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Editorial: The Fallacies of Bashing Both Sides in South Sudan Conflict

By Stephen Par Kuol

March 23, 2015 (SSNA) -- The diplomacy of war and peace making on the prevailing crisis in South Sudan has ushered in a querulous language that tends to blame both sides of the armed conflict for everything on equal measure. It is a fallacious rhetoric that defies the logic of cause and effect. Evidently, it has it that nobody is at the receiving end of this crisis. It lyrically goes: Both sides are dishonouring Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (COH), both sides are frustrating the mediators by not negotiating in good faith, both sides are responsible for the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the country, e.t.c. For lack of words, we have called it “both sides narrative.” It is a long thread of diplomatic literature loaded with prejudice and intentional ignorance. Subsequently, the records are misinformed beyond rebuttal. For even worse, Makuei Lueth’s SSTV has done some permanent damage on the psyche of its captive national audience who must be told exactly what Kiir’s fascist regime needs them to hear. Like in Joseph Geobel’s culture of anti-Semitic Propaganda, in Makuei Lueth’s culture of demagogic propaganda, a lie repeated so many times can be accepted to be the truth.  It is a fallacious communication in which, the three “f “words: facts, fictions, and fallacies are woven to mean the same thing (political lies). One blatant fallacy Juba is apparently getting away with for instance is the distortion that the opposition is demanding two armies for the same country. This must be exposed as a malicious misrepresentation of our position on security arrangement calling for “a gradual and systematic amalgamation” of the two armies to create a new national army with true national character before the end of the transitional period.

The opposition also presented the crisis as an opportunity to recruit from the under-represented communities and regions into the inherently Jieng and Naath dominated army. This is timely and critical, not only to end the cycle of political violence that tends to take ethnic lines, but also to establish a new professional national army that reflects all the faces of South Sudan as an ethnically diverse nation. In demographic term, this means proportional representation of all our 64 ethnic groups in the new national army. Our position also calls for demobilization of all irregular armed groups including our Civil Defence Force (White Army), Mathiang-Anyor, Dotku Beny or any other active community based armed group throughout the country. Another fallacious fiction is the narrative that the opposition demanded payment of war debts it has incurred since it took arms in December 2013. To the contrary, what we have demanded and are still demanding is the public disclosure of all the illegal debts Kiir’s Kleptocracy has been incurring in the name of the sovereign people of South Sudan (sovereign guarantees). That we see as our rights as citizens of South Sudan who will inherent those debts by virtue of being citizens under the international law of agency. We have also presented wealth sharing between states and the centre in a decentralized federal system. Speaking from ten years experience we believe that our proposal is beneficial to all our people in the states as the later has always been taking a lion share of the national budget (90%). This does not mean wealth sharing between the two warring parties as has been fallaciously presented in Juba’s media. This is another bizarre miss representation of the facts and issues presented in written public documents.

This fallacious propaganda cannot be allowed to go on without rebuttal. The facts must be filtered from fictions and fallacies to get into the crux of the issues at hand. In order to resolve this conflict, a new tone of communication must be created. The diplomatic community and the global media must scientifically put the accurate weight of responsibility on a balanced scale. It is imperative that each party is squarely held responsible for what it does or does not do in this blame game without rules. In another word, there is a critical need to put blame where it is due and credit where it is long overdue. Flatteries and diplomatic niceties do not resolve conflicts. A crisis of this magnitude in South Sudan needs aggressive and preventive diplomacy that must start with fundamental questions to address the root causes of the conflict as follows: what triggered the crisis in the first place, who did what then and who is doing what now!! 

Unlike in December 2013 when Juba managed to mislead the world with the devilish gimmickry they called coup attempt, time has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Kiir himself manufactured the ongoing crisis as a ploy to extend life span of his fascist regime. That exploded in his face when his own institutions including the court and the military intelligence dismissed the coup narrative he is still chasing like a wind. Events since then have proven that it is the same tyrant regime that cooked the crisis, which is now violating all the agreements it signed with opposition since January 2014. The UN and the international humanitarian community in South Sudan have also witnessed that it is Kiir’s regime that has been hampering humanitarian operations by harassing United Nation Mission and murdering aid workers in Greater Upper Nile. With Yowery Museveni behind him and appeasement from the region and beyond, Kiir has been overtly violating all the agreements including the COH. Militarily, the two fascist regimes of Kiir and Museveni’, their allied Sudanese terrorist groups and other foreign mercenaries have been on the offensive gaining more territories to dictate the term of negotiation on the table until today.

