November 9th, 2015
August 10th, 2015
November 8, 2015 (SSB) —- There are two ways of making sense of the chaotic nature of 2013 failed coup attempt in South Sudan. The first is to see the fighting grambling and dismiss it for the incompetence and coos that has now come to be expected.
A more charitable way, and are that admittedly tries to find a silver lining in this thunderstorm of ineptitude is to take a more historical view of the form and nature of military and political mobilization in the country and see what the current drama in SPLM/A tell us about peace, development, politics and democracy in South Sudan.
Political military and pressure groups in South Sudan tended and still tend to coalesce around tribal identity. With wrongful and talented leadership exhibited in Jamus Division under command of Maj. Gen. Stephen Buoy Rolnyang, some elements are beginning to criticize.
I have seen the articulation of people’s interests and grievances have eventually taken the form of tribalism, ethnic sentiments that have heavily tinged with the cry and hue of tribe.
When our democratic experiment collapsed back with the attempted coup into militarism, different militias reflected these tribal sentiments, first within the arm of SPLA and in the personal, ethnic militias that emerged including those who vote for unity during referendum of South Sudan, however, whether it is unintended consequence or not, and regardless of the long-term impact on political pluralism the country’s political space must evolve.
It is good that peace negotiations have to a point of yielded something good and that those who have in the bush or government opposition are coming back home with a point. Shame to criticize Gen. Buoy, biblically they have eyes but they do not see, they have ear but do hear and have nose but do smell.
We should not criticize because so and so is of this tribe but he is a peace loving of South Sudanese, developmental share with others world views and can improve other people’s lives in term of security.
This where things get interesting and disappointing, on the one hand Gen. Buoy, has contributed to the leveling of the ground for peace and security and has worked with everybody irrespectively of the tribe.
What it all means is that anyone wants to rise to a higher office but because it has become such a dirty, corrupt and violent process only the fittest and ruthless survive!! Up to when should this happen?
As a result of continued war and internal backbiting South Sudan has remained behind development, what then is the point of wining several battles if you will ultimately lose the war over genuine democracy?
Asking smart and honest men and women to jump into this political arena is like receiving a mud wrestling provocation from a pig; if you are smart enough you first wait for the mud to dry, then you decline.
The author can be reached via email@example.com
A Letter to President Salva Kiir Mayardit: Focus on Substance; Eschew Useless Decrees on SSTV
By Chol Biel Lual, USA
Dear Mr. President,
October 31, 2015 (SSB) — Picture a country, where health crisis lingers in the president’s blind spot, where food shortage stays in world’s top-three agenda, where its economy suffocates in the pockets of those who shovel billions of dollars into foreign banks, where elephant grass beats ministers’ chests as they make it to their fathers’ graveyards because even after 10 years of independence, jungle rats still stay ahead with their highways that connect their cities (holes); where its literacy ranks second last in Africa, where killing litters everywhere, from the capital to villages at the outskirts of the country, where its citizens’ well-being remains a concern to every caring being: South Sudan fits these descriptions.
Decrees aired on national TV (SSTV) without on-ground supervisions and security agents that can’t even write and read their mothers’ dialects failed this country.
For any government to stay in power, it must solve one major problem in the country. Insecurity! Villagers need security the most. They don’t need the government to distribute money to them; they are able to toil the land with their bare hands to feed themselves. However, with insecurity, villagers squat along river Nile. A government that’s a product of twenty-two years guerrilla movement can’t solve insecurity pose by those who cried for their own State.
Don’t take me wrong. I know the government can’t wipe off one tribe to protect another, but the government can establish a rule of law to protect all citizens. The government of South Sudan is rotten. Maggots are not the signs of anything rotten. Our government is running with splattered brains.
Splattered brains: stirred the political soup without due respect for the civilians and the country. In 2013, you the president, forgot of your responsibility of being the head and overseer, you agitated without military strategies the beast, Riek Machar. He rushed out of Juba to his gullible section of his tribe, Lou-Nuer. The white flies swarmed and blackened Bortown and areas along the road to Juba, killing everything that moved. Had it not been Ugandan army, Juba along with government would had been a history. But what would have been the reason? Splattered brains can’t answer. Splattered brains didn’t think of consequences.
After the marathon twenty-months war, the international community jumped in with the Compromised Peace Agreement to stop tribal atrocities both sides committed; the head of our country, you, my president cried like a baby on the world TV. I understand people especially adults cry with different tears: of joy, of shame, and of bitterness (pain of any kind). Tears of bitterness relate to tears of failure. On the global TV, my president, you cried tears of failure. Your advisors are rotten zombies with splattered brains. Your advisors glued you down in Juba, where you will think yourself to death. My president, you relied on your past knowledge of areas you visited when you were a guerrilla commander.
