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James Wani Igga, the prodigal son of Equatoria

By Elijah Samuel

July 22, 2014 (SSNA) -- I am not going to waste time to define who James Wani Igga is, however will do so briefly for our international readers; this Igga was the Speaker of the South Sudanese Legislative assembly, and currently, the vice president of The Republic of South Sudan. He also is among the most senior members of Sudan’s people Liberation Army/SPLA/M.

Igga joined the SPLA in 1985, trained in Cuba and Ethiopia. He rose through the SPLA ranks rapidly, and by 1987, Igga had the rank of a Major and commanded the Shakus Battalion.

The same year he served as Zonal Commander of Central Equatoria and as a member of the SPLA High Command, because of his unquestioned loyalty and friendship with Dr. John Garang and being naïve and passionless and lack of backbone to oppose any initiative coming from the top, such individuals becomes the beloved of tyrannical governance as they do not tolerate oppositions, this character weakness earned and got him a quick promotions in the world of SPLA/SPLM Dictatorship.

James Wani Igga hails from Bari tribe more specific he came from southern Bari clan south of Juba, near Kitt as one heads from Juba towards Nimule.

Noticeable, James Wani Igga remained unpopular among his people the Baris and Equatorians at large, though highly respected within the SPLA movement. This unpopularity at the home front is due to his inability to relate and the utter disengagement with his people the Equatorians.

Many south Sudanese see James Wani as part and partial of the failed government of Kiir, even before, Kiir appointed him as vice President in October 2013 to replaced former vice president Riek Machar.

Though he is one of the powerful South Sudanese politicians, given he was the first speaker of the National legislative assembly and his historical role in the war of liberation, Wani miserably failed to address some of the alarming issues that have infected the Nation for the last 9 years. This branch of government was lead by him and it failed in his hands, how then do we expect him to be able to achieve anything at the executive branch if he terribly and utterly failed in the legislative?

The Majority of Equatorians view Wani Igga as an incompetent and clueless politician who lacks ability and wisdom to unify the Sophisticated and complex and diverse people of Equatoria.

The Equatorian more so detest and despised the fact that he has become a mere messenger who carries lies, simply puppet, he lacks a national or regional initiatives nor directions, he is rather egotistic politician who is only preoccupied by his political future and maintaining the current status quo rather than fighting to correct the erred President to embrace peace and democratic dialogues and the much needed reforms everyone agrees is urgent except for Wani Igga and his boss the tyrant.

Equatorians sees Igga as taking aggressive position on behalves of Kiir and lacking political tact, using street and abusive languages towards democratic political opponents and mobilizing the sons of Equatoria to die for this war of Salva Kiir to remain in the top job of the country.

While his people, the Bari, are being cornered by the Jieng left and right in Juba regarding land, James Wani Igga did not and does not identify with the pain of his people in this regards, although the Baris are at risk of losing their land in Juba and other surrounding areas to the land rustling Jiengs who have not hidden their agendas and ambitions to occupy the Greater Equatoria, and make its peoples, second-class citizens of this new nation. 

Igga decided to remain quiet as such, his very own Bari people the indigenous of Juba implicate him in the lucrative business of selling land to Dinka political and military elites.

From 2005-2013, there have been dangerous lands grabbing practices involving some of the high-ranking government official like Salva Matok, the former deputy interior minister, to include the President Kiir himself.

At the time the land grabbers and government security that did not respect human right, murdered the braved Bari chief who stood in opposition yet James Wani Igga remained silent.

As a result many Bari in Juba were forcefully evicted from their ancestral land in the name of development and the so called new nation that has so far benefitted a few and one tribe of the 64, this natives are evicted without ever being compensated and other have become homeless, while the few with money managed to acquired plots in Gudele and other juba outside perimeters.

Mr.Wani Igga never echoed the suffering of his people, rendering him the lost son of the people with no connection and supporters within his Equatorian people. He sold his soul for money and power, which he lacks the will to use for national benefit but personal enrichments and ego.

Recently, the braved governor Clement Wani Konga spoke out on behalves of his people in Central Equatoria and Equatoria as a whole.