On the diplomatic front, Kiir’s regime has been using the dialogue as a public relations exercise. They were always in Addis-Ababa to buy time as they continued to toil for military solution. In what looked like monologue with deaf, they proposed that it is the opposition as the aggrieved party to make presentations and the government reacts to those presentations. This non-dialogical approach was designed to waste time and frustrates the whole process. We welcomed that in good faith and proceeded as agreed upon. From the political framework to rainbow document, the opposition made elaborate presentations on all the areas of needed reforms in Kiir’s dysfunctional system. On structural and institutional reforms, we made the case for the need to overhaul the current civil service and the public security sector, which is currently dominated by Kiir’s clan. At the constitutional level, we exposed the decay of the regime by pointing out that the two branches of Kiir’s government (judiciary and executive) have been made the dockets of Kiir’s home state.  To entrench and institutionalize their kleptocracy, they have also taken the docket of treasury (both Finance and Central Bank). For those who know the truth, this depicts Kiir’s clannish oligarchy as a criminal establishment that must be dismantled to form an inclusive national government. On governance and system of government, we made the case for amendment of the existing one-man’s constitution to implement full-fledged federal system. In response, Kiir’s delegation acknowledged that federalism is historical and political demand of the people of South Sudan but maintained without elaboration that the time to address it is not now. On demobilization of irregularforcesand formation of a new army, they have maintained that their political status as a legitimate government grants them the right to recruit from their ethnic states of Warap and Nothern Bar-Elghazal. In sum, the opposition forces and other stake holders made the case for institutional reforms, democratic transformation, peace, reconciliation and accountability for war crimes committed by both sides of the armed conflict. Kiir’s delegation dismissed all the grievances and made it a point that they will not allow any thing that tempers with the status quo. To them, meaningful power sharing with other parties for a democratic transition leading to free and fair election means regime change and ouster of Salva Kiir. That is very clear from their English, which is heavily loaded with legitimacy and the sovereignty of South Sudan. From what we have heard so far, Kiir and the company have arrogated the sovereignty of South Sudan to themselves as their sole possession. According to them, legitimacy and sovereignty give them all the rights including the right to amend the existing transitional constitution to indefinitely cling to that dictatorial power.

It goes without informing the people of South Sudan, the region, Africa and the world that the same rule of guns attitude that Kiir and his cronies used to obstruct the democratic process and commit mass homicide, has not been deterred. They took it to the peace table in Ethiopia, not only once, but several times during the course of the IGAD mediated peace talks. That attitude was well represented on the table by Kiir’s cheeky team of negotiators. We the opposition and the IGAD envoys have been through the thick and thin of that since January 2014. We had always been there to take the pain of Nhial Deng’s eloquent blusters, Makuei Lueth’s sarcastic outbursts and Kok Ruei’s thunderous tantrums! The truth must be told that Kiir’s delegation had never gone to Addis in genuine search for peace. Counting on military victory in the field, they had only two things to offer on the table: permanent ceasefire and re-integration of opposition forces into their tribal army (Mathiang Anyor) within three months. Anything else is deferred to what they called National Dialogue in Juba.  They also challenged the opposition to represent only those areas under their military control. The Mediation and all the stakeholders present heard that loud and clear as a negotiation of the victors versus the vanquished. The rest are contemptuous gestures against the opposition parties (whether armed or not), civil society organizations and the clergy. It is a militaristic attitude that tends to push all to protracted armed struggle. Otherwise, one can conclude with ease that Kiir and the company have lost the political debate. The only song they can sing with rhyming lyrics is the Legitimacy. What they are deliberately ignoring though is the cold truth that the clock is ticking toward the end of their bogus legitimacy. I think it is time for, Kiir and the sycophantic surrounding to understand that the etiological meaning of the Greek word “tyranny” means illegitimate rule!  In Dr. Richard Mula’s recent articulation at the talks in Addis-Ababa, “Kiir’s legitimacy has been eroded by his own despotic behaviour that has plunged the country into this mess”. Secretary Kerry of United States also put it correctly thatLegitimacy is not a presumed right of Kiir’s government”. True, it is the people who confer legitimacy and it is never a divine entitlement. It follows that the same people who conferred it can revoke it at any given time. The conventional practice teaches that it is not the election that sustains legitimacy but how the elected political leader in question governs the country.

In any case, this destructive war of shame must be ended and this needs courageous leadership from both sides. Dr. Luka Biong of Juba University has said it all in his recent article that  “the Chairman of the SPLM and the President of the Republic has a moral and national responsibility to provide leadership toward national consensus to resolve this crisis. Other parties and stakeholders including civil society and the clergy have the same responsibility to bring peace but the reality on the ground in South Sudan is that Salva Kiir wields the most omnipotent power to bring it by stroke of a pen. Kiir in his diatribe belamed Dr. Riek Machar for everything but, the world should have known by now that Dr. Riek Machar has lost it all since July 2013. To add the wound to the insult, members of his community were callously butchered in Juba. The survivors of that genocide are now subjected to protracted suffering in UN camps throughout the country. He had to escape for his own life in what turned out to be a fabricated coup. Putting the credit where it is due, he has courageously managed to turn all that humiliation and mass anger into a national resistance movement calling for institutional reforms, peace with justice, democracy, reconciliation and national healing. He does not have anything else to give. He is ready to do everything including swallowing his pride to work with Salva Kiir again to stop the bloodletting. He has been in Ethiopia now for the last one year to achieve just that.  Hence, the ball is on Salva Kiir’s court. The word though is that the time for presidential amnesties, re-integration, cosmetic deals and political accommodations is over. The prevailing crisis in South Sudan needs comprehensive political and security arrangement to get our people out of this slippery pool of blood.

