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South Sudan will be a good spectator, while its oil follows

By: Justin Ambago Ramba

June 17, 2013 (SSNA) -- President al Bashir’s outburst at a rally in Khartoum North on 8 June, 2013 was yet one in hundreds of occasions on which he often gets carried away by not exactly a bravado so as to say, but it is one of these things engrained in his Arabized Nubian [Arabs of Sudan] mentality where a warrior would dance and boast of his knighthood in front of his tribe’s women.

To those who know him well, they know that this is not the man’s first time to use the wrong place and the wrong platform to issue such orders which often has far reaching consequences on his country. He again made it to the news headlines when he told that rally in Khartoum state that he had ordered his oil minister Awad al-Jaz to block the pipeline carrying landlocked South Sudan’s crude to Red Sea coastal city of Port Sudan, accusing Juba of continuing to support to the Sudanese rebels.

This is what al Bashir of Sudan said:

"O’ Awad [oil minister] tomorrow direct oil companies to close the pipeline and after that let them [South Sudan] take it via Kenya or Djibouti or wherever they want to take it", the Sudanese president said. And you can imagine him shouting, and dancing his stick dance.

"The oil of South Sudan will not pass through Sudan ever again," Bashir added.

In the early 1970s  and 80s it was the Libyan strong man the late Mouamar al Gadhafi who was known to be the crazy man of the continent, for he had demonstrated a completely an unorganized type of  diplomacy. Thank God, he is dead now, but of course the scene is still full of his kinds.

The 27th September 2012 cooperation agreement between Juba and Khartoum was an agreement which took the whole of the international community a lot of effort to hammer. It has matrix for implementation as well as channels for complains should one side feel that the other isn’t being unfaithful.

In spite of all this well written document, it is unfortunate to admit that it failed to prevent president al Bashir of Sudan to revert to the ‘al Jaalein –way’ of doing things, when he turned to a mob of supporters in Khartoum Bahri (North), to not only accuse the Republic of South Sudan of helping the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) rebels, but it was here that he decided to terminate his country’s obligation to the cooperation agreement.

Al Bashir went on and stressed that the oil of south Sudan will not pass through Sudan ever again – read the above quote. This far was al Bashir’s official stand on the issue of relationship with its southern neighbour, and whatever modifications that he came up with in the following few days shouldn’t really be taken seriously if we are to take al Bashir himself seriously.

The sixty days grace period in which the oil of South Sudan will still continue to follow through the Sudan to the Red Sea port of Port Sudan, should better be understood in its true context. These sixty days is the time period allowed for in the agreement, whereby in an event of final decision to scrap the cooperation agreement. 

In this period south Sudan continues to enjoy the right to export it oil through Sudan and thereafter for the oil to be shut down in case such a decision has been arrived at by all the stake holders – Sudan –south Sudan – the various oil companies – the African union peace and Security Council (AUPSC).

However since it seems that al Bashir is keen to reverse his negative stand albeit on a condition that South Sudan stops its support to the SRF rebels, then we can say that the oil will continue to follow through the Sudan as it used to until such a time in the future when South Sudan decides otherwise.

This is simple logic and Khartoum knows that it is not concerned about the role of South Sudan as a government here, but rather it seems to be accusing certain individuals in Juba, that they continue to support the rebels.

First it was the RSS government and now it is some individuals or circles in Juba who are believed to be the ones supporting the Sudanese rebel groups. This being the case it can be reasoned out that even the degree of such kind of clandestine support if any does really exist,  will obviously not be a thing to upset the balance of power in the Sudanese civil war.

But let us also reason out the issue from a more objective view point, and in this case if it is true that a few individuals’ support to the SRF is capable of sending the entire government insane, then Khartoum is already suffering a serious war fatigue.  Because  otherwise how would you explain the mental state of such a clique that has fought wars against its own people since 1955 - till today [2013] to remain sound?!

Khartoum however has never hidden its hopes for a return to good relationship between the two countries. Its officials who know the real truth, but are unable to criticize their president over his amateurish reaction that has now brought the two countries at the verge of a diplomatic row and likely to lead to another military confrontations, coupled with the huge negative impacts that these can have on their country’s already ailing economy;   have expressed their will to see that the oil of South Sudan continues to flow.

To do this without making al Bashir look foolish in front of the world audience, the NCP officials chose the easiest thing to do and that is to push the whole situation into a corner where repeated meetings between Sudan and south Sudan will appear to have solved the problem.

Those who read the extract of the speech by NCP media secretary Yasir Youssef [ST], who spoke at a regular meeting of the NCP political sector committee, will appreciate that Khartoum is now looking for an exit strategy after realising how detrimental to the country, al Bashir latest rhetoric on closing the RSS oil is.

Youssef who will never dare of course to change the official position of his country, held on to the erroneous argument that Juba’s support to the rebel groups is the main difference between the two countries.

But even if certain circles in Juba were to be supportive of the Sudanese rebels, how does that become the main difference between the two countries, if as you read these lines, many South Sudanese rebels who had been receiving regular support from Khartoum in order to topple the RSS government are currently in Juba seeking integration. So for argument sake, who is now better than whom?

Still it could be a sign that Khartoum is back to its senses and acknowledges that there are mechanisms within the so-called cooperation agreement that needs to be exhausted first, when he [Yasir Youssef] said:  "Any mechanism conducive to stop this support is welcome, whether it comes through visits, dialogue or proposals, provided that it leads to stop this support," .

However President Kiir has repeatedly denied allegations by Bashir that his government backs the Sudanese rebels. “We have repeatedly made clear our disengagement with the SPLM-North and have offered to mediate a peace process between them and Khartoum,’ Kiir said.

“Those grievances [allegations levied by Khartoum on South Sudan] should be brought before the Joint Political Security Mechanism (JPSM). The allegations should then be investigated by the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JBVMM) or the Ad hoc Committee,” he said.

On the other hand the SRF through one of its leaders, Yasir Saed Arman has already expressed the group’s position on the new African Union mediation initiative that has been presented by Thabo Mbeki to the two partners as a way forward. Arman confirmed that his party welcomes the proposals made by the AU as it aims to investigate the accusations being traded between Khartoum and Juba over support to rebel groups.

The truth being  said, for as long as the SRF rebels operate in the Sudan, the Sudanese confused leadership will always look for someone to blame for its military defeats.  The bottom line is that, either al Bashir militarily defeats the SRF[ and he knows that better], or he reaches an agreement with them or worse still he runs away and leaves the seat of power to them. In all these scenarios RSS has the much obliged role of playing a good spectator, while its oil follows.

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

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@

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