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Tuesday, Aug 04th, 2015

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Unrealistic hopes, President Obama’s visit will not bring peace to South Sudan

By J. Nguen Nyol

July 29, 2015 (SSNA) -- Hope is an “expectation of positive outcome, with confidence and to cherish a desire with anticipation." Thus is the mindset that my people have about President Obama’s visit to the continent of Africa, East Africa in particular. They say President Brack Hussien Obama’s visit to East Africa is a positive step and a hope to progress to achieving peace in South Sudan. Peace can return to suffering people of South Sudan.

That the war torn nation called South Sudan shall suffer no more. It sounds logical and pleasant in every one ear me included. We and they experiencing peace and stability as a result of America’s President’s visit to South Sudan’s vicinities, Kenya and Ethiopia would be undeniable gift. However, I disagree, this is a false hope, unless certain approaches are undertaken and change occurred on America and its people does things.

My disagreement so to speak is based on the America Government’s foreign policy, particularly its decision making process in the event of ending wars. There has never been such a quick fix to war by American Government and its policy makers and it’s unlikely to occur this time around. America’s solutions to conflicts are long and often centered on America’s national interest.

As President Obama tours East Africa, I bet there will be tough and strong talks spewing out from the world most powerful President on planet earth. Evident of this tough was seen in Kenya and Ethiopia at African Union address. Unfortunately these strong words are not always enforced. They do not mean anything. If one said empty threats, I concurred.

This has happened before, too many times. It happened in Iraq. Late President Saddam Hussien of Iraq gassed Kurdish people with chemical weapon before the eyes of the international community in the 1980s and thousands innocent civilians Kurdish Iraqis have died and nothing happened as a result in consequential manner.

The United States and other nations made loud noise followed by strong condemnations but never acted upon them. I believe it is a strategic policy of instilling false hopes to suffering masses to avoid blame of responsibility and inaction in the face of injustices.

To bring this rhetoric close to home, the United State of America allowed Rwandans to butcher themselves in 1994 in their watch and so is the United Nation. Relative to South Sudan, President Kiir has ready butchered 20, 000 innocent Nuer civilians in cold blood and no actions were taken. Much more personal to H.E. President Obama, he was himself lied to and even called a “liar” by President Kiir Mayardit. Many Americans were infuriated by these insults to their president and no action was taken to discipline the undisciplined mad general of South Sudan.

Though this happened in a face –to –face meeting between President Kiir of South Sudan and U. S. President and even on Americans’ soil, President Kiir didn’t a shit I supposed. To remind my readers on the circumstance on which this event happened, it was in a formal conversation between the two.

President Obama took a centre stage and told Kiir that the government of South Sudan was supporting Sudan’s rebel. When Kiir responded, he told Mr. Obama to fact check his Satellites imageries. In other word, Kiir was basically telling President Obama that he was lying and nothing was truthful on the topic under discussion. While in this regard the whole world knew the Government of South Sudan was indeed aiding the Sudan’s rebels.

In contrary, Kiir chose the high road and insulted his counterpart; the world most powerful man and in position of power by calling him a liar in his face. President Obama was reported to have been outraged and disgusted by disrespectful remark but didn’t do anything. The buck didn’t stop there, when USA, UN, EU and Great British threatened to impose sanctions against Kiir’s regime for massacring his own citizens, Kiir replied that he was not intimidated by the ‘stick’ of sanctions waved by Western powers, saying “let them hit ‘wherever the like to hit.

In defiance, Kiir went ahead anyway and ordered onslaught against innocent civilians in Unity State. Thousands of civilians were killed as a result. The American Government and the rest of the world watched on and didn’t do anything either. They only things they have done were condemnation of the brutality of Kiir’s regime while the prelude severe consequences never materialized.

In my view, in these circumstances, the United States of America and the rest of the world would have acted vigorously by force protecting the common humanity of man.

Therefore, these are parts of my doubts, why I believed President Obama’s visit to East Africa shall never bring peace to South Sudan, his are empty threats. My other argument lies on how double-faced this nation has become.

