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South Sudan Massacre turned one; the world still watches the scene

Jesus or Mohamed will not rise to save our lives, if you have power to help save life of innocent children, you are their savior of the time and they will praise you for that.” K. Y. Tutkuay

By Kuach Tutkuay

December 14, 2014 (SSNA) -- In all my writings—be it about the situation in South Sudan or elsewhere—I am fond of expressing my sentiment and frustration about the plight of civilians to the world leaders, this is because I holds in me the belief that the world is one body and whatever affect one part of the world affects the whole world. The crisis in South Sudan has claimed thousands of lives and the hostility has not yet ceased, as the dry season is coming there are speculations that the warring parties may involves in large-scale military operations to crash the other. This will obviously perpetuate the already volatile humanitarian situation.

As of today, a poor widow is mourning her son who was dragged out of the house and deliberately killed while in other sections of the society some people are dancing happily in commemoration of a triumphantly foiled coup de etat. In one hand is the massacring of innocent civilians, in the other hand is the failed coup. These are two realities that would take an Athenian’s deductive argument to descend which is true. As Mahatma Gandhi quoted, “false does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become false because no one sees it”. Many findings—including that of the Commission of Inquiries, the Enough Project and the UN HRW reports—have indicated that civilians were killed indiscriminately in South Sudan. Having obtained and read all these documents, we are still void of finding a way forward.

The conflict in South Sudan is a tribal war although the warring parties try to divert this fact. Many reports also indicated this fact including the Human Right Watch Report. Sometimes it is quite cumbersome dealing with such situations because one may end up favoring one at the expense of the other. I don’t know what theory exist about tribal war but I would say its solution may not be necessarily rewarding one of the tribes. I would argue that, in such circumstances, a “zero benefit” may work better, that is to say reward none of the parties to the conflict. Some people might mistake my stance for supporting the political detainees or the G10; I am not in support of their leadership either because they participated in one way or the other in the genesis of the ongoing destruction in South Sudan.

Obviously things will get worst in the dry season, and there is only one way to save lives of innocent civilians in South Sudan—declaring the country under the UN Trusteeship Administration as was the case for East Timor and Kosovo. I am saying this out of desperation because it is quite a bleak situation; for the country to get back to normalcy under the same leadership is impossible. South Sudan has disintegrated beyond re-unification under its current leaders and a mere sanction will not help bring it back together. These leaders have lived most of their lives as rebels fighting for freedom from Khartoum, as such, they are used to committing crimes against humanity without being held accountable. Sanctions or ICC is not a threat to them because none of them knew what it is to be indicted at the ICC, they thought it is like the Kangaroo court in Juba where one judge himself and declare innocence.

Civilians will be happy to live peacefully and harmoniously regardless of who leads them than to be maimed at will for a leadership wrangle they had nothing to do with. The Dinka and the Nuer are socially closer than any other tribe in South Sudan. Speculations that these two tribes hate each other are mere lies. It is personal greed imposed on them to kill each other. Kiir was elected by 63 tribes, how can that leadership be protected by only one tribe? Protecting it from whom? Are they not the same people who voted for him? It is quite misleading to say “come and protect our leadership from so and so”. This is quite a political empty-mindedness because when a leader has nothing to offer, he creates chaos to make a reasonable excuse for failure.

We may threaten or impose sanctions; we may even force the two rival factions to accept power sharing—if at all they will be willing to compromise on the powers of the president and Prime Minister—but none of these will help the local civilians. As good as my opinion is concerned; either of these will only worsen the hostility and the suffering of the civilians. Supporters of these leaders will disagree with my opinion of a UN trusteeship; they may be citing national sovereignty of South Sudan as a basis for their argument. Well this is already under question since the very sovereign government targets it civilians on tribal line. Humanitarian workers were killed base on their ethnicity. Where is that sovereignty we are talking about? Anything that claims life of one of us is a menace we should not tolerate, with or without sovereignty.

My appeal to the world is that, Jesus or Mohamed will not rise to save our lives, if you have power to help save life of innocent children, you are their savior of the time and they will praise you for that. We are living beings and, I believe, our lives also matters and we deserve to live like any other human. Why would it not bother you when we are dying? Why would it be none of your business when women and little children are being killed deliberately? Please come to our rescue!!