The author is a former diplomat, political activist and former Minister of Education in Jonglei State. He can be reached by electronic mail at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Editorial: ‘Who will help South Sudan find peace?’

By Elhag Paul

March 10, 2015 (SSNA) -- The London Evening Standard paper recently ran a full page advert by Vice News asking: “Who will help South Sudan find peace?” file:///C:/Users/Rosemary/Downloads/Vice_news_advert.pdf (after accessing the link, please minimise the advert to see the whole advert)

Looking at this advert one can not miss concluding that the soldier appearing in it must be in some form of a transport vehicle on his way to a mission. Clad in light brown camouflage usually worn by western armies operating in desert terrain, this dominant soldier looking directly at you with squarish solid face reveals emotions of anguish. He holds the object of his trade, an AK47 with the barrel facing downwards presumably for safety reasons.   He is surrounded by “comrades” to his right and back with one standing whose head is cut out of from the advert. 

The bottom of the advert carries the print: “YouTube/Vice news + 974,066.”   Another message in large print, partly in red and partly in black stands out on the right hand side saying, “You don’t just watch the news.” Careful study of the advert reveals two main messages. The primary purpose is business. Vice News is advertising itself to increase readership and expand its share of the media market.  

The message that may get imprinted in the readers’ mind subliminally here is that Vice News will keep you informed by bringing you the rarest of news from the remotest and dangerous spots of the globe. So, don’t miss out. Subscribe!

The second message which luckily is highly noticeable is the enlightenment of the Western masses about the plight of South Sudan. While Vice News is certainly promoting its business interest it is also doing a very good service to the people of South Sudan. The question, “Who will help South Sudan find peace?” alone will prompt readers to research what is happening in that part of the world and hopefully they may be able to help by writing to their members of parliament for the issue to be taken up and looked at appropriately.

Vice News’ question has come at the right time. It coincides with the failure of IGAD in mediating the peace talks in Addis Ababa. It is now abundantly clear to the people of South Sudan that IGAD will not bring any peace for numerous reasons. Please refer to, ‘IGAD’s inadequate strategy in South Sudan’ http://allafrica.com/stories/201404140864.html

One complete year has now been wasted by IGAD in the erroneous belief that the re-unification of the rotten SPLM party will bring peace to South Sudan. This poorly researched if ever and baseless objective has now failed as expected with IGAD remaining discredited.  This failure is likely to intensify the depressed state of affairs in South Sudan. One could argue that the current South Sudanese society in its collective is a disempowered society. The abuses it has undergone over the decades in the hands of Arabs of the Sudan and the SPLM in the latter part has deeply injured it and fragmented its constituent parts. 

Independence in 2011 was looked at both locally and internationally as a chance to allow the society at last to have a healing space. Unfortunately, SPLM’s short sightedness coupled with its criminal mind and appalling behaviour pushed South Sudan into a very serious crisis in December 2013 leading into massive loss of life and displacement of nearly two million people.

Typical of SPLM leaders, President Salva Kiir, Dr Riek Machar and the entire SPLM machine do not care about the suffering of those displaced (within and without the country), especially those in the United Nations protection camps. What matters to them is their relentless pursuit of power. This is what preoccupies them. They are happy to destroy their tribesmen by arming them and unleashing them on each other in this endeavour without any concern for their safety and well being.

This senseless pursuit and vicious struggle for power combined with IGAD’s lack of creativity, lack of objectivity and poor mediation skills condemns South Sudanese to further destruction. Socially and psychologically broken, South Sudan’s confidence is taking serious blows from the bleak environment created by the massive failures of the three witches: SPLM-IG, SPLM-IO and SPLM G-10.

The loss of confidence in IGAD (and the international community) inevitably removes any hope the people of South Sudan have in the global structures to deliver peace. Those displaced people imprisoned in the UN Protection camps due to their ethnicities and political affiliations, and those in government controlled areas policed by the brutal security system are likely to suffer deep depression with the vividly disappearing hope.

Essentially the current system under SPLM/A as always only produces a state of paralysis, state of fear and powerlessness. The people basically are cowed down through violence to allow the beneficiaries of the system to loot the coffers of the state with impunity. This state of affairs further exacerbates the disintegration of the already broken social system. 

