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Making Sense of the Surge in Anti-Western Sentiments in South Sudan

By Tongun Lo Loyuong

March 20, 2014 (SSNA) -- Much has happened since the last time I posted an opinion piece. Most provokingly is the so-called arms trafficking scandal. The United Nation Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has come under intense and sustained fire for allegedly transferring weapons to rebel groups fighting the government of Salva Kiir. As a result, the relationship between Kiir’s government and UNMISS mission has badly deteriorated and characterized by outburst in anti-UNMISS and anti-Western sentiments by some elements at home and in some quarters abroad.

The lingering question is: what accounts for this surge in anti-Western emotions within government circles in South Sudan and its supporters abroad? Officials in Kiir’s government allege that UNMISS and international humanitarian agencies are supporting forces resistant to the regime. Most believe the UNMISS arms-cache seized by Kiir’s security agents in Lakes State, and which allegedly contained the banned landmines, but which proved to be mere fabrication, was meant to aid and abet the rebels in Unity State, making UNMISS complicit in fanning efforts aimed at toppling Kiir’s regime.

But UNMISS in an official statement has categorically denied these allegations and reiterated that the weapons shipment was destined for the Ghanaian peacekeeping contingent that has recently arrived to protect civilians in Unity State. UNMISS further acknowledged that a “regrettable” labeling error has been committed in its part, which may account for the weapons being delivered by land rather than by air as agreed with Juba. A high level panel of experts has since been dispatched from UN Headquarters in New York, to find out how the error was committed in order to prevent it from future happening.

Nonetheless, these efforts have not succeeded in mitigating increased hostility, harassment and restriction of movement of UNMISS and other likeminded humanitarian agencies in South Sudan by security forces and with it hindering the delivery of much needed humanitarian aid to the suffering civilian population in the conflict affected areas. Reports have since emerged of manhandling and robbing of UNMISS and NGOs’ personnel and truck drivers delivering aid by security forces, including by the Ugandan ones. Some local staff have even allegedly been threatened to spy on UNMISS and other humanitarian organizations or risk being arrested and detained.

Numerous anti-UNMISS and Anti-Western demonstrations have been held in several areas in South Sudan, including Juba, Yambio, Wau, and elsewhere by Salva Kiir’s hawks and affiliates preceding some of this anti-Western hostile mood in South Sudan. Western Bahr El-Ghazal for instance, saw calls for the closure of humanitarian operations and field offices, as well as the expulsion of UNMISS from the State. Likewise in Juba, the demonstrators were indoctrinated with hostile and inflammatory political rhetoric and lies against the humanitarian community described among others, as “colonialists” who must be confronted. The governor of Lakes State is reported to have encouraged participants in an anti-UNMISS rally to consider UN peacekeeping force in South Sudan as “an enemy of South Sudan.”

Worse still, many armchair hawks and benefactors of Salva Kiir’s government who are enjoying the comfort and luxury of the very Western countries that serve them with bread and butter and bacon and eggs, have taken to social-media spitting venom against the West. Most have joined in vocalizing the chorus being sung at home and calling for the head of Ms. Hilde F. Johnson of the UNMISS on a silver-platter or the ouster of UNMISS mission and other humanitarian organizations from the Republic altogether. A handful of South Sudanese youth, presumably equally intoxicated by lies or are benefactors and sons and daughters of the regime residing in the comfort of Melbourne, Australia equally took to the streets against UNMISS and in support of their government’s version of the story on the alleged arming of the rebels by UNMISS in South Sudan.

Michael Makuei, the spokesperson of Kiir’s government and his minister of information seems out in full force to exact revenge on UNMISS. Makuei it has to be remembered has recently fallen out with UNMISS personnel in Bor, where he was reported to have been denied entry into a civilian protection area while his bodyguards were wielding arms in defiance to UNMISS house rules and safety measures in the civilian protection sites to enhance security. But for Makuei, that incident is now personal. The lawyer should know better and not be consumed with ignorance and emotions!

