South Sudan News Agency

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Last update08:26:05 PM GMT

You are here: Opinion

‘A government that wages war against its own people is not a legitimate government’

By Elhag Paul

February 20, 2015 (SSNA) -- At the beginning of this month a phenomenal declaration was made by the South Sudan Catholic Bishops which under normal circumstance should have caused political tremors. However, surprisingly this extremely important event passed on without South Sudanese noting its importance as one of the most potent weapons to end President Kiir’s government.

It would be an abdication of duty to refrain from bringing this topic back to the attention of the people of South Sudan because that would be tantamount to condoning the wrong going on in South Sudan. 

“Citing a Biblical passage (Mark 10: 42 – 45) in which Jesus criticizes the ‘rulers of the heathen’ for lording it over their people rather than serving them, the Bishops argued that a government that wages war against its own people is not a legitimate government.”  Please see, ‘Bishops declare that South Sudan ‘has abandoned God’”.

This bold declaration by the South Sudan's Catholic Bishops offers the quickest solution to the ongoing conflict in the country. However, it appears that the Intergovernmental authority on development (IGAD) has brushed it aside in its quest to see the SPLM/A warring parties share power and wealth at the expense of the people of South Sudan. This of-course is not a solution in any way as it does not address the root causes of the conflict. It is only a postponement of the conflict to some future date.

IGAD needs to note that the government of President Salva Kiir is illegitimate as highlighted by the Bishops and therefore there is no ground for allowing IGAD to dictate things in Addis Ababa. President Kiir is a war monger. He started the war based on the lie that there was a coup. Please see, ‘President Kiir’s strategy to cover up ethnic cleansing collapsed in London.’

In the middle of 2013 President Kiir recruited and formed his own personal tribal militia in Bahr El Ghazal in violation of the constitution and against advice of the then Chief of the Army, General James Hoth Mai. He then relocated this force of over three thousand men to Luri, a Bari village south west of Juba for further training around October of the same year.

In the first week of December 2013 President Kiir made speeches rekindling the emotive event of 1991 schisms between the Jieng and the Nuer in the SPLM then under Dr John Garang. This prepared grounds for the ethnic cleansing of the Nuer in Juba and country wide starting from 15th December 2013 and thereafter. The Revolutionary Movement for National Salvation (REMNASA) in their document, ‘REMNASA: view on the South Sudan crisis and approaches to solving it’ provide the context for the grave crimes against humanity committed by President Kiir and the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE).

Having plunged the country into a senseless war and prevaricated for 14 months President Kiir is now contemplating further violence. He confided in one of the IGAD head of the states on 26th January 2015 that “when I come back from Addis Ababa don’t expect me to obey your rules.” Please see, ‘South Sudan talks adjourned without power-sharing deal’.

“This war is evil”, the Bishops strongly stressed. This observation of the clergy is something that most people familiar with South Sudan would completely agree with. President Kiir due to his limited education seems to believe that he can do anything because believing he is a legitimate president, when in actual fact as already noted he is not.

President Kiir’s continued insistence to legitimise himself by singing: ‘democratically elected!’, ‘legitimate government!’, ‘democratically elected!’, ‘legitimate government!’ etc is simply a load of trash. It is crass and demeans the office of the presidency.

The regime has lied to itself and the people so much so that it now believes its own lies. Confronted with the fast approaching expiry of the fabricated legitimate period, they are running around like headless chickens. Initially, they tried to stage a fake election to refashion their legitimacy which did not work. With lightening speed they switched to the parliament to get legal extension to allow them to govern for two more years. 

Will this work? No, it will not. The reason being the parliament itself has no powers to extend life of a government and itself. Dr Lam of SPLM-DC has already made this point clear in his article, ‘South Sudan opposition parties welcome election cancellation, condemn terms extension,’ published in South Sudan News Agency.

Even if the parliament were empowered to do so, it has no legitimacy because among the MPs in the House, there are over 66 legislators appointed on the whims of President Kiir. For example the NCP (National Congress Party of President Omar Bashir) converts and others. These MPs do not have any constituency in the country. They are cronies of the president in corruption and abuse of power. They represent no one but themselves. 