The downside to this relentless SPLM’s terrorism (which has been going on for three decades) may lead unexpectedly to a violent uprising. All the things happening in South Sudan now are the classical ingredients of revolutions. The literature on revolutions point out that all revolutions start by decay of authority, misery and suffering of the people.  South Sudan indisputably is fast moving into that direction with the masses gradually shading their fear. Note, fear is the very food that nourishes terror and enables the SPLM to prevail. The moment the people stop fearing, that will be the end of SPLM/A in South Sudan.

The prospect of peace and stability in South Sudan indeed looks bleak under the SPLM. Even if the IGAD talks were to succeed in reconciling President Kiir and Dr Riek and re-unifying the SPLM, that would not bring the yearned for security and stability in South Sudan because essentially it would be the entrenchment of the pre 23rd July 2013 alliance of Jieng and Nuer responsible for the status quo: a vicious tribal dictatorship. All the reason Vice News asks the crucial question: “Who will help South Sudan find peace?” 

This question from the outset appears to give the impression that the help must come from outside and this means the international community. True to a point, but the international community through IGAD has clearly failed and so far the world powers seem to have no appetite in decisively and conclusively sorting out South Sudan. For if they truly wanted to help they could simply set up a new mediating body or better still a new facilitating body led by the imminent persons as already suggested in appeals to the Troika. Such a new initiative should then bring all the stakeholders to the table to hammer out a lasting solution for South Sudan.

The United Nations Security Council could easily do that but unfortunately there appears to be no will and the possible reason for this could lie in the historical interaction of Europeans and Africans. If the ethnic cleansing and the naked abuse meted on the South Sudanese people by the SPLM was outside the continent of Africa, the probability is that the UN would have invoked all the powers it has to hold SPLM to account with peace enforced as in the former Yugoslavia.

So, the real answer to the problems of South Sudan lies with the South Sudanese themselves. But as stated above, the people have been abused and disempowered. However, all is not lost. No need to despair. With or without peace agreement among the SPLM/A, South Sudan as stated above is already ripe for a change one way or the other. The silent majority without doubt is disgusted and fed up with the SPLM tribal dictatorship.

What the people are missing now is the managed connectedness. The conversations that affirm togetherness, the sharing of information and ideas among the oppressed, the articulation of what the people want in this thing called South Sudan, which will provide the fuel for political action. This should now squarely fall on the Diaspora and the silent leaders to facilitate if SPLM is to eventually be banished once and for all to achieve real freedom, peace and stability in South Sudan. 

Which brings us to the diabolical project of SPLM reunification? This fiendish idea has all along been spearheaded by the Jieng because they stand to lose if SPLM is dismantled. Initially it was Luka Biong who bugled it with the African National Congress (ANC) of South Africa and then the Ethiopian People Democratic Revolutionary Front (EPDRF) as healers. This went nowhere as it hit the buffers. Then the Jieng think-tank known as Ebony waded in with the support of foreign nongovernmental organisation (NGO) resulting into the Arusha SPLM meeting. South Sudan Nation website has published a brilliant and incisive editorial piece on the issue. Please see, ‘Towards SPLM unification, again? What a tragedy for South Sudan’ http://www.southsudannation.com/towards-splm-unification-again-what-a-tragedy-for-south-sudan/

However, it is important to try to understand why IGAD leaders give such a daft idea huge significance. Most if not all the countries of East Africa are led by mass political movements. For example, the National Congress Party of the Sudan, the Ethiopian People Democratic Revolutionary Front of Ethiopia, the National Resistance Movement of Uganda, Chama Cha Mapinduzi of Tanzania and so on. These political movements/parties have a false belief that they represent all of their people in their countries. They are unable to separate a country from a party. This belief persists even when the evidence is glaringly in the open. 

Take for example in Uganda, in addition to the NRM, there are more than 3 credible parties with varied ideologies yet this fact is ignored. Though this perspective is important in understanding the problem, it is a topic by itself and I will not dwell on it in this article. Suffice to say that for the purpose of this piece, the attachment element in it is what matters. 

The real problem blinding the countries involved in brokering peace in South Sudan is the issue of attachment or sentimentality developed between the liberation movements in Africa and the people. This allowed these movements to achieve a politically unassailable status such as the Chama Cha Mapinduzi of Tanzania. Because SPLM rightly or wrongly is seen as a liberation movement, the members of IGAD have taken it for granted that it represents the people of South Sudan and therefore it should not be allowed to perish. 

In a sense the issue has become psychological and it depends on the subject of change and loss. The IGAD countries are terrified of change in South Sudan that sweeps SPLM away. The thought of SPLM atrophying scares the IGAD leaders because it exposes the vulnerability of these so called revolutionary movements. Thus it is seen as a contagious disease like Ebola which may infect them. Look at it; all the movements/parties leading the IGAD countries have got their own problems and if they are to continue ruling they need to maintain the myth of invincibility. Therefore, SPLM must not be allowed to disappear and the best they can do is to patch it up. 

