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Uganda intervention is the stumbling block that prevents peace to prevail in South Sudan

By Gatwech Ruot Nyoat

August 25, 2015 (SSNA) -- Before the onset of December 15, 2013 outbreak of war, the movement of Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) was witnessed in the border town of Nimule at the time when President Salva Kiir started to relieve generals in the army, issuing executive order to remove Dr. Machar’s executive powers and final dissolution of the whole government of South Sudan with exception of himself in power on July 23, 2013. This was anticipated by most citizens that President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda was behind the scene of most decisions made by Salva Kiir with his support and believe that he would be the rescuer in case the situation went out of order. With all ills intentions of Museveni for people of South Sudan and his warmonger business in the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes Region, he was the first to convince the regional leaders and the Obama’ administration that he would prevent infrastructure in the capital Juba and help in evacuation of foreign nationals out from South Sudan.

When Museveni got the greenlight from regional leaders and the international community behind the curtain, he started his devilish work by supporting the genocidal government of Juba that targeted and killed more than 20,000 Nuer civilians in the watch of international community and regional leaders without condemnation of this act of atrocities. UPDF did not stop its war of interventions in Juba, but continued its military support by using clusters bombs against the rebels and the civilians on Juba- Bor road. The international community did not give an ear even when the cluster bombs that are banned internationally were used and Uganda being signatory to the treaty is not held accountable up to now. United Nations (UN) experts reported the use of cluster bomb but no country regionally or internationally which condemns the use of cluster bomb. Why is that so? It is because Uganda did not go to war alone in South Sudan without the concern of others even though it has its own hidden agenda with the regime in power. It is with the support of the IGAD countries that viewed Museveni as an elder brother and the grand old man of the region in which his intentions cannot be questioned. The other regional leaders feared of Uganda support from the US because of its stands on the war on terror in Somalia and the Lord Resistance Army (LRA) of Northern Uganda. The Ugandan war planes are not only targeting the rebels but also the civilians in the greater Upper Nile no voice that call Uganda to account. Ugandan leader is being seen as key figure to bring peace in South Sudan while all destructions in South Sudan are all his own making. Museveni does not want to see South Sudan with leader who has vision for the country. For instance, the mysterious death of Dr. John Garang De Mabior, the late General George Athor and the current disappearance of Peter Abdelrahman Sule, the leader of the United Democratic Front( UDF) and others are believed to meet their fate in the hands of Uganda.The plan of Museveni was to help Salva Kiir to assassinate Dr. Riek Machar so that Kiir stays in power because he is yes man for him. The disappearances of South Sudanese politicians and opponents of the government in Juba clearly depicts the true color of Museveni and his ally whom he mentors. He wants to rule South Sudan as part of Uganda without knowing that he puts himself to the war that he will face the consequences in the long run whether he exit or not.

The recent conference in Kampala by the So- called frontline states_ (Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and the Sudan) was an attempt by Ugandan President to derail the IGAD- Plus Compromise Peace proposal as he had been dragging the IGAD countries by their feet in the past 20 months of South Sudan civil war. It was strategy to make amendment that favors only the regime in Juba in order to undermine the role of other African countries that became part of IGAD- Plus.  President Museveni called the document of IGAD- Plus as white man thing while he relied on white man to stay in power for almost three decades. What president Museveni and his ally Salva Kiir do not know is that the world has come to realize that Museveni is manipulating the IGAD peace process as the frontline military fighter for Salva Kiir and peace mediator on IGAD heads of States and Governments.

If the region and the internationally community really mean what they say about peace to prevail in South Sudan, Uganda interferences can be halted if it were removed from the peace process and being pressure to convince Kiir to sign with immediate effect.Without countermeasures to ensure signing of document by Kiir the international community and the region will be viewed as toothless entity without enforcement. Mr. Salva Kiir has to make tough decision whether to rescue himself by signing the peace agreement or allowing the generals that committed atrocities to prevent him to sign because of fear being held accountable if peace comes. If Uganda troops are not called out of South Sudan, the war in South Sudan will spread to its neighbors like a wild fire because of many interests in the region and internationally.

The people of South Sudan are just waiting for the international community to make the IGAD-Compromise Peace Agreement realistic by standing firm to its decision by calling the government of Salva Kiir to accept the call of the peace to come to South Sudan. It is known fact that ordinary people of South Sudan want peace, but the military leaders in Juba that committed gross human right violations and atrocities should not be allowed to take South Sudanese people hostage by derailing the peace process. You hear people saying we will consult with people of South Sudan and if they accept peace we will sign it. Who are the people to be consulted when all stakeholders had signed the IGAD-Plus with exception of Salva? Are they not the section of military elites and the Council of Dinka Elders that are against peace because they are beneficiaries of the war? Is it not the Ugandan President who thinks that his relationship with Salva Kiir is more important than sisterly and brotherly co-existence between ordinary Ugandan and South Sudanese citizens?

