Commentary

The future of South Sudan

justin_laku
Justin Laku

On January 9th, 2005, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement (SPLA/M) and the Khartoum regime (NIF) signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in Kenya, after twenty three years of Sudan’s second civil war; one which took over two millions lives and internally displaced more than six million people. The civil war in the Sudan is one of the Africa’s longest, bloodiest and most inflexible conflicts.

Civil wars have been fought in Uganda (1981-86), Ethiopia (1974-91), Rwanda (1990-94), Liberia (1990-93), and Mozambique (1980-93). These were expressions of oppressed or excluded groups fighting their way from the periphery into power at the center to free themselves from oppressive rule by those who had been controlling the center.

In Southern Sudan, power sharing has been absent with regards to the separation of religion from the state, sharing of the natural resources, equality and justice among the Sudanese people.

Despite the CPA, power is still centralised in Khartoum and another point of tension and conflict is the identity of Sudan as an African nation. Despite Sudan being geographically located in Africa and mority of its population are Africans, majority of power is held a minority of its population who are Arabs.

The above are the main reasons behind the first and the second civil wars in 1950s, 1960s, and 1983s.

However, in the four years since the SPLA/M assumed power in Southern Sudan, the security situation has not seen significant improvement. The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)'s military activities are still active in Central and Western Equatorial States. The Government of the South Sudan (GoSS) has failed to protect its citizens, and has been unable to disarm the Dinka tribesmen who continue to fight with Central, Eastern, and Western Equatorial civilians in Magwi County, Nimule, Yei, Yambio, and other part of Great Equatoria.

Most of the GOSS cabinet, deputies ministers, attorney generals, as well as the senior officers in the police force, prisons, military, civil and foreign service are from the Dinka tribe, including founder of the SPLA/M and the president of the South Sudan.

Dinkas in the SPLA constitutes the largest portion of the military personnel within the movement. The Dinka are able to use their domination to suppress other Southern Sudanese tribes instead of sharing the power with them just as Arabs did before 2005.

The Dinka's  plan appear to be to gain control over the natural resources of South, to rule over the rest of the South, kill, and imprison anyone or group who opposes the ill-conceived notion of “Dinka Born to Rule.”


The classic example is the appointment of hard-line proponent of Dinka nationalism Abel Alier as a ‘born to rule advisor’ to Salva Kiri Mayardit, for the purposes of implementing the policy of Dinka domination over others tribes.

Since the beginning of 2009, Eastern & Central Equatorial civilians have been killed, the Great Equatorial girls and women have suffered rape. The SPLA high officials have been appropriating Central & Eastern Equatorial lands and selling them to Somalian businessmen - leaving the land owners homeless and displaced. The culture of corruption is rampant with development money leaving South Sudan and end up in the foreign accounts in Canada, the U.S.A, Europe, and Australia.

The pattern of events is symptomatic of the lack of good governance and leadership within the SPLA/M. The GoSS has failed in educating the public in the importance of the democracy, fair elections, good governance whose components include accountability, legitimacy, democracy, equality, inclusiveness, transparency, coherency (conflict resolution), effectiveness and efficiency, and rule of law. The SPLA/M under the Dinkas regime have practiced democratic tribalism to gain greater power, rather than serve all of South Sudan through good governance. The international community and the donor states must intervene before it is too late.

With regards to the future of South Sudan and the referendum on sovereignty of the South; there appear to be two possible lines of development. One possibility is that the Dinkas’ partnership and cooperation of the NIF confers authority and power with the Dinkas to rule the South. The second possibility is that the bid to block the referendum in South succeeds, and the South remains part with the North. However, indications on the ground suggest that the referendum will take place but is not likely to be fair. In this case, civil war is likely to be the outcome.

Policy recommendations:

What could be done to rescue the situation in the South Sudan? Donor states must put pressure on the SPLA leadership to implement their commitments to good governance and full representation of all Southern Sudan tribes in the GoSS;

The European Union (EU), the International Criminal Court (ICC), the human rights organizations, the US State department, and the United Nations human right commission, must form a South Sudan-Fact Finding Mission Human Rights Committee to investigate the crimes committed against the great Equatorial citizens;

The rights of the victims must be protected, and those committing crimes against humanity be brought to justice. All the lands taken by force from the great Equatorial must be giving back to their owners.