Further, the parliament is supposed to uphold the constitution and it has not done so since coming into life at the time of independence. President Kiir breaks the law left and right without the parliament holding him to account, for example, in the case of Panthou war and the formation of a private tribal militia funded by the state. The real test was the events of December 2013 when President Kiir committed grave crimes against humanity. No one in the parliament raised a motion to debate the ethnic cleansing of the Nuer to hold the leadership to account.

That parliament is a joke. It is a house of dummies. Whether the parliament extends President Kiir’s term or not, it does not matter. The whole government with its three branches of judiciary, parliament and executive have lost legitimacy and the South Sudan Catholic Bishops have now certified it. What more? 

Dr Luka Biong Deng in his self serving or rather Jieng serving article, ‘Why government is right to postpone election is South Sudan’ tries hard to present the Dinkocratic system as a democracy seeking the right legal avenue to remain in power. This kind of antics does not wash. He and the Jieng controlled SPLM should shed the delusions and accept that their entire system is illegitimate with or without parliament approval.

Now the South Sudan Catholic Bishops have given their verdict that President Kiir is illegitimate. They unequivocally stated that “a government that wages war against its own people is not legitimate government.” These words are weighty. Churches are known for discreet ways of approaching issues. Seldom do clergy make such statements unless the issue has really reached a critical boiling point endangering the country. 

The declaration therefore is very significant because the Catholic Church represents a considerable percentage of South Sudanese people. The population of the Catholics in South Sudan according to World Christian Encyclopaedia is around 2.7 million people. This makes roughly 30 percent of the entire population of South Sudan. The other Christian denominations combined could make about 40 percent with the rest being people who practice traditional religions.

In South Sudan Christians do not segregate themselves according to their sects. They socialise and pray freely among themselves. They too respect all the clergy of the various churches. This is always evident in social occasions such as birth, celebrations, marriages, death and so on. In such occasions the Christian inter-mingle freely with each other regardless of their sects. This phenomenon is Characteristic of the South Sudanese, though it may astonish outsiders watching.

So the call by South Sudan's Catholic Bishops would practically be taken seriously by all the Christians in the country. What does this mean? It means that the Church has expressed the will of its adherents who make up 70 percent of the country. Democratically speaking the edict of the clergy translates into a vote of no confidence in the government by majority of South Sudanese. 

The illegality of president Kiir’s government is something that can no longer be disputed. His presidency from a legal point of view as well as on constitutional grounds can not stand. This view has been argued elsewhere exhaustively. However, with the church finding President Kiir illegitimate according to scriptures does not only concretise the facts but urges him to vacate the presidency at once.

Christians around the world must take South Sudan's Bishops declaration as basis for action. The Vatican, Canterbury and others should now put pressure on their members of parliament s in their respective countries to ask their governments to cease cooperating with the ‘evil’ regime of President Kiir. This issue now is clearly more of a moral problem requiring instant action.

The South Sudanese Diaspora should now mobilise and wave the declaration of the Bishops to the clergy of their local churches as well as their members of parliament demanding their support in calling for their government to take action against the criminals in Juba. South Sudan's Bishops recent declaration is a spiritual manifesto that no local church can ignore. 

South Sudan's Bishops declared position further means that the basis of the talks in Addis Ababa is now futile because there can be no grounds for negotiations with an illegitimate regime which basically, “wages war against its own people.” 

Thus the talks in Addis Ababa should be re-opened under new impartial mediators, preferably under one or some of the eminent persons to bring all the people of South Sudan (stakeholders) to a table to hammer out an interim government with clear objectives.

In conclusion, the Bishops guided by the Holy Spirit have helped in shining light on the darkness in Juba. Now that the regime is certified as illegitimate it is up to the people to use this certificate effectively to realise a peaceful change in the country. This said it must be remembered that the Bishops call is a duty to Christian people wherever they are to do their bit to rid South Sudan of evil.  That evil is the SPLM/A in its totality. In other words this call from the church endorses resistance against the evil doers in Juba for a humane and caring government that fears the Lord to be established to care for God’s people.   So, “together let us once again make South Sudan a God fearing nation.

[Truth hurts but 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

South Sudan continues to sideline war veterans, wounded heroes and heroines

By: Sirir Gabriel Yiei Rut

Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength. Arnold Schwarzenegger popularly known as John Commando

February 20, 2015 (SSNA) -- In this article, I will clearly state that the contradictions within the armed struggle would likely play themselves out after the struggle, resulting in struggles after the struggle that would compromise the achievement of the ideals of the liberation struggle.