As aging movements with mushrooming problems within them they are afraid of SPLM’s war with itself becoming a catalyst for speeding up divisions in their own movements/parties forcing a wider change in the region. This is something that the dictators of East Africa do not want at any cost. To them if a “liberation movement” like SPLM can destroy itself without it being supported to unite and restore normality, it follows that their own movements may face such fate. This is a scary scenario for the dictators. Thus they do not want to see SPLM’s demise acting as an inspiration to their own citizens who may be enduring oppression like the South Sudanese.

Every change comes with a new situation which sweeps the old order away. What the new order brings to the dictators and their supporters is loss of power together with the unknown. The unknown generates or evokes a state of uncertainty and fear. Fear disables people and this is what makes change unwelcome to them, especially when what is coming or replacing the old order is not mentally imagined favourably.

Change always comes with loss. The system being thrown out is a loss to its leaders and supporters (beneficiaries). Loss comes with its own difficulties. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross (1926 – 2004) and others argue that loss occur in various situations. In death, and in separation of any sort temporary or permanent, it is met initially with denial, anger, and then blame before the final phase of acceptance when the inevitable is acknowledged. This is the bereavement process.

Now there are bereavement like situations that happen before the real loss. For instance, when somebody is struck with terminal illness like cancer. The moment the expected loss is announced, the intense pain resulting from the unexpected news bursts into denial, anger and blame and this may go on until the loss itself happens for the final part of the process of bereavement to be completed.

In politics such situation is very common because regimes and their supporters tend to know when their movements/parties’ decline and lose support of the masses; and also when the masses hate them and call for change as in the situation of South Sudan. When they sense this they basically sense atrophy of their beloved organisations and bereavement sets in. They first begin to deny the reality and then angrily they move on to blame everybody for their predicament. This behaviour is now so common with the SPLM and its supporters. Just read the various comments in the South Sudanese websites to make full sense of the SPLMers bereaving. Their party is terminally ill and its health is fast deteriorating to death.

Therefore, the project of unification of SPLM started by Luka Biong and followed up by Ebony supported by IGAD is the initial process of bereavement. All of them are in denial of what is coming to SPLM as a “liberation movement”. They are in denial of SPLM’s already slow death. They are in denial of the fact that SPLM does not represent the people of South Sudan. They are in denial that the people abhor the SPLM because it is a murderous organisation. They are in denial that the SPLM is a criminal organisation. They are in denial that the SPLM is divisive and has failed to govern. They are in denial that South Sudanese have other credible parties with capable leaders and so on and so forth.

Everything and everybody is to blame except the SPLM. This is the real problem of South Sudan under the mediation of IGAD. Unfortunately, IGAD and the other African countries like South Africa and Tanzania may not be aware of this blind spot because it is emanating from the unconscious mind of the organisation. They can not see it and they remain ignorant of it.  

So, what can be gleaned from this behaviour of IGAD? The entire IGAD as an organisation may be depressed by the developing bereavement which may be affecting its ability to act rationally and objectively. People familiar with knowledge of organisations as living entities afflictable by pathologies may easily see and understand the dynamics playing out here. This is the psycho-political perspective.

There is another perspective and that is the economic one whose core argument rests on the countries involved pursuing their own national interests only regardless of what happens to South Sudan. Please see ‘We must not hold South Sudan to ransom’ http://allafrica.com/stories/201410240119.html and ‘IGAD’s inadequate strategy in South Sudan’ whose URL appears above.   Both perspectives appear not to offer South Sudan any hope as they do not take into consideration the welfare of South Sudan.

 Given the above, IGAD should be pushed aside and a new body created to take the case of South Sudan forward. IGAD clearly is a pathological organisation needing help itself and should not be allowed to play havoc with fate of an entire country of approximately 8 million people.

Therefore, “Who will help South Sudan find peace?”  The answer as stated is simple. South Sudanese have to help themselves to find peace. To understand why they must help themselves, South Sudanese need to familiarise themselves with ideas of Frederick Douglass (the American social reformer)in his historic speech, titled, “West Indian Emancipation” presented at Canandaigua, New York in 1857. For ease of reference here is the link http://www.blackpast.org/1857-frederick-douglass-if-there-no-struggle-there-no-progress

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

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

Editorial: South Sudan’s senior officials’ irresponsible use of language

By Elhag Paul

“These are people who must make their living by sucking the blood of other.” Michael Makuei, the minister of Information of the Republic of South Sudan roared in a press conference labelling the Human Rights Watch. His colleague Martin Elia Lomuro, the minister of Cabinet Affairs sitting next to him leapt in “mosquitoes” complementing the link of the dehumanisation process to which the former delightfully repeated “mosquitoes, yes.” https://radiotamazuj.org/en/article/i-will-shut-down-un-says-south-sudans-information-minister