“The racial theory brought Hitler and his friends to conclusion that the Germans as the only fully valuable nation, must rule over other nations. The English, racial theory brings Churchill and his friends to the conclusion that nations speaking the English language, being the only fully valuable nations, should rule over the remaining nations of the world."

The same theory brought Salva Kiir Mayardit and his friends to conclusion that people speaking Dinka language are the only people worthy to rule over the remaining of the South Sudan. Donor states and the international community at large must take these recommendations seriously.

What South Sudan needs is an understanding and realization of the Baganda concept of edbemde ery’obuntu - the democracy of freedom for a community and its individual members to be treated in a humane and civil manner. This would include freedom from severe political or social disorder, freedom for ordinary individuals to have their complaints and opinions heard by those in power, and fair and equal treatment by authorities.

Equality of treatment is paradoxically based on the disorder and injustice
produced by inequality.

Justin Laku lives and studies in Ottawa. You can reach him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." ' + path + '\'' + prefix + ':' + addy88487 + '\'>'+addy_text88487+'<\/a>'; //-->

(Editor's note: While New Sudan Vision respects everyone's opinion on Sudanese issues, the editor requests that contributors air their views while making sure their opinions contribute to togetherness rather than divisiveness)

Jonglei depopuplates due to insecurity

miyar1
Miyar is New Sudan Vision contributor
The sad days of intimidation of loved ones are not totally gone in Jonglei state. The state government has tried to step up to disarm, demilitarize, disintegrate and reintegrate all those militias undercover of gun possessions to no avail.

Insecurity still thrives to date in the state. It is time for the Government of Southern Sudan and the state governments to extricate crime perpetuated against innocents, who are not part of theft or arm possessions, but victims of cattle rustling and individual greed.

In principle, the Sudan People Liberation Army (SPLA) and Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) have failed to implement the task before their infant nation if the looming hope for secession proceeds in 2011.

GoSS should be in a position to secure the innocent people it has been licensed to govern. One of the issues that stands out explicitly is the insecurity. How is Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) prepared if it cannot implement and control internal insecurity?

It should be realized that charity begins at home. SPLA and GoSS should be very restrictive to bring insecurity to zero before the hardest task with their counterpart in the coalition government of Sudan.

The most important gift on earth is the gift of life. If one loses a member of his family be it  through natural death or organized murder, one would love to revenge unless death it was natural. I think State governments, GoSS and SPLA should stand up to alleviate these kind of crimes perpetuated against the innocents.

First, it should implement a stringent disarmament program that will restrict and retrieve guns from illegal owners. This task requires comprehensive approach and collaboration of GoSS, SPLA and State governments so that no state, county, tribes, families and individuals are left out. I think all criminals are well known in their respective communities. Holding state governments, county commissioners and community leaders accountable is the best approach to eliminate insecurity.

GoSS is a government composed of paradigm structures that will assist in watering down those crimes. The community leaders together with their commissioners should ensure that everyone is counted either in SPLA or police unit. If anyone is not having a unit then he/she must go home.

Second, SPLA should step-in to rescue the situation because insecurity has been going  on since CPA was signed in 2005. Southern Sudan is now moving toward secession, but if such upheavals cannot be controlled, they are going to have negative repercussions on governance.

Nobody under any circumstance should be allowed to possess guns if not in SPLA. I think it should be a merit of SPLM, fighting for peaceful campaign and sanctity for every life.

Third, the government should give incentives to local people since poverty struck Southern Sudan during civil war. Development is not going as expected. Insecurity itself is the stumble block to local communities accessing development. Incentives to improve agriculture and small businesses will create jobs, thus, leading to engagement of these criminals who do not have anything.

I think most of the crimes perpetuated are committed by youth, who do not have access to resources, remaining idle and resorting to cattle rustling and theft. Therefore providing incentives to them will reduce insecurity.

Finally, GoSS should introduce gun registry. This legislation will empower SPLA to have jurisdiction over gun possessions. The law will outcasts and ousts these perpetrators to restrain from illegal killing for the sake of getting cattle and abduct ing children, who are not their own. Therefore, SPLA, GoSS and state governments should put this priority to reduce arm robbery crimes in the nation by implementing stringent disarmament, disintegration, demilitarization,  and provie development incentives and hold the government and everyone accountable. These measures will reduce insecurity if we get involved in the task, not only for our government but the good citizens who love Southern Sudan to prosper and flourish in the 21st century for next generations to inherit good deeds.

