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John Garang: The Charisma and Determination

By Salah Shuaib

July 7, 2013 (SSNA) -- When it comes to having charismatic leaders in any of our life aspects, the Sudanese people, unfortunately, are unlucky. Most of those who have governed the country since the eve of independence were, and are, ethically and intellectually unsuited for assuming national posts. The reasons for this pathetic fact are varied, but the intellectuals bear the larger share of responsibility.

If we want to peruse the effect of the Sudanese political contributions and their ability to gain consensus among people, we would find that the result will be an absolute disappointment. Yes, there are some political leaders who made great tangible efforts, but the problem is that they were biased against certain segments of society.

On the other hand, the national figures who have engaged in social, cultural, economic and diplomatic affairs are not far better in assimilating the national sense or convincing the hearts and minds of the Sudanese majority. Subsequently, Sudanese developmental hopes to evolve their givens are not achieved so far.

In fact, Sudan before and after the South Sudan’s independence has been a country that lacks visions, Statesmanship, agreed upon identity, and you can add more if necessary. In such a societal vacuum few leaders tried to initiate ideas that help in addressing the exact causes of the crises we have been facing for decades.

Throughout the last half century Sudan’s political systems have exiled the country’s honest figures because of ideology, race, selfishness, oppression and other motives. Death, as a factor, also, was part of the reasons why we were unlucky to be “presided” by “symbolic national leaders”.

The late John Garang, among those leaders who for different reasons died before we could gain all their great political talents, was a wisdom lover that matters at a time of need. He had convinced the majority of Sudanese by his legacy that brought about freedom for South Sudan people and paved the way for the oppressed and marginalized peoples to keep up the struggle, so that they can prevail and see light at the end of the tunnel.

Halting the political inspiration from continuation, the Garang death deprived Sudan, South Sudan, the region, Africa and elsewhere, from benefiting a lot from his whole inimitable rationality, wisdom and vision. And it might be true to say this: if he had been alive, then Garang could have changed the whole situation in Sudan. But lack of luck is a fate that you cannot confront easily. 

It is so sad that Garang's visions and determination did not find an opportunity to reshape Sudan’s national entity, and then make unity attractive. Now Sudanese are looking, at a moment of disappointment, for new political leaders who understand the importance of the coexistence principles, and the values Garang called for in order to safe Sudan.

Frankly, finding those principled leaders who make history and remain alive for centuries by their prophetic contributions is not an easy task. But still we hope that this generation and the coming one can get the leaders who realize the necessity of confederation, if not reunification, for both Sudan and South Sudan.

The writer is a Sudanese journalist working for Radio Sawa, Washington. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

The Night I Gave Up On Writing

By Deng Mangok Ayuel

July 5, 2013 (SSNA) -- Before blaming the technology for influencing our minds to do some evil writings on the social networks for the ill of others, however, let me point figures at the so-called “political tricycling South Sudanese, poverty-escapers-turned Khartoumers, wewe guys and soldiers-turned-politicians”, at least for informing our society to hell. I am talking about writings and some opinion writers on South Sudanese newspapers and other social networks all over the world. Therefore, I don’t condemn any writing, so all writings convey messages – good or bad. Last night I prioritized browsing before watching news on SSTV, but it was amazing. The ‘internet politicians’ have pushed their political wheels on social muddy roads last night with less thoughts on logistical constraints of their vehicles in these situations where rumormongers, blackmailers and gossipers are the ministers within the states’ government. After I left Sudan Tribune for Facebook, the chat became intensive after a minute when a ‘friend of mine’ blamed me for writing on politics. He urged that I should leave writing on social media, inciting that writing to inform or being critic to political situation, individuals in the country cause misunderstandings with leaders. Besides, this friend of mine is a grown and intellectual, but why did he encourage me to stop doing what I like so much – maybe writing will change the nature and the ways people handle things.