While the arms seizure seems to be at the center of the tension in Juba-New York relationship, there is more to Kiir’s government hatred of UNMISS and the West than meets the eye. The West has failed to grasp that Juba has increasingly grown bitter with the West for failing to be persuaded that what took place on the forgetful night of December 15th, 2013 that triggered the violent mayhem in South Sudan was a failed coup attempt to topple “a democratically elected government.” In the words of Wani Igga, the vice-president of Kiir, “no one knows why they [western governments] failed to accept that the government foiled attempt to remove the democratically leadership…we are convinced that there is a hidden agenda.”

Kiir’s coup narrative therefore, seems to snowball with every passing day of the violent conflict as the death toll multiply to more than 20,000 with almost 1000,000 others displaced while ceasefire continues to be blatantly violated and the civil war rages on unabated. Despite lack of sufficient supporting evidence, the coup narrative is also important not only to delegitimize the cause of the Sudan People Liberation Movement/ Army (SPLM/A) in Opposition as undermining to “democracy” in South Sudan but also to squarely apportion the blame on the rebels for the ensuing massacres and for plunging the country into chaos. Somebody must be held accountable and it is certainly not Juba, according to Kiir’s reasoning.

On this account, reports of human rights abuses, summary and targeted killings that points a finger of blame at Kiir’s regime in anticipation of justice and accountability before international law naturally do not augur well with Juba. The negative campaign against the West and UNMISS is a defensive political ploy meant to discredit these actors and their subsequent indictments as a “colonial agenda,” “politically motivated” and so on. It is a known tactic in keeping with the folk saying of “I will have you for breakfast before you have me for lunch.”

But my unsolicited advice to those presiding over anti-Western policies in Kiir’s cohort is that these policies are doing you more harm than good, while further distorting the already badly damaged image of South Sudan to the international community. Instead of persisting in floating an imagined coup that never happened and illegally continuing on detaining and prosecuting the remaining four political detainees, Kiir’s government will do well to show an iota of leadership and courage by releasing these innocent souls.

It is equally a multiple personality disorder and a waste of resources and time to hire a public relations firm purportedly to enhance foreign relations with the West while at the same time promoting anti-Western sentiments at home. Public relations must begin at home by beginning to amend the broken societal relationship and restoring trust in the government and between the people. What is needed therefore is for Juba to demonstrate genuine political will through offering concessions in the negotiating table to the salvage what can be salvaged to rescue South Sudan from the current chaos.

Genuine reconciliation efforts in South Sudan must begin to be depoliticized by opening up a political space that allows all conflict stakeholders, including the released seven and the detained four to participate in the peace talks. The fear and paranoia from the impending international justice and accountability for the tens of thousands of lives lost in this violent conflict can equally be negotiated and a compromise win-win solution for all can be reached in the roundtable. Continued intransigence does no one no favor and certainly anti-Western and anti-UNMISS rhetoric only makes things worse. Two wrongs do not make a right. Kiir and company must begin to claw their way out of this deep hole back into the light of commonsense!

Tongun Lo Loyuong is a freelance policy analyst from South Sudan. He holds two Master’s Degrees with honors and academic excellence from the United States. The last of his two MAs is in International Peace Studies and Policy Analysis for Political Change, from the University of Notre Dame – Indiana. His research interest is in South Sudan’s governance and peace and conflict issues. He is reachable at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . For South Sudan news feed, follow him on tweeter @TongunLoLoyuong; and for more commentaries visit his blog at:

Unpatriotic Government and the Sham Judicial System

By Kuir ë Garang

March 15, 2014 (SSNA) -- The case of the remaining four political detainees accused of plotting to remove President Kiir in the unsupportable claim of ‘coup attempt’ is going to take South Sudan to a new low. This is a mockery of the country and our judicial system. The world has laughed at us more than enough and we are giving it another reason to laugh even louder. The accused, Dr. MajakD’Agoot, Mr. Pagan Amum, Mr. Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth and Mr. Oyai Deng Ajak, appeared in court in Juba on March 11, 2014 to hear the charges against them. The charges include the follow:

1. Treason against the state
2. Incitement of the masses
3. Causing disaffection among police or defense forces
4. Defaming the government of South Sudan
5. Undermining the authority of or insulting the president

However, those who advise President Kiir and those who encourage him to take the four men to trial don’t care about the image of the country. As long as they fatten their bank accounts and hit back at the people they don’t like, then all is good. They care neither about the dying innocent civilians nor do they care about the impending descend of the country into Somalia-like warlordism.