You never visit the areas in chaos because your advisors advise you so. “They will kill you; don’t you dare to visit these areas, you will die like Deng Nhial”, the advisors advised you. Ironically, my president, you fly to other nations to correct your government image. My president, Dr. John Garang coming from Uganda, died of “air crash”. Samora Mitchell died of “air crashed”. My president, good presidents don’t care of how other nations describe their governments, but they care of their citizens’ descriptions.
Fidel Castro’s government survived for this reason, Cuba survived the cold war and economic sanctions from the most powerful country in the world, U.S.A, because Fidel knew what is the government. People are the government, so he hopped on a tractor and sweated himself almost to death on sugarcane plantations. My president, the US government lifted Cuba sanctions in 2015, because the US government had ran out of reasons to keep the sanctions and more importantly, Fidel outlived every ill, wished towards his life and that of his government. My president, fire all your advisors because they are vampires. They have bled our country to death.
My president, get out of the presidential palace and visit all broken areas. Your presence will be a sign of hope. Give hope to the disabled, relatives of the victims of your war, and to the seniors (aged) whose huts crumbled because of your enemy fire, by visiting them under their marked trees (their homes). And don’t worry, my president about other nation’s politics. Political endorsements must not creep in your daily job because you have your nation politics to study and to correct.
On the major social site, Facebook, an article, which alleged your endorsement of Donald Trump, floats on majority of South Sudanese Facebook’s pages. My president you can’t get it right politically anywhere, at home and away. Donald Trump is a vicious racist who had no chances of airing his racism so he runs for “president”. Mr. Trump knows he can’t win the presidency, but his racial remarks will last with political impunity. My president, have you or your advisors read Donald Trump’s latest remarks about Africans?
To remind you, he has this to say about Africans:
“African Americans are very lazy. The best they can do is gallivanting around ghettoes, lamenting how they are discriminated. These are the people America doesn’t need. They are the enemies of progress. Look at African countries like Kenya for instance, those people are stealing from their own government and go to invest the money in foreign countries. From the government to opposition, they only qualify to be used as a case study whenever bad examples are required. How do you trust even those who have ran away to hide here at the United States hiding behind education? I hear they abuse me in their blogs but I don’t care because even the internet they are using is ours and we can decide to switch it off from this side. These are people who import everything including matchsticks. In my opinion, most of these African countries ought to be recolonized again for another 100 years because they know nothing about leadership and self-governance”
My president, out of thirty-six Republican Party presidential candidates, is Donald Trump the only candidate that speaks to your heart politically? What about Jeff Bush, a brother to mighty George. W. Bush, who pressured Omar al Bashir and his Khartoum government to sign CPA (Compressive Peace Agreement)? Don’t you read the history of our country? My advice, my president: Stay away from other nation’s politics, the least you won’t appear a clown with your cowboy hat.
Back to the insecurity. The best military minds will solve this chronic insecurity. My president you joined the army when you were sixteen years old. You have more than half a century experience in military strategies. With a glance, you can identify a military tactician. So why are inter-clans and tribal wars persist in your face? For Murle to stop and for Bor to depend herself, you need to assign Deng Kelei Machar to lead the division in Panpandiar.
By the way, what grudges are you holding against him? What crime has he committed, which had not been committed by any living soul in SPLM/A today? My president, you won’t run this country on grudges.
I will stop here. If you have online information collectors, let them deliver this letter to your presidential desk.
Signed: Chol Biel Lual.
August 8, 2015 (SSB) — I would first like to take this moment and opportunity to say thank you for facilitating the South Sudanese peace negotiation with the leaders of IGAD. We the South Sudanese — living both inside and outside of your country — are grateful for your consistency in tackling our problems. You have become deeply influential in the peace process, and we have been longing for even more intervention on your part and from the Kenyan government as a whole. In fact, your participation in the South Sudanese peace process is a symbol of hope among the people of South Sudan.
To be exact, we the South Sudanese are watching your contributions closely with optimism. Recently, you were featured in pictures with South Sudanese students; this gesture alone denotes your sincere involvement in our community, and it symbolizes your positive relationship with us. Many of the South Sudanese believe that you are building a well-guided relationship with our country. As an advocate for better education for all children, irrespective of gender, I personally appreciate that you invited those students into your office. The South Sudanese students in your country and in other countries have been empowered by the position you have projected recently.
