakedness and nothingness and what brought her into being was our sheer determination to be free and honored in the community of nations that cherishes freedom and sovereignty as the only means to an end: material needs.

And those who may say they are too hungry to fight for their right, like Fidel Castro who opened leeway to Cubans clamoring for cheap life in the west, President Kiir should allow them to leave South Sudan alone and freely for anywhere of their own choosing.

These terrorists, who burn innocent children, old women and men in their sleep in Abyei, need to be taught one or two lessons as they so wish. Of course they may go to Arab cousins in the Mideast, urging them to wage a holy war against us. This is nothing new. As for us there is nothing holy about an exercise that snubs life out of human being. Which was why South Sudan won the war full and square because what they call holy, God’s spirit was not with them anyway. These are just bunch of terrorists hiding behind all the glorious terminologies of God they can lay their wagging tongues on. In response, we must call up on the west to help us so that the next phase of fighting the Sudan as terrorist state of her likes has begun in earnest. Sudan is hell bent on denying us peace and development she jealously enjoys.

Deng Vanang: Journalist and Executive member of South Sudan official opposition, SPLM-DC. He can be reached at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

NB. All the words expressed in this opinion piece are solely mind and cannot be attributed to SPLM-DC as the party.

South Sudan: A Tumultuous Mixture of Raw Human Hatreds (part 1)

By Wani Tombe Lako

June 15, 2013 (SSNA) -- If an objective South Sudanese, were to step outside, her/his legal, constitutional, socio-cultural, and psychological figurative coat; and then, look at South Sudan, as an objective neutral bystander, she/he, could see, many hitherto, invisible realities. One of such realities shall be that, South Sudan is, but, a tumultuous mixture, of raw human hatreds. These raw human hatreds have effectively, and dangerously, blinded us South Sudanese, to the extent that, we are unable to see, all comprehensive dangers, that are about to annihilate us all.

The raw human hatreds I am on about, include, political, tribal, linguistic, ethno-racial, socio-cultural, religious and moral hatreds. The frightening operationalisation of these myriad of hatreds is effected via the agency of herd mentality as well as herd morality. These phenomena of herd mentality and herd morality have made the majority of us afflicted with truth phobia. Human reason and equanimity are sacrificed at the altar of intellectual anarchy, fuelled by raw human hatreds, and sustained by the said herd mentality and herd morality.

We South Sudanese have become alarmingly frightened of truth. To us, truth seems overwhelming. It also appears that,  we in South Sudan, behave as if, we do not have the moral, religious, human, physical, psychological and socio-cultural capacities, to bear, know, and withstand the weight of truth; whatever that truth is; about ourselves. A cynical, but an objective political bystander, may also conclude that, we South Sudanese are political masochists.

For example, we pretend everyday that, we live in a democratic society in South Sudan. We pretend everyday that we live in a peaceful society in South Sudan. We pretend everyday that, we live in a multicultural loving society in South Sudan. We pretend everyday that, we live in a secured society, where, daughters, sons, sisters, wives, brothers, husbands, fathers, mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers, and such like; can walk freely, without the relative, let alone absolute fear, of being hurt in South Sudan. We pretend everyday that, we have a caring and loving police force and service in South Sudan. We pretend everyday that, we are lovingly united as peoples and tribes in South Sudan, and that, it is only malicious and envious foreigners and outsiders, who want to make us hate ourselves.  

All these acts of pretending, are because, we fear to tell ourselves the truth. For God’s sake, let us be brave enough, and tell nothing, but the naked truth, about our own selves. These orgies of pretending in South Sudan, has led to the systemic demise and deconstruction of all formations of positive human values and moralities in South Sudan. Keen humane eyes can easily and honestly see; the purposive construction of unknown and alien animalistic value systems, and immoralities in South Sudan, to masquerade as liberation and self-determination cultures. 

For example, in the village of Gumbo, just five miles from Juba, a group of individuals, have forcibly fenced-off my family’s freehold orchard, along the banks of the Kadoro stream, and stationed armed military guards there. Therefore, announcing the confiscation and land grabbing of a freehold which has been in my family’s possession and ownership, and which we cultivated and farmed, for fifty one (51) years, until the secession of South Sudan from the rest of the Sudan in 2011.

