Monthly Archives: December, 2013

What I knew Since March 2013

30/03/2013 12:06:38 م] Jo…: well two things could happen now, before elections (tell me if you also think this): SPLM stays together and Riek and Salva have a working relationship; or Nuer and Shilluk try to overtake Dinka leadership in SPLM and you have a big division and huge fight within SPLM/A

 [30/03/2013 12:07:42 م] James Diar: i am very much worried

[30/03/2013 12:07:47 م] James Diar: first:

[30/03/2013 12:07:59 م] James Diar: Riek is determined to stand for elections, he is right

[30/03/2013 12:08:11 م] Jo…: Riek is sure he wants to be president?

[30/03/2013 12:08:23 م] James Diar: yes he want

[30/03/2013 12:08:42 م] James Diar: there is no SPLM, there are Dinka and Nuer top generals supported by other small tribes

[30/03/2013 12:08:53 م] Jo…: but he possibly loses EVERYTHING if Dinka SPLM/A tear each other apart

[30/03/2013 12:09:03 م] James Diar: yes

[30/03/2013 12:09:07 م] James Diar: everything

[30/03/2013 12:09:17 م] James Diar: i am now campaigning for Riek

[30/03/2013 12:09:24 م] James Diar: not officially of course

[30/03/2013 12:09:38 م] James Diar: but in tea places, in beer places, in buses

[30/03/2013 12:09:41 م] Jo…: I see – I don’t have a preference, but tell me why Riek is a good choice

[30/03/2013 12:10:00 م] James Diar: because it will save the situation, no fight no more wars

[30/03/2013 12:10:09 م] James Diar: it is not because he is good

[30/03/2013 12:10:15 م] James Diar: but because i do not want war again

[30/03/2013 12:10:27 م] James Diar: among the Dinka and Nuer

[30/03/2013 12:10:39 م] James Diar: it is a time bomb

[30/03/2013 12:10:58 م] James Diar: it is also another dimension,

[30/03/2013 12:11:01 م] Jo…: I know that with the integration of SSDF, the biggest single ethnic group in SPLA now is Nuer

[30/03/2013 12:11:14 م] James Diar: not true

[30/03/2013 12:11:32 م] Jo…: leaders are still Dinka but largest proportion is Nuer no?

[30/03/2013 12:11:37 م] James Diar: maybe yes number of officers but not number of foot soldiers

[30/03/2013 12:11:51 م] James Diar: Numbers of officers Nuer are many

[30/03/2013 12:12:03 م] James Diar: so let talk of 50%

[30/03/2013 12:12:15 م] Jo…: well then perhaps it depends on the other groups

[30/03/2013 12:12:19 م] James Diar: but the confusion is not who is big in the army

[30/03/2013 12:12:21 م] Jo…: because nobody has a majority

[30/03/2013 12:12:38 م] James Diar: it is who can mobilize his tribes if war broke out

[30/03/2013 12:12:42 م] Jo…: but they will use the threat of force from the army for power, no?

[30/03/2013 12:12:52 م] Jo…: I see.

[30/03/2013 12:12:53 م] James Diar: both can easily mobilize their tribes

[30/03/2013 12:13:02 م] James Diar: no

[30/03/2013 12:13:11 م] James Diar: there is no army

[30/03/2013 12:13:24 م] James Diar: there are militias loyal to each commander

[30/03/2013 12:13:33 م] Jo…: yes, sure, agreed

[30/03/2013 12:13:51 م] James Diar: so Riek can gain in Unity, some parts of Jongeli, some parts of Upper Nile

[30/03/2013 12:14:14 م] James Diar: it is the old grudges of the Dinka vs. Nuer

[30/03/2013 12:14:22 م] James Diar: so i go for Riek for peace

[30/03/2013 12:14:31 م] James Diar: not because he is a good leader

[30/03/2013 12:14:43 م] James Diar: he is bad and worse than Kiir

[30/03/2013 12:14:45 م] Jo…: wait, because Dinka will not mobilize as much if Nuer is president?

