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How can we achieve peace in South Sudan?

By Zechariah James Machar

“We can only maintain peace when we accept to address the root cause of December 15th genocide”

March 15, 2015 (SSNA) -- South Sudanese believe that peace will only return through negotiation rather than war. Today we will discuss the importance of Justice and the reason behind violence. “Without Justice there can be no Peace – Martin Luther Junior”

I am confident that in most cases we will all agree that violence should be the last alternative; I also recognize that every individual has his own way of defining the term Justice. In my previous article I define Justice as disciplinary equipment utilized to hold the perpetrators responsible for their actions. When individual are not held responsible for their deeds entire community are left to be blame and they become the target of the future violence.

After the publication of the African Union Leak report, I gained back hope believing that South Sudanese may now wake up from the tribal Coma which acutely affected their brain functioning. According to the continental Union latest report in South Sudan’s ongoing conflict, the region and the international community admitted that December 15th event was masterminded by General Salva Kiir Mayardit and his allies.

Sticking to the main argument “How to achieve Peace”; issues that are preventing the country’s peaceful co-existence must be dissociated first into the following:

Centralization: a system of government that supplies more authorities to the president that later resulted in the adaptation of one man rule “Dictatorship”. Because of central system people of greater Equatoria constantly complains from land grabbing and inhuman treatment by the same government they permitted to take Juba as the country’s national capital.   

Nepotism discriminately forced us to hire only our closest relatives once we got equivalent governmental or organizational position. By practicing nepotism South Sudan’s employment system is categorize into three, with the Dinkans centralizing the government institutions, Equatorians leading the non-governmental organization (NGO) recruitment staffs and lastly the Nuer and Collo community being the money exchangers on the streets of Juba.

By tribalism we become the slaves to our tribal leaders. Because of tribalism government’s organs targeted children, women and the age just because they were from Nuer in December 15th /2013.

Because of tribalism residents in Juba cowardly turn or switch off South Sudan’s Television (SSTV) channel whenever Malaak Ayuen Ajok or Michael Makuei Luth program is about to start.

Because of tribalism locals in South Sudan’s states were able to manage to ignore the severe killing of demonstrators in Wau back in December 13/2012; they were heartless enough to disregard the Murle’s Massacre in 2011.   

Illiteracy killed the father of my friend Arok Diing Abraham Chan. Because of illiteracy and envy the political commentator Mr. Isaiah Diing Abraham Chan Awuol was murdered in the country’s capital in December 2012. The killing was motivated by his political writing for better South Sudan hence, the government officials took it as a direct criticism. Because of illiteracy government servants do not distinguish the language should be spoken in the public government’s institutes. Because of illiteracy government and locals appoints the members of Parliament according to their influence in the military and their military background in the Sudan’s People Liberation army (SPLA). In South Sudan preferment is maintain through defections and through how many child soldiers you manage to recruit just like comrade David Yau Yau and Johnson Oliny.

Solution to the outstanding issues

Federalism must be adopted. Federalism is a system of governance that separated the central from the states government. In federal system of government parliament is more powerful than the prime minister. Federalism means more job vacancies to the citizens and fast track of modern world live standard. When states executives are segregated from central administration supremacy amongst the state’s governors becomes the prime objective in term of education, development and sport; and unknowingly cattle raiding and revenge killing will vanish.

Sudan’s People Liberation Army (SPLA) must be completely transformed into national army that will guard only the sovereignty of the country. There shall not be any army under the supervision of Sudan’s people Liberation Movement (SPLM) or any South Sudanese party. The people of South Sudan must only vote-in politicians instead of military generals.  

Dear South Sudanese, I am calling on every single one of you to accept JUSTICE before PEACE; our leaders need to understand that our lives value just as their family’s lives. We must bring them to justice by jointly coming together and call for Justice.

“We must acknowledge that not all Dinkans participated in the killing of Nuer but only Salva Kiir and his group trained in Luri-Juba were responsible for the December 15 genocide. If Nuer were not killed in Juba, there would be no fighting in Bor, Bentiu or Malakal Mr. Edward Lino narrated.”

Readers may ask why I am so concerns about Justice and what would happen if justice is done? Well, justice is not going to erase the memory of the crimes committed neither the people who committed the crimes but it will provide people with some level of closure. At least they will know it has been dealt with, it has been talked about, some has been held accountable and perhaps even, ideally, the victim has received some form of compensation. It is very important that the truth be known, that the people who were killed be commemorated and that their killers be acknowledge.

