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Wednesday, Nov 25th, 2015

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Editorial: Kiir has returned to full scale war in Greater Equatoria

By Justin S. Kwaje

November 21, 2015 (SSNA) -- In the onset of the current Civil war, the JCE stated their goals clearly and publicly, first to take care of the Nuer then they will come and finished the easy job in greater Equatoria.

As the War slows down in Greater upper Nile regions, Kiir Intensified and escalated his carnage in Wondurba, where Woman and children are living in the bushes, young men are rounded up and many disappearing without traces.

In Western Equatoria, the Arrow boys and Civilians in and around Yambio and Ezo have never faced such constant onslaught than of recent days since the peace deal was signed into effect. In fact it is a mockery when Kiir declared cessations of Hostilities but yet intensified killings in Central and Western Equatoria.

Now to top it off, the last 48 hours, Kiir’s planted another coup, this time against the Civilians transport system with intentional targets of Ugandans and Ethiopian, So he can go after the SPLA-IO Eastern Equatoria Divisions led by Gen. Martin Kenyi.

The Killings of the Ugandan and Ethiopian in the bus ambush was meant to cause the Uganda and Ethiopia authorities to turn a blind eye to Kiir’s Violations of the peace deal as he purports to go after those who kill their nationals. We must take our hats off to the JCE for having learned well and exceeding from their former masters the Jalabs. The sophistications of their evil planning against conational are torrential and dizzying, leaving us in disbelieve!

From the recruitments of the national guards, None Existent Coup, trick in the hat of the 28 states to this killings of foreigners in a bus ambush, many South Sudanese are caught off guards and do not realized a group worse than the Jalabas has taken hold of our existence.

Juba has returned to a full-scale war in Western Equatoria states and the last 24 hours, Kiir has opened a three front attack in Eastern Equatoria State, Magwi County. Battles raged from Ame Junctions to Ako Mountain and Pageri, Supported by Helicopters gunships and jamming of cell phone towers. Per reports from the battlefields, Kiir penetrated the base of SPLA-IO, to their surprise finding a well-prepared group with a whole day gun battles ensuing into the nights.

The exhausted Army sustained heavy loses and had to rely heavily on their helicopter gunships to give them covers as Nimule Barracks refuse to give reinforcements. Number of losses from both sides could not be confirmed.

We call on IGAD to rein on Kiir and to respect lives and doing so means upholding the compromise peace deal.

Editorial: The AU Commission Final Report — anything missing

By Sebit Sindani

November 8, 2015 (SSNA) -- I have just finished reading the 315 page AU final report on the crisis in South Sudan. This is a comprehensive report and I must admit that the Commission has done a splendid and commendable work in terms of the investigation and talking to witnesses on both sides of divide. The Commission traced the history of conflicts in Sudan and during the SPLM struggle. Of particular interest is the repeated reference to 1991 SPLM split. The Commission delved into all the factors that could have precipitated the conflict in South Sudan. It concluded that gross human right abuses, crime against humanity and violation of humanitarian law took place in South Sudan. However, the eminent Commission stopped short of concluding that genocide was committed in the country when it detailed many scenarios that could constitute genocide. It also made valuable recommendations that may form the basis for restoration of peace and unity in South Sudan. However, the issue of genocide is what informs my dilemma here.

Let me be forthright here to declare that I am not here to dispute the conclusions of Commission neither am I here to challenge any iota about the competence of the Commission or its diligence to carry out its work. I repeat here that indeed the Commission did a fabulous jog despite constraints in terms of continuous insecurity in the country and limited resources as it contended in the report.  I am not also here to justify that genocide has taken place in South Sudan but I am, from the findings of the commission, trying to match its the findings with factors that UN considers to constitute genocide and leave it to my readers to determine whether genocide was committed or not during this conflict.

Genocide is defined in Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide(1948) as "any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part1; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group."

The key word here is “intent to destroy”. Before I can try to point out whether there was any intend to destroy a committee during this conflict, it is prudent that I discuss the UN Analysis Framework that it uses to determine if there is likely risk for ge3neocide to occur or if genocide has actually taken place. This is quite important for my readers to objectively compare the findings in the report with the eight categories of factors in the UN analytical framework so as to make their own conclusions.

