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A citizen letter to the fellow Countrymen and the World

By Wang Jinub

Dear Fellow South Sudanese,

September 11, 2014 (SSNA) -- If we are honest and truthful to find lasting and durable solutions to our problems, we must look at the genesis or root causes of our problems. Is tribalism the problem or bad governance in South Sudan? Can all problems be blamed on one individual or few among us? What are our roles in these crises? Can we afford to simply lineup behind our tribesmen and women or behind the truth? What is happening to us and our country is reversible if we look in to our souls, hearts, and hold to account those responsible in order for the world and friends to help us get out of this current mess or else, we are in it for very long time. As we look for solutions to current human atrocities and our collective future, we must examine and find the genesis of the problem to begin with; otherwise, we will be kidding ourselves with quick fixes while we ignore the reality, which has the potential to resurface eventually. I would like to point to the 1991 incident where innocent Bor civilians were unfortunately caught up in the political disagreement and lost their lives. The same can be said about the event in 1985 where innocent Gaajak Nuer were massacred in the name of being supporters of Anya Anya 2 Separatist Movement who were fighting for the independence of South Sudan. In addition, the same happened to the innocent Bul Nuer of Mayom County from 1986- 1991 for alleged support of Separatists in the said locality.

By looking at the above mentioned major human atrocities during the struggle, can we afford to relive those dark moments in our collective journey for  a bright future today or we should look on to the future in order to create and build a place called home for us and generations to come? If we are honest and sincere in our quest for peace and unity among ourselves and seek to build a prosperous nation for all, we must acknowledge our shortcomings and apologize where we may have hurt someone intentionally or unintentionally as Dr. Riek Machar did for the 1991 incident where civilians lost their lives.

Dr. Riek Machar is a hero in my humble opinion given the fact that he was able to reconcile himself with the truth, which demonstrates maturity and leadership qualities. However, his acknowledgement of the need for reconciliation and healing was not well received by many including the majority in his own tribe, the Nuer given the brutalities committed under the Late Chairman Dr. John Garang and his Deputy Salva Kiir against the Bul and Gaajak Nuer people in the name of being supporters of Separatists fighting for the cause of South Sudanese freedom.

Given the destruction and human atrocities experienced during the struggle, what we need is for us to reconcile and forgive given the fact that we were all oppressed. However, what happened in Juba, South Sudan on December 15, 2013 and currently going on throughout the country was deliberately, intentionally planned, and executed to silence the voices of freedom longing for inclusiveness in terms of development and justice where no one is above the law. Since 2005 to present, President Kiir has been leading South Sudan and as such, regardless of his endless blame game, he bears the greatest responsibility for what happened to us and our new nation given the fact that the “BUCK” stops with him as the leader. He is responsible for the downfall of the South Sudanese society. President Kiir must take the fatherhood role if he is going to be remembered by all as one of the founding fathers of South Sudan in our history or else, he will be remembered as an opportunist who happened to be at the right place at the right time when the Late and Founding Father of SPLM/A Dr. John Garang met his untimely death in a plane crash in 2005. President Kiir can save himself some grace from South Sudanese if he steps down so that the truth can be found regarding the current mess or people will remember him as a leader who ruined the lives of his own people and is responsible for the destruction of livelihood and future of his country. I am aware that  some blame Dr. Riek Machar but I see him as the only person mitigating the chaos by taking charge and positively channeling the anger of those whose loved ones were intentionally massacred in Juba and beyond to find peaceful solution to our problems.

Dear World,

As you sit and ponder about helping to bring about peaceful solutions and accountability for the innocent South Sudanese, please consider the following in order for real peace to be achieved in South Sudan given the tribal dimension this senseless conflict has taken. Here are some reasons why President Salva Kiir should not remain as the President of South Sudan if IGAD and the World want to help bring peace to South Sudan and her innocent civilians. The crimes committed under his leadership are irreversible because the legitimacy claim of being democratically elected is outweighed by the magnitude and gravity of the current events witnessed thus far. Below are some major points that reasonable and peace makers can put in to consideration as we look for solution and help bring peace to the suffering South Sudanese both internally and externally. 