Long live South Sudan.!
Long live citizens and nationals of South Sudan.!

Zechariah James Machar is a political activist and the SPLM Youth League Chapter Secretary General in Egypt you can reach him through This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

The views expressed in this Opinion articles does not reflects my political position as the Chapter Secretary of SPLM-YL in Egypt but my personal view.

IGAD’s led peace talks failed; it’s about time to invite President Omar Al Bashir to bring lasting Peace to war-torn South Sudan

By J. Nguen Nyol

March 12, 2015 (SSNA) -- The value of this honest proposal is humanistic, logical, and politically mature. If implemented, will have positive impacts in finding lasting peace in South Sudan and people can once again be at peace. Warmongers will perceive this as a short-sighted because their familiarity with South Sudan and Sudan politics is limited and their scope of understanding is informed by what they gain when this war continued. Some might disagree with this proposal because they have axes to grind with Sudanese people (north and south) and want no peace to return to South Sudan whatsoever.

Logically, one of the benefits of this proposal is that it will bring normalcy to people’s lives and also prevent eminent nation collapse. President Omar Bashir is a heavyweight political machine as far as South Sudan normalcy is concerned. We can no longer afford ignoring this reality.

To achieve a meaningful in South Sudan, President Bashir of Sudan, Troika, United Kingdom, Norway and United States must be involved. This is demand of South Sudanese people since there was no progress in the peace talk and no consequences against those who obstructed peace.

At this point, I am sure most of us are convinced with the narrative that IGAD led peace wouldn’t prevail some days. The idea that IGAD was a formidable political machine capable of bring lasting peace to South Sudan was a perfect fallacy and unrealistic.

This has been proven before our watchful eyes. Therefore, it’s about time for Sudanese and the world to do the unthinkable. It’s about time to rationalize South Sudan problem and find local solutions with international and region outlook. Involving president Bashir to take lead in solving South Sudan problem is a positive initiative in the right direction. Involvement of the Troika countries, Norway, United Kingdom and United States in supportive role and in some decision making is also paramount. These countries are friends of South Sudan and will always be there for us when we needed help. Now, our people need their friendly hands.

The IGAD led peace for South Sudan has failed because most of the IGAD’s member states only positioned their representatives in South Sudan’s peace talk only for economic purposes. Call it economic gain if you may. The IGAD intention was not to bring lasting peace to South Sudan but prolongation of war in order to prolong financial exploitation of South Sudan. This is the dominant motive behind the Uganda president involvement in South Sudan internal affairs. While Kenya and Ethiopia on the other hand have the same interests using subsidiaries third parties and back door deals to achieve the same financial ends. If for the same reason that IGAD never enforced any threat.

The problem we have in south Sudan needs sound approach and openness in order to find an amicable solution. This cannot be achieved with current approach because the prorogation is wrong. Similarly, this sound approach will be counterproductive when only extoling current false political elites in South Sudan. The South Sudanese people are glad that IGAD’ head has admitted that the past approach aimed to bringing peace to South Sudan wrong and must be alter.

The current governance in South Sudan is too “deformed to be reformed.” For one, South Sudan as a nation is led by a weak and incompetence president. The South Sudan self-serving political class is splintered on tribal basis. For instance, the G10 and the SPLM/A led by Dr. Riek are currently caught up in rather premature egocentric politic. Simply because the G10 has an axe to grind with Dr. Riek on personal basis and this led to rather a weak oppositions.

President Kiir other the other hand has surrounded himself with ineffective tribal hooligans. This state of affairs opened South Sudan up to wolves and serious exploitation by well-established hyenas looking for profitable financial carcasses. The losers at the end of the day are the common South Sudanese people.

Since December 2013, President Kiir has lost constitutional legitimacy after administering the gruesome massacre of the Nuer nationality in the State capital, Juba. A heinous crime ever committed in the 21 century. Now, the nation has no national army to keep kiir and cronies afloat. Kiir opted for Uganda’s UPDF’s desperate offer and aimed only for financial prosperity. This useless deal is now keeping Kiir and disgruntled politicians around him afloat by using South Sudan’s petro-dollars while the country’s national identity go to waste.

