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Genesis of Lakes State Crisis in South Sudan (Part two)

By Peter Gai Manyuon

October 7, 2014 (SSNA) -- According to different analysts who analyze Lakes State problem, some came to realize that the reason why President of the Republic of South Sudan, General Salva Kiir Mayardit is not willing to sack Military Caretaker Governor Matur Chuot Dhol is due to number of threats and intimidations from the Governor. He (Matur) is known in South Sudan context as one of notorious Military minded person that does not listen to higher authority directives since the time of the liberation struggle, between the Sudan People liberation Army/Movement (SPLA/M) and the National Congress Party of President Hussan El- Bashir of the Republic of Sudan.

After General Matur was appointed early last year 2013, there have been number of gross violation of human rights, torturing of people in the State and as well giving orders to close down businesses that are an avoidable in the world context and subsequently people abandoned peaceful. And again after realizing that all people abandoned drinking of alcohol and selling, he (Matur) came to the extent of killings people based on clans in the state. There have been a lot of revenge killings that happened within Matur family and other sub-clans in the Central County of Rumbek. What do Matur want really in Lakes state? Is he authorized to kill Civilian population of Lakes State?

The complexity of Lakes State problem is the reason why President of the Republic of South Sudan is not removing the person who is behind the killings, revenge killing and violation of the human rights within the state. When will right time come for dictator to be sack for people safety in Lakes State? Is South Sudan government very happy with the ongoing killings in Lakes State? Are there no competence politicians who can lead Lakes State communities democratically, peaceful and willingly?

Withstanding , South Sudan’s National Parliament voted Monday 23th of August 2014 and recommend to the president about removal of Lakes State caretaker military governor Matur.

Dhol was appointed to his position January 2013 by President Salva Kiir after the president ousted elected Governor Chol Tong Mayay.

The parliament recommended that Dhol be removed from office followed by a reconciliation process.

The recommendation was unanimous and came after lengthy deliberations in which lawmakers voiced support for Dhuol's ouster.

Furthermore, last month more than eighty (80) Cueibet county residents in Rumbek Central county of South Sudan’s Lakes state have fled to churches and police stations amid fears of revenge attacks for the last two weeks, no one is sure of where they are about this time around.

Those fleeing reportedly fear they could be killed by relatives of Lakes state’s military caretaker governor, Maj-Gen Matur Chut and government of South Sudan is not talking immediate actions.

Activists have accused Dhol of indirect involvement in insecurity in the region, accusing the latter of allegedly allowing his family members engage in killings of people along Rumbek highways.

Before going further, I would like to remind us on what has been happening in Lakes state for the last one year and half. In February 2013, the Deputy of Military Governor, Mabor Achol Kuer warns Journalists and Activists in the State where he said “anyone who will report the violation of human rights in Lakes State will be crucified like Jesus Christ” Matur Deputy said.

In reality, where on earth will you find a leader talking that way? Is Lakes State curse or what is in the mind and hearts of its leaders? Is it because of Geo-cultural diversities?

Moreover, since that time up to now, there is gross violation of human rights, lost of property and lives going on and no Government who is seeing the suffering of the people of the State respectively.

A number of human rights defenders have been calling for the removal of the Military Caretaker Governor but nothing is put in to consideration by the Government of South Sudan. National Assembly have approved for the removal of the dictator of Lakes State as well Civil society but President and his Legal Advisor Telar Ring Deng have sat on the issue without issuing a decree for the removal of the gentlemen who have destroyed the human dignity of the people of the State.

The recent speeches of Military Caretaker Governor of Lakes state justify a lot to the people of South Sudan. Logically, if General Matur rebel where will he go? Will he join the Sudan People Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM/IO) or form his own rebellion in South Sudan?

And where will he get supporters since the people of Lakes State are not supporting him and the entire government due to number of issues that does not need exposure at this time?

Besides, it is very interesting and debatable of bringing someone who is illiterate in to the leadership in the State. Matur is among the 70% which South Sudan needs to educate at this time and one of the best way is to relive him/them to go for studies in the other Countries so that he/ they should get to acquire knowledge and expose to the world of intellectuality. Anyone who has not gone to school does not know the important of human lives and rights as well respect for the rule of law. Uncivilized human being considers people as slaves!