There is even further proof that you are serving Kenya and other East African countries well. In fact, you have been “voted Africa’s President of the year for…outstanding leadership.” Time and time again, you have proven how much you know about the direction of Kenya and her people, and we are astonished by the way you have channeled the country towards a brighter future. You have astonished us with the amazing team you have built since you took your oath of the office, and the exceptional way you have strived to fix Kenya’s problems. These significant improvements are the result of good decision-making and responsible governance.
In terms of the South Sudanese populations around the world, our people are looking for ways to turn our country around. We have fought hard, but our goals went unfulfilled as a result of greedy politicians — politicians who are symbols of destruction. Their selfish agendas endanger the welfare of the people. They have made a lot of diplomatic and economic mistakes amidst the crisis in the country. As South Sudanese, what we need more than anything is peace and the revitalization of the economy and a reconfiguring or restructuring of the country’s economic system.
You have seen the lack of responsibility first hand in your capacity as a leader. In exchange, I have indeed pledged total allegiance to you, and to our current president Kiir to find solution to our problems. As we speak, the enthusiasm of the younger generations — an enthusiasm fueled by the independence of our country — has begun to subside. In fact, the behavior of the South Sudanese youth has reached a certain level of indolence and disappointment.
Equally disappointing is the fact that our politicians have not maintained certain measures of respect for the citizens who they first introduced to a well-earned freedom. Regrettably, our country’s hard-fought independence has brought us nothing but death after death, and even the mass killing of innocent people. Many of the decisions made by some of our politicians are disconcerting and unguided, so we must appeal to you, President Uhuru Kenyatta, and to IGAD’s leaders in order to bring peace to our homeland and to protect innocent lives.
After the independence of South Sudan was secured, we have faced as many disadvantages as advantages. For instance, a select few, dirty-minded, individuals own our natural resources and our collective freedom. During the civil war, many individuals relied on those leaders, as foolhardy as it may seem now. Unfortunately, this decision still plagues us today. Like every South Sudanese person, I am concerned about when the peace will return to protect the innocent.
In search for peace for South Sudanese, we are also very appreciative about the return of some members of the G10, which is a great sign of peace. Generally, little has come out of the peace process between President Kiir and Riek Machar, but those negotiations have been held repeatedly under your watch and under the other IGAD leaders. The combination of appeasement and collaboration has failed, and with every passing day, the inaction continues to make us incapable of real progress and vulnerable to our enemies at home and abroad.
So far, we have not seen a confident solution to the crisis in our entire country. But we do also acknowledge that everything involved in peace negotiations isn’t always straightforward, because the roads are blocked by the continuation of violence beyond the cessation of hostilities signed and revisited repeatedly. This reality allows me to ask you personal questions, Mr. President: Due to the lack of constraints among the warring parties, I ask you, what have you been talking to our leaders about? Why has the peace negotiation not materialized militarily on the ground?
I am not trying to say to get these two men by their ties, but many South Sudanese are growing frustrated, due to how less trustworthy they have become. We the people can no longer downplay our downfall as a country. I remembered when you stepped in the office; you have accomplished a lot, including trust the people have built for you and helped you through the years.
Instead of reflecting on some of the things you are doing for your country, our politicians are only interested in unattractive duties, such as killing of innocent people. Our politicians are remorseless, and this is one of many reasons why we remain vulnerable in this country: We dearly pay a huge price for. All things considered, it is inconsequential to even blame our politicians for the wrongdoing. Kenya is progressing tremendously and we the South Sudanese are indeed one of many reasons why Kenya is economically thriving. But if peace comes to South Sudan, Kenya’s economy will eventually boom as a result.
Our concern is the restoration of peace in the country. We need courage from our politicians and military generals to accept peace. Yes President Kiir have accepted peace over violence, but he must sign peace to validate his position. As you may know by now, we share much with Kenya and its people and their emotions and with this in mind one of Kenyan politicians name Weston Wanjohi has become frustrated and vocal toward Riek Machar. However, Wanjohi calls are meant to help us restore peace in the country. Like honorable Wanjohi, we are prompted to work against the tactics that would affect the average citizen. As we speak, many of our politicians are busy self-promoting themselves, but we are already tired of their strategies because everything they do ends up killing members of our families.
There are harsh realities of what is going on in the country — with the exception of certain politicians who see things from the average citizen. As you may have heard or seen graphic pictures of the mass killing in the country; it left us wondering what the message is to us. For too many of the citizens, mass killing has become a popularity contest to the ruthless generals and politicians. Our politicians would like to win us over using blood bath as the major way of doing so. Both President Kiir and Riek Machar made a dreadful move recently in regards to peace and they must be pressured to sign peace, now. Tendency of polarizing our people must be ended.