As if for a good measure, some of these individuals went ahead and grabbed our living compound, close to this orchard and in which, my beloved uncle, the late Uncle Albano Wani Lako Lokitari was laid to rest. His eldest son, the late Angelo Jada Wani Lako, married the youngest sister of the Speaker of our Parliament, Honourable James Wani Igga. These land grabbers immorally desecrated, vandalised and violated this grave and resting place of the late Uncle Albano Wani Lako Lokitari, and they exhumed his remains; and threw them away! These land grabbers proceeded to build a pit latrine in the so desecrated grave. Now, are we supposed to call this liberation and self-determination culture in South Sudan?

This personal tragedy aside, at the national level, the said tumultuous mixture of raw human hatreds, in South Sudan, has led to the entrenchment of: reactive policies and politics, emotional policies and politics, policies and politics of hate and revenge, policies and politics as well as economics of elites, and the quest for military solutions to all minor and major political problems. On the other hand, because of such dangerously unique comprehensive environments; the making of national policies, strategies, and development programmes on the hoofs, has been normalised.

Issues of reactive policies and politics in South Sudan

Due to ubiquitous deficit, and absence of national think-tanks, the Republic of South Sudan, is run on the bases of reactive primordial tribal, as well as, parochial anthropological initiatives, and folklore anecdotes, masquerading as state of the art statesmanship, and refined comprehensive national strategies. This is the tragedy of South Sudan.

Knowledge, skills, experiences, refined prudent attitudes and such like appear to irritate those in charge of governance in South Sudan. These rulers of South Sudan refuse to appreciate the fact that, governments running various European and American countries, on which South Sudan relies, for comprehensive support, are made more comprehensively agile, by the ubiquitous presence of such think-tanks. These think-tanks are comprehensively proactive and foresighted.

On the other hand, in South Sudan, there is the danger of cordoning off, of the President herein, with circles of misleading and ill-informed advisors, who include relatives, tribesmen and tribeswomen, and others. I can confidently and objectively argue that, 90% of these so-called Presidential Advisors are devoid of relevant skills, knowledge, experiences, initiatives and attitudes for such sensitive constitutional posts in South Sudan. Die-hard support for the SPLM as the ruling political party in South Sudan is not a good index of qualification for the position of a Presidential Advisor.

Presidential Advisors are supposed to think on their political as well as technocratic knowledge and experience based feet; on behalf of the President, and indeed, on behalf of the nation. Presidential Advisors ought to be foresighted in their respective fields, and not to wait until they are advised by the President to think of something useful to do. Presidential Advisors ought to be saturated with the confidence of juggling comprehensive positive alternatives and scenarios, for the resolution of challenges and obstacles, without hurting specific and general national interests, within the remit of their short, medium, and long terms paradigms. For God’s sake, Presidential Advisors do not attack the President through the media in funeral and other places, in order to advance their own political careers and such like.

The culture of political accommodation, and other dubious reasons, for the appointment of such Presidential Advisors, have undermined and weakened, if not, killed, the supposedly comprehensively proactive and constructively productive roles, of Presidential Advisors in South Sudan. These Presidential Advisors are perched on the highest constitutional and political nests, on the constitutional and political pedestals of South Sudan. They hang high above cabinet ministers, and yet, the majority of them are waste of temporal and spatial resources. They are nothing, but reactive political dummies. In fact, the majority of them are political busy bodies, on constitutional and political stilts, to flatter the peoples of South Sudan.

It ought to be made clear that, constitutional posts of Presidential Advisors; are not constitutional and political incubators, for maturing and nursing of ambitious tribal young men and young women. They are not also some constitutional and political crucibles, for the purposes of recycling some illiterate and semi-illiterate quasi army generals; nor are they, realms and sites, for the containment of some ill-informed, money and wealth oriented political geriatrics. In fact, constitutional posts of Presidential Advisors are not also, counseling venues, for grieving widows and widowers, as the reaffirmation, and celebration of personality cult culture, and nothing more. 