The Office of the UN Special Adviser on the prevention of Genocide (OSAPG) uses an Analysis Framework that comprises eight categories of factors that determine whether there may be a risk of genocide in a given situation or genocide has taken place. These eight factors include:

1. Inter-group relations, including record of discrimination and/or other human rights violations committed against a group

2. Circumstances that affect the capacity to prevent genocide

3. Presence of illegal arms and armed elements

4. Motivation of leading actors in the State/region; acts which serve to encourage divisions between national, racial, ethnic, and religious groups

5. Circumstances that facilitate perpetration of genocide (dynamic factors)

6. Genocidal acts

7. Evidence of intent “to destroy in whole or in part …”

According to the UN, these eight categories of factors are not ranked, and the absence of information relating to one or more categories does not necessarily indicate the absence of a risk of genocide. However, the most significant thing is the cumulative effect of the factors. UN concludes that if these factors become none existent in any country, then the risk of genocide is assumed to decrease.

In order to understand the situation in South Sudan, it is worth looking at what UN considers as issues to be analyzed under each of these factors that can determine risk of genocide. By analyzing each one we may be able to determine whether AU Commission might have inadvertently missed to conclude that genocide was committed in South Sudan. Therefore, in this article, I will consider each analyzable issue under each of the eight factors and try to match them with crucial findings in the report.

1. Inter-group relations, including record of discrimination and/or other human rights violations committed against a group.

According to the UN the issues to be considered here are:

  • Relations between and among groups in terms of tensions, power and economic relations, including perceptions about the targeted group;
  • Existing and past conflicts over land, power, security and expressions of group identity, such as language, religion and culture;
  • Past and present patterns of discrimination against members of any group which could include:

I. Serious discriminatory practices, for instance, the compulsory identification of members of a particular group, imposition of taxes/fines, permission required for social activities such as marriage, compulsory birth-control, the systematic exclusion of groups from positions of power, employment in State institutions and/or key professions2;

II. Significant disparities in socio-economic indicators showing a pattern of deliberate exclusion from economic resources and social and political life.

  • Overt justification for such discriminatory practices;
  • History of genocide or related serious and massive human rights violations against a particular group; denial by the perpetrators;
  • References to past human rights violations committed against a possible perpetrator group as a justification for genocidal acts against the targeted group in the future.

Considering the situation in South Sudan, three things stand out clearly before the conflict erupted in South Sudan, First there was tense relations between Kiir and Riak groups over power. The report clearly indicated that the conflict originated over split in the movement. This couple with Kiir’s mobilization speeches in Bahr el Ghazal that the power that the community fought for is been threatened and this community should not allow it to be taken away under any cost. The mobilization of the army in Bahr el Ghazal testifies to this factor that tension over power was high. The community strongly believes in power in South Sudan as birth right and felt that the community of Riak was threatening this right to rule and exploit the country. The second thing that came out of the report was the clear reference to the past conflict between the Dinkas and Nuers particularly in reference to the 1991 split in the movement. It is a known fact that many people particularly Dinkas lost their lives during that conflict and up to date nobody was held responsible despite the fact that Riak is reported to have taken responsibility for that unfortunate incident and publically apologized to the Dinka community. Whether the Dinka leadership appreciated that apology or not, is unclear but it appears some Dinkas were looking for opportunity to avenge. The third issue to consider here is reference to the past rights violations against a possible perpetrator group as justification for genocidal act. The AU report is full of statements uttered by senior SPLA commanders and government officials in reference to the 1991 so-called Bor genocide. The president is quoted clearly in the report as pronouncing in the NLC meeting that 1991 incident would not repeat itself again. This means that the president himself was already contemplating a chance of revenge and indeed what happened in Juba must have been done to avenge the Bor incident. This is why despite the fact that though the group opposing the government had only 4 Nuer community, the mass killings in Juba targeted only the Nuer community.