He echo the voices of his people, he spoke for them, as a true representative of the people should do, be a voice for his people, that is what he is elected to do, he called for federalism, his called was equally echoed and supported by the great son of Equatoria like no other, Hon. Governor Joseph Bakasero Bangasi of Western Equatoria. And lastly the puppet Governor Louis Lobong came out of shame to support his two counterparts, this he did to appease his counterpart from central and Western Equatoria states, otherwise it is known to every South Sudanese that governor Lobong is in the same school of thoughts with Wani Igga, who are both blind supporters of Salva Kiir, who tells them to dance and they to, like faithful domestic dogs obeying their owners!

Yet this universal calls by the people of Equatoria, supported now by their governors, was rejected by James Wani, the egotistic puppet of the Tyrant, reflecting simply Wani Igga has no individual political goals in place to rescue his people from Dictatorial and oppressions of this Kiir government reducing them into second class citizens.

What Wani does not realize is if your people are reduced to second-class citizens, even if you are personally promoted to the palace, you yourself are still a second-class citizen!Any reasonable and normal person will notice that James Wani Igga is obsessed and preoccupied by nothing else than just losing his seat to Riek Machar for the second consecutive times.After tasting life in abundance the man realized how important it is to fight for his political survival rather than that of his people, to the extend instead of listening to his people he is making an attempt to silence their genuine call for federalism and in addition, in his attempt to pleases the Merciless Tyrant, he is campaigning to halt the formation of interim government.

While recently in Uganda, Igga declared,"We cannot make a mistake neither to accept the rebels demand for president [Salva] Kiir to step down. This is very wrong and can never and ever happen in this world", Igga told thousands of South Sudanese at International University of East Africa (IUEA) in Kampala.

He described as "unwise" any decision by government to share power with rebels, further arguing that it could spur more rebellions among the marginalized in the country”. Quotes from Sudan Tribune.

This is utter nonsense, such figure in a responsible position like that of James Wani would have put the plight of his people first, rather than being a puppet, protecting President Kiir’s interest as his sole mission in life and reason to be alive!

Since Salva Kiir started the massacre in Juba in mid December 2013, Kiir and Wani Igga have paired up to carry lies and create havoc, an act of criminality in our country. His unquestioned support of Kiirs criminal regime makes him an accomplices and murderer of the brethren, of fellow citizens, just like Dictator Kiir, his boss.

The best Wani Igga could have done was to develop his own national profile, his own political aspiration and play neutral and facilitates peace between his erred boss and Dr. Riek Machar, which could have convinced the great people of South Sudan to entrust him the seat of interim President and lead the country to a new beginning with a fresh elections.

He would have gain the support of all sides, an opportunity he blew to pieces! Just as there is no room left for his boss in the future of South Sudan, so is for Igga, the comedian who has deeply involved himself in the predatory and blood thirsty dictatorial politics of Kiir by accepting the position of a puppet at the expenses of his people in the moribund government poisoned by Kiir and his tribal followers had done himself in just like his boss and Equatorians disown him.

It remains to be seen how far James Wani Igga will wrestle with his patriotic nephew Hon Governor Clement Wani Konga, who time and again stood with his electorates and the people of Greater Equatoria.

If the people of Equatoria and south Sudan were to make a choice between the two, it is abundantly clear they will give their support to the iconic hero Hon Governor Wani who not only fearlessly made his feelings known and opposing Kiir’s unrealistic vision to destroy our nation’s dream by silencing people from democratically expressing their support for federalism (Kiir is power drunk that he thinks he can tell us when to discuss certain topics and when we can not, he things being the president means he own our very voices), Governor Konga along with Equatorian Majority refused to buy such to the extend Konga also publicly  denounced the in-discriminate killings of Equatorian women by cutting their Uterus and removing thousands of unborn Equatorian babies during the war of liberation.

This when investigated will constitute one of the most egregious crimes against humanity ever committed against Equatorians in Equatorian lands by the Jiengs, not even the Arabs did such in the 50 years of struggle.

While they Cry about the 1991 Bor Massacre, their crime against the Equatoria then and now against the Nuer has never been committed before by others, how comes it is painful when they are touched but not when they unleash hell on others? And now Wani Igga supports this same criminal regime unconditionally?

Rest assured, history will judge Wani Igga and Salva Kiir harshly, and both along with their cohorts have lost irreversibly the most important seats in South Sudan, the hearts of the People of South Sudan.

The author lives in Juba, South Sudan.