If some of these so-called Presidential Advisors cannot survive, without constitutional posts, let the Presidency create some work for them, even if such jobs include the digging and refilling of political trenches, within the SPLM as a political party, in South Sudan. What else can I say? All the issues raised above, about our Presidential Advisors, in South Sudan, have exposed the President of South Sudan, to comprehensive risks, of operating in uncertain, unpredictable and dangerously reactive political environment.

The President of South Sudan is akin to a driver, driving along a submerged bridge, with equally submerged sign posts and protective rails. These sign posts and protective rails are supposed to be his advisors. Alas, these advisors have since long gone to deep political sleep; and thus, submerged in political floods. Unfortunately for the President, he is not driving an amphibious vehicle.

Therefore, not only that, but the lack of effective Presidential Advisors, have rendered the President of South Sudan, vulnerable, to witty, and ever plotting others, within the cabinet of the government of South Sudan. It is extremely naïve, to think that, there are no ministers within the government of South Sudan, who are plotting day and night, as to how, to climb higher, to higher rungs of the political ladder, while smearing the lower, or even the higher rungs, of such a political ladder, with political and tribal greases, to fail the political grip, and other grips, of his /her political opponents, including the President.

The herd mentality and herd morality have produced political gangsters within the remit of governance in South Sudan. Unfortunately, some of us who think that, they are opinion makers and leaders operate on the bases of herd mentality and herd morality. It is only within our definition of intellectuality, whereby, a person is allowed, and indeed praised for declaring in a publicly published medium, that, he would like to kill so and so. This, in our version of liberation and self-determination culture, in South Sudan, is considered free speech, and thus, freedom of expression. This is the tragedy of South Sudan.

If David Miliband and Ed Miliband were South Sudanese brothers; the Miliband family would have been destroyed for good. Thanks God, these young men are British nationals, whose society knows the meaning of self-determination and associated freedom of expression. This means that, these Miliband brothers, do not suffer from herd mentality and herd morality. In fact, their supporters did not, and do not suffer from the same problem. South Sudan can only be saved if we despise raw human hatreds. You cannot want to kill another South Sudanese, just because the way he/she thinks, does not make you happy, or, it is too complicated for you to understand, its various dimensions.

Human societies, that survive on reactive impulses, of tumultuous raw human hatreds, cannot, and shall not be able to, positively move on. On the other hand, such human societies shall also labour under the weight of moral darkness, to the extent that, they shall lack the prerequisite moral and faith capacities and abilities, to constructively cleans themselves of their invariable wrongful past. Such human societies that survive on raw human hatreds, cannot, by all counts, parade themselves, as living faith societies that fear the living God.

The multifaceted benefits of good formal education in disciplines like sociology, theology, philosophy, economics, anthropology and, law are that, they lighten the cumulative weight of centuries of ignorance, mythology, and general state of nature. Not only that, they also shine penetrating living lights, into cognitive tunnels of darkness, as well as on the dangerously sharp and rough edges of hitherto unlit subjectivity, in order to perfect seamless passage, into the realms of humane, positive and constructive human reasons, for positive societal reciprocities. It means that, the brawn cannot, and should not, be allowed to rule the brain, and refined human objectively. We need that in South Sudan. See you in part two (2).

The author is Professor of Social and Rural Development and Lecturer in Laws and can be reached at wani.lako@ yahoo.com.

Holding Juba & Khartoum to unconditionally implement agreements

By: Justin Ambago Ramba

June 11, 2013 (SSNA) -- Whenever one hears about Sudan, you know that some government Antonov planes must have bombed civilian villages in Darfur, the Nuba Mountains or the Blue Nile regions. Or it has displaced its own people, forcing them to take refuge in caves or underground holes. Occasionally it could be about some Islamist security agents heavy handedly cracking down on peaceful demonstrators or opposition figures.

But of recent Sudan is also caught up in a series of military humiliations in the hands of the Sudan Revolutionary Forces (SRF) – an alliance of the different Darfuri rebel groups and the SPLM- North. In between you will hear claims of victories and loses on both sides.

In the South, there is the new republic of South Sudan (RSS), which has filled the world media with its record breaking levels of corruption and senior officials being accused of embezzling no less $4 billion dollars from the public fund and yet the government cannot do anything about it.