A decision to use force in America Government have multiple layers to traverse through. Above all, such decision must clearly define America’s national interest. For South Sudan case, Americans’ national interest is murky not well defined because China controlled South Sudan’s oil fields and in part lands lease. Therefore, it will take U.S to act forcefully on South Sudan civil war because there are not benefactors in anyway should peace come now to South Sudan.

For the warring parties, it’s unlikely that President Kiir regime will not settle peacefully and through peaceful means. With the help of Uganda government militarily, the regime has already trashed too many agreements including the ceasefire signed on January 2014. In numerous times, Kiir’s regime has also denied UN’s passage to relief corridors to save the dying populations in Upper Nile region. In all these cases, the world including U.S never act on humanitarian ground defending common humanity and right of man to life.

Further, the recent IGAD’s Compromised Proposal Agreement is already trashed too before President Obama returned home, to North America. For example, Kuol Mayang Juuk, Kiir’s Government defense minister called it an invasion of nation’s sovereignty if allowed. He told his generals that this peace proposal is mean to disempower them and put Dr. Riek on the path to toppling the government.

Mr. Ateny Wek Ateny, President Kiir’s official spokesperson called the “proposal “too complicated and too difficult for his government to swallow. Evidently, these are the realities on the ground on the side of the government. One may argument these are individuals’ utterance and may not mean anything as faras government’s position is concerned.

My counterargument is that Kiir’s government is run by individuals of Dinka descent, particularly those who have already spoken out against the proposal. I bet the government’s position on the IGAD’s Compromise Proposal won’t deviate much from that of Kuol and Ateny.

Besides, President Obama is well aware that his visit to East Africa is not a blessing to South Sudan problem and the visit will not bring peace in any way to the war torn nation. News outlets have already reported some indications validating my point. It was reported that President Obama was “strategizing ... next steps in the event” present peace “doesn’t succeed.”

For instance, tough sanctions and East Africa military task force were pronounced to protect civilians and create buffer zone between the warring parties. This proposal doesn’t grant peace and not tough enough. The other dumb idea was the fact that Uganda was in the meeting as part of East Africa’s countries to bring peace to South Sudan, yet, the Uganda Defense Forces (UPDF) are in South Sudan fighting alongside President Kiir government.  

The other the issue that stuck out in this proceeding is the so- called Friends of South Sudan. They are Americans and have lobbied the Americans’ Government to push for South Sudan independence during CPA, in 2005. They were personal friends to late Dr. John Garang and not to the people of South Sudan.  So, because South Sudan has gained its independence in 2011, these individuals think they owned South Sudan and its people.

For example, in the current conflict in South Sudan, they have taken sides and some whom are still working for the government of South Sudan. Dr. Francis Mading Deng is the Government of South Sudan ambassador to United Nation and while Ted Dagne and Roger Winter are President Kiir’s official advisors.

Their mouthpiece, Eric reeves is a diehard supporter of G10, allegedly called “the Garang Boys” who just surrendered to the Government of South Sudan.  Mr. Reeve has been very boldly and negative against Dr. Riek Machar, the armed opposition leader. To my dismay, Eric Reeve never acknowledged the victims of South Sudan government. According to him, Dr. Riek is the sole culprit of all wrongs. The truth is the man is out of touch and no sound minded person should ever listen to him. The bottom-line, Eric Reeve is a shame to good American people.

This is where fault line lies. The Friend of South Sudan is now part of IGAD-Plus negotiating peace for South Sudan.  Yet neutrality of this group is question. They have vest interest. If I may, the Friend of South Sudan is a negative post and should be remove from IGAD -Plus. I urged President Obama to take extra care dealing with this group. They don’t mean any good whatsoever to South Sudanese people.

I conclude this writing with Nyaleel’s story. Nyaleel is a ten year ago girls whose mother was burned alive by Kiir Mayardit forces and allies militias in Leer. My aim is to stress my people need peace. The story begin, blood run deep; it’s called motherly love. This is no longer a case for Nyaleel because she has no mother. Her mother with other 80 women and girls were killed.