2. Circumstances that affect the capacity to prevent genocide. The issues to be analyzed here include:

  • Existing structures that can protect genocide such as effective legislative protection; independent judiciary and effective national human rights institutions,
  • Whether these structures effective
  • Whether vulnerable groups have genuine access to the protection afforded by the structures;
  • Patterns of impunity and lack of accountability for past crimes committed against;
  • the targeted groups;
  • Other options for obtaining protection against genocide, e.g. presence of
  • peacekeepers in a position to defend the group, or seeking asylum in other

Although the report noted that South Sudan has a constitution with clear chapter on human rights, parliament, judiciary and human right commission, these institutions are rendered toothless and the president usurped all the powers to use decrees to rule the country. In fact the executive created a situation where these institutions became the mouthpieces of the government. Since the war broke out in South Sudan, the parliament and judiciary went into a state of coma while the commission on human rights could only write weak reports that tend to exonerate the establishment. On the other hand the ethnic group that faced extermination in Juba had no chance to seek redress instead, up to date, they have been hunted like rats in their own country. Even when they get shelter from the UN compounds, they have never been free from killings. The report demonstrated vividly the attack on the UN compound in Bor where several people died, the continuous killing and raping of men and women who try to venture out of the camps to get firewood or any other items of necessity. In South Sudan, the government has killed and detained people and looted government coffers without any accountability. This is the level of impunity the report has correctly articulated.

3. Presence of illegal arms and armed elements. The critical issues to be looked at here include:

  • Whether there exists a capacity to perpetrate genocide - especially, but not exclusively, by killing;
  • How armed groups are formed, who arms them and what links they have to state authorities, if any;
  • In cases of armed rebellions or uprising, whether a state has justified targeting groups from which armed actors have drawn their membership.

The AU Commission is very clear on the fact that there existed in South Sudan two groups of armies who had the capacity to perpetrate genocide. There was the regular army particularly the presidential guards and the Mathiang Nyoor recruited from Bahr el Ghazal and trained in Luri under the watchful eye of the president and supported by him. This army was rejected by the SPLM general command because it was not a part of the national army. It is reported that this army was the one used to systematically kill innocent civilians. The report also pointed out that tanks were used to not only destroy houses including Riak’s house but also to directly fire on civil populations not only in Juba but in many areas particularly during the scotch earth policy that ended in the mass murder and destruction in Leer in Unity state.

The report is also very vivid on the formation, training and deployment of the Mathiang Nyoor soldiers. It is clear from the report that this force was recruited from one community, trained in Juba and initially deployed in Juab to clean roads for purposes of surveillance on the location of the targeted community. During the initial days of conflict, the perpetrators of the conflict divided the town into three command areas that systematically carried out their genocidal act on civilians with absolute precision. They collected civilians and butchered them mercilessly in various areas including police stations. In order for the government to justify its genocidal activities, it concocted its “dodo” coup theory; a theory which the Commission found out to be grossly false. This theory was aimed at hoodwinking the international community to believe that the killings in Juba occurred during cross-fire between combatants. Thus they dead were not intended targets. If so why was it that only one community became the victim of crossfire when Juba is populated with all tribes of South Sudan? In fact the report revealed that soldiers when from house to house seeking out particular groups for extermination.

4. Motivation of leading actors in the State/region; acts which serve to encourage divisions between national, racial, ethnic, and religious groups. The issues that need to be analyzed are whether there were:

  • Underlying political, economic, military or other motivation to target a group and to separate it from the rest of the population;
  • The use of exclusionary ideology and the construction of identities in terms of “us” and “them” to accentuate differences;
  • Depiction of a targeted group as dangerous, disloyal, a security or economic threat or as unworthy or inferior so as to justify action against the group;
  • Propaganda campaigns and fabrications about the targeted group used to justify acts against a targeted group by use of dominant, controlled media or “mirror politics”;
  • Any relevant role, whether active or passive, of actors outside the country (e.g., other Governments, armed groups based in neighboring countries, refugee groups or diasporas) and respective political or economic motivations.

Although the Commission is not explicit on these issues, there was already huge propaganda within SPLM that depicted the opposition as dangerous, disloyal and a security threat without any evidence. The recruitment of Mathiang Nyoor and their deployment of Juba to defend the president means there was already a perverted feeling within the establishment that there was a dangerous group that intended to usurp power from the so-called elected government. The report is clear on the activities and pronouncements made before and during the NLC meeting in which the President threatened the opposition and prevented it from actively participating in the deliberations of the meeting.