In his mind, he wanted me to stop writing. As opinion writer is not a rebel but a concerned citizen, I shouldn’t go to stay in Boston and begin writing about issues affecting our people in South Sudan; I am willing to do it here in my hut in Aweil. In other cultures, there is a tradition, that when you are in an overwhelming situation and you don't know what to do, you put yourself in a woman's shoes. Should I put myself in woman’s shoe?

When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department regularly uses water. I didn’t insist questioning him on Facebook, but before I stop writing, I would friendly like to portray the images of some people as groups and the upshot of their doings as people with different initiatives, hopes, styles, politics, hatred and big hearts on resources. As we live in ‘part two’ world of politics, writing takes its role as the most essential tool for passing information. This piece is an attack on some of our people. South Sudan as a country is not running anywhere but when all of us wanted to do one thing at the same time without transparency, it is going to make us different people and enemies to ourselves. This message is not about abhorrence. It is all about our social misunderstandings and politics.

I hate the glorification of the collective and the depreciation of an individual – that is why I am interested to talk on groups. Today has been interesting, politically. I am sorry for diverting the talks from personification as characters envisage to collective. Please, just bear with me as you go along reading this piece because I have nothing much to say, but distinguishing how the post civil war in Sudan gave us political and social colours.

This piece is about groups and politics of interest. The first group of my ‘part two’ world of politics is the so-called ‘political tricycling’ South Sudanese. These guys are American, British and Australian citizens, but not all of them. They are everything everywhere. They are Mr. Smart, Mr. Big, Mr. Smooth and Mrs. Evelyne of the day. Oh, I am not really talking about Mr. Smooth, it is a character. These guys have two social wheels and one heavy political wheel for driving their political locomotives to the desired direction. Some of them are in South Sudan because it is fruiting. They really look like tricycle at social and political angles, not a bicycle. They like politics, proud of being in the west and think democracy although many of them not democrats. They made internet and other technologies as their mouths. They are heavy weight dotcomers as they usually carry their laptops on their backs every day. They are not soldiers nor ordinary citizens, but both. Many of them were SPLA/M Red Army of 1980s who walked to Ethiopia on foot, fled to Kenya and to the last destination where they became Lost Boys. What happened after they returned home? Enjoying the fruits of struggle, absconding due austerity measures, and why are they not found in the morning than evening at VIPs public places? Perhaps, they like bating as bats move at night to avoid easy identification, and personalization of deals. These people like their work and they qualified to help build our nation. If you hate them, then I can’t support you because I need hardworking people in our country.

The funny group of people is the poverty-escapers-turned Khartoumers. These people are very intricate as they were taught by jallaba. Huge number of them is rumormongers and appeasers for success. If you ask me the “why question” about these guys, the answer is on my nose, very closer. Just try also to observe them by yourself and you will laugh before giving me a feedback. These guys do not know politics – always end up mixing Mahdism, Medievalism and Anglo-Egyptian kind of history with politics when presenting their arguments. As many of them learned Arabic at schools, it is invincible to predict that these guys are not educated because majority claimed to be graduates with Bachelor degree certificates. And did they pass their secondary school examinations through brains? The answer is a big “NO”. Many of them schooled in Khartoum but used to sit for their Sudan Secondary School Certificates in Aweil, Wau and Malakal were examinations were not restricted by examiners. By maneuvering to go to examination rooms with books gave them a surpass to universities where many of them spent more than 7 years without graduation at campuses, while few refused to sleep for years to back up their limited knowledge to get a degree certificate but still unable to design ordinary CVs, poor when enunciating and own words like flexibility, creativity and possibility. Do you know where they usually stay in common and work? Try to pass this message to them and let them call spade a spade in South Sudan.