For Kenya and Ethiopia, South Sudan’s financial district around the country is runs by the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) and this has helped Kenya with immerse financial growth in its GDP in the past 5 years. Therefore President Kenyatta is determined to keep this status quo alive whatever it takes without any humanistic remorse to suffering South Sudanese civilians caught up in the senseless civil war.

Besides, every tea shop and water supply in South Sudan is owned and runs by Ethiopian nationals. This gives Ethiopia as a country a financial incentive than ever before while South Sudanese citizens languish in the UN bases internally and in the neighboring countries. Therefore, the only strategic plan use by Uganda, Kenya and Uganda is keeping our people engage militarily while the continue exploiting the nation wealth.

Dr. Riek and his group plus the G10 have no financial capacities to strike the balance of the petro-dollars use by President Kiir, but instead, depend on handouts from goodwill friends. Because of this, the G10 and the SPLM/A-IO lacks political influences over IGAD’s member States. In fact, G10 is in the worse position compared to SPLM-IO. The group’s survival depends on President Kenyatta’s handouts and they lack political independency and in the course of this conflict will never flux political muscles.

In the view of Kiir and Dr. Riek’s factions, this group is misguided represents political pauper to say the least. The group has no military base anywhere in South Sudan to resort to should roundtable solution withered away like it has.

In the recent past, G10 has used angel-like politic to win supports from the international community particularly the TROIKA and the US but this has failed even though the group back stabbed Dr. Riek and his SPLM/A -IO after the movement fought fiercely to secure their released from prison. It was even alleged that Pagan Amum, the leader of G10 to has stated that the killing of the Nuer civilians in their thousands should not take the country to civil war. If this is true, the question one need to ask is what can take a country to war then if peoples’ lives no longer matters?

The South Sudan peace negotiation led by IGAD has failed and the country is now at the free fall. Precisely, the badly needed peace is no more even with strong supports from the Troika countries and the United States. As a result, empty political bickering from IGAD has taken a centre stage but counterproductive as usual. I should say, IGAD is good for nothing and can never be a vanguard to salvage a meaningful peace for my people. There are toothless and their interests are solely financially motivated and the organization lack financial and political leverages to stand it grounds.

For the last 15 months of South Sudan conflict, IGAD has made empty numerous political posturing of severe consequences against Dr. Riek and President Kiir Mayardit should peace failed. Sadly, the resultant of such threats is that both parties showed defiance and failed to agree on every talking point. Also both warring parties have continued to dishonour signed cessation of hostilities and no single threat of severe consequences from IGAD has been actualized.

As it appears, IGAD made some of these threats against Kiir and Machar after being instructed to do so by TROIKA countries and United States. To date, IGAD has no tangible Plan B should South Sudan’s peace negotiation failed like it has. All we heard time and again are endless empty political bickering of wanting to protect South Sudanese civilians caught up in the middle of war.

On the 6th of March 2015, finally, a nail on the cabin was transfixed on South Sudan peace process.  South Sudan’s peace process was indefinitely suspended by IGAD’s mediator citing disagreement over every major issue on the menu. This is expected and every South Sudanese that I know of knew from the onset that IGAD peace process is doomed and distant to fail. The pronouncement made by IGAD only validates our common man common knowledge on the matter.

As I write, there is no hope for peace anytime soon in South Sudan. Fighting between the two warring parties has resumed and suffering of civilians continued unabated. Death is relentless and no negotiation is expected in the near future. This is disappointing and must not be allowed to continue.

Therefore, to find the solution, there is only one avenue that has not been tapped, Sudan.  Sudan has been ignored due to its president bad relations with the West and yet this country stands a good chance of bring lasting peace to South Sudan if utilize effectively. Sudan as a country is an IGAD’s member States but her president, Omar Al Bashir has been isolated due to indictment by the International Crime Court regarding the Darfur issue.

Sadly however, the Darfur rebel and its northern Sudan allies, the SPLM/A -North rebels have proven to be bad partners and merciless bandits which cannot be trusted. There are involved into South Sudan tribal killings as mercenaries. As I write, there are fighting alongside a genocidal regime of president Kiir; a government that trained and armed troops to carry out the massacre of defenseless civilians on December 2013.