5. Circumstances that facilitate perpetration of genocide (dynamic factors). The issue here is whether there were any development of events, whether gradual or sudden, that suggest a trajectory towards the perpetration of genocidal violence, or the existence of a longer term plan or policy to commit genocide such as:

  • Sudden or gradual strengthening of the military or security apparatus; creation of or increased support to militia groups (e.g., sudden increases in arms flow) in the absence of discernible legitimate threats;
  • Attempts to reduce or eradicate diversity within the security apparatus;
  • Preparation of local population to use them to perpetrate acts;
  • Introduction of legislation derogating the rights of a targeted group;
  • Imposition of emergency or extraordinary security laws and facilities that erode civil rights and liberties;
  • Sudden increase in inflammatory rhetoric or hate propaganda, especially by leaders, that sets a tone of impunity, even if it does not amount to incitement to genocidal violence in itself;
  • Permissive environment created by ongoing armed conflict that could facilitate access to weapons and commission of genocide.

The AU Commission is replete with the fact that these issues existed in South Sudan before the massacre took place in Juba and during the subsequent period of the war. The military buildup continues up to date with recruitment in Bahr el Ghazal despite the signing of the ceasefire. The report pointed out that the government was getting wary of the number of Nuer soldiers in the army because 60% or more of the SPLA forces were from Nuer community and there was certainly a need to offset this balance. This can only be done through more recruitment from other communities or by initiating a war of attrition so as to reduce this numbers and this is what might have transpired. During the conflict, the government recruited and armed militia groups in Upper Nile and Bentui to persecute the war. The report also mentioned the security laws the government introduced in parliament aimed at carrying out unprecedented arrest of opponents and journalists without any warrant of arrest. The National South Sudan TV became an instrument of hate, propaganda and promoting hatred on the pretext of military moral orientation. This was aimed at encouraging people to rise against one ethnic group.

6. Genocidal acts. The issues here include:

  • Acts that could be obvious “elements” of the crime of genocide as defined in Article 6 of the Rome Statute, such as killings, abduction and disappearances, torture, rape and sexual violence; ‘ethnic cleansing’ or pogroms;
  • Less obvious methods of destruction, such as the deliberate deprivation of resources needed for the group’s physical survival and which are available to the rest of the population, such as clean water, food and medical services;
  • Creation of circumstances that could lead to a slow death, such as lack of proper housing, clothing and hygiene or excessive work or physical exertion;
  • Programs intended to prevent procreation, including involuntary sterilization, forced abortion, prohibition of marriage and long-term separation of men and women;
  • Forcible transfer of children, imposed by direct force or through fear of violence, duress, detention, psychological oppression or other methods of coercion;
  • Death threats or ill treatment that causes disfigurement or injury; forced or coerced use of drugs or other treatment that damages health.

For those who have read the AU report, they must have seen the graphic description of the killings, abductions, torture and mutilation of bodies in Juba. The report has detailed the scale of raping and the intention to use sexual violence as a tool of war. The ethnic cleansing that is happening in Upper Nile and Bentui with an intention of creating single ethnic group federal states. This goal has been consummated by the recent unilateral decree by the president creating 28 states in South Sudan. The aim is to have states where Nuer and Shilluk cannot co-exist with Dinka and to deprive the Nuer and Shilluk the oil resources in Upper Nile and Bentui. The destruction of houses, looting of cows and destruction of growing fields in Bentui is a means to create conducive atmosphere whereby the citizenry will slowly die of hunger and other famine related disease. The issue of cannibalism has been depicted in the report. This is worse than coerced use of drugs or other treatment known to mankind  that damage health.