Miyar De’Nyok is a Sudanese student in University of Waterloo. You can reach him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

South Sudan government needs to regulate employment in public and private sectors - I

agou
Agon Wuoi is a contributor to The New Sudan Vision
(Juba) - If a foreigner or someone who has never been to Southern Sudan or Juba in this particular respect arrives in Juba or any other major town in Southern Sudan, he/she will think his flight or whatever means of transport he used has been diverted to the Ugandan capital Kampala or somewhere in Kenya, Eritrea, Somalia or Ethiopia.

From the man who cleans the street, to those who push trolleys at the airport, to cab drivers (including bus and “senke” drivers), to foremen, to those running local newspapers, to those holding senior positions in both local and international non-governmental organizations, to those managing the lucrative restaurants and hotels businesses in Juba; to the executive secretaries to the ministers, chairpersons of commissions and corporations; all are foreigners 

One wonders how a country where nearly 90% of its population lives on less than a dollar a day hopes to alleviate poverty and promote self-reliance if it does not create or safeguard jobs opportunities for its citizens!

The most idiotic thing any government can do is to even allow foreigners to work in public institutions such as the ministries, commissions and corporations. Only technical experts (after thorough investigations about their background) should be allowed to work in the government institutions. This is because we need to uphold our national security at all cost!

Of course, it has long been argued that because of the two-decade long civil war and the long history of Arab domination, unfavourable and segregative policies and uneven development initiated by the British and subsequently perpetuated by the northern ruling elites, that “Southern Sudan lacks adequate and skilled manpower.”

 This is the argument that many companies (both owned by Sudanese as well as foreigners) and NGOs used to discriminate against Southern Sudanese seeking employment to justify their decisions to favour employing foreigners over Southern Sudanese.

Ironically, the so-called educated foreign nationals are not actually educated and if they were, why then are they not employed in their home countries?

Many of them have forged university degrees and college diplomas as it was recently revealed by the media in Kenya and Uganda. Many of them especially those working in the private sector cannot even speak good English yet they continue to be employed at the expense of young Sudanese graduates!

While this school of thoughts may be right to a limited extent, it will be naïve as much as it is irresponsible and immature to continue to hold this view even when many Southern Sudanese graduates from Khartoum, East Africa, Australia, The United States of America, Canada and the rest of the world cannot be employed in the private companies or nongovernmental organizations in Southern Sudan.

As such many of them opt to work with the government which does not pay well and which cannot employ everyone. Those who are frustrated return to western countries (where they were granted asylum as refugees) such as the US, Canada and Australia where many of them do not have decent jobs but are guaranteed employment at the end of day and can earn a living.

Another argument that is being peddled around by owners and managers of business establishments and the NGOs is that Southern Sudanese are difficult people to deal or work with.

Some of these owners and managers claim that Southern Sudanese lack work ethics. “Many Southern Sudanese are indolent, they are arrogant, and they are not punctual and are not obedient, they do not submit to the authority” and the list goes on and on.

 This is one of the most nonsensical arguments and clear case of stereotyping that must be dismissed with the contempt that it deserves.

The whole of Sudan enjoys relative peace and stability today because of the hard work of Southern Sudanese who refused to become second class citizens in their own country and fought hard for more than 50 years for what they believed is rightfully theirs, and they achieved it, through the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

It is unfortunate that these Southern Sudanese who fought hard are yet to enjoy the fruit of their hard work because their government has allowed foreigners to run the show.

The implications of this trend are many and varied. First, we are encouraging poverty and promoting overdependence on the government as the main source of employment. This is not practical. The government cannot employ everyone. Those who cannot be employed by the government will have to be employed in the private sector and such employment must be regulated by the government.

If Southern Sudanese graduates cannot be employed in the private sector and missed being employed in the government then they become jobless and this will increase unemployment.

These young men and women will not earn a living to support their families as well as themselves. They will therefore resort to crimes to make a living as demonstrated by rampant and rising cases of crimes and insecurity in Juba town and elsewhere in Southern Sudan.

The recent xenophobic attacks against foreigners in South Africa were caused by the feeling among the South Africans that the foreigners were taking over jobs that were supposed to be done by the South Africans themselves.