They were burned alive by President Salva Kiir Mayardit’s forces in Leer. Nyaleel’s mother underwent gruesome and excruciating pains. She didn’t die in peace. It was this past June 2015 when Nyaleel’s mother was burned alive because she was a Nuer and from Dok -Nuer.

It was one of the devilish brutalities to say the least. It reminiscent crimes committed against Jews by Nazi. Subsequently, the world is much safer without Adolf Hitler then and now. Hitler was a man who masterminded massacre of 7 million Jews, the holocaust. The bad legacy of this historical narrative is that no child is named after Adolf Hitler. Calling someone Hitler in jokingly manner in the west is a punishable crime.

This is how ugly it could get. For crimes he committed against Jews, Adolf Hitler was not forgiven and peace was forced upon German. Jews were freed by force in the concentration camps.

This was remarkable and humanistic at best. Though, I sincerely believed President Obama will not bring peace to South Sudan in his visit to East Africa, as a brother, I urged him and the world to take necessary steps to rescue people of South Sudan. Not more empty threats but forceful actions.

Evidently, President Kiir and his dying institutions will not accept IGAD’s Compromise Agreement Proposal. The end game must be, Kiir and whoever that opposes peace must be force to accept it.

As piece of wisdom, they say do not envy a sinner. Well, I do. The world should and so is Nyaleel. President Kiir and likes must be held to account to ends impunity.

J. Nguen is a South Sudanese living in Canada. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Acknowledging pain of others

By Kuir ë Garang

July 23, 2015 (SSNA) -- This is one of those articles that sound really naïve and unsophisticated; but it’s undeniably necessary and true. I posted a video on my Facebook page a few days ago and some of my Nuer brothers and sisters were enraged. While their anger wasn’t unfounded, I do believe there should be a safe, necessary manner in which anger needs to be exercised within a larger context of societal, national future. However, I’ve realized the short-sightedness with which we configure our anger and its resultant consequence.

We’ve become a population that focuses on the satisfaction of our immediate visceral reactions without the need to consider the potential effect of our anger, and what we say at the height of our polemical fancies…after all is said and done. No matter the intensity of our anger, hurt and loss, it is crucial to remember that the noble way to mourn and honor one’s lost relatives is to engage in a discourse that’d frustrate any repeat of the past. However, what we seem to care about now isn’t the dreadful past and the possible bright, promising future but the here and now and what we feel.

“I feel anger and a sense of hatred so I’ll make sure I satisfy that!”

The more we cultivate our hatred, magnify our pain and deny the pain of others, the more the hurt we feel becomes entrenched as a cultural phenomenon. Unfortunately, talking about the potential for future inter-tribal cohesive coexistence sounds like an untenable joke to some people given the magnitude of the anger they feel now. But none of us has a choice: living together is the only choice, the end gain! Regardless of what we feel or think, togetherness is the ultimate end.

But there’s one thing South Sudanese need to remember. In any sociopolitical conflict, healing or the possibility of living together as a multi-tribal country rests on acknowledging the pain of those who’ve been hurt. And it’s no secret that the following are acknowledged facts:

1) The conflict started due to President’s mishandling of intra-SPLM problems.
2) SPLM leaders overestimated their influence and underestimated the power behind the president.
3) Nuer were targeted after the mutiny in Juba by President’s militia.
4) War is concentrated in mostly (not exclusively) in Nuer areas.

In spite of these accepted realities, it’s very crucial for the Nuer brothers and sisters to remember that non-Nuer members have also suffered in the senselessness of this conflict. The more we deny that others have suffered the more we foment the entrenchment of hatred in our nation. As long as others don’t deny that Nuer were massacred in large numbers in Juba, It’d be ideal for Nuer to advocate for the loss of their loved ones while acknowledging that others too have suffered and continue to suffer. Denying the pain of others is not only dishonest, but also detrimental to the future of South Sudan.

