Monday December 11, 2017

South Sudan is in Jeopardy, But Who is to Blame?

An insider’s view on current burning issues and post-election upheavals in South Sudan

The ongoing escalations and tensions between Gen. George Athor’s (an independent candidate for Jonglei State’s gubernatorial during the April elections) forces and President Salva Kiir’s SPLA forces is causing stir and political uncertainty over the future of our-would-be-country comes January 2011. President-elect Salva Kiir had run a formidable campaign (though many pundits tainted the election as a mere zero democracy due to lack of fairness in some locations around the country) against his weakened challenger Dr Lam Akol which amounted to the former’s landslide victory. Is president-elect yet again running a race against George that is going to risk our choice of referendum next year? Does he mean to win against Athor with the same sizable margin? For the first question, you be the judge; but for the second question, the answer is definitely NO!   At the current phase of CPA implementation, no one could deny that we are at war with Northern Sudan’s Islamic Front (NIF), a political version one that Kiir, Athor, and Akol have fought too much for; militarily for the sake of our freedom during the past quarter of this century. They fought that military version of North-South Sudan war so much with dignity and pride and nobody will question their capabilities to lead our country.  Knowing that we fought that lengthy war to liberate our people and realizing that our country is only one step closer to independency, we need to be careful with our missteps which can derail our country in the last minutes. We need to stop infighting among ourselves, and we must understand, we only grow stronger through our differences not our sameness. Every party (SPLM, SPLM-DC, as well George Athor) must understand that Southerners were massacred by Islamic Regime and those dignified men, women and children who perished during those years cannot be forgotten because of a short term interest called Leadership.  The irony is that President Kirr, Dr. Akol, and George Athor seemed to try perishing the left over from Islamic Regime by their careless act. So long as we have enough people in this country willing to fight for their rights from the Islamic Regime, we cannot afford to have enough number for infighting among ourselves. Then if President Kiir, Dr. Akol, and George Athor are involving in the killing of the people they are leading, scattering us for infighting within, then what is the point of becoming a leader? President Kiir, Gen. George Athor, and Dr. Lam Akol are accountable for the current situation we are in, one way or the other depending on whichever way you looked at the situation on the ground now but among these three leaders with this much soiled hands in the current jeopardy, who is responsible for mess? Someone may ask.

Well let me break it down in details and I’ll let you be the judge.  Firstly, Dr Lam Akol  abandoned his post as foreign minister, appointed to that position by Kiir’s SPLM party as a part of Unity government’s CPA implementation, but instead for Dr. Lam Akol to wait for political result and resolve within SPLM party, then Dr. Lam rushed to sideline himself and as a result formed SPLM-DC (although he might have shared the same despair and sentiment as many people in our country who have been upset by SPLM is cruelty and selfishness actions led by selfish leadership called SPLM POLITICAL BUREAU). Dr. Lam formed SPLM-DC for only one reason:  He was not comfortable with the structure of the SPLM leadership, which he understood very well, and gaining a leadership within the party of such calibre near the future is of high uncertainty for him. He formed SPLM-DC to threat SPLM main stream in order to gain a political favour in the future. If Dr. Lam Akol has had to value what he had fought for since 1983, rather than devaluing it, he would have to wait until our country gain independency in January 2011 and keep our unity so intact. Dr. Lam could have understood our country’s political messes due to the fact that we have anti-Southern Sudan elements within the GoSS who are eager to destruct CPA for their own political benefit. He should have kept his anger to overthrow, his greedy to lead, his attitude to blackmail within himself until the time is right and leave those so called Political Bureau alone with their fraudulent behaviour until the southern civilians bring them to books.

Secondly, President Kiir is a very responsible person who is committed to do what he fought for since 1983, which is fighting for the right of the marginalised and acquiring Southern Sudan’s independency. He committed to fight for his beliefs, but there are three important things that Kiir’s ADMINISTRATION including SPLM POLITICAL BUREAUCRACY fails to understand. First of all, the administration should identify those who are committed for the cause of our freedom. The SPLM should be very cautious about who hold the position among SPLM loyal members at the moment. SPLM should select those who are loyalty to the nation of Southern Sudan, rather than BROTHER HOOD. It is not about BROTHER HOOD POLICY, it is about team works, who understand our cause, and are responsible to lead us to get our independent and so on. The team who understand the government is for the people by the people, and work for people. Next, Kiir’s administration took a very concrete step by boycotting federal elections in the northern states, but Kiir’s administration fails to acknowledge the consequences of the results of Southern Sudan elections. What is missing, to me there shouldn’t be any election in Southern Sudan as well. What I am trying to argue here is not a vacuum of bottomless nature, it’s what I always said whenever I’m talking to some of my Sudanese political pundits regarding the political consequences and results after the elections and indeed it did happen as we acknowledged, but I failed to put it forward before elections due to huge volume of my school work. Not only may I be excused for my school work, but many people also including myself are not always happy of causing the stir, if it has blind-sided many people. What I’m trying to stress out is that, sometimes I like to forecast what’s ahead of me, but I am not always interested in something that would haunt me or my fellow southerners down, which would lead people to say: “Bayak, you are fuelling the problem, Why don’t you leave it as it is?” at the current state, Our future is already in jeopardy, and we could be very careful about any released information or something that would make it more worst.