More than 50 immigrants mainly from Zimbabwe, Malawi, Botswana and other South Africa’s neighbouring countries were killed.

Political analysts attributed the xenophobic violence to a range of factors, including high unemployment, porous borders, one of the world's highest crime rates, poverty, police and government corruption, ineffective service delivery and an inept foreign policy in regard to resolving Zimbabwe's political impasse.

DECLARE South Sudan independence NOW!

jaanyar

Anyar Ngang is the moderator for Rally for South Sudan Independence website

(Edmonton AB, Canada) - I have been contemplating about writing this topic for a long time. But something keeps me from writing it. One of the days I went to bed at 12:00 midnight and I dreamt in my sleep that South Sudan had declared unilateral independence, and it had been recognized by a dozen nations in the region and internationally.

So when I awoke there was no such news, and I guess my brain was screwed.

Now what? I would get into my favourite subject of all subjects in the world of politics today (South Sudan independence). Though politic is not where I am good at, I would try my best to put my ideas into intellectual perspective.

Nowadays if you listen to news coming out of Southern Sudan, and you do really care about that land, you feel depressed and demoralized. There South Sudan has the right to self declare Unilateral Independence and they haven't been able to do so.

If you have been listening to news coming out of South Sudan, it's depressing and demoralizing. There is tribal feud all over South nagging on every issue that arises.

For me, that is a bad taste. I would want a government which is tough and decisive on issues coming out of post war Sudan. In Southern Sudan today, anybody can do anything they want and they know they will get away with it. Why? Because there is no rule of law. Government is there nominally. They are not doing anything per se. You are stabbed in the back several times, slapped in the face 4 times and and nothing is done about it, until the daywhen you fall and collapse.

Have I bored you?  OK I promise I'll be done here. Here is what I want; GOSS should declare the independence of South Sudan now. Why am I advocating on this subject only?

It is because I want South Sudan to stand on its own feet without support from a third party. Today South Sudan can be pushed down from its unstable feet by the Sudan government. If we declare unilateral independence today, we will have a lot of benefits and solve our own problems too.

The benefits of unilateral independence are:

  • Stable South Sudan

  • Independent economy

  • Freedom from oppression

  • Constitutional right 

However, there would be problems that we would have to tackle, for instance:  

  • Tribal feuds

  • Corruption

  • Lack of qualified civil servant

Yet, all of the above problems would need tackling from day one of independence but am not worried about them, because we are already dealing with them. As long we get the benefits above, then am not going to spend my time worrying about them because we can solve them without interference from a third party (Sudan Government).

In addition, the Government of Sudan today is at it weakest point in their 20 years of mismanagement and genocidal war against the south. Today they are cornered and they are trying to survive. They are saving their regime from collapsing. But who is helping them to survive today? 

My guess would be GOSS,  would that be fair to say?

I hate to say that but then I would not like to shut up either because I belong to the South and am entitled to my opinion. If the GOSS declares unilateral independence, the GOS would be cut off from interfering in the South. They would not be able to support militias because they will have no supply lines.

There will be no southern politician hiding in Khartoum claiming to be representing us while he's there promoting personal agendas and begging for welfare money.

Are you with me? I'm coming to conclusion. GOSS is not capable of toppling GOS, so self declaration of independence should be the solution to the South Sudan. We will still have problems of Abyiei and Blue Nile, Nuba Mountain. However, they are already problematic, but I guess GOSS has lose grip of those areas already and GOS is spreading deeper southward ( Malakal).

Let me say , we will  get into that solution when we are free but not when we are squeezed southward which is the joy of GOS.

Furthermore, we will try referendum in those areas of Abyiei, Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains, and if voting does work, we will fight as two independent nations.  We will lock in all the militia leaders and grumpy politicians in the south.

Above all we will be free. We will be moving to one direction. We will blame ourselves for our mistakes instead of pointing fingers to others. FREEDOM is not free, you fight for it. You earn it.