How do you expect someone who doesn’t know A B C D E or 12345 to lead the people in the State? Who to blame now? The answer is very simple; the regime of General Kiir Mayardit is blamable in all these messes going on in the entire Republic of South Sudan and the State as well.

You might have read through the media what General Matur has been telling the people of South Sudan. To quote his recent comment where he said, “it is not only Lakes State which has the problem only”, I remembered he (Matur) said there is insecurity in Juba Central Equatoria state, where the headquarters of the Government of the Republic of South Sudan is located. If you contextualize that statement properly, what will you conceptualize? Is General Matur going to join rebellion, if he is going to be sacks from governorship position or what will happen really? Something that needs analytical thinking!

I think that is just intimidation that does not have support from the grass root. Who will support Matur in Lakes State? None of the people of Lakes will ever support Matur in the State, accepts his wives and relatives but Republic of South Sudan should take a recommendable actions to discipline Matur before things goes worse and worse in the state.

One of the recommendable aspect that need to be observe by the Government of South Sudan is to bring in someone from Greater Yirol to be the Caretaker Governor of Lakes State because once the appointment also come from Rumbek Central or Cueibet respectively then crisis will still be more and more in the State. The good idea is to bring a peace lover person from Greater Yirol to lead for this particular period of time until general elections next year 2015 commerce as the constitution acknowledge.

Furthermore, the appointment should not be based on bringing illiterate person but rather bringing a competence, educated, influential and committed person to reconcile the people of Lakes State at this particular period of time since there are insurgencies controlling one of the greater regions in South Sudan. It is advisable for the government to take immediate action about Lakes state issue before citizens change their minds from the government of the newest state. It is very simple for the community to mobilize themselves and there after insurgencies can have opportunity to take over power unanimously, which I think is not too far from reality.

President should know that Lakes state issue does not need legal advisor to be consult. There is a need for a surprise decree calling the Military Governor to Juba and thereafter taken to Military wing and there after appointing a person of people of Lakes interest.

The author is Independent Journalist and Columnist who has written extensively on the issues of Democratization and Human Rights in South Sudan, he can be contact on www.independentjournalistpgm.wordpress.com or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Khartoum Announces a Campaign to Starve the People of the Nuba Mountains

By Eric Reeves

October 7, 2014 (SSNA) -- On 22 September 2014 I received from a source within Sudan, whom I trust implicitly, a truly extraordinary, indeed explosive document, containing "Minutes of the Military and Security Committee Meeting held in the National Defense College [Khartoum]"; the meeting referred to took place on August 31, 2014; the date of the minutes for the document is September 1, 2014 (Sunday).

What makes the document so extraordinary—beyond the extreme danger individuals put themselves in to ensure I received a copy—is that it reveals the participation of the regime's most senior military and security officials, expressing themselves freely, and in the process disclosing numerous highly consequential policy decisions, internal and external. We learn also of the appalling cruelty and destructiveness of these decisions. Allowing for the very different historical contexts, it's as though we were reading minutes from the Wannsee Conference of 1942, in which the destruction of European Jewry was confirmed and extended throughout the German governing apparatus.

If the comparison seems too extreme, bear in mind that during the twenty-five years of rule by the current National Islamic Front/National Congress Party regime, more than three million people have been killed in Darfur, South Sudan, as well as the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan, and Blue Nile State. Most have died not directly from violence but rather from the consequences of that violence, which has been consistently marked by a decided racial and ethnic inflection. Khartoum's view has always been that the African populations of greater Sudan (Sudan as well as the newly independent South Sudan) are lower forms of human life—worthy only of being abid. The Arabic word is translated literally as slave(s) but carries with it many of the connotations of the hateful English word "nigger." And slavery has in fact been a means of conducting war, as the distinguished South Sudanese academic Jok Madut Jok argues in his terrifying account, War and Slavery in Sudan (2001).

The rape and gang-rape of women and girls is also a weapon of war, particularly in Darfur where Khartoum's militia forces have sexually assaulted many tens of thousands; we will never have an adequate figure for how many—or how many eventually lost their lives or their will to live because of the savagery of gang-rape, especially of young girls. The rapes are typically the occasion for expressing a ghastly "Arab supremacism"; for what is striking about these assaults is that they have typically been accompanied by racial epithets, including abid, but also zurga (dirty or blue-black), and "Nuba"—a broadly derogatory for African people, growing out of the assumption that all the people of the Nuba Mountains are African.

