Saturday November 25, 2017

STEPHEN PAR KUOL: South Sudan in the Image of Salva Kiir

After half a century of armed struggle by successive generations of our people, the Republic of South Sudan was founded with optimistic and euphoric celebration on July 9, 2011. The flag of the nascent nation was hoisted with tearful hysteria. It was like daydreaming, but in real life, we became a sovereign geopolitical entity under the international law. The new geopolitical creation changed our national identity in earnest. Our new nation became the Republic of South Sudan and we then became South Sudanese (not Southern Sudanese). Paradoxically, the new country we all created with blood, bullets, ballots, sweats and tears has been turned into a slaughterhouse for us (the humans) in no time. Subsequently, the Republic of South Sudan has become a failed state by all conventional definitions of the term. Among other institutional shortcomings, South Sudan under Salva Kiir has miserably failed to uphold the most cardinal responsibilities which according to Hobbes Doctrine legitimise the state in its social contract with the populace: public security and equal protection under the rule of law. Without any morally convincing cause, we have been locked in a protracted war of self-destruction fragmenting the very common national identity we have been laboring hard to forge. Even the sovereignty we have been clamouring for is diminishing by the day. In shame and emotional anguish, we have been flocking back to seek refuge in the same nation (Sudan) whose citizenship we renounced through ballot to create our own nation in January 2011.At home in South Sudan, we have been reduced to destitute and displaced within our own Promised Land of milk and honey. So, far and wide, the people of South Sudan have become the laughing stock of the world!

Currently, South Sudan is known on the world map for nothing but political violence and humanitarian crisis. Our downtrodden people have been plunged deep into a bottomless pit of death and destruction. Lives and prosperities have been destroyed in scale and magnitude we have never seen even during the decades of war with the Republic of Sudan. For worse, this disaster of shame has wrecked the social fabric of our society beyond description. In sum, it is a history of failed state, systematic genocide, civil war, famine, intra-communal violence, institutionalised corruption, economic crisis and mass trauma. The question lingering in so many heads is: what is it that has gone wrong to turn us into this pathological society of murderers? You can do all the diagnoses modern science would allow but end up with empirical findings that the prevailing violence is not predisposed in our DNA. In another word, there is nothing wrong with the people of South Sudan. Our predicament is squarely that of leadership failure in the person of none other than our inept accidental President. Whether it is death by famine or bullets, President Kiir is the culprit. Beyond any reasonable doubt, that cowboy clown legally named Salva Kiir Mayardit is guilty by both omission and commission.

President Kiir has created South Sudan in his own image to rule it without reference to any institutions. He deliberately abandoned all the constitutionally mandated public institutions including the national army (SPLA) and invested heavily only on his tribal killing machine infamously known as Manthiang Anyor and the security agency he single-handily established from his bush heydays to eliminate political leaders in the SPLM/A. Kiir has also politicized the civil service and institutionalised mediocrity, nepotism and corruption in the national public institutions. With straight face, Kiir has institutionalised tribalism by syndicating his Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) to serve as a law giving institution and shadow cabinet. Kiir’s apologists and the pundits in his pay roll have been toiling hard to deny that JCE is the government of the day but its heading letter which reads as Republic of South Sudan, Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) exposes the clumsy image of the elephant in the room that JCE is a state institution. It thus goes that Jieng is the state and the state is Jieng. The rest of the 63 ethnicities are condemned to second-class citizenship at will and whim of the ruling Jieng ethnicity. In practice, the ethnocentric police state can accommodate only those who have accepted eternal servitude and their lower caste status as subjects of the ruling caste (Jieng). Those who dissent, whether they are Jieng or none Jieng face the violent wrath of Mathiang Anyor and Kiirs’s hoodlums. The records must be informed that Kiir ordered his first atrocities against the Jieng community of Luach in Khorfulus County during his war with Goerge Athor in 2011. The first journalist to be murdered by his security operative was also a Jeing man by the name of Isaiah Abraham from Twic East County in Jonglei State.

Just like his cowboy hat, Kiir’s trademark is the political violence. As well documented in the AU Commission of Inquiry Report, it was Kiir who fabricated a coup as a ploy to eliminated his opponents in December 2013 and committed genocide against ethnic Nuers in the process. According to the findings of the UN Penal of Experts report, it was the same Kiir who reintroduced violence by attempting to murder his First Vice President in violation of the Agreement (ARCISS) last July returning the country to the ongoing bloodletting. It is Kiir who has just introduced state terrorism kidnaping journalist and civil society activists in the neighboring countries. It is Kiir who is killing aid workers and journalists. It is Kiir who is pitting communities against one another other in his proxy war of counter-insurgency in Greater Upper Nile. His current project of fuelling Murle –Dinka Bor intra-communal violence by supplying both communities with lethal weapons is the hallmark of that deadly policy. It is Kiir who is committing genocide by famine, killing and forced displacement to the swarm in Dr. Riek Machar’s constituency of Southern Unity State. Kiir has also refused to acknowledge prevalencte of famine in the government-controlled areas delaying international humanitarian intervention to save lives in those areas. It is Kiir who is using food as a weapon of war by denying humanitarian access to the opposition controlled areas. It is Kiir who is now launching a dry season scorch earth campaign of genocide throughout the country. Fresh in mind are the most recent mass killing in Cholo Kingdom, Wau, Pajuok, Kejikaji, and Yei River county.

It goes without telling the cold truth that with the ongoing orgy of genocide in the name of Jieng Power, Kiir is committing the worst moral crime against the Jieng Community he has been pitting against all other communities to mobilize political support. Kiir’s mischievous administration and divisive local politics have caused even more deaths in his own Jieng communities of Lakes and Warap states where inter-communal violence has claimed thousands of lives since 2005. As elaborated afore, South Sudan in the image Salva Kiir is violent, corrupt, politically incompetent and ethnically polarised. That is unacceptable image of the proud people of South Sudan. Hence, we must all unite our ranks to change this ugly image of our nation by ousting this monster. Only then can the people of South Sudan mend their social fabric and chart a new path to peace and prosperity

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.


Stephen Par Kuol

Honorable Stephen Par Kuol is a former Deputy Ambassador of the Sudan to the United Republic of Tanzania and the State Minister of Education in the recently overthrown Government of Jonglei State by Dr. Riek Machar’s forces. He is also a researcher and freelance writer on academic topics pertinent to Human Right and Post Conflict Criminal Justice Administration. He can be reached via: or

Filed in

Dr. YOSSEF BEN-MEIR: Moroccan Cultural Preservation and the Jewish Experience

Money the root of all Evil: Assessing its veracity in the context of South Sudan

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