Riek and Kiir are two sides of the same coin: failure, incompetence and tribonationalism

By Kuir ë Garang

July 21, 2014 (SSNA) -- Let’s not kid ourselves! South Sudan is a completely tribalized country. We can pretend that only a given section of the society is the problem but history will soon show that the sooner we acknowledge it and find a way to get rid of it or reduce it the better things will be for all of us.

President Kiir Mayardit has ushered in a culture of dirty nepotism and Jieeng-centeredness in his administration, an unfortunate tribonationalism. Regrettably, the leadership will pretend that the administration is not Jieeng-dominated. Even when this kind of behavior and attitude is leading the country nowhere, senior officials still believe nothing is wrong with both the administration and the country as a whole.

If one section of the country isn’t safe in the same city the president lives in then you got to ask yourself: What’s wrong with these leaders?

Instead of devising ways aimed at bridging the tribal divide and possibly use it to bring long-term inter-tribal understanding, the senior officials either further inflame tribal tensions through their careless rhetorics or through lies that easily flash on their faces.

Not only have the officials succeeded in making South Sudan gain number one as the most fragile state, they’ve also brought the country to a new low.

The only head of state who was able to attend South Sudan’s third anniversary ‘celebrations’ was President Museveni of Uganda for obvious reasons. The president of Kenya, Prime Minister of Ethiopia and the president of Sudan didn’t show up.  This is a clear indication of how bad the leadership has failed. But they still think everything is okay. Beats me!

And even worse, they still think there was a coup attempt when the world (even our neighbors) sees no evidence.

Non-Jieeng officials in Kiir’s government are either puppets or self-interest driven folks. If the likes of Dr. Riek Gai and Dr. Lomoro have any true sense of self and care for South Sudan, how come they allow South Sudan Television to be used for divisive politics by the President and people like Malaak Ayuen of SPLA? Such educated people should advise the president regarding the value of different opinions. Instead of using his TV show to instill discipline in SPLA soldiers and to show Nuer people that SPLA has a national face and intent, Malaak has politicized the show and uses a language that discourages Nuer from the government. How good is that to the president and the country?

Rebellion as I’ve always maintained, is bad for South Sudan and I’ll never endorse it come what may! However, Dr. Gai and Dr. Lomoro, being the bootlickers they have become without any personal integrity left, should nonetheless let the president know that being criticized or being told that such and such a thing is wrong is not only good for the president, but also, for the nation; because it gives the president an avenue to evaluate his performance.

Riek Machar on the other hand is not doing any better. How can a leader rely exclusively on a unitribal fighting force? Riek’s failures, leadership fantasies and dictatorial tendencies in 1991 are well-documented by Deborah Scroggins, Dr. Lam Akol, Dr. Adwok Nyaba…among others. This means that Riek needs to do more to be seen as a national leader. His administration is overwhelmingly Nuer and his fighting army is made up of the same. I know some people will cite Dau Aturgong! Go ahead! Yet Riek is accusing President Kiir of being a tribal leader. Duh!

While Riek Machar didn’t start the current crisis, he’s not done any better than President Kiir. Like President Kiir, he relies on his tribesmen and civilians have been killed in thousands under his leadership. I’ve not seen the national character of Riek Machar! He needs to translate his ‘democratic’ ideas into actions.

While Riek boasts of having supporters from other tribes in South Sudan, one has to realize that all these non-Nuer men are categorically ‘jobbists’, to use Dr. John’s term. You’ll agree with me that all the men with Riek Machar are men who either lost their jobs or didn’t find any avenue to land well-paying jobs in Kiir’s government. Not a single one can boast of having quit Kiir’s government while still a minister or a senior official. This still brings their national character to question.

President Kiir is both a failure and a tribonationlist but citing that as a reason for joining an armed resistance when one’s primary reason for leaving is the the loss of jobs, isn’t honorable!

Besides, Riek knows that South Sudan is tribally divided; however, he’s not put down any clear modalities that would help bring about inter-tribal understanding. We don’t even know the official policy or political position of Riek Machar and his group. There’s no document except constant and vacuous call for ‘democracy’ and ‘freedom.’ The same Riek now calling for democracy was the one who wanted to ban SPLM-DC of Lam Akol when he (Riek) was Vice President. You can also check the list of his employees when Riek Machar was VP and you’ll be convinced that Riek is as tribonatonalist as Kiir

Both Riek and Kiir are killers, incompetent leaders, care only about remaining or ascending to power at the expense of South Sudanese civilians and they surround themselves with mostly their tribesmen.