Notably, it was the Nuba people who were subject to a campaign of near total ethnic destruction in the 1990s: assaulted militarily—with no distinction between combatants and civilians—they were also subject to a total humanitarian embargo: no international relief supplies or personnel were allowed in, even as people were starving.

Which brings us back to the present and the minutes of the August 31 meeting. Two military officials of the regime speak explicitly of accelerating a bombing campaign directed against the agricultural production of the Nuba people, a campaign that has been underway for more than three years.

Moreover, the international community has again acquiesced before Khartoum's total embargo on humanitarian relief to rebel-controlled areas. In the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan and in Blue Nile State to the east, perhaps 1.5 million people have been displaced and have acute humanitarian needs: food, primary medical care, and above all, an end to the aerial bombardment that has terrified people to the point that they can no longer work their fields. They live in caves and ravines; villages are relentlessly attacked on the ground, with foodstocks the primary target for destruction. Many thousands have died.

If this seems too indirect or abstract an account, not getting sufficiently at the vexed issue of "genocidal intent," then consider the words of two senior generals at the August 31 meeting (only two of those present did not have the most senior generals at the August 31 meeting (only two of those present did not have the most senior military rank). Lt. General Siddiig Aamir, Director of Military Intelligence and Security, was blunt:

"This year the Sudan People's Army (SPLA-N) managed to cultivate large areas in South Kordofan State. We must not allow them to harvest these crops. We should prevent them. Good harvest means supplies to the war effort. We must starve them, so that, commanders and civilians desert them and we recruit the deserters to use them in the war to defeat the rebels" (page 10 of English translation of minutes).

What "starving" people look like: photograph by the incomparable James Nachtwey, from an earlier Khartoum-engineered famine in South Sudan

"We must starve them."  He is speaking of hundreds of thousands of civilians, for of course this ruthless assessment neglects to point out that the vast majority of agricultural production is a civilian undertaking, and that it will be Nuba civilians--primarily children, women, and the elderly—who will suffer most from this destruction of food supplies, not the rebels.  Even more blunt are the words of Lt. General Imadadiin Adaw, Chief of Joint Operations: "We should attack them before the harvest and bombard their food stores and block them completely" (page 14).

People have fled their homes, their villages, their lands in the face of relentless aerial bombardment by Khartoum's forces; agricultural production in many areas has fallen precipitously over the past three years

More civilian destruction planned

The minutes of the meeting also make clear Khartoum's intention to supply strategically significant military supplies, equipment, and training to one side of the bloody civil war in South Sudan, ensuring that this enormously destructive conflict is protracted and that peace negotiations will falter as the newly equipped rebel group fights on against the government in Juba. It is a page out of Khartoum's standard genocidal playbook: "divide and conquer." Southerners killing Southerners still serves what these men consider to be in Sudan's (i.e., their) national interest, especially given the location of the very large oil reserves in the South's Upper Nile State, where fighting is increasingly intense.

There is much, much more in this terrifying document. Especially significant is Khartoum's relationship to militant Islam and its readiness to use Islamic terrorism as a strategic element of foreign policy: First Lt. Gen. Hashim Abdalla Mohammed, Chief of Joint General Staff, declares with confidence: "We can create them a problem with the Islamic radicals, but we are not going to use this card now" (page 17). But certainly the "card" is there to play.

The U.S. intelligence community assumes in its shady relationship with Khartoum that it is getting valuable regional information about terrorism; what this document reveals is that the regime is highly selective in what it provides, and exacts a shameful price from its partners in the U.S. intelligence community, namely betrayal of the rebel movements seeking to overthrow Khartoum's tyranny of 25 years. This is the only way to interpret what First Lt. General and Defense Minister Abdel Rahim Mohamed Hussein bluntly declares: "We release only limited information to the Americans [and are guided by their specific requests], and the price is the armed movements file" (page 24). Some of those leading the "armed movements" are among the most honorable, principled, and determined Sudanese I know.