[30/03/2013 12:15:07 م] James Diar: no problem

[30/03/2013 12:15:19 م] James Diar: it is a chance of each person

[30/03/2013 12:15:26 م] James Diar: it is the splm to decide

[30/03/2013 12:15:55 م] James Diar: if the splm failed to decide they are making doom fire for the people of south sudan

[30/03/2013 12:16:14 م] James Diar: Equatorian want the fight between these two tribes

[30/03/2013 12:16:32 م] James Diar: because they will need their numbers to go down

[30/03/2013 12:17:39 م] Jo…: it’s a difficult situation….

[30/03/2013 12:17:54 م] James Diar: very much

[30/03/2013 12:18:33 م] James Diar: so, if splm failed Riek, he will form a new party, and there will be heated contest in the elections or there will be no elections

[30/03/2013 12:18:59 م] Jo…: yes, I assume he will but then both Riek and Salva will have less power overall, no matter who wins

[30/03/2013 12:19:38 م] James Diar: yes, to rescue the situation

[30/03/2013 12:20:32 م] Jo…: so which way will the other groups fall? Towards Riek or towards Salva?

[30/03/2013 12:21:34 م] James Diar: So far, Equatorian has their own hidden agenda, they cannot make it known to other

[30/03/2013 12:21:50 م] Jo…: when you say ‘Equatorians’, who do you mean?

[30/03/2013 12:21:57 م] Jo…: Bari, Mundari?

[30/03/2013 12:22:03 م] James Diar: Bor will support Kiir to revenge on Riek and also to wait and grab power if Kiir failed

[30/03/2013 12:22:19 م] James Diar: Bari, and the three states of greater Equatoria

[30/03/2013 12:22:39 م] Jo…: aha

[30/03/2013 12:22:42 م] Jo…: ok

Is Riek better than Kiir?

Note: I was about to share this piece before the crises in South Sudan, we are there, South Sudan in abyss of tribal-ethnic conflict!

KiirvsRiek

“They are crying for the power and influence they have lost”!

There is no problem with Dr Riek to become the next President only that, he must show to public that he has the stake to lead this country. Dr Riek political history is very very noticeable, Riek the student political activist, Dr Riek the zonal commander for Western Upper and led the first expansion of the SPLM/A into Nuba Mountains, Dr Riek the 1991 splitters leader in search for democracy and good leadership within the rebel movement SPLM/A, Dr Riek the chairperson of Southern Sudan Coordination Council in Khartoum, Dr Riek the leader of the SSIM, Dr Riek the VP for both government of Southern Sudan and South Sudan. Vast history and stories in politics of South Sudan before independence and in the independence South Sudan, Dr Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon is a leader of the people largely the Nuer nation. He is very right to contest to become the President in the next general elections “doubted” for 2015, but the political circumstances that has unfolded during the last eight years, his chances are very gloomy, he is not widely accepted as the next leader of South Sudan nation. Dr Riek did not failed to do good things in his different capacities but his political history and stories have failed him. “Dr Riek is a traitor to the struggle case of South Sudanese people” you would hear Torit faction yells at you when you urge Dr Riek could be the next President. Regardless of what were his thoughts in 1991, that very history-story has held him persona non grata politically.

The literature written about Dr Riek misbehave in 1991 is huge “if all the things that were done by Jesus were written down, even the whole world could not hold this book” John 21:21, yes, orphans, widows and political rivals of 1991 and today are investing on the SPLM/A split of 1991 to block any attempt by Machar to be the President. The only way, is that Dr Riek leave the SPLM and form his own political party with his supporters. He has so many supporters, if he breakaway, he will safe South Sudan from falling into abyss of tribal conflicts.

Except for a naive person could believe that it was only Nasir faction which has committed atrocities and crimes against humanity in 1991, and that Torit faction didn’t committed the same atrocities. There are mad communities about Riek 1991 split and they are ready to set themselves a blast if Riek made it to Presidency. This is a result of a hatred mixed of his past deeds and tendency of supporting one’s tribal leaders with their appalling inabilities.