These two men have produced an environment that is unpredictable and hard to regulate country. That is why it is very importance for these two men to be subdue from using violence as a way to convey their messages. Mr. President, our people seriously need peace and we would like you to with IGAD’s leaders, President Kiir, rebels, and members of G10 to help us achieve peace once more.
This letter was written by Deng Kur Deng, AKA Raanmangar. You can reach him at pananyangajak@.
South Sudan Fundamentally Divisive and unnecessary Ideas
Many in South Sudanese society wanted to do a very good behavioural, however why must this be attributable to a flag or identity? It’s at best a very unclear concept that is too easily misused by those in power today. The best in us is brought out on an individual independent not for Southern Sudanese citizen, the human level is too low in term of value, trying to attribute people to rallying cry of look at the regime in Juba because no security for them, no one value them, aren’t we wonderful and smart and cultured and right is usually only done by those who wish to achieve their own power rather the power of nations, usually selfishness ends as at its core it take for granted that there is some sort of superiority.
I’m great to you’re not the only way those group identity is not good for us would be for larger community concepts such as humanity or living beings on South Sudan, today global world it has no place in the betterment of those corrupted people in our country.
Self control is great things?
Nationalism can help inspire a nation to accomplish great things we need on South Sudan. E.g. the Japanese went from feudal, sectionalist society in which corrupt warlords fought each other constantly and these wars had nothing to do with nationalism, it happen in South Sudan between Dinka and Nuer in Dec 2013, but had nothing to do with nationalism rather than killing on tribal line to defend Kiir’s power
Why Nationalism is good for South Sudan?
The Salva Kiir’s regime it does not in any way mean that you are being racist in the name of Dinka against others tribe in South Sudan, or putting our country or culture above others in Dinka culture. Oncoming 9th of July it is more about country celebrating where still killing around the corner you’re and who you are, and focusing more on the good than the bad governing ever in 21th century,
We brought an independent to our free nations to live in peace and harmony like any country around the globe, unfortunately the leadership doesn’t allow freedom in our courty,
It is good every citizen taking pride in ones culture and value, race, and nation is not wrong. When one man wants his ethnic group to be the best in south Sudan he will work harder not killer and destruction and terrified others to make his nation better paradise on earth. This attitude is unlike modern liberals who associate any attempt to be proud of them with neo Nazism or fascism in newly nation, people fade up with Dinka non vision leadership, it happen from Abel Alier unto Salva Kiir’s leadership today, that’s truth.
Our nationalism can lead to pride in South Sudan and its accomplishments mission.
Otherwise, the extreme nationalism is the thing that causes all the non violence and racism in many countries and the rest of the world like Europe, but to be nationalism is bonds a nation together not separate people and divided into tribes, it’s what protects a country and pushes soldiers to fight their citizens. So nationalism is partially a good thing.
Therefore, the nationalism has been used by influential leader throughout good history. Like Salva Kiir and Yoweri Kaguta Musseveni have used it to drive his armies and militants for evil in Unity state to use Mr blind man Pul Jang killing his own people in the name of defending constitutions of Kiir not South Sudan, but Ghandi and Mandela have used it for good leadership. It was used by numerous countries in the 1800, 1900’s for anti colonialism.
The negative and positive nationalism or whatever:
Nationalism could be interpreted by an individual SPLM/A members as meaning making their own decisions best for the people country of South Sudanese and in personal gain. Could also mean a direct democracy approach by making change by revolutionary are fighting for change and freedom, liberty and even attempts at political parties effectively working together for the betterment of the nation rather than killer SPLM/A of the nation and its people without that left vs. Right nonsense.
Therefore, the nationalism itself is not a negative force. Nationalism can be a positive incentive such as the appreciation of one’s history and a man like Doctor John Garang and ancestors. It can be desire to contribute to the betterment of one’s society and fellow neighbours Kenya, Ethiopia etc. Nationalism does not have to be an aggressive force killing, it does not have to be an incentive to actively exclude and include certain people like Dinkas based on their race, ethnic control all the government offices in all country without their recognition of others tribes origin or history. Only when it is taken to the extreme, and enters the realm of exclusivity, is it one’s country and the will to contribute to the betterment of its society.
It is the nationalism can definitely be a force for good in South Sudan yes or no?