Now, let me come back to my point. SPLM should not allow the elections in Southern Sudan at all for two reasons. 1) They already implemented that SPLM candidates are already winners anyway, whether they are defeated or not. Then, if it is already planned, why do the SPLM put our country at risk by wasting resources, intimidating other voters and independent candidates etc? The only way to avoid this chaos could have been to suspend the elections in all levels and reinstate their candidates rather leaving these big wounds within us. Now, the SPLM as a party has got a lot to answer for, which they created as a result of their deceitful act. They must present a concrete solution to Southern Sudan people by telling them what they think is right for them not what will jeopardise their future. They should promise people what their plans are after the referendum and whether the elections will take place within a month after the referendum or not. 2) Southern Sudanese are not rushing for elections; they are rushing to get their independent. We could not act carelessly after the last minutes while we act carefully for more than 50 years to get our country from ruthless dictatorship regime. Therefore, being promised to be patient for about a year (without having elections) in exchange for independent South wouldn’t be a problem to us if SPLM did put that on the table.  Now, the consequences of our country are on stake. Our country is in jeopardy because of election results as I mentioned earlier. Then, if we fail to get our independent next year due to ongoing bitter conflicts among ourselves caused by careless acts and individual greed, our late founding fathers  will put the blame on us particularly our present founding fathers or leaders, that include the three leaders mentioned earlier on with deep involvement in the mess. But the only way to keep their promise is to have a strong unity and promising ourselves that we will not flag or fail, we will go on to the end, we will fight in that war and defend our land whatever the cost may be. We will fight on the beaches, we will fight on the landing grounds, we will fight in the fields and in the streets of the enemy; we must never ever surrender to the Islamic Regime. That is the true genius of Southern Sudan.

Thirdly, George Athor contested as an independent candidate for Jonglie governorship but lost dreadfully to SPLM candidate’s current Jonglie governor-elect Kuol Manyang Juuk, a lost widely claimed in many in South Sudanese media as SPLM is favour of Kuol Manyang Juuk. Like Kiir and Akol, George Athor has been a known and an integral part of SPLM policies since 1980s; therefore, his current rebellion could be attributed to his understanding of some of the SPLM’s policies of fear mongering, political isolation, nepotism, greed and favouritism but unlike his political bureau counterparts (whose BROTHER HOOD POLICIES are so legalised that even a losing candidate was wrongfully declared a winner in Unity State, just for the sake of friendship rather than voters choice), George was an ordinary man who value ordinary people’s life and can understand people with ease no matter which way they are politically affiliated. But If Gen. George Athor was such a statesman, he would have not used force to attack SPLA in Jonglie state because he would have understood that the conflict between his forces and SPLA forces will distract us from referendum, which is the interest of the ordinary folks. Gen. George Athor fails to recognise this fact because his only interest is about governorship of Jonglie, instead of interest of the people of Southern Sudan that he fought too long for during the ugly years of Sudanese Civil War and this destroyed his credentials as a statesman. A man who fights harder for his interests rather than for the rights of his people has no place in Southern Sudan. You become a champion by fighting one more round. When things are tough, you fight one more round until you are rewarded for your hard work. Now things are escalating badly in Southern Sudan as a result of individual interests, what is the next step our government will take to calm our nation from this looming crisis they cooked? Recent answers to this question in the GoSS part showed a desolating future. If the SPLM government believed that the government is for the people, by the people and work for the people, then they should do something concrete to get our country away from this current crisis before it’s too late. They should start by urging all the Southerners who are aiming to get our country from our enemy not to engage with that selfish act. Let Gen. Athor and SPLM deal with it, and let them find the solution for it in a way that would not break even a single toe nail, simple and clear.

In conclusion, our country is in jeopardy, accountability would be laid upon those with tainted hands in the mess. Southern Sudanese have the right to know the culprits because they do not want to have a defiled image as a result of infightings caused by individuals with reckless history. What the history will remember is not the ideals we were fighting for but the methods we used to accomplish them. These methods will be compared to the warfare of the NIF who ruthlessly killed every last inhabitant of us.

May God bless you all and may God bless this Land
Bayak Dak Guandong*

NOTE: The Opinions expressed herein are entirely for the author of the article. The Upper Nile Times has no authority on the contents published here.

Bayak Dak Guandong

Is Editor-in-Chief and managing director of The Upper Nile Times.

The Upper Nile Times is a parent company of and He can be reach at or

Filed in

The Nuer traditional Time: Social life and culture in Southern Sudan

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