As for the so called Garang boys, “What comes around goes around”, Machar tried to correct things at first, but look at those boys (Aloor, Pagan, Taban, Gier) the list is long to include the boys from Equatoria and Bhar elgazal, they were not helpful, they were busy looting South Sudan in every corner, they were only attentive to hear SPLM Oyee chants from the politically-blind South Sudanese. Remember during the transitional constitution making process when Dr Machar “advocated for terms limit” as well as “limited powers of the president” but quest what, it was those of Taban, Pagan, Nyandeng, Gier, (Riek group now) who bluntly refused these suggestions and instead accused Machar that he was “eyeing” the top position, the Presidency! It is pathetic wickedness to this group to consider themselves better than Kiir, instead of this group advising President Kiir accordingly in the beginning, they were all engaged in hypocrisy, they were sabotaging, sitting pleasuring their statehood entitlements just to let Kiir mess up in an ill-keenness that they will grab the power from him when he is in total mess.

Practically, President Kiir politically has better qualifications to cling to power and in the course of doing that, many unintended messes will happen in fear of losing power. Kiir need absolute powers in the way Garang used to have absolute powers, he is not ready to listen to young people like Pagan because he is a big man, “monydit” or at least big brother. He listens better to Uncle Daniel Awet, Uncle Mark Nyipuoch, Uncle Bonadit, Uncles. And why not new Kiir boys like Garang boys? those of Paul Malong, Riziq Zecharia, Telar, Aleu, Dhieu and the long new list?

Leek Vs Jikany: a Resources Motivated Conflict

These two tribes of Leek in Rubkona and Jikany in Guit were engaged in deadly fights in 2007 leaving 21 people dead in spontaneous fights. The government led by former governor Lt. Taban Deng Gai a Jikany by tribe managed to quench the war temporarily. There were no resolutions put forth for the conflict to end, it was just daily doses of “do not fight, you are one people” or “this is the work of NCP!” or “wait the national government is planning to demarcate counties, communities borders, the problem will be solve soon and everybody will take its rights”. But there must be someone to pay the prices of the incidents to show that government or his Excellency the governor is serious, commissioner of that and this county is degreed out, dismissed!

In 2007, the two communities were asked to live peacefully side by side until the national government demarcates the tribal and clannish boundaries. Despite the promises to demarcate the boundaries, the boundaries were not demarcated and there are no signs of near future demarcations as long as the borders between South Sudan and Sudan are not demarcated.

Disputed areas by the two tribes:

Leek in Rubkona and Jikany in Guit have land problems with all their neighbors in the state. Leek have problem with Pariang to the north, and Guit to the east, they have problem with Koch in the south and Mayom in the west. Jikany of Guit has problems with Pariang in the north, with Rubkona in the west and Koch to south. These two communities have troubles all around, interestingly; they were under one chieftain and one county long time back. This joint history has contributed to complicating their conflict story. The conflict story goes like this: both communities calms ownership of these areas: 1) Yoaunyang Madersa 2) New Bentiu, south of Bentiu town, an extension of the town to accommodate the huge returnees to the state capital, 3) Suq Sabha, 4) Bentiu port.

Leek-Jikany conflict map

It is very clear that the two communities are mad for lands, more lands. However; there is no evident that the two communities were influenced by their politicians. Taban Deng Gai was the governor of Unity state when the two tribes fought in 2007, he managed to reprimand the two communities using the big man tone “stop fighting or I will wipe you all out of this land”! The two tribes obeyed the instruction especially when the instructions were mixed with the doses of promises that the borders demarcations between counties will solved the problem soon.

Another factor fueling this conflict is that, Bentiu port and Suq Sabha and Youanyang Madersa are good places for business; there is all kind of taxation in Bentiu port, the same thing for Suq Sabha, (7 market). For Youanyang, there is the Madersa, the school is a good reason to fight for here, New Bentiu is also good business place, the tribe who owns it can decide how to distribute plots to new comers and take the money.

Recent fighting has left 9 dead from the police and the SPLA and 3 from the Leek. No reports about how many have died from Jikany. Because the incident involved the security forces engaged fighting with the civilians, the reported number of victims are not convincing, there is lot of secrecy around the real number of death among the civilians as well as the soldiers. It was said in the town sittings that, there were 200 men armed to teeth who mobilized themselves to revenge on the killing of their fallen brothers on 19 November 2013 by Jikany.

As result of the fighting on 28/2013, Rev. Thomas Maluit, commissioner for Rubkona and Mr. James Liyliy governor security advisor for security affairs were dismissed from their positions.

Is the problem solved and finished? No, not solved and finish.