The most powerful, riches and patriotic group are the soldiers-turned-politicians. These people were the real villagers who were mobilized by the old city boys of 1970s who rebelled and formed SPLA/M to fight Khartoum regime. They really fought with one heart until South Sudan laughs at their hands as a newly born country in Africa. They were taught to fight to liberate the marginalized people of Sudan. Before the war ended, Dr. John Garang de Mabior stated that Sudan will not be the same again and promised his fellow comrades – that they shall enjoy the fruits of struggle one day! Now they are enjoying. Should anyone try to blame than encouraging them in their day one of leadership? These uncles are not very easy to handle but friendly and honest when you don’t change your colours like a chameleon to them. As we live in ‘part two’ world of politics, there are clever people who wait patiently to steal the success from achievers. Is it easy to rob Peter to pay Paul in South Sudan? Why do we need to have too many chiefs while there are no enough Indians to do our work for prosperity? If some of us think they can’t fiddle while Rome burns, the better solution are political and social cohesion because it is a magic moment for South Sudanese to have peace after decades of war where millions lives were lost. As people were critic to the ruling party like moth with flame, politics become a mixed blessing. For this reason, I would like to advise opinion writers to keep their mouths clean. In fact, when a brave man kills an elephant, he should eat to lost appetite before brothers and sisters vomit their food. I am not encouraging others to own everything and the system of the government of our country but urging everyone to be consultative and meaningful in their political criticisms. When people go to the church to pray on Sunday, it is believable that they accepted to be sinners but asking for forgiveness. Doesn’t it deserve appreciation when a father bought for you a new trouser during X-mass day?

The last group of people is the “wewe guys” – quack Kiswahili language users who lived between villages in South Sudan and refugee camps in East Africa. They have learned but behave like niggers in the west. They know how to feed themselves unlike Khartoumers but they can’t do well in the cities or towns because migrating from villages to refugee camps and then to towns is like leaving cattle camp to fishing zone at Kiir river. You usually end up confused. These guys managed to study while nobody supported them which deserved appreciation. I don’t know how they found school fees for years, feeding and accommodations but said to be UNHCR’s babies in the camps. Many of them boarded free plane from villages to Kenya as prestige but chance intervened and got education. The group is the hijacker of today’s job market with the government as many of them were sent to the camps by their fathers, big uncles in order to hunt for knowledge. They are not appeasers, gossipers but complicaters for gain. They do swim in confusion and fish in rocky water like Somali pirates.  

As we go along as one people, let’s not hate ourselves, but strive for changing. There are people who have worried in our society. When they see their names on the newspapers, they always fail to read the message before informing their agents to implement what they desire. These people like to be seen on TV only.

Those who think that politics on the internet shall bring change to our country are not kidding but encouraging writers to root spirit of democracy in the heart of our leaders if they write with minds.  If technologies were religions, most of us would have been wished unforgivable sins by those who dislike truth. As many opinion writers write to market their political parties to the society, it is helpful when politics is geared toward solving political, social and economical crisis in a country than criticizing individuals to swing your political engine to employment bowl for personal gain. Our people used to criticize the government but when employed by the government they didn’t deserve, they usually shut up their mouths to demure their soul and failed to do anything. It is easy, for instance to join Mr. Elhag Paul to oppose what he called ‘SPLM Oyee’ and their political machine but so difficult to achieve big thing comparable to the SPLM achievements since 1983, if I am not joking. This is why I have been saying that our minds are closer to mouths with technology instead of analyzing what it takes to compare our political muscles. And by the way, those who talks too much blame their mouths in their dreams at night.

However, there is opposition everywhere in this world, but healthy political opposition is the fundamental right of politicking. I am not aspired by my own will to blame anyone for being critic while seeing the country drowning in the morning but trying to explore what causes frustration. When the expected issues on development and corruption are not addressed, the critics intervened and wanted to be heard – this might be the case with above mentioned person. Politics is the soul of leadership and the art of government. It is a game with many colours. It is assumed by our people to be the only gateway to power. Finally, I am not ready to stop writing so long there are readers everywhere.