When it is not corruption, it must be either people killed in dozens in a cattle raid, or one tribe organizing to wipe out another from the surface of the earth, not to talk of the well-known phenomenon of one rebel group joining the government and another attacking government position elsewhere. Or worse still citizens being killed, or made to disappear on daily basis all across the country, but especially so in the capital city of Juba.

But when you hear about Sudan and South Sudan in one and same piece of news, then it must be a fight over how to transport the Oil which happens to be largely in the landlocked RSS and can only at the present be transported to the international markets through the territories of its archenemy the Sudan.

It is in the background of the aforementioned myriad of events that no sensible government in these parts of the world should be overheard, that its cabinet is unable to meeting because they lack an agenda. 

Juba finally finds for itself one long agenda.

Although the last paragraph above, should have it that the world can never run out of agenda if president Omer al Bashir of Sudan still rules in Khartoum and Salva Kiir in Juba - yet the new republic of South Sudan, that should have known better, only came to appreciate this fact through the hard way on Saturday June 8, 2013, when Khartoum announced its intentions to immediately close down the oil pipeline and cut off South Sudan’s oil.

Almost as if recovering from a deep coma, Salva Kiir’s cabinet who until Friday June 7, 2013, failed to hold its weekly meeting due to lack of agenda [reported Sudan tribune June 7, 2013 (JUBA)] were to be proven wrong.   President Kiir, who was not ready to brief the cabinet on his recent trip to Japan and wanted to continue further relaxing following his long absence, had no choice but to call an emergency meeting on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in response to the al Bashir’s bombshell.

Now that Juba has been reminded that there is going to be no any shortages of agenda any soon, the South Sudanese masses at home and in the Diaspora expect the government to come up with a clear position on how to deal with Khartoum,  now, in the immediate future and in the long run.

The real problems only made worst by the UNSC and the AU complacency.

Those who know it will tell you that the real problems in both the Sudans are basically the absence of democracy and the lack basic freedoms. Even the new republic of South Sudan that came into being as a result of years of devastating liberation wars fought against successive governments in Khartoum, which the freedom fighters had accused of being totalitarian, dictatorial and discriminative.  

However two years now after independence and those supposed to have been liberated by the ruling SPLM/A are yet to speak freely, in what is now their own country.

Juba may have some moral obligation to defend the rights of its former comrades in Darfur, Nuba Mountains, and the Blue Nile regions. Unfortunately for it to be taken seriously as a defender of human rights, it must first show that it is better than the NCP regime in Khartoum, by offering these much needed freedoms, first to its own citizens who continue to be oppressed under the SPLM/A in a fashion no less than those marginalized by the NCP in the Arab Islamic Republic of Sudan.

The international community [UNSC & AU] has behaved in a way much marked by continuous change of goal posts in their dealing with both Sudan and South Sudan. The promised democratic transformation to a true multiparty system of governance is now replaced by some kind of dubious peacekeeping missions which pretend to keep a peace that never existed in the first place.

The AU on the other hand is no more than a talking club or in the words of Mwaulimu Julius Nyerere former president of Tanzania, “it is a trade union of Africa’s dictators”.  It   surprises no one that it [AU] is unable to find everlasting solutions to the Sudanese problems – which are in fact problems shared all across the continent as it lacks democracy, transparency, good governance, and rule of law, accountability and above all the limitation of the term of office for dictators that litter the whole continent.

On January 25, 2013 the AUPSC over saw a communique signed between Juba & Khartoum for the unconditional implementation of the September 27, 2012 cooperation agreement. This maybe the best position ever arrived to by the organisation, however unless it is prepared to enforce the implementation of this communique the way it was signed, the AU is on its way to become ‘a big toothless mouth’,   just  like its predecessor the OAU.

Depending on the good will of the two leaders, who both happen to rule their countries with iron fists, makes the AU unrealistic in its search for peace across the two Sudans.  The good will between the leaders do not exist,  because if it does, all these issues at hand would have been long tackled, away from the spotlights of the AU or the United Nations, given the long history shared by the political rivals in the region.

Reactions, in streets …

Al Bashir’s latest announcement,  ordering the closure of the oil pipelines came as no surprise to anyone who follows the events over  the last couple of weeks, as  they kept unfolding in the border regions between the two Sudans.  Furthermore, his plan to pull out of the 27th September Cooperation Agreement with Juba is all but the same thing.