7. Evidence of intent “to destroy in whole or in part …”.  In order to establish any intent to commit genocide, there is need to analyze the following:

  • Statements amounting to hate speech by those involved in a genocidal campaign;
  • In a large-scale armed conflict, widespread and systematic nature of acts; intensity and scale of acts and invariability of killing methods used against the same protected group; types of weapons employed (in particular weapons prohibited under international law) and the extent of bodily injury caused;
  • In a non-conflict situation, widespread and/or systematic discriminatory and targeted practices culminating in gross violations of human rights of protected groups, such as extrajudicial killings, torture and displacement;
  • The specific means used to achieve “ethnic cleansing” which may underscore that the perpetration of the acts is designed to reach the foundations of the group or what is considered as such by the perpetrator group;
  • The nature of the atrocities, e.g., dismemberment of those already killed that reveal a level of dehumanization of the group or euphoria at having total control over another human being, or the systematic rape of women which may be intended to transmit a new ethnic identity to the child or to cause humiliation and terror in order to fragment the group; The destruction of or attacks on cultural and religious property and symbols of the targeted group that may be designed to annihilate the historic presence of the group or groups;
  • Targeted elimination of community leaders and/or men and/or women of a particular age group (the ‘future generation’ or a military-age group);
  • Other practices designed to complete the exclusion of targeted group from social/political life.

Since the outbreak of the conflict in South Sudan in December 2013, the South Sudan TV has been turned and used as an organ to propagate hate and propaganda aimed at creating hatred against targeted community. The widespread killing, the burning and mutilation of bodies, killing of victims by asphyxiation and forcing of victims to drink human blood and eating human flash shows nothing other than clear intent to dehumanize the victims. This is also intended to depict the idea of having total control over other human beings. The Commission heard of use of cluster bombs on civilians by the government or government surrogates. The widespread destruction of homes in Unity state, the hunting of civilians hiding in marches, killing of children and widespread destruction of property and means of living is reported by the Commission. This act underscores the perpetrator’s goal to reach the foundation of their group.

8. Triggering factors. These are events or circumstances that might aggravate conditions or spark deterioration in the situation, pointing to the likely onset of a genocidal episode. These ‘triggers’ might include:

  • Upcoming elections (and associated activities such as voter registration or campaigning; revision of delimitation of electoral boundaries; a call for early elections or the postponement or cancellation of elections; disbanding of election commissions; imposition of new quotas/standards for political party or candidate eligibility);
  • Change of Government outside of an electoral or constitutionally sanctioned process; Instances where the military is deployed internally to act against civilians;
  • Commencement of armed hostilities;
  • Natural disasters that may stress state capacity and strengthen active opposition groups;
  • Increases in opposition capacity, which may be perceived as a threat and prompt preemptive action, or rapidly declining opposition capacity which may invite rapid action to eliminate problem groups.

9. In the case of this conflict the report is very clear that the SPLM elections, the increasing opposition capacity and strengthening of the opposition capacity was perceived as a threat to the power that be. This might have prompted a pre-emptive action from the side of the government

Having analyzed the factors that could lead anyone to deduce whether there was genocide in South Sudan, it is important to come back to the issue of intent. Was there intent to create genocide? The report has mentioned two crucial points that could be important when considering whether there was intent or not on the side of perpetrators of the conflict. One is the repeated reference to the 1991 SPLM conflict. In fact the report was explicit that many high ranking SPLM and government officials have referred to the Bor massacre as an issue in South Sudan. Is it possible that the intent here is revenge? Secondly the report also mentioned the overwhelming number of Nuer soldiers in the Army which was estimated to be more than 60% and this was largely attributed to Kiir’s policy of integrating the Nuer militia into the SPLM. Could the intent here be that the power be ib South Sudan realize the threat posed by this huge number of Nuer soldiers and therefore the need to down size the number to manageable size? Of course other causes such as control of resources and power can also be advanced but all in all I leave it to the readers to pass their judgment on the final AU report.

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

Editorial: The message behind President Kiir’s press briefing

By Elhag Paul

September 27, 2015 (SSNA) -- 15th September 2015 was a day of anticipation for the war battered people of South Sudan.   The country was earlier prepared through the media to expect a special speech from the President of the republic, Salva Kiir.  Radio Tamazuj like other media outlets informed the country a day earlier about the intended President’s address through an article under the heading ‘President Kiir to address the nation on economic hardship’  Eventually when President Kiir delivered the speech, it turns out to be a squelch of a man being dragged screaming and kicking to the implementation phase of the Compromise Peace Agreement he wholeheartedly detests. file:///C:/Users/Rosemary/Downloads/STATEMENT%20OF%20H.%20E.%20PRESIDENTSALVA%20KIIR%20MAYARDIT.pdf

The heroics he attempted to display in Addis Ababa on 17th August 2015 by refusing to sign the agreement ended with his tail between his legs.  In less than a week, President Kiir begged IGAD to bring the agreement to him in Juba to sign.