Mocking the President

No one has enough humility and courage to tell the president that the coup attempt claim is not sustainable. People who care about this country would tell President Kiir the truth in order for peace to come to South Sudan. Our people have suffered more than enough for this senseless war to drag on for longer than necessary.

The world that helped us achieve independence has no reason to hate us. We just didn’t give them enough evidence to classify the incident of December 15th, 2013 as a failed coup attempt. Honor is in knowing when to say ‘I was wrong!” Honor is in knowing when to let things go for the sake of the people!

What happened on March 11, 2014 in Juba is a clear mockery of President Kiir. Whoever believes the trial should go on is mocking the president of South Sudan. The president appears like a mindless despot among his reasonable Peers.

The likes of the imbecilic YoweriK. Museveni wouldn’t care about what’d embarrass our president. Museveni, like RiekMachar, is a man intoxicated by power and the feeling of being the strong man in the region. The mere feeling that he’d fall into insignificance makes him mad. Fortunately, he’s getting old!

Why would Museveni allow UPDF to announce the capture of Jonglei State capital, Bor, as a victory of UPDF instead of SPLA? If Museveni respected South Sudan and President Kiir, he’d have severely reprimanded the irresponsible general. UPDF was only doing a favor to President Kiir not liberating South Sudan.

South Sudanese government officials and the people involved in this sham trial, like Museveni, want to reflect South Sudan in a very bad light. They are mocking President Kiir and embarrassing South Sudan in the eyes of the world.

Selling the ‘Coup Attempt’ claim

Where in the world does a nation waste development money in a vain diplomatic mission to convince the world that a ‘coup attempt’ happened? If the available or presented evidence can’t convince the world to see it for what the government claims, then sticking with the unsupportable gives the world an image that is a disservice to the country.

Other nations are not kids or imbeciles to be hoodwinked. A responsible government would just give the world the evidence it has. It’s up to the world to rationalize it given the evidence they’d been presented with. Trying to convince the world is an act of desperation and incompetence: an unpatriotic mess.

The government is isolating South Sudan. The officials have turned their backs on our allies for no reason. The government is also projecting the county as a nation of those who don’t care about facts. This is going to cost South Sudan a great deal and further destroy the prospects of a prosperous South Sudan that’s respected the world over. What this government is doing is unpatriotic and treasonous. This is a government that doesn’t care about South Sudan.

They’ve not only allowed the rebels to destroy the country, they’ve also hired killer mercenaries to come and kill South Sudanese citizens. A government that hires paid mercenaries is an unpatriotic government. A government that pays foreign soldiers and doesn’t pay its own army is an unpatriotic government committing treason against the state. A government that pays foreign soldiers more than twice the salary of its own army with exorbitant benefit package is an unpatriotic government.

‘Kangaroo Court’

The President and his cabinet are convinced that what happened on December 15, 2013 is a ‘failed coup attempt’ and those being tried executed that ‘treasonous act.’ If the government defied the world powers that have centuries of intelligence gathering and data processing then it’s inconceivable it’ll listen to anyone who says something contrary to the official message. These world powers have declared that there is no enough evidence to declare the incident in question a coup attempt. Sadly, the government of South Sudan stuck to its position. This is a disastrous Mugabism.

Will the government swallow a bitter pill if the court finds out that there’s no evidence to convict the accused? Will the prosecutor be brave enough and competent enough to declare that they can’t prove the ‘coup claim?’ This is highly unlikely.

First, the judges were selected by the government that’s already decided its position. And this selection wasn’t in any way screened for any possible conflict of interest. So the judges, prosecution and the government are one and the same! How do you expect a fair trial in such a case? A-not-guilty verdict would be like insulting the government. It’d mark a turning point if a-not-guilty verdict is arrived at. Going against what the president and the government hold dear would earn our judicial system respect of independence.

However, that’ll never happen given what we know about Pagan Amum’s case against the president.

If a press conference and a press release, all constitutionally allowed actions, are used as evidence in a court of law then you know this is a kangaroo court. If a prosecutor tells the court that a recording, which was obtained illegally without any constitutional provision that allows it and the panel of judges doesn’t question its legality then you know this is a Kangaroo court. A respectable panel of judges would have questioned the legality and admissibility of the recording on the first day of hearing.