Deng Mangok Ayuel lives in Aweil, South Sudan. He can be reached via This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Falsehood Accusations by Obang Metho and Dr. Birhanu Nega to Weaken the Ethiopian Government

By Duach Ruot Mach

July 4, 2013 (SSNA) -- I would not go far beyond Obang and his character but I have to highlight some of his misbehavior on human rights abuses that he alleges against the Ethiopian ruling party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), particularly in Gambella State. There are five different tribes in Gambella; these tribes are Nuer, Anyuak, Opou, Majenger, and Komo. In Gambella, Nuer 46%, Anyuak 21%, Majenger 6%, Opuo 5% and Komo 4%, according to the Gambella Statistics Bureau. Within all these tribes (above), how come the government of Ethiopia would isolate only one ethnic group, the “Anyuak,” in the state while there are many other tribes in the region? Obang claims that there was mass killing which was committed in 2003 by the government in the region—this is the biggest political hypocrisy I have ever seen. Obang’s accusations are based on his personal perception because he hates the government for no apparent reason. The man is not being honest; the truth is, there was no single person killed in 2003.

I would advise you, Obang; to refrain from bogus accusations against the government, otherwise, you will stuck and go nowhere with your fallacious allegations.

For instance, Ato Obang Metho gives several false testimonies to International community including the United States in particular. Obang Metho is not a newcomer to this kind of dramatic nonsense of shedding false tears of “human rights.” Obang Metho utterly forgot what Derge regime, the military Junta of former dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam had done for Gambella people. For example, for decades, Gambellains were mistreated and were granted no access to the Government policy and were not permitted to enter into higher education. For many decades, under Dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam, Gambella region was only allowed to have one high school and one Teacher Training Institute (TTI). This isolation policy of Mengistu Haile Mariam shows that he was not interested in treating all Ethiopian tribes equal. Todays, thousands of Gambellains children are graduates every year in Gambella.

Nowadays, there are many different academic colleges and high schools in the state of Gambella; these schools are built by the EPRDF-led government—a government that mean business for the people of all backgrounds. Obang Metho’s phony accusations against EPRDF are not suitable because the marginalization that was once used by Derge’s regime as a political tool is no more. I believe that Mr. Obang assumes that Ethiopian political arena still look the same as it was when he (Obang) left Ethiopia for Canada to visit his family.

Mr. Obang must know better than making his own claims against democracy and Human Rights in Ethiopia, particularly in the Gambella region! It is very shameful for Ethiopians Diaspora to listen to the lies caused by Obang who attempted to destruct the ongoing development in Ethiopia. It would have been much better for Obang to admit that Ethiopia had serious ethnic problems, severe corruption, and injustices under the regime of Mengistu Haile Mariam. I believe that Obang Metho is simply pleasing his blind supporters as he always do with his friends in the so called “Human Rights Watch”. No rational Ethiopian can waste his or her time debating Obang because those who support his empty ideas are the toxic Ethiopians Diaspora community, who collect funds from Eritrean dictator Isaias Afewerki and some of the Egyptian leaders who are enemies of Ethiopia. Frankly speaking, Mr. Obang must know that Ethiopia is not for Arab-Muslims and Ginbot 7 group; Ethiopia is for all Ethiopians who love Ethiopia, work for Ethiopia, defend Ethiopia from her enemies, and die for Ethiopia.

It is a shameful act for Obang Metho who prays and calls for destruction of Ethiopia through illegal means. The EPRDF –led government has done many good things for the country and Gambella in particular. In addition, the EPRDF-led government has done nothing wrong against Ethiopia or Gambella state; Ethiopia under Honorable His Excellency late PM. Meles Zenawi has witnessed good governance, democracy, economic growths, and many more. Therefore, Obang together with his friends Tamagn Beyene, Abebe Gelaw and Dr. Birhanu Nega and others who belong to the group of a lost generation and who are collecting funds from Eritrea and Egypt governments must cease their negative campaigns against Ethiopia. Despite all these concerns, Obang Metho, accidentally found a center of attention against both Ethiopia and Gambella state. Obang’s organization produces nothing good for Ethiopians; his organization only generates revenues for himself and for his living cost; nothing else.