10 points about workshops in South Sudan

and so many workshops of the same kind again and again

Adventures by the White Nile

Anyone working anywhere in healthcare in South Sudan is likely to have extensive experience of workshops. These often duplicate content with other workshops, and more than more senior person has observed that we need to have less workshops and more action. My observations from those many workshops is as follows:

1. There will be at least 3 dignitaries who will open the workshop. They will start by saying ‘all protocols observed’. They will talk about how this workshop is crucial to the continuance of the human race. There is often an opening prayer.
2. The workshop will start late; very late in fact. The dignitaries will make it run later.
3. After an hour one of the cleaners will walk in with a crate of cold water bottles. She’ll walk round the room distributing them. Then she’ll do the same with cans of soda. No matter who is talking it…

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Yes, there are places here for Honeymooners

Yes, there are places here for Honeymooners

State Government Vehicles in the Business

Sire, can I rent your vehicle? How much can I pay? 5000 SSP, but that is a lot of money! Okay, how much would you afford to pay? I pay 500 a day. No, that is very little! Okay how much do you want, 1500 SSP without fuel. Fine, I will pay you that amount but including fuel”. Agreed! This is usual discussions with vehicle owners when engaged in renting a vehicle

Renting a vehicle is very difficult in Bentiu town; it always ends up getting prices that is not logic in many states capitals in South Sudan. Here, the owners of the few cars available are not only greedy, but they are crazy for money. Everything here is hard, very expensive for no good reasons.

Vehicle owners, those who own vehicle here are not local business people, men and women of Unity. There are very few local business people who can manage to buy vehicles. So who own these few vehicles in the town? Most of the vehicles in the town are owned by the most senior government in-officials and off-officials. Here is how it goes, when someone is appointed into government position like advisor, commissioner or a minister, s/ he is provide with a government vehicle, but s/he puts a private flat  number. So the vehicle bought for 200,000 and above is owned to a government appointed minister who stayed in office for a year and get relieved. How many relieved government officials, there are so many of them and all of them left with government bought vehicles. In one of the counties, the commissioner when relieved from his duties left with four county government vehicles and communications equipments. He is using those vehicles now in business to generate money for his big families.  Is there any pension for relieved government officials? Yes they are paid lot of money, but it was said that the reasons they go with the vehicles is that they are not given pensions after their work in the government, no, it is not true, they are paid very well.  

The minister takes the V8 with him, the commissioner take land cruiser hard top with him; they are lucky people, only the rich one.

Who else own vehicles in Bentiu, ah, it is Nyakek Company, and who is Nyakek? Nyakek is a company said to be owned by the former governor of Unity state Lt. General Taban Deng Gai, it has so many vehicles as a company of course.

Last week I was riding in a commissioner vehicle, it was rented to one of the NGOs, government flat number removed and so was numberless to cover the shame of renting a government out to NGOs. Last year in November I was asked by a friend to facilitate for his travels within the state, the man was from a small NGO from America and was interested in visiting the refugees camp in northern Unity state, I negotiated the cost from 5000 SSP to 1500 SSP, the man agreed to pay the amount but in few minutes later my friend called me to tell me that 1500 SSP is a lot of money and his boss in Juba cannot accept that and the contract must be cancelled. Well, the contract was cancelled but the vehicle owner left with 500 SSP advance paid. I learned later that it was one of the directors of one of the state commissions who allured my friend with low prices. The director promised to lend his vehicle for 1000 SSP including fuel and a good driver.

You need to know more, ask GPOC and Sudd oil companies in Unity and Thar Jath oil fields they will tell you where and who own those vehicles they are renting for their staff, they will tell you that this car is rented from the agent of former minister of health, former minister of education, former minister of agriculture, and the list goes to include director generals, county commissioners.

The bad one, the police car, the only police ever car in Guit County is very busy every afternoons and evenings transporting people to and from the county to Bentiu town. A UN donated car turned into a public transport mean. Not only Guit who is doing this, all the counties does.

When is it going to stop, using government vehicles for personal uses? “No, no it is not going to stop soon, I don’t know when but I am sure it is not going to start with us those who are in this government, why us?” a ministers disputing the idea of government stopping buying and donated vehicles to individuals.