Thereafter, the nationalism does not need to be a negative thing or turn on it wheel upside down. Nationalism can be extremely powerful for our country South Sudan today. If the citizens of our nation are proud to be first class citizens, it only makes sense that they would have a strong sense of nationalism and country loves. When the citizens of South Sudan truly believe in their country and love it and its ideals, the nations as a whole prospers last independent. When citizens lose faith on their leader in their nation and government, something about their very way of life is partially eroded and the nation as a whole I thinks lose its sense of identity.
Otherwise, nationalism will never be a force for good as it promotes the idea that can develop the nations a certain group is superior over another group. Being proud of a piece of our land with a beautiful flag and nice national anthem where your parents gave birth to you does not mean you get to assume your all of a sudden better than a particular group like Dinka to control the power and killing others tribe in the name of democracy and constitution of Luk Jock former minister. If you’re going to be proud of something be proud of humanity, a group we all belong to South Sudan, and how far we have come.
If there’s separation on our nations what I mean recognize some state to be independent like greater Upper Nile will stand by it own without Bhar El Ghazel and Equatoria there will always be a positive outcome. Even though it is uniting one time for 30th years, it still creates our division between tribal line and others, and we all know where isolation leads us. At on this point where you view yourself, friends, family or our country as more superior to another it is most likely to cause conflict by Salva Kiir. Viewing Kenya as one unit instead of divided by invisible lines in name of Dinkas would be the way to ultimately go imaging all the people, living as one nation.
What are the dangers of nationalism?
The nationalism isn’t necessarily a force for good in our society. It has been used by unscrupulous people in positions of power ti whip up hatred and hysteria among the masses against certain groups that those in power deem undesirable. Take for example Nazi Germany. Hitler did these very things against the Jews, it happen today in Southern Sudan we have other Nazi Salva Kiir killing Nuers brothers in called blood
We cannot have nationalism take over because it will cause too many problems. In our history from Anya Nya one than Anya Nya two, Splm/nationalism has been tried several times and it has led to war today. There is no was that everyone can conform to one persons ideas and states, people do need to have a say and do need to be able to express their own opinions.
The best things can lead us unto the processes of nationalism it encourages pride in ourselves and all the country, our sense of responsibility to it and the other people across the nation wide who live in it, a responsibility to educate our kids and they contribute into development programme and society, please clean up after yourself to become a good leader, a sense of community and helping others, interest in our history from zero and preserving important building.
Please you can contact me by
UNITED NATIONS | By Michelle Nichols
The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday blacklisted six rival generals in South Sudan for “fuelling the ongoing conflict and contributing to the devastating humanitarian crisis” in the world’s newest state, the United States said.
The men, three from either side of South Sudan’s conflict, are the first to be listed by the Security Council’s South Sudan sanctions committee, which operates by consensus. They are now subjected to a global travel ban and asset freeze.
“As the members of the Security Council demonstrated today, those who commit atrocities and undermine peace will face consequences,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, said in a statement.
The United States, supported by Britain and France, made the U.N. sanctions proposal. The United States and the European Union have already imposed sanctions on some rival commanders.
South Sudan plunged into civil war in December 2013 when a political crisis sparked fighting between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and rebels allied with his former deputy Riek Machar. The conflict has reopened ethnic fault lines that pit Kiir’s Dinka people against Machar’s ethnic Nuer forces.
Thousands have been killed and millions displaced. Several ceasefires have been agreed but broken. Talks are set to resume in mid-July to try to end the conflict in South Sudan, which seceded from Sudan in 2011.
The Security Council has long threatened to blacklist anyone undermining security or interfering with the peace process in South Sudan. Kiir said in March that the threat of international sanctions would not keep him from retaliating against his rival.
The United States supported Kiir until it lost confidence in 2013. Washington hoped he could oversee a stable, oil-producing, majority Christian state allied to the West in contrast to neighbouring Muslim-led Sudan, which is hostile to Washington
“South Sudan’s political leadership has squandered the international goodwill that accompanied its independence and pursued political and economic self-interest that has produced only violence, displacement and suffering for the South Sudanese people,” Power said.
The men sanctioned on the government side are:
On the rebel side, the blacklisted men are:
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Luka Riek)
By Deng Lueth Yuang, Calgary, Canada
July 1, 2015 (SSB) —- Gone are those days when Kuol Manyang, John Garang and Jong Reng used to force our traditional Chiefs to give them every able-bodied boy to serve in the SPLA!
Gone are those days when Kuol Manyang used to conscript young boys, cattlemen and any other middle aged men into the rebel army –the SPLA.
Well, it wasn’t a bad thing at all. We were after all fighting a common enemy for a common cause with a common vision.