The defense will raise this question but will the judges see it that way? We’ll wait and see!

Bizarrely, the minister of information and the government spokesperson, Honorable Michael MakueiLueth, has already ruled on behalf of the government that the accused ‘should be hanged by the neck until they die’ and that the accused are not ‘political detainees’ but ‘criminals.’

If the government is already interfering in the judicial process then how do you expect a fair trial? The government has already home-brewed the verdict. It’s only putting this trial as a PR show to hoodwink the world.

Did anyone expect the government to select a panel of judges that’d rule against its position? The judges should have been subjected to a screening process to ascertain their independence and squeeze them for any conflict of interest!

Kuir ë Garang is the author of ‘South Sudan Ideologically.’ For contact, visit www.kuirthiy.infoor follow him on twitter @kuirthiy.

The Nuer Massacre: I am alive, not dead

By J. Nguen Nyol

March 14, 2014 (SSNA) -- It is now official that 6,430 innocent Nuer civilians were killed in Juba between December15th& 19th2013 by Dinka militias. Among them were children, women, and elderly.They all perished in the hands of their own countrymen and not Arabs.

They were butchered for no other reason than being Nuer ethnic group. This is the fact and the world is aware of it. Anyone of Nuer background dead or alive falls perfectly into this category according to some Dinka killers. It didn’t matter to them whether a Nuer has different political party or political philosophy or not, you are licensed to be kills because you are Nuer.

It doesn’t matter whether a Nuer is/was a Salva Kiir’s staunched supporter or not, she/he deserved to dies no matter what. Nothing has helped and the sole mission of the killers was simple, to do away with Nuer at all cost.

For example, innocent Nuer’schildren, women, men and elderly were rounded up and sent (killed) to heaven or hell for no apparent crime committed. As things stands, the massacre of the Nuer ethnic group in Juba by Kiir Mayardit’s Dinka militias remains one of the vicious, ruthless, merciless and cruel killings ever happened in South Sudan history since its creation.

Many writers called it Nuer massacre; while others labelled it as heartless genocide. Whatever one call it, it remains one of the vicious and regrettable summarily execution of Nuer gentle souls.

There was no single Nuer Soul spared by the Dinka killers. They killed whoever they found.Therefore, those who still deny the massacre were in fact the killers and Hitler like associates. They deserves nothing in return but severe chastise.

In the midst of the massacre,over 38, 000 or more Nuer civilians ran for their dear livesand are now taking refuge atthe UNMISS’ compounds in Juba. The same development happened in Bentiu, Malakal and Bor where Nuer and some Dinka civilians were killed in their thousands in the midst of chaos.

Those Nuer who escaped death in Leer, Mayom, Koch, Guit, Mayendit, Rubkona and Panyjiar, Unity State are now residing in the bush without food and safe drinking water.Evidence showed UNHCR has not been able to help or made efforts reaching out to these suffering souls. If UN did it is secret, yet to be known. If they did and failed, it might have been the fact it was blocked by Kiir’s government in name of insecurity.

Regardless, this is a regrettable failure on UNHCH’s part. The UNHCH’s mandate is to reach out to the dying civilians affected by the conflicts. South Sudan is no exception and United Nations would have acted to fulfill its mandate to alleviate the suffering people regardless of Kiir’s government murderous position.

As I write, civilians are dyingin their hundreds of thirst and hungers in their hideouts in Unity State. As far as death toll and displacement is concern, UNMISS has placed the death toll at 10, 000 and whereas more than 930, 000 persons reported displaced. The death toll is more than what was estimated and so is the displaced

Despite this extraordinary tragedy, some people still claims that there is a nation of South Sudan where nationhood can be cherish and protected when in fact there is none. There is no functioning nation in South Sudan. There is no State government but Dinka tribe institution on vicious rampant and manic state.

In a nutshell, theNuer massacre has notstopped in Juba and other part of the country. It is indescribable and still happening every day in disguise of safeguarding failed national interest, which isn’t there, after the fact.