1. President Kiir has failed South Sudan and her citizens by presiding over rampant corruption from 2005 to present with no real accountability.

2. President Kiir designed self-serving transitional constitution where all powers are in the hand of one man, himself.

3. President Kiir failed to allow meaningful reforms within the party and the government in order for democratic principles to take root in South Sudan.

4. President Kiir recruited, trained, financed, and armed tribal militias who were responsible for ethnic cleansing or Genocide of the Nuer tribe and other South Sudanese with identical Nuer cultural marks where over 20,000 innocent women, children, elderly, and young men have been massacred in a house- to -house search from December 15, 2013 and beyond.

5. President Kiir falsely accused his political opponents of staging a coup, which has been proven baseless by his own, appointed court and Chief of Military intelligence.

6. President Kiir hired professional mercenaries to kill his own citizens utilizing banned weapons like Cluster Bombs in Jonglei State where innocent women and children were among the dead and the UN in South Sudan has proved this.

Now, by looking at all of these failures, can South Sudanese afford six (6) more months of President Kiir given the carnage? If the world cares about humanity and the people of South Sudan, as they claim, can such a leader be allowed to continue to rule under such circumstances?

As a native-born South Sudanese, President Kiir has lost the legitimacy to govern and the world need to help the voices of reason to call for peaceful transfer of power from President Kiir before more bloodshed in South Sudan. President Kiir needs to take responsibility for his actions, which have brought down a beautiful nation like South Sudan.

My fellow South Sudanese, this imposed conflict is not ending any time soon and you and I have a role to play to bring to an end this meaningless cruelty against the innocent with accountability for crimes committed thus far. Being silent can only mean one thing, you either agree or disagree but remember that our collective future depend on your participation and mine. I believe that we must work and support those who pursue real peace not those playing blame-games in the name of peace while they have different intentions as demonstrated by recent IGAD brokered signed protocol where status quo was preserved. We must not relent from seeking truth and justice for those who perished at no fault of their own and for the love of our nation and citizens; we must double our efforts.

With love of thy nation and optimism

Wang Jinub is a concerned South Sudanese, reachable at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

The new media Law: what does it mean for Journalists, writers and ordinary citizens of South Sudan?

By Gai James Kai

September 11, 2014 (SSNA) -- On Tuesday, 9th September 2014, the incompetence President of the would be Federal South Sudan signed into law what most South Sudanese refers as “long awaited” media law that the “serving Dogs” in the house (National Legislative Assembly) has voted unanimously to create what are intended to be the strongest media freedom laws In the history of South Sudan and the nation intends these measures to have national impact, by creating a safe haven for journalist and writers countrywide – and their servers.

The signed bill, also known as the South Sudan Modern Media Initiative- MMI, require changes to South Sudan`s media law to strengthen journalists and writers source protection, freedom of speech and expression and government transparency.

The disparate ruling party (SPLM-Juba) members of parliament voted for it, and the illegitimate President, and his other disciples present; says South Sudan`s National Legislative Assembly – NLA speaker AKA Magok Rundial, who has been the proposal`s chief sponsor claimed that South Sudanese are serious about this law yet he doesn’t means at all! The country is in the mood for openness after some serving dogs like Makuei Lueth saddled it with crippling threats to Journalists, writers and the entire media outlets of the new born nation (South Sudan), and the proposal bill ties nearly into the country`s strategy to prime servers` profession.

But although the National Legislative Assembly- NLA package sounds very encouraging from the a freedom of expression point of view, it`s not clear what the practical benefits will be to South Sudanese Journalists and writers. In my own analysis of the signed bill, I, Gai James Kai; as being a practicing lawyer and an activist have so far noted that, in one major test case of cross-border online libel law, this bill was deemed to occur at the point download – meaning that serving a controversial page from South Sudan won`t keep you journalists and writers from getting unlawful sued in the hands of the current reign of terror (SPLM_ Juba); unless otherwise. But if nothing else, it would probably prevent the government news outlets from being forcibly shut down; after all they serves the interest of government through spreading lies and propaganda.