This showed that the Darfur rebels groups have lost their good political stand at the international stage and deserve no political and moral supports from anyone but instead ought to be condemned in the strongest terms possible for aiding in the death of South Sudan civilians. As such President Omar Bashir should no long be held back playing instrumental role in South Sudan crisis because of these trivial mercenaries rebel groups issues.

As far as South Sudan’s crisis is concerned, Sudan’s president holds a very unique and importance position. If utilized and given the leading role, he can have a positive and far lethal influence over both Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar financially and politically. This is what is lacking with the Ethiopia’s Prime Minister and Kenya but needed for peace to succeed in South Sudan. 

If truth be told, the Republic of Sudan under President Bashir is the financier and life line of President Kiir and by extension the Uganda People Defense Forces (UPDF) and the SPLM/A-North, and in part the PLM/A –IO led by Dr. Riek according to Hon. Henry Odar. Sudan as country has both political and financial leverage over these conflicting groups in South Sudan. The Ethiopians, Kenyans and Ugandans have zero leverage to gambles with.

Evidently, the Republic of Sudan allowed President Kiir to collect millions of dollars from oil production which flows through Port Sudan to the international market. Subsequently, President Kiir hired the UPDF and various Sudanese rebel groups to fight for him and against the SPLM/A rebel.

The same Sudanese rebel groups funded by President Kiir are the same group that fight President Bashir in the Nuba Mountain, the Blue Nile and the Darfur respectively. In reality, one need no political science degree to figure out that President Bashir is directly or indirectly financing those who wanted to oust him by force from office.

President Bashir’s financial assistance to Kiir made president Kiir intransigence and refuses to make concessions in the peace process. If President Bashir takes the leading role in South Sudan peace talk, he can use this advantage to strangulate Kiir in case he decided to drag his feed and refused to compromise.

For SPLM/A- IO, if Hon. Henry Odar utterance on the Canadian public Agency Channel early this month were true, that the SPLM/A is receiving military backing from Sudan to counter Uganda involvement, then, it’s paramount to use president Bashir influence to bring both parties together or else.

In comparison, the Ethiopian’s Prime Minister is toothless and lack political and financial leverages over the warring parties. For example, at any rate, if Kiir and Dr. Riek refused to negotiate peace in good faith, President Bashir can actually stop the flow of oil and support of the SPLM/A-IO if the allegation were true.

These can have positive and paralyzing influence both on the government of South Sudan under Salva and the rebel. As a result, the financial incentive for the UPDF will cease and they will call it a quit while the Northern Sudan rebel’s supports for Kiir will run short of supply. On the same token, the SPLM/A-IO under Dr. Riek Machar can suffer the same fate.

This plan would be the quickest, efficient and paralyzing influence the world needs to solve South Sudan crisis. President Bashir is the only hope and paralyzing influence required to curve the rampage intransigency of the warring parties. The without President Bashir, Troika countries, United Kingdom and United States involvement, the pending UN’s sanctions and the Ethiopian’s Prime Minister empty threats will not help solve South Sudan conflict.

Therefore, I call on the international Community and the Africa Union to endorse and support president Bashir to take leading role in efforts to bring lasting peace to South Sudan.

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

Hypocrisy and Self-Interest at the failed IGAD-brokered South Sudan ‘Peace Talks’

By Kuir ë Garang

March 11, 2015 (SSNA) -- Now that the warring parties have failed to sign a peace deal to end the 15-month old conflict in South Sudan, the jittery public is asking: “What’s Next?” And ‘what’s next’ is the unquestionable reworking of the entire peace process. Winning militarily is an illusion.

In October last year, Prime Minister Haile Mariam Desalegn told a press conference after the two principals in the conflict failed to strike a deal arguing that changing the negotiating strategy would not bring results. Bizarrely, he advocated for the same strategy that was proving fruitless.

When the last round of the talks failed [again] on March 6, Mr. Desalegn, however, seemed to have had an epiphany. Having come to the realization that using the same strategy over and over without results is foolhardy, the Prime Minister finally called for a change in strategy.

While we all understand that the two principals have failed South Sudanese for having started the war and failing to end it, we have to remember the mediocre method used by IGAD and the patronage being exercised by the regional leaders and the African Union.

In January, the deputy minister of Foreign Affairs, Peter Bashir Bandi, gave an interview to SSTV and what he said underlined what many of us have been advocating for for months. Mr. Bandi explained how South Sudanese brokered ways forward were frustrated by IGAD's mediation team. Anytime South Sudanese made progress at the talks, he argues, IGAD would postpone the talks without giving any reasons and without consulting the two delegations.