Yet another victim of Khartoum's bombing campaigns; thee have been tens of thousands

Anyone reading this document, whose authenticity has been established beyond reasonable doubt, will find some hard questions about Obama administration policies toward Khartoum. First and foremost, are we really prepared to accept the deliberate aerial destruction of the Nuba people? Aerial attacks on civilians have been a mainstay of Khartoum's war against peripheral and marginalized groups—in what is now South Sudan, in Darfur, in Blue Nile, and most conspicuously in the Nuba Mountains. Will anything be done to stop this explicitly declared campaign of "starvation"? Although well aware of its existence, the Obama administration has so far said not a word about the document announcing this campaign. The administration has been assisted by news media silence. How long will this silence persist? How many children must starve to death before the President, Western allies, and news organizations respond meaningfully?

That such a plea should be necessary...

Eric Reeves, a professor at Smith College, has published extensively on Sudan, nationally and internationally, for more than fifteen years. He is author of Compromising with Evil: An archival history of greater Sudan, 2007 – 2012 (September 2012).

The Gurtong Trust-Peace is a revenge preaching and killing Machine: why are the Norway, the UK and the Swiss’ Governments’ Foreign Affairs funding it?

By J. Nguen Nyol

October 5, 2014 (SSNA) -- Is this how the world works? I am shocked and saddened by the fact that an organization that preach revenges day-in and day-out is still getting hundreds of thousands of dollars funding from well to do nations, like the Norway, the UK and the Swiss. Isn’t it ironic? Where justice in this absurd dealing?

This contradicting proposition reinforced the notion that revenge is sanctioned and in our blood like it or hate it. For one, the Americans perfect revenges like nothing else, wholesale, on daily basis. They do it in disguise of protecting national interest or maintaining human security. The good news is however, U.S., doesn’t preach revenge. Their approach is reactive in nature but disproportional to the core. Call it furthering U.S. hegemony or maintaining human security is not the trajectory of this piece. 

The bottom line is, as I write, U.S. is on a full pledged war campaign against the ISIL, the militants organization based in Iraqi and Syria. ISIL made a lethal mistake for beheading two American citizens in cold-blood and threatened yesterday to behead another and called it a show of force. As a result there are now paying for their ruthless deeds and miscalculated combat tactic.

The truth is, hate speech or preaching revenge wherever it happen is a crime under the stature of international law, which is the focus of this article. An essence, any organization or state that promotes or aids this kind of language financially or otherwise is a terrorist and must be dealt with severely with a full force of the law.

Based on this principle, no one, no organization or state is above this clause. Surprisingly and for some reason, Gurtong Trust – Peace and media Project is allowed to preach revenges on daily basis and still gets funding from Norway, UK and the Swiss. Why is Gurtong Trust –Peace and Media Project immune to hate speech crime? Why is it allowed to promote hate speech and revenge without it being made accountable?

As a concerned citizen, I am bothered and saddened and decided to write about it. Thus, I feel I am perfecting my duty furthering forceful stand of international law. Second, it’s my rightful duty as a world citizen to ensure that peace and human security prevail. Therefore, this preluded my legal rights to call to question any wrongdoing or warmongering to prevent futuristic anarchy and bloodshed, even though damage is already perfected in Gurtong’s case.

For example, on December 15th, 2013, Dinka militias directed by the President, who is also a Dinka, went on a revenge sphere against the Nuer innocent civilians in Juba. In this fiasco, perhaps, we know the planners and promoters of the Juba Nuer Massacre and Gurtong Trust –Peace Media Project topped the list.

To put blatantly, Gurtong Trust- Peace and Media Project as an organization is a prime promoter of the Juba Nuer Massacre; a massacre, which subsequently triggered a countrywide bloodbath.

For those who might not be aware of what “Gurtong” stand for and what it means in Dinka, you are missing out. BIG TIME! “Gurtong,” by itself is a double-edged sword and lethal at best. Gurtong are two words combined, “gur” and ‘tong’. Gur means revenge. “Tong” means war or spear in a lesser degree. The direct translation of Gurtong is REVENGE THE WAR. What war?--- is indeed what makes Gurtong Trust – Peace Media Project a revenge preaching and killing machine of all time in South Sudan’s shaky history.