But now we lack common enemy, cause and vision. Secondly the young men are being forced against their will to do something that they haven’t decided to do so.
But amid all these turbulences, one thing stand out clearly – it does not matter how this young recruits from Bor are being recruited into the army. What matters is an army controlled, occupied and ran by Bor sons.
Time and time again, history has it that these conscripts will listen to their elders, chiefs and senior govt officials to do what they are expected to do. Even if they refuse at first hand, they will change their heart at last. But inside my ‘medulla oblongata’, I sense something unethical!
This brings me into asking these qns: a) why Bor who are numerically disadvantaged among the Dinka clans? B) Why initiating a forceful recruitment in the 21st century while you know very well that these young guys are politically aware more than before? C) Will you not regret if they say yes, but then turn their guns against you – defect or form their own rebellions?
[I have no doubt; that is why rebellion is habitual. There are no right people at the right places at the moment].
However, if this forceful recruitment taking place in Bor town under the auspices of one Dinka Bor general is something to go by, then I encourage all our able-bodied men to all become part of the South Sudanese army, not to go and fight the Nuers rebels but be a custodian of a sovereignty of South Sudan nation.
In my own recognition- assume if I were in Bor, can the mighty general force me into the army? Does he know where I came from and where I am going? This qn also applies to those being recruited into the army against their wills? Does he know what their intentions are? We live in a 21-st century where no one lives in darkness.
Each and every one of us knows what transpires in Juba! So do you think my brother who is going into the army, leaving his family behind and being send to Malakal to go and kill Shilluk and Nuer can do the fight for you, really? Really in this age,
Well in as far as I am concerned; there is one good thing that Bor sons never do – going against a good cause. But this time around, I support Malual Ayom decree for all able-bodied men and women to voluntarily or mandatorily join the SPLA. Why? Because it is latitude for political and military recognition in south Sudan at this hour of need. It is a deterrent factor to would-be enemies of our people.
Ber Moor Ben was formed last year, but it has not lived up to its name. It is taken to Malakal, and I guess by now they are ‘finished’. So this time around, never mind. Join it, take your guns, go back home and never go to Nuerland. Come back with those guns and form your military chain of command to counter Agwalek, Cobra, Mathiang Anyor, White army, and the Arrow Boys. We so badly need you to defend our Borland!
***I’m here for you***
Deng Lueth Yuang, the writer is a former primary, high school and academics in Kakuma Refugee Camp. He now lives in Canada as a scholar and humanitarian worker around the globe. He holds both BA and MA in Economics from University of Calgary, Alberta, CANADA. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
June 30, 2015 (JUBA) – The South Sudanese government has admitted losing the Upper Nile state town of Malakal, which fell to the armed opposition forces over the weekend.
Defense minister, Kuol Manyang said government forces pulled out of the strategic town to avoid damage and loss of lives, but were within the outskirts of Malakal.
“The rebels of Riek Machar are in Malakal”, Defence minister Kuol Manyang told reporters on Tuesday. Our forces are around Malakal”, he said, without much detail.
The defense minister was reacting to a question asking about general security situation in the country and who actually controlled the strategic oil-rich state capital.
Local officials and residents separately told Sudan Tribune that the armed fighters under the overall command of former government militia commander, Johnson Olony and forces allied to the former vice president Riek Machar under the command of General Gabriel Tanginye remain in control of the town and that government forces were only occupying areas within Lul bridge and some territories east of Akoka county.
Minister Manyang, however, assured the population that pro-government forces were capable of defending the young nation, including their abilities to take full control of Malakal “soon”.
The Upper Nile capital has changed hands several times between the South Sudanese army and the armed opposition forces since violence broke out in the country in 2013.
Tens of thousands of people have been killed and about 2 million displaced since fighting broke out in South Sudan as aid agencies warned of severe famine in coming months.
Posted: July 1, 2015
Press Release: WES Government Condemns Army brutality in Maridi
July 1, 2015, (SSB) — The WES Government would like to inform the citizens of Western Equatoria and the South Sudan public at large that it does not approve the on-going brutal army crackdown in Maridi which has been unpleased on the population by someone from Juba SPLA Headquarters.
Let the public judge from the recent WES Governor visit to the area and in that visit the Governor called on the pastoralists to adhere to the Presidential decree and move their cattle and people from the area to avoid the insecurity because it was clear the local residents cannot live in peace when there are animals and pastoralists encroaching on the same agriculture lands of the local population.