Since then the president has been whingeing like an insecure toddler.  Being in that state, President Kiir disingenuously claims in his speech that “the purpose of his press briefing is mainly to share ideas with you (the public) in order to find the best strategies to restore lasting peace in our country.”  Really?

If this press briefing was for finding the best strategies, how would it be operationalised and achieved?  Crucially, the president has not explained the mechanism for achieving such strategies. This supposed purpose for the press briefing ends in the introductory part of the briefing and it does not cascade into the body and the conclusion.  It stands out alone, disconnected from the other issues the president raised and emphasised.

As is the case with any written work, the public receive it and interpret it according to their understanding based on their own historical knowledge, values and beliefs.  Regardless of the types of lenses or tools used to make sense, President Kiir’s message conveys three points clearly.

First, is the capitulation of the regime to the regional body (IGAD).  The song of ‘reservations’ and explanations about violation of South Sudan’s sovereignty is an acknowledgement of a reality that he president Kiir has no power to stop the gathering clouds of peace.  Here, he is between the rock and the hard place.  Power is just slipping away gradually as the agreement gets implemented.  The absolute powers he gleefully wielded in the last decade issuing decrees left and right, threatening members of parliament with ‘roaming the streets’ and sacking elected governors have been drastically curtailed in the agreement he signed.  The act of signing away one’s own illegally obtained powers is the ultimate humiliation of the man and the Jieng Council of Elders.  It is the loss of this power and the status that goes with it which the agreement has brought that is making President Kiir shouts: ‘Help please! Help please! Our sovereignty is being violated!’  He and the JCE expect South Sudanese to be receptive to their cries and rally behind them.  No, Sirs.  Nobody is getting duped.  Nobody is buying his crocodile tears. 

True, South Sudan’s sovereignty is being tampered with but why should South Sudanese care since he (President Kiir) and the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) were the first to violate it.  The JCE is a body of Jieng elders composed of Jieng intellectuals and semi illiterate self styled military officers whose objective is to further the interest of the Jieng tribe at the expense of the whole country.  It is not far fetched to argue that it is the JCE that actually has been running the affairs of the country.  Unlike elders anywhere in the world, the JCE is violent and kleptocratic.  In contrast, the global elders composed of dignitaries such as Mr Martti Ahtisaari. Mr Kofi Anan, Mrs Ela Bhatt, Ms Gro Harlem Bruntland, Ms Hina Jilani, Mr Lakhdar Brahimi, Mr Fernando Cardoso, Mr Jimmy Carter, Mr Nelson Mandela, Arcbishop Desmond Tutu etc devote their invaluable time to promoting peace and harmony among the people of the world.  They work tirelessly for world peace and they handle issues with care and prudence.  This is what is expected from real elders and not the violence of the JCE.

Back to the issue of sovereignty, President Kiir and the JCE have hijacked the sovereignty of South Sudan and they freely use it to advance Jieng interest in detriment to the whole country.  The Compromise Peace Agreement is actually a product of abuse of sovereignty of South Sudan by this same group.  Right after IGAD took over the mediation of the talks, President Kiir with the advice of JCE consistently denied the other stakeholders in the country to partake in finding a solution to the conflict.  For example, the denial and violation of the right of travel of people like Mr Peter Sule, Dr Lam Akol and others from going to attend the talks in Addis Ababa.  The question now is: why is President Kiir and the JCE seeking support from those they trashed and abused?  The centuries old adage – you reap what you sow applies here. 

The president and his Jieng short-sightedly antagonised the majority of South Sudanese.  They never thought there would be hard times.  Now, hard times are here, they want support of the very people they abused and deprived.  No, that support will not come.  In fact they first need to account for destroying the country.  As they have sowed killings, hatred, mega theft of public resource, ethnic cleansing, expansionists policies etc they now must reap “rebooting” of governance in the country with thorough accountability.  Thus as South Sudan is being rebooted South Sudanese really do not give a damn about a ‘hijacked sovereignty’ serving the interest of a single tribe: Jieng.