To place this into a neat perspective, Gurtong Trust –Peace and media Project was founded in 2002 by Napoleon Adok Gai as “Gurtong Peace Project” in London, UK and registered in Nairobi, Kenya in 2004. Subsequently, in 2007, Gurtong was registered in South Sudan under “Gurtong Peace and Media Project,” where it now exists as “Gurtong Trust - Peace and Media Project.

In the paragraph above, we may have noticed that words such as “peace” and “trust” were thrown in the mix. It was done so intentionally to confuse the funders to ensure monies flow, and it worked. From then, to now, Gurtong is being funded by Norway, UK and Swiss, who would otherwise calls for its shutdown, if they knew better.

Considering its managing characters, Gurtong Trust –Peace and Media Project’s daily business is runs by Mr. Jacob Jiel Akol as its director after Mr. Gai call it quit. Mr. Akol called himself, a veteran journalist. Interestingly, there is no coincidence why Mr. Akol took Gurtong’s managing director. Mr. Akol knew quite well Gurtong’s mission as a revenge preaching and killing hub.

Mr. Akol was the subject of the so- called “Bor Massacre” documentary, which flooded the western media outlets in the 1990s. Akol himself is from Bor where 1991 incidence occurred. Let’s say, he is from the grieving community though everyone was a victim in the “triangle” or beyond. Given Akol’s brief background, it’s sufficient to conclude that he has every reason at heart and purpose in mind to keep the Gurtong running at all cost. Hence, the prime purpose is to keep the Dinka community reminded and to eventually cue Dinka to take revenge against Nuer for 1991.

Below, I provided logical reasoning and justifications for this to make sense to ordinary South Sudanese and Gurtong’s funders. Gurtong Peace Project” as mentioned above was founded during peace times. One, it was formed at the time of the “merger” between two South Sudanese principals, Dr. Riek and Dr. John Garang’s factions after the split of 1991.

Not only that, 2002 was the year when the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was negotiated and where some vital protocols were signed between the north and south Sudan warring parties. In 2004 and 2007, when Gurtong was put to operations in Kenya and South Sudan respectively, it was times of tranquillities.

Therefore, I find it very difficult for anyone to call for revenge given the political developments in Sudan at time. Undoubtedly, you will agree with me that calling for revenge considering the circumstance makes no logical sense if ill intention was not the very motive of Gurtong. If not so, then, why are the Gurtong founding members calling for revenge yet the whole country was gearing up for peaceful settlements of her crises?

Is it not true that during peace times, peace promoting organizations would have sprung up and formed at ease? Why calling for war revenge? And to whom was this revenge intended against? After December 15th, 2013, one concluded that Gurtong’s founding members had one thing in mind, preach revenge against Nuer nation.

As planned, a cruel and heartless revenge killing happened against Nuer ethnic group on December 15th. 2013. Reports estimated that more than 20, 000 thousands innocent Nuer civilians were murdered in cold-blood within 4 days. In this case you would say Gurtong’s mission of revenge fulfilled. 

Hence, there is no room to deny this. There is no logical reason to argue that Gurtong was preaching revenge against Arabs. This is unrealistic. After the CPA was concluded in 2005 and independence in 2011, any revenge preaching misconception against Arabs north is obsolete.

Based on these grounds, it’s sad to report that the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through the Norwegian People Aid (NPA), the UK and the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs funded and still granting monies of well intentions aids for criminal activities, Gurtong Trust – Peace and Media Project’ mission to revenge.

The lingering question that needs answers from Gurtong’s funders is whether they knew that Gurtong means revenge the war in Dinka or were they simply blindfolded and cheated by words “trust” and “peace” added in the mix to cover up Gurtong’s vicious plan?

Sadly, before our watchful eyes, Gurtong Trust – Peace and Media Project continue to tell us it trusted revenge and yet three Western nations continued to grant hundreds of thousands of dollars for it to exists and preach revenge and bloodshed in South Sudan. Is it not true that the phrase “Gurtong Trust” mean the organization trusted revenge?

At this juncture, I put my case to rest. However, the ball is in the Norwegian People’s Aid, the UK government and the Swiss’ Ministry Foreign Affairs’ courts to decide whether they should keep aiding and enabling a revenge preaching machine. 

J. Nguen is a concerned South Sudanese living in Canada. He can be reached This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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