The events that ensured in Maridi was the result of the tension between the two groups which has been boiling for sometimes because cows go to the fields and eat up growing plantations. Indeed there was a grenade attack on a cattle camp at night. However it could have been also someone from the cattle raiders as they often fight one another to settle some previous scores. However regards of that the cattle raiders supported by some elements from the SPLA, on ethnic bases, took their revenge on the local population whereby town centre areas and settlement on Maridi-Rumbek road was vandalized and looted and up to 11 civilians killed.
Indeed some youth organised themselves to face off the marauding raiders who targeted even Government officials as well and tried to assassinate the commissioner of the town, Hon Wilson Thomas, whose house was ransacked by bullets with intention of killing him if he did not flee his house. Further the house of the Political advisor of WES was vandalised and looted when the SPLA was in the neighbourhood.
Our continued appeal for calm to the Army resulted in the case of one SPLA officer being identified by the Division Commander as behind the case of Army involvement in the case of pastoralists attacking local residents and the commander asked for the transfer of the SPLA officer to Lake State. However someone in Juba has sent more forces called SPLA commandos who have now gone to Maridi with the claim of quelling a non-existent rebellion while the case was between local resident sand pastoralists.
We understand this new force is now terrorising the citizen looking for every young men and arresting them and beating them asking them to show rebel camps and then targeting their families. More than 30 young men have been rounded up from villages and their families targeted and a lorry have come to Maridi to take these innocent young men to Juba for nothing.
WES Government condemns this brutal tactics of solving problems as one which will just alienate the population and increase insecurity and violence in WES at a time when we should have been preparing to celebrate our fourth anniversary and reduce the spread of violence to other peaceful areas of South Sudan. Would we like to destroy the whole country before we can achieve peace or would we really be trying to contain violence to where it already occurred so that at least the cost of building this country is minimal afterwards?
As such we appeal to Juba SPLA Headquarters to immediately withdraw the brutalising force from Maridi and Mundri and other areas so that violence is contained and do not spread further. All innocent detained youth should be freed and SPLA should only go after rebels and their camps if at all they are in WES, because rebels have bases and not picking innocent youths from their homes.
Hon Eng. Charles Barnaba Kisanga
WES Minister of Information and Spokesperson WES Government
Selflessness, Courage, Patience and Visionary: Rare Combinations of Unique Characters in a National Leader
By Kur Wel Kur, Australia
Kuol Manyang Juuk will Never Regret.
May 14, 2015 (SSB) —- Writing about people, places or about anything takes an interest. Some people become interested in their relatives and friends. Some admire places of their connections or places of their wishes and they write about them. While writing about exceptional people (regardless of any relationship) or about topics close to our hearts, tip-top the love of writing. I had picked up glittering nuggets in some people whose bloodlines never crossed mine and wrote about them on this site (Paanluel Wel). So I hope writing about Kuol won’t attract “accusations of being labelled as selfish”.
How I wish I were a microscopic brain-worm to wiggle myself in Kuol’s brain. To find his secrets of processing information, which makes him a daring decision maker. Mistakes and corrections characterise lives of leaders but what defines exceptional leaders is their fairness of letting the law/order takes its course regardless of other forces (friendship and blood relationship ). Toughness and softness describe humans; however, it depends where each falls: inside or outside. Those who exhibit toughness externally, are soft from inside. Their actions rely on gossips, friendships and relatives. But those whose toughness falls within them appear speechless in the faces of situations. Leaders with zipped mouths repel gossipers. They see problems in different angles and their solutions to problems bud the hopes for a better future.
Born to Manyang Juuk in Pathuiyith, Athoc’s section of Bor and Keth Kuor-reng (pronounced as Kureng) in Adol (Gak), Gok section of Bor, Kuol largely lived most of his childhood in his maternal home. His maternal uncle, Athiu Kuor-reng sent him to Akol-Ajak primary school. He got initiated at his paternal home (Pathuiyith-Mathiang). He spent his youthful years in school until the birth of SPLM/A, a liberation movement, he sacrificed all his souls (self, family and relatives). A movement that delivered The South Sudan.
Leadership requires courage and selflessness
Great leaders are courageous and selfless. To liberate a country is frustrating for everyone but directors of the liberation shoulder more loads than the rests. During the war of liberation, many of his friends and relatives got pruned in one way or another until he was left a lone stander like a desert tree, but his courageous and selfless character sustained him to this minute. How he handled the loneliness is what I am yet to know from him one day when he comes visiting the tombs of his maternal uncles in Gak.