To the common South Sudanese citizen, these endless talks on relationship with Khartoum are seen as a mere distraction by people in power while they continue to embezzle whatever is left in the public coffers.  An average South Sudanese man and woman is never expecting anything good to come from Khartoum for that being exactly why they chose to have their independent country in the first place.

South Sudan has ever survived long before the oil was discovered, and it will continue to survive long after the oil is gone. Thus far the people know.  Also the fact that the Arab north plans to use South Sudan’s dependence on Sudan’s pipelines and sea port for exporting the oil as a means  to bring the new country to its knees.

The Arab Jallaba intends to blackmail South Sudan into fighting against its fellow Africans of Darfur, Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile regions. Sudan’s policy of recruiting proxy fighters is as old as the country itself.  

And while they succeeded in the past to turn black African Muslims from the marginalised regions to fight a so-called Holy War against the South, South Sudan this time around as an Independent Black African country will and should never be seen to work against fellow Africans. It’s time the riverine Arabs fight their own wars.

As for the leadership in Juba, unfortunately they have chosen to make everything seem complicated and each time something goes wrong with this already known to be unreliable relationship with Khartoum, they play the role of the ignorant and often  pretend to have been taken by surprise. This childish way of handling state affairs is taking us nowhere.

SPLM must not underestimate the fact that it was stronger when it had Khartoum as a declared enemy, however in the present situation where it wants Khartoum, both as a partner and as an enemy, it isn’t going to working. Khartoum should also avoid behaving in similar manner. It is nothing, but hypocrisy!

As for the Sudan Revolutionary Forces (SRF), its relationship with the SPLM in South Sudan is only made to look complex because our leadership in Juba wants to have it both ways. However for most South Sudanese, it is gentlemen’s position and as they deeply and strongly believe in the cause of the people of the Nuba Mountains and the Blue Nile regions, they will not waste their time pretending to like Omer al Bashir and his NIF government in Khartoum. This makes their lives easier as they don’t have to deal with contradictions any longer.

Further still, South Sudan and its incumbent leaders are by choice making their positions look as if they are the weak side in the Khartoum/Juba political game. This shouldn’t be the case because when we convinced the entire world of our reasons to secede from Khartoum, they understood it, stood by us and recognised us the very moment we declared our independence. This is our strength on which we should be building all our internal and external policies.

Whether we physically support Sudan’s rebels of the SRF or only sympathize with them, it makes very little difference when it comes to evaluating Juba’s relationship with Khartoum. We quit the unity with Khartoum for a very strong reason. Otherwise people don’t just break up countries for no reason. 

The unfortunate fact that, two years into our independence and we are still struggling to deal with the same Jallaba - brings our whole claim of sovereignty to question! This needs redress and should be  sooner than later.

Technically Khartoum’s plan to shut down the oil still remains Khartoum’s internal issue the way president Salva Kiir and Dr. Marial Benjamin would have us believe since they haven’t yet received any official notification as a government and practically the oil is still flowing unstopped. Nonetheless this is not a thing to count on given our knowledge of the enemy.

Sudan’s al Bashir is already on record for threatening to close the oil if Juba fails to allow the Sudan Armed Forces [SAF] access into South Sudan territory to flush out the SRF rebels from behind; however it cannot just assume that South Sudan can be treated as if it were still Khartoum’s backyard.

Now again without an official notification to Juba, Khartoum’s minister of information has come out with yet another version of the announcement, changing president al Bashir immediate closure order to a grace period of sixty days in which they  expect Juba to avert the closure by complying with Khartoum.

While al Bashir’s latest hysterical behaviors can be traced down to his government’s failure to contain the country’s internal problems of multifaceted rebellions that are quickly growing both in strength and popularity all across the country and no longer confined to the far states of Darfur, Kordofan or the Blue Nile, the truth of the matter is that al Bashir is looking for a foreign enemy in order to rally his people behind his ailing regime.

The AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) will have to remind Khartoum of the communiqué signed between Sudan-South Sudan, which among others, stressed the need for the two countries to unconditional implement the 27 September 2012 agreements.  It is either this or the entire agreement goes off the window with or without a return an all-out war.

Author: 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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