*Anyar Ngang is the moderator for Rally for South Sudan Independence website. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Egypt: Standing by Sudan

gamal-nkrumah
Gamal Nkrumah is a contributing editor to Al-Ahram Weekly, where he writes regularly on Sudan
As unfavorable ideas go, this one is a corker, as far as Egypt is concerned. The choices that confront Sudan preoccupy Egypt. One danger, for both Egypt and Sudan, lies in failing to think clearly about short term and long term. In the short term, peace in Darfur is a priority for both Egypt and Sudan. In the long term, Sudan's territorial integrity and national sovereignty are at stake. "Egypt seeks peace and we don't have a hidden agenda," President Hosni Mubarak declared. Egypt proposed a United Nations conference to discuss the ICC indictment of Bashir, even though the Sudanese government declined Cairo's bid on the pretext that it might lead to the internationalisation of the issue.

"We are only concerned about Sudan's interests and the welfare of its people," Mubarak stated categorically. He dispatched Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul- Gheit and General Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman to the Sudanese capital Khartoum to discuss the latest crisis concerning the International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrant for President Omar Al-Bashir. Egyptian officials concur that the primary purpose of Egypt's solidarity with Sudan is to advance the interests of the "two fraternal neighbouring states," as Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the People's Assembly Mustafa El-Feki told Al-Ahram Weekly.

Southern Sudan is rich in economic resources, which attracts Western and Asian, especially Chinese, interests out to make a quick kill. With this in mind, Egypt understands the gravity of the threat that faces Sudan. Peacekeepers have a deplorable record in Sub-Saharan Africa. Their failure to protect civilians from ill-disciplined government troops and pro-government militias is proverbial. In Sudan the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) has so far kept a relatively low profile. Some 1,500 Egyptian troops are currently stationed in Darfur, even though certain Darfur armed opposition groups objected to the Egyptian participation in UNAMID, most notably the Justice and Equality Movement and the Sudan Liberation Army. Egypt was one of the first countries to send its UNAMID contingency to Darfur.

In the turbulent aftermath of the ICC indictment of Sudanese President Al-Bashir the future of the hitherto buoyant Sudanese economy may be in jeopardy. "This is the last thing Egypt wants. Egypt would like to see a prosperous, politically stable and peaceful Sudan," El-Feki explained. "Egypt is poised for participating positively in Sudan's economic uplift."

"As far as Egypt is concerned, the indictment of President Al-Bashir by the ICC would have a detrimental impact on the Sudanese economy. That is neither in the interest of Sudan nor Egypt," El-Feki added.

Sudan, together with Egypt, would like to see the international community assist the Sudanese economy. Western donors have dramatically reduced humanitarian assistance to Sudan. "Egypt is at the forefront of supporting nation building in Sudan," El-Feki told the Weekly. "Sudan constitutes the strategic depth of Egypt and is key to its water security and potentially for its food security too. Sudan's agricultural potential is tremendous and yet untapped. Egypt is prepared to step up its agricultural investment in Sudan. And, we are prepared to work with representatives of all the various Sudanese groups and regions. If the southern Sudanese people decide to secede, we are ready to accept and respect their choice. If they decide to stay within a federal Sudan, we will back them. Among numerous joint ventures, we have established a branch of the University of Alexandria in the southern Sudanese capital of Darfur."

The cost to Sudan of withholding aid might be high at a time of global penny- pinching. But the consequences of inaction will be far higher. It is against this backdrop that Egypt is prepared to help Sudan in any fashion the Sudanese people require.

Sudan is bracing itself for a big bang and a perfect storm. The country stands at the crossroads. This is a testing time for the current and future administrations of Sudan, and Egyptian officials are acutely conscious of the Sudanese conundrum and are at pains to explain that they would back whatever decisions the Sudanese people adopt.

If push comes to shove, managing a potentially tricky Sudanese transition will not be easy. Moreover, it would be a protracted affair and may prove awkward for both Egypt and Sudan. For all these reasons, Egypt assumes its responsibilities to drive forward this necessary new Sudan. Tacit agreement to do nothing would be dangerous for both neighbours.

There are other reasons for caution. The need for dialogue between all the rival Sudanese factions is pivotal. "It is for this reason that Egypt attempts to maintain close contacts with all the various political groups, both government and opposition," El-Feki stressed. "At the same time we should work on initiatives to drive forward a more productive, more democratic Sudan," he concluded.

Egypt may not have much leverage over Sudan, but a rift in bilateral relations between Egypt and its neighbour to its immediate south will be detrimental to both countries.

The balkanisation of Sudan will come at a time when Egypt can least afford it. "But this is a question for the Sudanese people to determine."

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