The second message President Kiir is passing to South Sudanese is that SPLM/A has ceased to be what it was.  This is most welcome news because this Jieng machine (SPLM/A) is the real cause of all the sufferings of South Sudanese people.  There is no need to talk about its evil because it is obvious.  Time and again South Sudanese have been warned that the SPLM/A will destroy them, but this message keeps falling on deaf ears.  Its leaders in the person of Pagan Amum and his group are now on the run for their dear lives from it.  For those who do not know much about the SPLM/A they should check the World Wide Web for the plethora of information about this criminal organisation.

President Kiir declared, ‘It must be stated clearly that the reality of political difference within the SPLM which has been cemented in the peace agreement, and accepted cheerfully by our colleagues in the opposition; requires us all to organise ourselves on new basis.  This simply means “The SPLM will never be one again as long as we follow the implementation of this Compromise Peace Agreement.”’ 

While this notification comes as a massive relief to majority of South Sudanese, President Kiir must be held to account for the role he played in destroying their beloved machine of terror.  The whole calamity that hit South Sudan ignited by the SPLM meeting of 5th March 2013 is a direct result of his gross negligence, poor leadership, and refusal to accept to be guided by party rules.  His obsession to remain “the flag bearer” without following the party rules landed the country into the current chaos.

President Kiir can not just now use the bitter pill of the Compromise Peace Agreement administered to them to place the blame of SPLM/A break up on Pagan Amum and Riek Machar.  He laments, “This IGAD prescribed peace document on the resolution of the conflict in the Republic of South Sudan is the most divisive and unprecedented peace deal ever seen in the history of our country and the African continent at large.”

This may well be the case but President Kiir should look himself in the mirror on the issue of division.  This ‘scarcely literate’ President forgets that he has been one of the most divisive figures in the country.  Since he came to power in 2005, Kiir has presided over the division of various ethnic groups in the whole country to promote Jieng expansionist policies.  For instance, in Upper Nile, he blatantly decreed Chollo land of Pigi county to the Jieng of Padang.  In Nimule, Eastern Equatoria, he promoted through violent means resettlements of Jieng of Bor and so on.  On the area of law and order he has allowed the Jieng to kill members of other ethnicities without accountability.  Tragically, in December 2013, President Kiir displayed his hateful traits by ethnically cleansing the Nuer in Juba.  Not only that but he imprisoned the survivors in the UN Protection camps to date.

So what division is President Kiir talking about?  The Compromise Peace Agreement actually unites all the people of South Sudan if anything.  Cynically, President Kiir attempts to convey a false picture to the world that South Sudanese before the Compromise Peace Agreement were united.  He and his JCE are the architect of divisions in the country with their vicious practice of violent tribalism.

As the SPLM/A is now heading towards a break up, the members of this dysfunctional organisation from the other ethnic groups should seize on this opportunity to free themselves completely by severing ties and joining other political groups.  This will ensure that the state powers the Jieng capitalised on under the SPLM/A becomes something of the past.  Let the JCE remain with their “SPLM “ and let the people see how they will gain votes from other ethnicities to accede to power again in a genuine election.

The third point subtly delivered is a threat or rather a declaration to obstruct the whole process of the transitional period.  President Kiir is a well known hypocrite.  He is fond of doing the opposite of what he promises or says.  During the celebration of South Sudan independence on 9th July 2011 he emphatically promised South Sudanese peace.  Before his words could be forgotten, he embarked on disarming all the other ethnicities and re-arming the Jieng.  The Nuer being the majority in the army by then also did the same.

Within five months after independence the country was thrown into a tribal war between an alliance of Jieng and Nuer against the Murle.  President Kiir and his Vice Riek did nothing as if nothing seriously damaging the credibility of the state had happened re its duty to protect.  Neglectfully neither of the two called or instituted an enquiry.  That was the first sign of failure in leadership of both President Kiir and Riek and the failure of state to protect its citizen.   Fresh from this debacle, President Kiir unnecessarily went into a wild adventure of invading the Sudan and eventually retreating to remain in the disputed Panthou.  He crowed to Mr Ban Ki Moon that he would never withdraw.  Within a day he pulled out.  Please see, ‘Panthou war: the reflections of unnecessary war’

In 2012 President Kiir promised to address the problem of rampant corruption.  He even produced a list of 75 alleged thieves.  What has he done?  Nothing!  Then in 2013 he recruits a private militia popularly known as Dootku Beny/Mathiang Anyoor/Gelweng.  It is this militia that became responsible for the cleansing of the Nuer in Juba sparking the current vicious war that has consumed tenth of thousands of lives and displaced over two million people.