The writer could be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or @kuach444 on Twitter.

Juba Massacre, One Year On; No Justice Since the 15th of December!

By Tor Madira Machier

December 13, 2014 (SSNA) -- At 10:30 pm, on Sunday the 15th of December 2013, messages and statements circulated on twitter and Facebook reported of a fierce fighting in Al Giyiada military barrack (former Sudanese armed forces hospital). And within a matter of more than two hours, the fighting resumed in New Site and continued with the echo of heavy gunfire to the next morning (Dec 16th).

On the morning of 16th December on Monday, Kiir flanked by Nguen Manytuil, Marial Benjamin, Kuol Manyang, Louis Lobong and so on, appeared in a decisive military uniform televising an announcement of a failed coup attempt by Dr. Riek Machar and his colleagues.

At 4pm on the same Monday in which kiir announced a failed and controversial coup, 4000 Nuer men, women and little children were reported massacred at Souk Lualdiit and Gudele. As the killing was systematically and officially ordered, within less than a matter of 72 hours, more than 20 thousands of Nuer men, women, and children were confirmed massacred. The killing continued cruelly till today.

December 15th, 2013, is a big day in Naath history, a bloody day. It was the largest mass killing in South Sudan ever witnessed and also one of the biggest massacres of one ethnic group in the world in a matter of less than 72 hours since the beginning of the 21st century. And yet nobody has been prosecuted. Those responsible have pushed it under the rug, silencing and denouncing any criticism that comes their way. It’s like it never happened. On that Sunday and Monday, South Sudanese security forces and their Gelweng militiamen literally translated to cattle herders raided and rounded up two largely peaceful Nuer dominated residential areas.

In that raid, atleast 4050 people were killed between 1am and 4 pm on the 16th of December in what Human Rights Watch says was an attack orchestrated at the highest levels of the South Sudan government

The death of more than 20,000s Nuer people at the hands of their state is neither a partisan nor a political controversy but instead, It is a national and human tragedy. December 15th is a tragic day in South Sudan's history and Naath in particular and only when a larger section of the population recognizes it as such will South Sudan be a better, healthier and more peaceful path.

No Justice has been achieved so far since this inhuman massacre was executed. It is as if the identity of killers is a public secret everyone knows exactly who they are. Some of them still roam freely in the area, but they cannot be named, even by an official Inquiry or investigation. I am not saying hang or kill them without a trial. But the people have neither forgiven nor forgotten what happened on December 15th last year nor do the people not know who exactly is responsible for it.

Tor Madira Machier is a South Sudanese student pursuing Law Degree at the University Of Ain Shams in Cairo, Egypt.He can be reached at: to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or reach him at his twitter account : @TorMadira

The futuristic approach to the challenge of leadership in South Sudan

By John Kun Lam

December 11, 2014 (SSNA) -- As South Sudan is going through the worse time in the history of ours, I feel that it was really no hardship at all to share and help to develop a blue-print that would determine the future of South Sudan. I love South Sudan and her people because that's the country I have hoped for. All of us in our beloved country (South Sudan) share a long and wonderful tradition. Our common goal when we were at war with Jalaba was to fight collectively for our rights as the citizens of this country.

I was so proud of you (South Sudanese) when you came out in very blizzard weather in a big numbers on January 9th, 2011, to determine your fate. You wisely made the right choice by putting all your votes in the separation box. The results of your votes are what made South Sudan the world's newest and youngest nation. On that note, I want to say thank you to all of you.

Our social inter-relationships and our well being as having suffered severe neglect and undue decay in the recent past, much as the situations are regrettable. I posit these unwarranted difficulties as an off-shoot of the poor leadership. There must be in a place, a virtue leadership to make our aspirations possible. The problem with South Sudan as in most African states is the problem of leadership. Everybody says it but unfortunately, nothing ever comes out of those sayings.

If our leaders were screened on a given criteria, and encouraged to perform their functions, the decay of our infrastructure, our well-being and our social inter-relationships may not have occurred. The current situation in South Sudan could have been prevented if it was handled with care. Leadership is often misunderstood. When people hear that someone has an impressive title or an assigned position, they assume that individual to be a leader. Sometimes that's true. But titles don't have much value when it comes to leading.