Finally ,the international community and the regional countries that want South Sudan to be at peace with itself should stand united against Uganda interference militarily and being anti-peace in the region by using its military in DRC, Somalia and South Sudan. Uganda intervention in any country in Great Lakes region and the Horn of Africa had not beneficiary to any of the countries, so why allowing this warmonger and dictator to ruin the region?

South Sudan peace process is a practical test for the region and international community that needs to be addressed amicably; otherwise the spoilers of peace will use the failure of international community and African Union as scapegoat in the future. This stumbling block of peace by President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda makes the government of Salva Kiir so intransigent by not signing the peace deal. This needs urgent solution by all peace loving nations of the world to call President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni out of South Sudan.

The author is a recent MA graduate from University of Notre Dame, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, South Bend, Indiana, USA. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Analysis: Jesus separated the church from the state

By Tor Madira Machier

August 12, 2015 (SSNA) -- Although the church yet today plays a very dominant role in politics, Jesus himself - during the days of Caesar, then ruler of the Roman Empire - authorized the separation of the church from politics. The consequent was that Christ always used to teach indirectly which made it difficult for those who attended his teachings to analyze his teachings accordingly. Well, today it is revealed.

The authoritative Christian text regarding the status of the church from politics is the greatest passage found in Matthew 22:21, in which Jesus Christ himself was quoted as saying, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God things which are God’s”. Although religious scholars yet today maintain differing intentions and analysis towards this phrase, it has been understood, throughout Christian history, as an authorization of a separate existence of the two, the Church and the politics. Too, the development of human civilization and the existence of multi-religious societies made it very clear that the separation of the Church from the state is possible.

Despite the fact that religious scholars disagreed on the authenticity whether Jesus meant that the church and the earthly authorities remains separate, there is a common ground which suggests that Jesus was saying that he came for God’s mission and that Caesar and his Authority remains a separate entity.

The Jews, before the birth of Christ, thought that the Messiah which was prophesized by early prophets was somebody who is coming to accomplish an earthly mission, for example to free the from the Roman prosecution. And that all the political woes of the Jews people were to be solved by the Christ himself.

In Africa, the secular hegemonic nature of the founding of certain African nations brings in to account the political meaning of colonial religious tradition. Christianity in Africa is projected as a part of persistence in the debate about the national questions such as: who to rule the society. Despite the fact that constitutions of the modern democratic state are secular one, church still influences politic. Church in Africa, in spite of the constitutionality of secularism, have more to pursue through politic. Example is the article eight of the South Sudan constitution, which reads as:”religion and state shall be separate”, “All the religions shall be treated equally and religious beliefs shall not be used for divisive purposes. Nevertheless in spite of the constitutionality of secularism, being a none-Christian, both in regard to the South Sudanese society leads to stigma and the government, which is supposed to enforce the Law, is run by individuals from the same society.

Developed countries too have the same religious catastrophe. Article 2 of Argentine reads as: the federal government supports the Roman Catholic Apostolic religion. Too, likewise, Denmark, support Christianity as its official religion. Article 4 says: “The Evangelical Lutheran church shall be the established church of Denmark and, as such it shall be supported by the state”.

South Sudan must get out of the same way other secular nations pretends to be exercising and enforcing religious rights which in return is against the fundamental freedom of non-Christian citizens. South Sudan is a land with different types of religions, they are all South Sudanese, and the mother of these children must not disown and accept one among her children. We are all created by God, and unto him, we are of the same value to him and he is the only supreme judge to all the mankind.

I am aware that some may doubt me on matters regarding religions in South Sudan, but for me to justify that there is religious stigmas in South Sudan, I have an example, and that is the fact that even non-Christian South Sudanese citizens who beliefs in African traditional religions names themselves and their children using Christian name. And should any one dare to correct me on this fact, he must constructively answer a question: Why even those who never went to church, who never saw Christian priests, and who never heard of Baptism named themselves names such as Michael, James, John and so when they possess evil spirits and demons in them? And I hope I am perfect and victory for me, in regards to this question, is mine.

Let’s give unto Caesar, things which belongs to Caesar and unto God, things which belong to God.

Tor Madira Machier is a South Sudanese columnist living in Egypt and can be reached through: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit his blog: tormachier.blogspot.com.

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

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