March 4, 2015 (SSNA) -- While the press conference held on 16th February 2015 to castigate the media and non -governmental organisations sounds hilarious, it is in fact very concerning. How has South Sudan descended to this level of thuggery? Do responsible people representing a state speak like that? Where is the etiquette of diplomacy associated with the conduct of state affairs? Painful to say but these two ministers have vindicated Gerrard Prunier’s observation and conclusion that South Sudan is governed by “idiots ....rotten to the core.” What these two have done has brought further disrepute to the people of South Sudan collectively. The world must wonder how a country of 8 million can allow itself to be led by such “idiots”.

Recently, the former president of Kenya Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi made a telling remark about South Sudan which could be construed as offensive as he appeared to question the very right of the people of South Sudan to self determine. His kind of speak echoes the language of the colonialists who flocked to the continent during the scramble for Africa sanctioned by the Berlin agreement of 1884.

Moi said definitely in anger that perhaps the people of South Sudan “were not ready for independence.” Though his comment self evidently is harsh, it is difficult not to sympathise with him given his own personal contribution in the liberation process. The irresponsible and criminal behaviour of the SPLM exasperates everyone and pushes people to say things they would not say under normal circumstances. Moi is likely to have assessed South Sudan based on the behaviour of SPLM not realising that South Sudan truly has other competent leaders suppressed by SPLM violence.

In reality South Sudan has all along been ready to self govern. The problem giving rise to Moi’s question is the fact that he Moi and all the other African leaders in the last 3 decades believed only in the SPLM as they still do now in the IGAD peace talks. They have refused to acknowledge and work with the real leaders in South Sudan who do not espouse the violent and tribalistic agenda of the SPLM. The former president would have done better if he said perhaps the SPLM was not ready for independence because this would be the truth given the organisation’s formative objective. Please see ‘Kenya’s ex-president criticises S. Sudan leaders over conflict’http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article53969

South Sudan has competent world class leaders who could lead it smoothly without problems. For example, Peter Sule, Richard Mulla, Bishop Paride Taban and many others. South Sudan has unfortunately under the SPLM become the laughing stock of the world. Though this appears to be the case, in reality South Sudan has sons and daughters of high calibre meeting the world standard of leadership who can easily run the country competently and appropriately. The only thing preventing the qualified people from ascending to power is the violent nature of SPLM coupled with the decades long of Arab oppression that rendered the people helpless. Surely, the nonsense in Juba is bound to change for the better sooner or later.

The press conference held by the Ministry of Information was not necessary at all and there was no credible reason to hold it in the first place. The matter vexing the ministers could have been raised and discussed amicably with the head of UN Margaret Ellen Loj in their air conditioned offices avoiding the exposure of their crudeness and ignorance.

Both ministers are on record on numerous occasions chanting that South Sudan is a democracy. Surely democracies are comfortable and cool with the media. Democracies do not go out hunting journalists and shutting down radio stations etc simply because a political opponent has aired their views in them. Makuei’s misplaced anger is because Rebecca Nyandeng Garang was interviewed by Radio Miraya. He ranted “Miraya you are interviewing rebels. If it happens again we are shutting you down. And this must be made clear.   We are shutting you down if you interview any rebel here to disseminate his or her plan and policies within South Sudan.” The intimidation and harassment comes out clear in this message. It basically boils down to an issue of control backed by threats of violence. 

The contradiction in Makuei’s utterance is that he as a yester decade rebel has forgotten that rebels rebel for a cause. It is not for nothing that people take up arms. The government must be doing something seriously wrong. It is advisable for them to review themselves.

If President Kiir’s government is a democracy as they forcefully claim when it suits them, is there any need for ranting against the messenger (radio Miraya)? The primary role of media in a democracy is to facilitate the flow of information and ideas in order to enable citizens to assess the ruling party and also to assess the opposition parties. Media is a one of the key tools known worldwide that holds government to account. In addition media is a medium of education, and helps in developing the whole population generally.

Now to then try to control the media crudely like what the two ministers have done hugely undermine their claim to South Sudan being a democratic country. Granted the media has a vile side to it. For example in propaganda or character assassination it can proof to be a lethal weapon. But to deal with this problem a democracy resorts to the courts and not oppressive practice the type of which the duo displayed.

The sad part of this story is that the ministers concerned have publicly displayed their personal incompetence with the issue. They do not know that Radio Miraya was not just set up like a stall in a market. Even in a market a stall has to have a license from the local authority. The radio station in question is covered by a bilateral agreement between South Sudan and the United Nation. Which means the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would have the lead responsibility and not the Ministry of Information. 