Honestly speaking, Obang is a man whose parents never owned any land in Ethiopia. He has no clue of what is going on there because he never went back to Ethiopia since fled to Canada illegally. I visited Ethiopia three times and I saw that the development in Ethiopia is moving so fast. I am calling upon all Ethiopians to not pay attention to those people like Obang who always talk about Gambella land, land grabbing, human rights abuses, and nonsense. By the way, under the current government, Gambella people have achieved their rights and they are treated the same way like other Ethiopians and they are governing themselves. Again, Gambella people, the Nuer and Anyuak in exacting were marginalized for generations under former dictator Mengistu. The people of Gambella thank the late PM. Meles Zenawi for bringing all Ethiopians together. Possibly, Obang will surely be ridiculed and giggled at if he uttered his words to the real Gambella residents who are living in Gambella State right now. What is the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia mean to Obang?

The Ginbot 7 leader Dr. Birhanu Nega

Dr. Birhanu Nega, is a money evil-man ever been in Ethiopia! Dr. Nega is the founder and leader of the Ethiopian terrorist group, the Ginbot 7. He deludes himself into unbelievable dream that will not come true. He is delusional thinking Dr. who always runs after Ethiopians enemy’s money. In 2005’s general election, Dr. Birhanu Nega was elected as Mayor of Addis Ababa after his party lost the election. Right after, he refused to accept his position by calling street demonstrations which claimed the lives of people including police officers in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. Dr. Birhanu Nega and his group have been trying very hard to sell themselves for something they believe would be better for themselves, but all signs indicate that they failed.

Dr. Birhanu Nega and his forged organization, the so called G-7, was not formed to serve the Ethiopians interests, but it’s naked secret to all that was formed by the Col. Mengistu’s regime former insiders and external enemies of Ethiopia in an attempt to divert Ethiopia from progressing toward stable economy and good governance. Dr. Birhanu Nega and his affiliates are putting themselves into a big mess. Henceforth, the people of Ethiopia are united more than ever to defend their country and those idiots who have no vision for the country will ever have a chance to achieve their evil mission that they want to use against the ongoing development in the country including Renaissance Dam Project.

Constitution, Article 39:

According to the Article 39 of the Ethiopian constitution, it says, “Every Nation, Nationality and People in Ethiopia has an unconditional right to self-determination, including the right to secession. Every nation, nationality and people in Ethiopia has the right to speak, to write and to develop its language; to express and to promote its culture; and to preserve its history. Every nation, nationality and people of Ethiopia has the right to a full measure of self-government which includes the right to establish institutions of government in the territory that it inhabits and equitable representation of regional and national governments.” Honorable His Excellency, late PM. Meles Zenawi answered to a question of a journalist with heartfelt emotions and watery eyes on video clip in 1985 during the confounded famine in Ethiopia history, particular Northern part of the country, said this “My Ethiopians people, the people I love and fighting for them are dying for no mistake of their own.”

In due course, Dr. Birhanu Nega would wedged somewhere in the Muslim world by selling his negative accusations against Ethiopia to Ethiopia enemies so that he can feed his unpatriotic mentality. In more recent years after Dr. Birhanu refused his position as the Addis Ababa mayor, he exploded his lack of knowledge and his immature communication skill by creating a terrorist Organization, the G7 group. His exaggeration to launch a political assault on Ethiopians and his out of dislike of Ethiopia government shows that the Dr. Nega lacks leadership skill. It always amazes me, for the fact that the Ethiopian Diasporas who are trying to push American government to pressure the Ethiopian government for the hope to gain the helmet of power illegally should be trusted by any Ethiopian. I am an Ethiopian, who lives in America, and I do not understand and recognize anything that Dr. Birhanu and Obang are broadcasting against Ethiopian government; these two Ethiopians are greedy for reasons only known to them. In fact, it seems to me that they are calling upon the American authorities to run the Ethiopia government, but the fact of matter is that their empty campaigning against the government will produce nothing. Dr. Nega and Obang must stop their misleading allegations against the government.

The author lives in the United States. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or go to my Facebook This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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