These two leaders are a disgrace to South Sudan. I wish their consciences get awakened to give South Sudanese a chance for peace.

While Riek has a better case diplomatically speaking, he risks, again, becoming a greater failure if he doesn’t put tribal issues between Jieeng and Nuer into serious consideration. Imagining military victory is mere delusion.  

Kuir ë Garang is the author of ‘South Sudan Ideologically.’ For contact, visit

Can Daniel Deng Bul who basically failed in state succeed in a national level?

By: Bol Khan Rom

July 21, 2014 (SSNA) -- Daniel Deng Bul was appointed in April 2013, with Republican Decree by President Kiir, as South Sudan Healing, Peace and National Reconciliation Committee’s Chairperson. Deputized by South Sudan admired Bishop Paride Taban. The National Reconciliation Committee under Daniel Deng Bul was given a tremendous task to reconcile South Sudanese people. To relief the twenty one years (21) war trauma which might have had affected and twisted the thinking of certain elements in different communities across South Sudan. Daniel Deng Bul, three years before this similar task but in a state level, had been once sequentially or simultaneously mediating Peace between George Athor and GoSS, among the Murle, Lou Nuer and Bor Dinka as well as between David Yau Yau and GRSS.  Primarily, all these peace mediations were, under the auspice of Daniel Deng Bul, in Jonglei state level started right from mid-2010 to 2012.

However, Daniel Deng Bul basically failed to initiate even anything that could be seen related to peace among Jonglei state communities. He reconciled neither Geoge Athor Deng and GRSS, ethnic conflicting groups(Murle, Lou Nuer & Bor Dinka) by the time nor GRSS and South Sudan Democratic Movement SSDM/A—Cobra Faction of David Yau Yau.

Therefore, questions which this piece aims to establish are: Can Daniel Deng Bul who basically failed in a state level, succeed to bring peace in a national level? Which one is more complicated, state or national task? Is there anybody optimistic that Deng Bul will ever succeed in reconciling South Sudanese people? It happens but seldom, for a person who failed to solve a family-like issue to succeed in a broadest one in a national level. This is one thing to note. In the same token, is Daniel Deng Bul among the personalities who do succeed in bringing peace? What are the criteria always needed of a person to be appointed as a Mediator? Can anybody tell me those characteristics? How to bring peace and reconciliation among ethnical, politically divided society like South Sudanese isn’t simple. Is it?  

Look when Daniel Deng Bul was sworn into office and set to leave Juba for Jonglei in order to reconcile the aforementioned communities. He immediately started the work as soon as he could reach the state. Initially, Deng Bul in the state called for an inclusive conference, he said. Unfortunately, the people who were presence in that meeting held in Bor, intended by Deng Bul, were all from one side of the conflict, the inhabitants of Bor County.

Other groups were excluded from the conference. As they were in Pibor uniformed and other remote places in the far east of the state. In that conference the excluded communities were termed criminals, destroyers and given stereotype names by the organizers. The same became also the case in GRSS and SSDM/A- Cobra Faction peace process under the Chairmanship of Deng Bul himself. Perhaps because of his deeds, Daniel Deng was seen partial throughout. That might be the reason why he failed to mediate peace in Jongle state. Words and statements like, “The Murle, Lou Nuer are the cause of insecurity in the state, they are the ones who raid cattle, loot other people’s properties and David Yau Yau is a criminal who could be burn alive if found, compared to Dinka Bor who are peaceful”. Again Daniel Deng was quoted as saying “David Yau Yau was a notorious and criminal who killed people in disguise of democracy”.

Conference that meant to include all sides to the conflicts concentrated only on two sides if not one. The Murle in Pibor and other communities couldn’t be involved, as you the readers read earlier on. The author is not an expert in peace, conflicts and resolution but he doesn’t believe that such divisive statements from a mediating body could weld wounds.  As result, there came a lot of questions from the excluded sides. This, automatically, led to a premature failure of Jonglei state peace process under Daniel Deng Bul. That is to say, Daniel Deng failed in mediated peace between the GOSS and George Athor, among the Murle, Lou-Nuer, Bor Dinka traditional conflicts and that of GRSS and SSDM/A- Cobra Faction of David Yau Yau.