True leadership cannot be awarded, appointed, or assigned. It comes only from influence and that cannot be mandated. It must be "earned". The only thing a title can buy is a little time. Either to increase one's level of influence with others, or to undermine it. In the South Sudan of our dream, we must choose our leadership from our brothers and sisters who we adjudge can pass the litmus test. One has to meet certain criteria to lead the people of South Sudan. From leadership standpoint, one must have the following:

A). A leader must show CURIOSITY: He/she has to listen to the people outside the "Yes Sir" group in his inner circle. Information is also vital to a leader. He/she needs a grasp of the facts, an understanding of dynamic factors and timing plus a vision for the future. Knowledge alone won't make someone a leader, but without, no one can become a good leader. If a leader never stepped outside his comfort zone to hear different ideas, he/she grows stale. If he/she doesn't put his/her beliefs to test, how does he/she knows that he/she is right? The inability to listen is a form of arrogance. That's what painted the leadership of Salva Kiir with an ugly color.

B). A leader must be CREATIVE: He/she must be willing to try different things. The ideas you collect from different people can create a trend on how you can lead. Some ideas may not be good and some may be good. So take the good ones. Leadership is all about managing, be it organization or government.

C). A leader must COMMUNICATE: I'm not talking about running off the mouth. I am talking about facing the reality and telling the truth. So communication is very important and it is needed in leadership.

D). A leader must be a person of CHARACTER: You must know the difference between right and wrong and having a gut to do the right thing. Abraham Lincoln once said, "if you want to test a man's character, give him power". Salva Kiir had a lot of power and what has that got to say about his character now? True leadership always begins with the inner person.

E). A leader must have COURAGE: Courage is a commitment to sit down, talk, and take a position even when you know it will cost you. The bible (Psalm 27:14) stated that, be courageous and let your heart be strong.

F). A leader must have CONVICTION: You must have passion for your followers. You must not be a "sit-tight minister". Conviction as a role in leadership is needed.

G). A leader must have CHARISMA: Charisma is the ability that makes people want to follow you. In real sense, people follow a leader because they trust him/her. You are a leader only if you have followers. Builder is better than destroyer. So build enough so that you will become the real leader in South Sudan. At this point, I should acknowledge the charismatic leadership of Nelson Mandela of South Africa.

H). A leader must be COMPETENT: A leader ought to know what he/she is doing. More importantly, he/she should surround himself/herself with people who know what they are doing. The bottom line for the followers is what a leader is capable of accomplishing. They want to know whether the person can lead the team victory. That's the reason people will listen to you and acknowledge you as their leader. As soon as they no longer believe you can deliver, they will stop listening and following. Take Salva Kiir as an example. He is now the enemy of his fellow comrades within the SPLM/A whom he fought the war with Jalaba. Is it a good example for a true leader?

I). A leader must have COMMON SENSE: The only thing one has going for as a huma being is the ability to reason. If one cannot decipher between today and yesterday, that person is finished. The potential to make you a better is your response to leadership and common sense. Your ability to become a good leader depends however, on your attitude. Your attitude toward the people you lead is important.

If you are an aspiring leader, I recommend that you commit these qualities to life. They will be of great help to you and to the people you will lead. Leadership requires a lot from a person. To be a better leader, you must adhere to the following:

1. Leadership is the courage to put oneself at risk.
2. Leadership is the passion to make a difference with others.
3. Leadership is taking responsibility while other are making excuses.
4. Leadership is seeing the possibilities in a situation while other are seeing the limitations.
5. Leadership is the willingness to stand out in a crowd.
6. Leadership is an open mind and an open heart.
7. Leadership is the ability to submerge your ego for the sake of what is best.
8. Leadership is inspiring others with a vision of what they can contribute.
9. Leadership is your heart speaking to the hearts of others.
10. Leadership is the integration of heart, mind and soul.
11. Leadership is the capacity to care, and in caring, you have to demonstrate the ideas, energy, and capacities of others.
12. Leadership is the dream made real.
13. Leadership does not envy of other people's achievement.

In conclusion, I have a hope that no condition is permanent. The current situation in South Sudan will eventually come to an end, even though we may not replace the lives we have loss. Kingdoms rise and fall; people live and die. South Sudan we all are dreaming for will eventually come, so don't lose hope.

The author is concerned South Sudanese living in the United States of America. 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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