Besides, IGAD is not mediating the talks, but forcing them. There’s never been a peace initiative in which talks are given strict timelines and the parties threatened to sign or they be punished. We don’t need the peace talks if the arsenals mediators have are threats. Threats are symptomatic of mediators’ failure.

The attitude regional and African leaders have adopted towards South Sudanese leaders is condescending, patronizing and disrespectful. With no doubt, South Sudanese civilians are suffering and dying and the country’s development has been frustrated. However, regional leaders are treating South Sudanese leaders like idiots, who can’t think for themselves. Unfortunately, the leaders are playing along with such disrespectful patronization. And I agree with Dr. Marial Benjamin:  there’s nowhere in the world where you give peace a deadline.

Dr. Riek Machar and President Kiir Mayardit have brought the country to its knees and it’s high time they pulled it back up. Time and again, the two leaders have asked to be allowed to negotiate as South Sudanese but IGAD refuses to listen. Kiir and Riek should realize the patronizing manner in which they are being treated and take charge of the talks. Do we really need such useless IGAD's mediation? Ambassador Seyoum Mesfin has proven incapable of mediating peace. Instead of the stakeholders drafting positional papers, which IGAD can just work through for a compromise, all draft papers are written by IGAD and given to the two sides with “sign it now or be punished!” That’s not mediation but self-serving blackmail!

Is it really impossible for Kiir and Riek to call a south-south meeting in Nairobi or Addis Ababa and strike an understanding without the patronage and condescension of the ineffective regional leaders? And how do we expect people who haven’t brought peace to their own countries to be interested in peace in South Sudan?

Ethiopia arrests political opponents, journalists and bloggers. It still hasn’t solved the problem of Oromo Liberation Front. Human Right Watch in May of 2014 called for Ethiopia to respect human rights and prosecute security forces abuses in Gambella, Somali region of Ethiopia and in Oromia. A HRW report in October of 2013 documented incidents of torture by the government.

Sudan and Uganda, both of which ruled by dictators, are classic examples of hypocrisy at South Sudanese talks. Sudan is ruled by a legal fugitive, it’s fighting wars in three fronts (or more) and its human rights records are appalling. The cases of Amin Medani and opposition leader Farouk Issa are current crack down on political voices.

And the dear Yoweri Museveni has essentially occupied South Sudan as he dictates what President Kiir does. Museveni tries to portray himself as  the regional superman. His ego is inflated by regional conflicts. His presence in Somalia, interference in Congo, Rwanda, Sudan and South Sudan shouldn’t be seen in naïve lenses as Mr. Savior at work. Museveni’s power thrives in these conflicts. End the conflicts and his influence disappears!

It is therefore crucial for Kiir and Riek to chart a different course for peace in South Sudan. It’s naïve to expect that people who don't and can't respect human rights records in their own countries would wish for peace in South Sudan. The decision not to release AU report on post-December 2013 conflict is testimonial of how African leaders view human rights.

But remember, this article by no means absolves South Sudanese leaders of the atrocities committed by their forces. And this also doesn’t mean Riek and Kiir have no part in the hypocrisy surrounding the peace talks. Indeed, South Sudanese would open their hearts to forgive if the leaders showed some elements of care, leadership and responsibility. Good leadership is about sacrifices on behalf of the people. Beside IGAD’s hypocrisy, the two leaders have not set any example in regard to forgiveness, letting go and striking a peace language that’d herald in the advent of peaceful atmosphere in the country.

And unlike IGAD's leaders, who threaten Kiir and Riek instead of doing their job for peace to come to South Sudan, the United Nation Security Council Resolution 2026 (2015) that calls for targeted sanctions on individuals is appropriate. It’s not a blind, unstructured threat like what IGAD usually mete out on South Sudanese leaders. The proposals would be calculated, targeted sanctions on individuals that are obstacles to the talks. To claim that sanctions would be counter-productive is to lose sight of who is fighting in South Sudan, who is suffering and who is imposing the sanctions.

I don’t know why South Sudanese leaders worry if they aren’t obstacles to peace talks!

It’s therefore time for our leaders to restore the dignity of the country through peace by seeing regional leaders for what they are: hypocritical self-interested group.

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

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