However, for any breaches of the agreement by either side there must be reference to the agreement. So the ministers having decided there was a breach, they should have passed the matter over to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to deal with. Or, the lest they could do was to consult with their legal advisers with reference to the agreement for appropriate measures before going to the street on riot. Had they done this, they would have saved themselves the embarrassment of a climb down by Makuei the following day when confronted by Ms Loj over the threats they made.

Makuei, the crude face and trademark of Dinkocracy ended up coiling his tail and assuring the UN that Radio Miraya broadcasts would continue according to UNMISS mandate as stipulated in the status of forces agreement signed between the UN and the government of South Sudan. All the bravado of the other day dissipated into thin air. What a disgrace? Please see ‘South Sudan UN chief Løj meets Makuei over Miraya shutdown threat’https://radiotamazuj.org/en/article/s-sudan-un-chief-l%C3%B8j-meets-makuei-over-miraya-shutdown-threat

This self inflicted humiliation would have been avoided were the Dinkocrats in Juba to be conscious enough to know that in this 21st century it is utterly useless to try to control the media. Virtually nothing can be hidden in this world of information technology. With the internet the globe has become so little that within minutes somebody as far away as New Zealand would know what is going on in the other end of the world. Thus closing radio stations, killing and detaining journalists is not enough to silence the people and keep them ignorant of the government abuses and crimes. The panacea is simple, just do the right thing and everybody will be happy.

Which brings us to the abuse of this specific case. The current leadership in South Sudan, especially the SPLM party is heavily influenced by the behaviours of the rulers in Khartoum. The elites in that country are fond of dehumanising the people of African origin because they want the country to be perceived as an Arab country. 

In 2012 at the height of the Panthou war ignited by President Salva Kiir, President Omar Bashir of the Sudan publicly called Kiir and the SPLM insects. The former was caricatured in the Sudanese media like a beetle with his head attached to a body of a flying insect being sprayed off by a fog of Piff-Paff insecticide. Piff-Paff is a brand name of the company that produces the insecticides in pressurised can in the Sudan. The simple genocidal message to the people of Sudan was that South Sudanese represented by SPLM government are not human beings and so they could be gotten rid off like flies.

In response the SPLM through Dr Anna Itto called President Bashir a mosquito. That was an unfortunate thing showing Anna’s ignorance of the magnitude of the issue. Instead of the SPLM leadership seizing the opportunity to make a political capital by exposing the genocidal mind of Khartoum establishment by pointing to such language as evidence of what was going on in Darfur, Nuba mountains and Blue Nile in that country they shot themselves in the foot. Please see ‘The Oyee deniers of truth in South Sudan’ http://www.southsudannewsagency.com/opinion/articles/the-oyee-deniers-of-truth-in-rss

SPLM sadly copied the abuser to proof itself equally an abuser. This recent exchange between President Bashir of the Sudan and Dr Itto of the SPLM is pertinent to what happened in the press conference hosted by Makuie. For the ministers to absurdly complement each other in the use of a dehumanising language against staff members of non-governmental organisations is very concerning. What precisely was their intent? Was it an incitement or a behaviour of ignorant people? If it is the former that then can be a crime. If it is the latter then they should not be representing the people of South Sudan.

It is pathetic that Makuei who is spoken of as a lawyer behaves like a bully in a cattle camp (Luak) with his colleague cheering him up. If President Kiir was a true leader with values and a true sense of right and wrong, these irresponsible ministers should be disciplined to give his ugly government a little face lift.

Irresponsible use of language by people in power is inadvisable. Just see what President Kiir’s repeated use of the emotive 1991 split in his speeches to the SPLM did in December 2013. It landed the country into mud and it is still stuck in it. In Rwanda in mid 1990s the use of language inappropriately was the catalyst for the subsequent genocide that cost nearly a million lives. The Tutsi victims were labelled in the local language ‘Inyenzi’ meaning cockroaches and this was spread through the media. To be specific, this vile message was broadcasted through Radio Television Des Milles Collines (RTLM) and it circulated like a wild fire on dry grassland. http://history1900s.about.com/od/rwandangenocide/a/Rwanda-Genocide.htm

The crucial elements triggering the genocide in Rwanda were the use of dehumanising language and control of the media by the perpetrators. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2008/may/16/congo.rwanda 

The similarity with the reckless behaviour of the two Dinkocrats in their press conference to say the lest is shocking. They need to know that this is a very dangerous slippery slope to justify grave harm to other people. This is not to say the action of the duo could result into a genocide because their ranting was directed to a small community of NGOS. However this could make the community of the NGOs in South Sudan to become target of attacks something no normal person in their right sense would want to see happen at all.