Sad thing is however,killers often dance. They dance after they slaughtered Nuer men, children, women and elderly in cold blood. For instance, the killers danced after they killed innocent Nuer civilians in Bentiu and Leer town and this is the link to prove my point.

Gravely, the triumphant in killers’ faces resembled the euphoria that ensued people aftermoon landing out of space during Apollo expedition. Sad!I never see people celebrating death of their own countrymen and women than Dinka killers. The killers also danced when they deployed cluster boom against Nuer civilians. What a shame on a dying nation!

Despite the untold suffering and senseless loss of innocent lives,I must remind Nuer remnants that the killers did not kill us all:I am alive, not dead.To those who are celebrating innocent Nuer lives lost,you are evil beings. You deserve nothing but the same pains you enforced on Nuer. But rest assured, in hell or heaven, you will flatly fail in your senseless mission.

In term of written records, hence forward, I must assure my readers that I will not rest. I will continue to write about the Nuer massacre and that of othersuntil I am no more. This is my honest pledge to all fallen heroes and heroics.

On March 5th, 2014, unarmed Nuer men and womenwere showered with live bullets and killed in cold-blood by Dinka militias once again. The perpetrators cheaply placed the death toll at 5 yet more than hundred unarmed Nuer civilians were butchered. Sadly, some were drag out of their hideouts akin to that of December15th, 2013 massacre. Then, the victims were shots short range in the heads. The Killing was blamed onthe soldiers’payment issue which wasn’t true after all.

Thanks to eyewitnesses and abundant technology in our disposal. TRUTH has come out regardless. Among the dead was General Gatwech Gai from Pangak Nuer. Sadly, Gen. Gai died in the hands of his own masters.Good to not that he was a die-hard failed Salva Kiir Supporter. Pathetic!

It is pathetic that Gen. Gai has died because he was Nuer even though he wholeheartedly fought alongside Salva Kiir’s government forcesin Bor and helped them recaptured the town from the rebel.Gen. Gai was hacked to death despite his selfless support to Kiir’s cause of Nuer extinction. I feel bad for this man poor’s soul though I detested his blurred thinking for not being realistic and forthcoming.

The fact is there is a lesson to belearns here. The lesson we learned is no matter how much one wanted to please the failed Dinka’s institutions and government, there are some satanic characters within whoare bent to end your life no matter what.

On February 1st, 2014, after the dysfunctional cessation of hostility signed in Addis Abba, Ethiopiain January 23rd, 2014, Leer, Dr. Riek’s birth placewas attacked and captured by pro- Kiir’s troops with the backing of the SPLM- N and Justice for Equality Movement (JEM).

Leer was ransacked and completely destroyed by pro- government soldiers. For instance, Leer’s hospital which existed for more 35 years and surrounding villages all were torched to the ground. Please see the report here: Frankly speaking, Leer has no operational importance than being a Dr. Riek’s birthplace.Its people have nothing to do with political madness in Juba then and now.

Some chiefs who refused to run for their dear lives were thrown to make-ship jails and were subsequently executed on March 5th, 2014. The chiefs were all from Dok Nuer. Their names are Chief, Nhial Chakuoth Malek, sub-chief, Machek Ninrew Lieh and Chief, Gajang Gai Machar. The chiefs did not commitany crime than being Nuer.

This murderous act is rampant and out of control.Crimes punishable by hanging where there is rule of law are being committed in broad daylight against Nuer, while the rest of South Sudanese 62 tribesmen and women remained onlookers. They shamelessly turnblind eyesontheir own fellow citizens and watch them being kills by insane beings without saying enough. What a nation!

Evidence showed that some of the 62 tribesmen and women who are currently not being targeted by Dinka militias were blindfolded andfalsely made to believe that there are good citizens and South Sudan belongs to them.

Out of this hopeless deceit, three arms of Equatorians’youth have been mobilized and placed into various military training camps in the name of the national army. While unknowingly, these youth are being trains to protect nothing short of Dinkanization of South Sudan.

The same tacticis underway among various minority tribes across South Sudan. Some people are being mobilizes falsely in the name of nationhood, yet, such a nationhood doesn’t exists.

Few facts to note contradicting nationhood naivety!

Do you know that 7 out of 9 appointed South Sudan Supreme Court judges are Dinka? In a nutshell, there was one Equatorian which after appointment was vilified, shamed and removed through uncounseled presidential decree for being smartest than her claimed bosses.