There was only a breakthrough in Jonglei state when Bishop Paride Taban was tasked to take over from Deng Bul and mediated peace between the GRSS and SSDM/A- Cobra Faction of Yau Yau. An admired Bishop, Paride Taban, who really experienced in how two or more conflicting sides are mediated. Globally, Bishop Taban was in early 2013 won UN Peace Award. Indeed, Paride Taban when took the job over from Deng Bul he truly brokered a fruitful peace between the GRSS and SSDM/A-Cobra Faction. We have now GRSS and SSDM/A-Cobra Faction peace Agreement signed in Addis Ababa, brought by Bishop Paride Taban. The later did not peril the issues around the solution to that problem. Otherwise there would have been no agreement today called SSDM/A-GRSS of GPAA.

Let’s return to South Sudan Healing, Peace and National Reconciliation Committee’s role. Daniel Deng Bul was tasked to reconcile South Sudanese people before this current turmoil could erupt. Did Daniel Deng Bul’s Committee bring to end communal conflicts in Lakes state? I think the Committee didn’t make any progress. Only the similar divisive statements were instead attributed to the Committee’s leadership. Take for example, a political prayer delivered in a Parliament last year by a certain Archbishop. Amid the then SPLM creating National crisis: “In which Almighty God was asked by that certain Archbishop to take the life of anybody who wanted to challenge Salva Kiir in a SPLM‘s Chairmanship.” It was being repeated in several occasions in Juba. Are these the prayers that can help reconcile the people of South Sudan? How do you see it now? I mean the work of Daniel Deng’s Committee. Hasn’t it process been paralyzed? Apart from those examples, where is an independency they claim? There is no independency seen nation-wide. Independency never means I should organize a one sided conference. Yes I can organize it there but also in the other place, where it’s necessitate.

Also, independency never means organizing just prayers in the Churches. Do the audiences take your points in that Churches you preach in?  Do those words touch and find what is in the hearts of grassroots. Independency doesn’t imply to hold meeting in a Freedom Hall in Juba city and say you’re reconciling the nations. For instance, have you ever held a peace conference in Kajo-Keji, Maridi, Renk and Raga? Leaving the most internal conflict-affected people of Lakes State wondering about what kind of reconciliation you might be doing there in your own local language.  Independency never means you ethnically distort perspectives in context. Independency means not to say by yourself that you’re independent of your associated belief, politicians or whatever might be seen an obstacle to peace. Succeeding in bringing peace to the nation isn’t something one can just wish for. Rather it is something you’re characterized practically. Something you do, something you are, and something you talk impartially. As Bishop Paride Taban does and other Churches leaders. To engage in conflicts, you need not to buy a knife that cuts but a needle that sews. Healing and Reconciliation is to understand both sides. And it should, however, be a must for those sides involved to have confidences in you. If you cannot access all sides to the conflicts 24 hours, then you’re reconciling who with who? Or they might have lost confidences in you. Alas, you will have no chance to go to one side, describe the suffering being endured by the other side and produce solution or way forward. And then go to other side doing the former and the latter repeatedly, which is the basic step of making successful peace and reconciliation. If that one cannot happen to you then you won’t taste the solution or fulfill this step. It must be worth for you to resign. Give the responsibility to next colleague to have a try.

Lastly, not the least, I would hope that South Sudanese people have convinced that talks between GoSS and George Athor—Movement have failed. Jonglei state Communal peace imitative among the Murle, Bor Dinka and Lou- Nuer Communities was failed. Moreover, the talks between SSDM/A of David Yau Yau and GRSS have also failed at the end of 2012. All these three mediations made by Daniel Deng Bul were prematurely failed in Jonglei state level. But became successful when Bishop Paride Taban had stepped in. In the same way, Daniel Deng Bul has already failed in the national level. He cannot succeed in bringing Reconciliation to South Sudanese people whatsoever much more time he can be awarded. For, his leadership lacks reconciliatory attitudes required in mediation. Keeping Daniel Deng Bul as Peace, Healing and National Reconciliation Committee’s Chairperson is tantamount to telling South Sudanese people that don’t reconcile. Therefore, the Responsibility of reconciling the nation, if we’re really in need of reconciliation, should be handed over to our well-regarded Bishop, Paride Taban. Bishop Paride Taban is one of the most South Sudanese potential Religious Leaders to reconcile South Sudanese without one, two three. President Kiir should decree into National Reconciliation top office, Bishop Paride Taban. Let Bishop Taban take his overdue precise job!

The writer is a South Sudanese; 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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