That ignominious press conference symbolises the way how the institutions of South Sudan government are filled up with SPLM party apparatchiks and heartless opportunists without the right experience and knowledge for the purpose. A good number of them are blatant liars. For example, Ateny Wek Ateny the presidential spokesman masquerades as a lawyer when in reality he is a drop out of a law school in the early stage of the course in Hertfordshire, an area east of England. Ateny educationally is a clone of Telar Ring Deng. Do you remember the story of the latter in parliament in relation to his appointment as a minister for justice? Was Telar confirmed to the post? No! If these people were not Dinkocrats would they be in government? I leave you to work out the answers for yourself.

Now think about how possible is it that a truly qualified lawyer can behave like Michael Makuei? Sensitivity in the use of language is the hallmark of the legal profession. How come then that someone who is a qualified lawyer would be so lackadaisical like the minister of (Dis)information? Do you remember his behaviour at the UN Protection Camp in Bor in April 2014?

Was that really a behaviour of a lawyer? If you add up his daily gaffes and the frequent crude presentations and scandals you are likely to reach an interesting conclusion of this man. One wonders how he could be a minister in 21st century if it were not for the Dinkocracy stringently applied by the SPLM in the country. As the rulers of South Sudan they only bring us shame, shame, and shame. Oh’ dear!!!

Now is it really necessary to have the ministry of (Dis)information in this day and age? This structure is an outdated thing which belongs to yester century. It should be abolished with its remit transferred to the ministry of culture as a directorate. Hardly people talk of ministry of information in this modern world because it has become obsolete with the rise of information technology. Its purpose specifically was for state propaganda to disseminate and present the country in good light. A sort of public relation outfit. Dictators, innovative as usual quickly capitalised on its ability to shape and numb the collective mind in their interest seized on it and converted it into an instrument of repression/oppression, exactly what the Dinkocrats are doing.

SPLM wants to shut up the opposition but this is not going to happen. They can shut down the entire social media in South Sudan. It is not impossible. Yes, in theory they could especially given the oil cash but the draw back has serious economic repercussions that would be so dire that eventually it will bring them down. An outcome they strive to avoid but then becomes the inevitable. So it would be a defeatist or rather a suicidal approach to take.

Again if they opt to shut down the social media they will deprive themselves of the best available means and methods of harvesting intelligence. Social media overtakes radio stations and print newspapers. Therefore, shutting down radio stations and newspapers is not a solution to control information. The only way to control damaging information is by engaging your opponents with counter narrative which people in the west call ‘winning hearts and minds’.   But to win hearts and mind needs the government to treat people equally with respect which Dinkocracy does not know.

Social media now delivers information directly to the audience in the comfort of their bedrooms, house vicinities, cafes, restaurants and everywhere via simple gadgets like mobile phones, IPADs, laptops etc. Thus the rebels or to put it correctly for that matter as in the case of South Sudan freedom fighters like Major Lasuba Lodoru Wongo, Dr Riek Machar and others will always be heard and communicated with right in the belly of the best (government controlled areas). With this could the duo not see that they are time wasting trying to muffle Nyandeng? Patrick Dixon, the author of ‘Futurewise’ puts it succinctly that internet has taken power from the dictators and given it to the people. This is what democracy is all about. Note, the writing is on the wall. Dinkocracy will not survive in the present world of social media. The holders of this vile ideology either tame themselves, go back to their luaks, and behave in a civilised manner or they face the gathering tsunami of South Sudanese anger in a peoples revolution. 

The food for revolts is not what the rebels say or will say in Radio Miraya. It is what the government does – bad policies, bad practices and bad governance that feed rebellion such as the killing of Isaiah Abraham, Cecilia Oba, ethnic cleansing etc. The ugly and stinky information generated by acts of government in the form of abuses enables rebels to make their cases which then snowballs into regime change/revolutions. It is here that social media becomes a tool to facilitate revolts.

Paul Mason in his book ‘Why it’s kicking everywhere’ published in 2012 by Verso argues that “new technology underpin our ability to be at the same time more individualistic and more collective, it shapes our consciousness and magnify the crucial driver of all revolutions in the perceived difference between what could be and what is.” (p85). In a nutshell this is the connectedness with all that is needed to fell a dictator and dictatorship.

For better understanding of the impact of social media in bringing down governments please watch the following videos:

1) Egypt’s social networking revolution. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqHPRHOHcN8   2) Inside story – the tool for revolution? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpdZ7XZpT-A 3) Dictatorships and revolutions in digital age: people power after Tunisia, Eqypt, Libya https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjfMqXFS2FA 4) How social networking can spark revolutions: impact SMS, Twitter, Facebook on democracy, dictators https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLm3E1YapR8

In conclusion, the press conference held by Michael Makuei has done more harm to the government of South Sudan. It has tarnished the image of the country and anybody who doubts the genocidal tendencies of President Kiir’s regime must think again.   This regime of terror must go because it is a danger to itself, South Sudanese people and the international community.

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

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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