One Nuer, Judge Gatwech who also headed the dysfunctional anti-corruption commission. Mr. Gatwech is now rotting in one of the UNMISS’ compounds in Juba because he was almost killed by Dinka’s militias during Juba Nuer massacre.

Now, tell me who is running this dysfunctional South Sudan’s Supreme Court? Dinka men whoareled by none other than a junior judge Mr. Chan from Warrap, state where President Salva Kiir Mayardit hailed.  Tell me, if this is your South Sudan government that you are about to die for?

Take South Sudan internal security agent and all its affiliates.TheSouth Sudan Intelligent and Security Services runs by a Dinka man, Akol Kor as its director. All five personalities running this murderous organization are Dinka, four of which are from Bhar el Ghazal (head and deputy from Warrap and third man in line is from Lake) and other from Jonglei. Tell me, where are the rest of South Sudanese tribesmen and women if this is our country? How does this make you feel? Don’t you feel robbed, betrayed and marginalized or not?

Take again South Sudan’s foreign affair and diplomatic core. Among the eighty diplomats appointed and 67 out of 80 are Dinka. Nineteen out ofthe 21 diplomats deployed are Dinka. Guess what! There are also deployed in the most well to do countries and institutions which include USA, Norway, China, Russia, France, UK, German, Japan,Malaysia, India, UN, World Bank, IMF, EU, and Sudan…etc.

Again, where are the rest of 63 South Sudan tribes if South Sudan government is yours? Beside, where is the nationhood here, where you can be proud of and ready to protect? Do you now really see yourself in a nation where you blindly called yours?

Consider the financial district of Juba (banks, customs,chambers of commerce, and business community) and natural resources. There is nosingle other tribe man or woman in these institution. Dinka controlled these institutions from cleaners (tail) to heads.Look, where are you? Where do you see yourself in the nation building?

Finally, take immigration, police departments and military. Three men who take decisions on matters related to immigration are all Dinka. These men decide whether one should leave and be granted an entry to South Sudan or not. They decide would smuggle money out without being check.

This madness doesn’t stop there! All seven men who runs police department are all Dinka. They decideon matters regarding killing together with security apparatus. These people decide who should be beat up, left to dieor thrown behind bars without due process. Is this really your South Sudan you are made to believe or you envisioned?

Last not least is the military. You know it and I need not to tell you anything about its operations and do on the daily basis.One thing to note though, you have seen Mr. Malaak Ayuen and Mr. Philip Aguer talking to you in Dinka dialect on supposed South Sudan national Television as if all South Sudanese are Dinka. What do you make of this?

I hope I jerked your memories andif you are a sane being, I am certain that you will revisit your elusive perceptions about South Sudan state of affairs. I left that you to decide.

Way forward

Despite all these inconveniences, sadly, some Dinka are not satisfied. They still think they can kill and grab other peoples’ lands as they pleased. Besides, good to note that some Dinka are also victims too. Those who spokethe truth and against self-driven hatred were either killed or exiled for good. Some Dinka communities have been marginalized too and told to shut up or else.

It’s sad to mention that fools have managed to drive South Sudan into abyss and divided it along tribal lines. However, the painful truth is, their system is set up to fail. My message to all of youis time has come for meaningful change. Your staying on the sidelines is not helping or shaping your long term survival or our survival as a nation. We must collectively grasp this opportunistic time to ensure better change.

Let the Nuer’s spilled blood bring down forces of tyranny because you will be next if you do not act now. Let’s demand a collective change and we shall collectively establish a platform where no single tribe in South Sudan has an upper hand over than others. Embrace a platform where no one deserves maltreatment or subjected to mistreatment. An environment where no single tribe isa bully,subjecting smaller tribes to unnecessary marginalization. A nation where smaller tribes shall have the same says as big ones.

A nation where killers are called by their rightful names and made to accept that the Nuer massacre in Juba rather than boring us with irrelevant rhetoric that some Dinka were also killed too in Bor, Akobo, Bentiu and Malakal, yet we are all aware that these and if any, werere sultant of the Nuer Juba massacre.

J. Nguen is a 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

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