The culpability story doesn’t end at the point where we come to the conclusion that the SPLM and the President started this war. We have to remember that we also exacerbate the problem through evangelism of divisive language and policies. No one is going to live in comfort if we instigate or fuel inter-tribal hatred. Satisfaction of one’s anger feels good at the moment but all conscionable people should consider long-term effects of that state of mind when anger creeps into our sociopolitical consciousness.

It’s undeniable that corrective measures geared towards finding out structured, conscionable and remedial methodologies are unequivocally necessary. However, focusing our fancies on the immediate delight and enjoyment of anger geared towards others will only position us perpetually in the same sea of hateful stagnation.

The only road to reconciliation is to make sure that others acknowledge our pain while taking the necessary initiative to acknowledge the pain of others. Failure to do so will only have us drink from the sea of bitter reality: perpetual insecurity. Let’s grow up!

Truth...but responsibly!

Kuir ë Garang lives in Canada. For contact, visit www.kuirthiy.info

Juba Airport: Air traffic controllers in precarious and unacceptable situation

By Touembou Ngueyap Romuald

We have suffered enough; we came out from 21 years of civil war. In 2011, we were hoping for a bright future but it's a total mess now. Someone like me, my mind is wild, I grew up in bush, struggle alone to build up myself , my country ... Today the government pay less attention in civil aviation .... Air traffic controllers are suffering here ... we are doing heavy job with less money ... All air traffic controllers here are puzzled by this situation .If there was another opportunity, I am sure that many will leave, said JEPHREH (borrowed name), Air Traffic controller at Juba Airport.

July 7, 2015 (SSNA) -- $ 200it is not the Visa fees to get in South Sudan but the monthly wage of the South Sudanese air traffic controllers. (Sometimes less than that depending on USD inflation). Yes $200 as monthly salary. Here, Working conditions are revolting... Even equipment is still basic and primary; Airport infrastructure is inadequate and non-developed.

Mostly trained in Kenya (8 months training in aerodrome control at EASA, East African School of Aviation), devoted Air Traffic controllers at Juba airport contribute as much as little to the air safety in this poor country of the east of Africa.

Although opened from 0430am to 0530pm, the runway 13/31 at Juba Airport long with its 2400 meters long is one of the most utilized in the region. On the 118.4 MHz (Approach frequency), it is about 200 movements daily processed. These mostly consist of commercial airlines, cargo and especially humanitarian and military.

Indeed, since its independence on 9 July 2011, South Sudan has entered in an infernal cycle of violence with political and tribal overtones.

Frustration and exasperation are visible among air traffic controllers at Juba Airport.

The treatment of air traffic controllers here is unacceptable. Don’t speak about UNION or GUILD because the delicacy of the security situation has led to an authoritarian management of the country.

"Promises, promises and promises” said another controller. 03 months without incentives, irregular wages: That is the sad situation in which the valiant air traffic controllers try to work.

Some are frustrated, other revolted. To make ends meet ABID (alias) embarked for 1 year on Rap Music and this seems to smile: it is now one of the remarquable young figures in this underdeveloped country for about 11 million habitants.

LIECH DAMAI RUEI, meanwhile defected in September last year to join the armed rebellion of the Sudan People's Liberation Army.

Yet since 2011, significant efforts have been made by the foreign partners to upgrade civil aviation in South Sudan: US financing through ICAO, technical expertise of the ASECNA (western Africa ANSP) and retraining of air traffic controllers by United Nations mission: Everything has been put to accompany the development of civil aviation in this vast country of 644,324 Km2: Unfortunately the war! From 04 air traffic controllers in 2011, Juba ATS center currently has about 27 active Air traffic controllers which 5 only have license. Two (02) expatriates (Kenyan air traffic controllers Kenyans) also bring their experience. The airport extension started last year by a Chinese company is now interrupted because of instability: War and War again!!!

WE ARE PROUD AS AFRICAN AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS…THEY TOO WANT TO BE PROUD.

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

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