I intend to write this article about our war veterans, wounded heroes and heroines on different issues affecting them at the moment under President Salva Kiir leadership.

Especially given what happened in the bush and after independence where we saw the ruthless elimination by any means of any potential rivals to President Cde. Salva Kiir Mayardit. These men have not moved an inch in their minds from the past.

It is my contention here that a lot of issues that arose during the struggle were never adequately dealt with after the struggle and, as a result, SPLM never really transformed itself into a democratic political entity.

This, of course, includes the plight of genuine war veterans who never really received legitimate recognition and honour for the sacrifices which they made, but were sidelined after the struggle by the so-called nationalists who usurped power and, therefore, its benefits post-independence.

Only those war veterans who will dare not challenge President Kiir’s hegemony and sing his praises have prevailed.

In my opinion, SPLM has remained, throughout the years, a liberation struggle political party that happens to possess a State and has proceeded to abuse that State and its resources to meet its narrow political objectives without adequately attending to the contradictions that it carried over from the struggle.

The line between State and party never existed in their minds and to this day, there is this inherent and pervasive entitlement to power and State resources.

SPLM has also failed dismally to address the economic and social agendas after the struggle and has, instead, relied on a patronage system that has fed a predator cabal.

This patronage system is underpinned by fear, intimidation, violence and false loyalty as a means to an end.

The misleading prediction of “Seek ye first the political kingdom and all else shall be added onto you” by Kwame Nkrumah has been a big lie.

Instead, “Seek ye the political kingdom first and plunder all” is a better reflection of the truth whose consequences we have borne for the last 10 years.

Our situation has been worsened by Salva Kiir’s leadership style and the tendency within the party to suppress dissent, purge dissenters, kill ambition, and rule by stealth, while pretending that the party is a broad church of revolutionaries glued together by a common history and objectives and is by right well-endowed with skills and competence to run a democratic and inclusive developmental State. Nothing can be further from the truth!

In my opinion, SPLM is a broad church of cowards brought together through fear, intimidation and greed without any intention whatsoever of creating the South Sudan we want.

It is a cesspit of personal ambition for power and status without responsibility. Unfortunately, the masses, like sheep, continue to be duped that the revolution is still alive.

The unresolved struggles within the struggle and the struggles after the struggle that we are now seeing as succession battles are in essence the consequences of the assassination of Dr. John Garang De Mabior which started SPLM’s race to the bottom.

It is quite funny, if not ridiculous, for SPLM to, therefore, claiming that they brought democracy to south Sudan and yet there really has never been democracy within SPLM.

Instead, we know that only Salva Kiir has been its leader. This, he has managed, not through exposing himself to fair democratic selection, but rather through political intrigue, manipulation, threats, violence and the purging of potential rivals. History is repeating itself.

Rule by fear and elimination, not through persuasion and building consensus, has been the practice; this is exactly what many feared most.

Make no mistake; I am not shedding any tears for those underlings who are being purged from SPLM nor am I at all sympathetic to the plight of those leaders who now face corruption accusations.

They have all been active participants and beneficiaries of a tyranny and must now reap what they have sown.

Throughout the years, SPLM cronies from all walks of life have taken advantage of the brand to steal, cheat and intimidate in order to gain economic advantage.

Some of its leaders have clearly abused their positions to steal land, abused State resources and plunder. Our country, South Sudan, has been a victim of their interminable and unbridled greed. The chickens are coming home to roost.

The danger we face is that we are not fully behind the SPLM-IO as unified alternative to SPLM - Juba. I remain hopeful that South Sudanese will realize that we need to put our support to the new alternative political system [SPLM-IO] that is inclusive and is based on a new narrative and new values that respect our dignity, rights and ambitions as free citizens.

We all want to create a new narrative, but we can never move on until we address the pain and loss of the past. More important, the truth about our history must be exposed so that we may not repeat the same mistakes. Only then shall everything else surely be added unto us.

Cde. Sirir Gabriel Yiei Rut is Chairman of SPLM-YL chapter in Egypt, Writer, commentator, staff at Nyamilepedia; He can be reach through This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

South Sudan: A moment for youths to wake up and call for Kiir's exit to quit the throne

By: Sirir Gabriel Yiei Rut

February 18, 2015 (SSNA) --No fundamental political, economic or social transformation can be expected unless we the people act.