There might be other benefits too. The whisperer so-called Magok Rundial says that it routes all submissions through South Sudan government (the disparate SPLM- Juba), where investigation into the identity of an anonymous government`s critics. He (Magok) was heavily involved in the drafting and promoting the new media law which they (SPLM-Juba) never dream of, and whatever opinion of their current controversies, they have proven remarkably immune to legal prosecution in their short history. Conceivably, other journalism organizations could gain some measure of legal protection for anonymous sources if all communication were routed through South Sudanese`s dreams.

All of which is to say that issues of press censorship have long since passed the point of nationalization when an aggrieved party (SPLM-Juba) can sue a publisher through Kangaroo court, press freedom must be understood – and fought for – at an national level. It has not only been an impact here in Juba, but in changing the dialog in South Sudan as whole.

But it will be some time before the full repercussion of South Sudan`s moves are felt. For a start, the new media law is not yet placed into practices. Some South Sudanese lawyers who drafted the bill and expects to have helped the “volunteer Mps” did so to climb the ladder of opportunity, not actually for the welfare of South Sudanese. The complex legislative change has been passed, but will it really impacted us the writers in the new nation? It should have been done since 2011!

And then it will be further years before we understand, from case law, exactly what an “offshore freedom of expression haven” means to journalists and writers countrywide. Nonetheless, I hope to get a discussion started amongst the high-powered media law and we will see if we can get a more precise understanding of the practical consequences of the new media law and how journalists and writers might use it to protect their work.

Gai James Kai is an independent analyst; who has written numerous articles on democracy, politics, human`s rights, Law and order and a Law student at Nkumba University – Kampala. He can be reached through This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or search for him on Facebook using the above names.

Safety Is Not Just Subjective

By Papa Maury Clark

September 10, 2014 (SSNA) --Rarely has the obvious been as unrecognizable to me as it was until called to my attention in the article Safety Inside Church Doors by pastor Tom Ehrich in the digital edition of The Lutheran. And I should have known better. He made me realize that “Safety” is not just a matter of an individuals subjective feelings, but that safety, or the lack of it, is often institutionally embedded in congregational governance and membership. Sure, there may be a greeter at the door, and someone may see you for the first time, and ask you to sign the guest book. But it mostly ends there.

You see, my current family is all Black, all African, and mostly Dinka, except for our new guy, Ayalew, who is Amhar from Ethiopia. I am often referred to as the “Old, bald, white Dinka” by all nations of the South Sudanese. Our home rings with the rhythms and the spices of Sub-Saharan Africa. My boys many friends of all races are welcome and comfortable at our home. We often have a crowd at dinner and overnight on weekends. I have to take inventory.

Whenever I attend a Christian service of their native denomination here in the Seattle area I am always comfortable. Yet my boys, with only one exception, will not attend my home ELCA congregation. So Pastor Ehrich has caused me to ask myself “WHY”.

I think that the answer is in one word- “OUTREACH”.

When I celebrate with a black congregation, whether with my boys or by myself, something happens that is vastly different than my experiences in many visits to so-labeled “White” congregations. I am welcomed. Not just greeted, they reach out and I am really WELCOMED!

I am met at the door. Hands extend themselves. I am hauled from person to place, to ever joyful introductions. I am often introduced from the pulpit, and stuffed with food after the service, even if they have never before seen me. The only time a question ever arises is when a child (normally around three years old) who has never seen a white guy at the services will shyly ask “Why are you here, mister?”. I love it.

They reach out to me. And they see my presence as outreach to them.

Institutionalized comfort. Institutionalized safety.

Food for thought?

Maury Clark is a retired investment banker/broker, as well as a Called and Commissioned Deacon in the ELCA, Northwest Washington Synod. He served under Bishops appointment as pastor of Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Maple Valley, Washington in 1990 and 1991, and also served six years on the Synod Council. He has been deeply involved with the people of South Sudan since 1996, and was an advisor to the Government of South Sudan. He is also the adoptive father of seven Dinka, the youngest of whom is fourteen years old. He is currently involved with the Lutheran Disaster Response team and Global Health Ministries on the EBOLA crisis in Liberia. Maury and his family reside in Hobart, Washington, United States.

 

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