Selflessness will save our country one day. Our country engages in a civil war because a few people are selfless and our economy is drowned by inflation because most of our leaders including those who are policing others in embezzlement are selfish. If we were to borrow some characters from Kuol, then his courageous and selfless characters of saying the truth and working for it (truth) would do us good. Legends observe their surrounding, but they listen more to their within-voices. I regard Kuol Manyang Juuk as a legend and some people if not many, share this realisation with me.
Exceptional leaders project their decisions beyond tomorrow
Proactive projection of decisions is visionary. Kuol in his area of jurisdiction guided the mission of liberation to the highest level of his abilities. In so doing, he acquired himself enemies, especially among his relatives and friends who felt neglected. This blame game exists to this very day. However, his nature of giving same treatments to all, is the foundation of his selfless character. With this character, he expects all around him to lift themselves off from the grounds of mediocrity to the majestic heights of excellence. As a great leader, he guides the results of the mission.
He and his likes (insert: Daniel Awet Akot) executed the idea of preparing our nation for the second phase of liberation: the war of illiteracy. Literacy cures the underdevelopment. With this fact in mind, he did his part in Upper Nile regions while Awet directed the mobilisation in Greater Barh El Gazal. They’re the fathers of young educated South Sudanese today. The thousands of graduates who strutted away with their degrees last week in The University of Juba are the testimonies of Kuol’s projections and executions. What’s left now, is bestowing responsibilities of the nation building and rewriting of the constitution to these graduates.
Staying true to his character of being exceptional and visionary, Kuol appointed a young educated man, Nicholas Nhial Majak Nhial as the first mayor of Bor town. His (Kuol) peers viewed his decision as naive and insulting to the elders but his projection aimed for the best of tomorrow. Many young peoples do appreciate his decision of employing young and energetic graduates because the fierce under development needs fresh and best minds. So incorporating the youth (graduates) into caring for the nation, not just in defence but also in policies making will surely galvanise our country in terms of development and defence.
An example of a dream come true was when trouble makers from Greater Pibor sneaked into the territory of Bor and disturbed the tranquility of the area. Nicholas Nhial as a mayor and the commissioner, Mameer Ruuk mobilised the youth and pursued the trespassers until they ran uncoordinated. They ran for their dear lives and with empty hands. To accomplish that mission, the mayor and commissioner lifted the morale of youth by being with them. And the fact that they (Mameer and Nhial) are young, determine the results.
Great leaders are patient
They can, sometimes, settle for less for the sake of the country. Kuol, in his military career, observes the principles of self-discipline and patience up to this moment. In the leadership curses in South Sudan, many appointees, weak-hearted self-proclaimed leaders and those who hung around great leaders as households have turned South Sudan a contesting club for leadership. However, Kuol waits for appointments from his senior, the president. He never preempted information or based his decisions on empty politics. You can recall the leaked news of his false appointment as the minister of defence in 2012. Many ill-wishers ran between the president and him, spreading lies, but he stood firm and rose above all odds of Juba’s rumors.
Negating the wisdom in this saying: ” Patience is the mother of cruelty”, I admire to write: Impatient is the mother of all rebellions. All rebels whether active, passive or undecided are impatient retards who keep dreaming of either bending or breaking the rules of harmonious societies. Some people may wonder about what causes impatience but greed feeds impatience. Selfishness grows and nurses greed.
In the rising and falling of our country, each of us is left to observe the greatest leaders, dead or alive. As he (Kuol) strikes among us, we cannot appreciate the breadths and depths of his exceptional leadership until hundreds years after this generation’s burial. This notion of seeing the importance of exceptional leaders after they left offices or left us because of their deaths, is a sickening weakness of human’s character. After the burial of Dr. John, before his corpse disintegrates, we cried rivers, asking God to raise him back to life so he could lead us but when he walked among us and preached the idea of “good governance”, we turned to him deaf ears and blind eyes.
To rest this article, public roar in excitement, voting in their most desired leaders into public’s offices; however, when those leaders fail, the public lose confidence in them; the public would boo them out of the public’s offices. Leaders cannot satisfy every voter, even the leadership saints such as Dr. John Garang retired to their graves with some people’s grievances. I assure you, no leader is perfect even Jesus, the healer, the redeemer, the manufacturer of miracles and the co-creator of the universe left us condemned.
In the same vein, Some people fume with anger at Honourable Kuol Manyang but when Kuol Manyang Juuk retires, he won’t regret because he offered all his strength and soul could afford for the betterment of South Sudan. As I write this note, I understand that no characters greater to be in a leader than selflessness, courage, patience and visionary. Kuol is a living testimony of these characters. I hope he can lecture in military academy (if the government initiates one) after his defence post.