History never conforms to principles that can be calibrated exactly by theoretical or scientific political analysis.

If we intend to be successful in creating the circumstances that we want, we must always attempt to identify and understand the fundamental forces that are driving change in our life time, but we must always be prepared to be surprised by events.

The surprises have come and gone indeed, but we must expect more as we move towards 2015-2016.

SPLM cannot create the south Sudan we want and the purges we have seen make it no better.

We must expect more contestation in the political arena in the coming years, but whether this contestation will result in fundamental political changes in south Sudan is doubtful.

All in all, 2014 has been a rather disappointing year in that, nothing fundamental has changed except the surprise recalibration of internal SPLM politics and the merging of the SPLM-DC and other political parties' outfits.

Unfortunately these events will not necessarily result in wholesale political, economic and social change that we seek. Politics is failing to transform our society. We are going round in circles and it is up to us to now break that circle.

As we have gone into the New Year, it is necessary that we reflect and ask how we ourselves can become the change agents and break the cycle of mediocrity and resistance to change.

How do we, for once, take the responsibility of leading the social change that we want to see?

This is because if we do not do that, we shall once more stand disappointed and hopeless at the end of the coming year.

Our economy will not recover as long as the fundamentals are not addressed. These include wholesale institutional renewal, constitutionality including the respect of private property rights, attracting foreign investments, the revival of agriculture, infrastructure rehabilitation and, more important, leadership renewal.

Clearly SPLM has no incentive for a wholesale recalibration of institutions which continue to present it with an unfair political and economic advantage.

It has no urgent appetite to encourage fair political competition, freedom to associate, a free media sector simply because it knows that it will be rendered irrelevant. The changes we want in South Sudan will certainly not emanate from a predator liberation struggle political organization, let’s be clear on that.

In the last year, our opposition political parties on top of them is the SPLM-DC have been consumed by restructuring and renewing themselves and we may expect them to be more active in the coming year.

I anticipate nothing new except the usual politicking and continuous press conference condemning SPLM's failures. No fundamental political, economic or social transformation can be expected from those quarters in the coming year.

This of course leaves us the citizens of south Sudan as the only people who can really make a difference. This gives us who want to see fundamental transformation the responsibility to lead the change we want to see without expecting others to do it for us.

My contention here is that, any sustainable social change in south Sudan will need a new narrative from those that make the majority of our population; youth and women.

This narrative need not necessarily be only on the political front, but must be a narrative that seeks social justice as contemplated by the liberation struggle. It must include the total emancipation and empowerment of the masses specifically the youth and women.

To date we have mistakenly assumed that political parties will empower us and this has been proven wrong. We have in the past been told the lie that we were emancipated by SPLM through the armed struggle and that has turned out to be even a bigger lie.

We must emancipate and empower ourselves first. It will pay us to wait to wait for the youths to wake up; we must create the change we want to see.

As I say this, I know there are millions of young South Sudanese out there who have tended to divorce themselves from politics because, throughout the years, they have been abused and then forgotten by politicians. Most have just given up with no hope that they will see the change they want in this lifetime and yet it is not impossible.

As we look forward to better years ahead we must know that they will not come without sacrifice.

They will not come from inaction and expectation but from a concerted effort for us to change the game. This will require that all young progressive south Sudanese must first admit to themselves that change can surely come.

It is with this in mind that I invite the young south Sudanese who desire a better life to unite and create a force for change that ignores our politicians as change agents or shapers of the future. It is time for organization and action by youth for youth.

Young south Sudanese must now aspire to empower themselves and begin to be actors in creating the life that they deserve.

So as we reflect on the past we must do so with the knowledge that history now requires us to shape it. Our history can never really be shaped without our consent.

I sincerely hope 2015 will see young ordinary south Sudanese citizens come out of their slumber and begin to act to create the south Sudan we want. The adults will continue with their old stories and with their fights to hold on to power and privilege without offering us a better and it's you and I that can bring change to the young Nation future.

And it's you and I that can bring change to the young Nation.

Cde. Sirir Gabriel Yiei Rut who is Chairman of SPLM Youth League Chapter in Egypt, can be reach through This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

More Articles...

Page 19 of 652

Our Mission Statement

To bring the latest, most relevant news and opinions on issues relating to the South Sudan and surrounding regions.

To provide key information to those interested in the South Sudan and its people.