It is clear from these few examples that President Kiir is definitely a hypocrite. 

Now read this excerpt from the Lord of Darkness’ briefing.  “Having made our reservations and expressed our disappointment on the provision of the Agreement, I (President Kiir) finally signed the Peace Document with reservations to return our country back to peace and development.  With that signature, I had fully committed the government to faithful implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of conflict in the Republic of South Sudan.  All institutions of government in the country shall be bound by this Agreement and shall be expected to carry out the functions stipulated for them therein.  I believe you are aware of that National Council ministers has already endorsed and adopted the Agreement and that the National Legislature has ratified it as well.  In my capacity as Commander-In-Chief of the SPLA, I have already issued a cease fire order for SPLA troops to stop any military offensive in the conflict zones unless on self defence.”

Anybody who is a close observer of the president will be worried by what he has outlined.  His weasel words signify troubles.  President Kiir as a hypocrite may not be promising peace.  He may be declaring obstruction to the implementation of the peace agreement.  It is not a surprise therefore to see his troops aided by Uganda People Defence Forces using helicopter gunships to decimate the Chollo villages in Upper Nile and Unity states to clear land for resettlement of the Jieng.  This is a serious violation of the peace agreement.  Equally, he has unleashed his dogs of war on Equatoria while deceptively preaching peace as in his press briefing.  Equatoria now must face the reality of its predicament resulting from non active political engagement in the country.

The three points in the message sums up a declaration for a protracted obstruction to derail the Compromise Peace agreement.  In effect SPLM-IG and the evil forces running it have wedged themselves on the road to peace in South Sudan. The implementation of the peace agreement is not going to be an easy one. The road ahead will be bumpy with unexpected dangers along the way. 

Will Dr Riek Machar manage travelling on this road?  There is a big question mark.   Riek does not appear to grasp the dynamics emanating from the new reality created by the agreement.  In some state of lullaby dreaming of becoming a president, this pretender without any skills and knowledge of leadership is a disaster waiting to happen.  Instead of taking serious note of the violations by Juba so far denting the agreement and making it questionable, he is nowhere to be heard or seen.  Riek should by now vigorously be engaging the IGAD, South Sudanese people and the international community by delivering relevant national statements and holding conferences to highlight the numerous violations of the peace agreement with recommendations of what should be done. 

Unfortunately, he is nowhere to be heard or seen.  Sadly, he leaves this vital job to his spokesman.

Riek now jubilantly goes around with wide smiles deluding himself that he has achieved a victory.  Anybody who followed Riek’s behaviour after he signed the Khartoum Peace Agreement in 1997 can not fail to see the same naive behaviour surfacing again in him.  Back then he carried himself as if he wielded real power in Khartoum.  His tribalistic actions were everywhere to be seen with posts dished out to close family members and some favoured Nuer.  That experience in short ended bitterly as he had to run to Dr Garang in 2002 with his tail coiled.   South Sudanese are about to be administered a dose of similar behaviour in a very fluid and dangerous circumstances whereby the oppressors of the people are geared to fighting to the death.

If Riek wants to win this battle in order to realise peace for a democratic transformation in the county, he must be pro-active, constantly alert, highly communicative and actively engaging the stakeholders, drafters and guarantors of the deal to breath fire on the regime in Juba.  Otherwise his credibility and limited support will be a foregone conclusion.

In conclusion, President Kiir’s press briefing is a serious message of a wounded bull whose future has been blown by the IGAD document.  It is a declaration of a fight to the death.  Therefore, South Sudanese, the drafters of the agreement and the international community must take note and be prepared for the worst.

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

The author lives in the Republic of South Sudan. 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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