The Alternative Voices offering solutions to end South Sudan’s suffering
By Suzanne Jambo
10th October 2021
(Juba South Sudan) We have critiqued President Kiir, Dr. Riek Machar and other leaders for their failures in establishing a free, liberated South Sudan, their senseless wars and causing us so much suffering. We also pinned the international community for favoring one South Sudanese; Kiir over 12 million thereby prolonging his stay in power and longer years of suffering for us. The war didn’t stop at military and armed groups action against our People. Our social fabric was broken at core. South Sudanese stopped inter-marriages, escalation of divorces among intermarriages and the general social structures were sharply broken. We felt an unprecedented deep ethnic divide; a genocidal type. They extended their military prowess to politicize, arm and pit many of our communities against one another. There was no end to this senseless war! But we are not deterred. We are determined to reclaim our nascent country back from tyranny and mafia-like misrule, and put her on the track of harmonious living of our people, their cohesion, stability and progress. On our, we embarked on our people-people nationhood building. We developed strategies.
When a nation is so profoundly ethnically, violently divided, our strategy number one became our unity as a people! We realized as individuals we couldn’t immediately declare both our unity and technically unable to enforce ceasefires to stop the madness. But we could unite our People! For we’re South Sudan’s “David winning over Goliath.” So, since 2017, against all odds, alienated, in an acrimonious volatile divisive environment, we began a higher call of unity of our communities “We64”, with one call to all our 64 communities we set the pace towards a People’s-centred focus. In the face of tribalism and politics of domination, we focused painstakingly on our historical since time immemorial common identity, recalling our time tested co-existence, “We64 always peacefully co-existed, we can now, again.” To relate this call to now, we based “We64 unity and peacefully call” on equality, justice, hopefulness, restoration of our common abilities to unite—-how else could we have earned the trust of smaller communities to feel heard, to feel equal, to belong to this young nation in the face of ethnic dominance? How else could our call be heard by larger communities who are facing hostility and outright hate toward them by smaller communities? Politicization of our communities has been the most effective war tactic waged by Kiir and Riek! They created bitterness and mistrust amongst their own two major communities to engage them in bitter inter-communal fights, and they multiplied this by arming other communities against one another to wage a nation-wide ethnic violence and strife as they maintained their political leverage and grip unto power. Our people were busy fighting proxies’ wars!
So, our strategy of a united people is the most powerful force to reckon with. We declined positions offers by Kiir’s government, we stirred away from “IGAD-facilitated militarized peace”, we focused on a People’s-based peace—-our focus has been the People’s unity, not unity of a military generals driven by Kiir’s bait of posts and power share offers. Real power lies in the people! In 2017 the people’s movement Steps was birthed and called for our “We64” unity. This has resulted to a gradual and significant pacification of “war of words” on social media. In addition to their military prowess and mass killings of our people, since December 2013 many of our people were recruited by Kiir, Riek respectively to fight their rivalry on social media, this cyber war had triple effects across all divides which impacted on war escalation in different parts our bleeding nation and among our communities in refugees camps and in the Diaspora.
There has been so much ethnic hate on social media! Too much! Too painful! Given our youth are 70% (both young men and women) this social media hate hurt them the most, in different parts in South Sudan, so we focused on working with the youth. We held their hands, guided and mentored them. Thousands of our youth, from different communities embraced this unity and pro-peacefully call more than any other! We anchored our attention on “the youth, the leaders of today, not tomorrow.”
It is worth noting, when we set off, Steps cadres were publicly ridiculed by all on social media, we were laughed at and called names—-this shows how much many bought into “unity isn’t an option, peaceful methods isn’t a winning card and that power/or change is only by guns and ethnic divisions.” BUT, one person who didn’t underestimate “Steps We64, peacefully” has been President Kiir himself! From the outset, he issued “arrest warrants” against Steps leaders. And when we organised and recruited more affiliates on peaceful methods, he ensured to target our unity in 16th May 2019 and 30th August 2021 like no one else. His most sophisticated military tanks and personnel were on alert in both occasions. He feared a united people’s rise like no other! He is a failed leader who selectively acknowledges certain aspects of history; People’s revolutions have won without fail the world over!
Unity of our people and pro-peaceful methods grew from strength to another. Today, it is a common place in South Sudan to have coalitions of peaceful methods opposition, civil society organizations and individuals who are dedicated to the removal of the current autocratic government and preparing our country for a transition to the first legitimate, elected government since independence ten years ago. We are driven by a common vision of restoration of a people’s driven peace and stability in all forms, to pave the way for the rebirth of the Republic of Sudan.
I will in a couple more articles share additional insights to our viability as an alternative leadership for South Sudan.
Suzanne Jambo is Steps founder and current chairperson.
President Kiir encourages household farmers to engage in agricultural activities to improve livelihood
JUBA, 24th September (Office of the President) – His Excellency President Salva Kiir Mayardit on Saturday had encouraged every household farmer to engage in agricultural and other productive activities in order to collectively improve the livelihood of the people.
A statement the President made while on inspection visit to his Rice and Maize plantation farm in Luri.
President Kiir said some of the plantations like Rice and Maize at his farm are ready for harvest.
President Kiir has ventured into farming during some of his free time mostly on Weekends as an example to lead and encourage the people to engage in agricultural activities in order to collectively improve the livelihoods.
The President also appreciated those that responded to his call and are using some of their free time to engage in agriculture and other productive activities, something that he urges every individual South Sudanese to embark on during their free time.
“This is the rice plantation, some plantations ready for harvest. if every household across the Country does this, we would have sufficient food, and we would not be complaining of food shortage and hunger. I encourage every household to do something productive and innovative for themselves.” said President Salva Kiir at his farm in Luri during the inspection today.
Speaking to the Press after the field visit, the Executive Director in the Office of the President Hon. James Deng Wal said the people of South Sudan are blessed with a very fertile land that don’t need fertilisers for productivity.
Wal added that the President is encouraging every household to take up the tools and carry out farming for personal consumption.
Meet Garang Kuot, National Democratic Alliance Secretary General
After its official launch, National Democratic Alliance (NDA) announced its Secretary General – Garang Kuot Kuot.
“In accordance with the ordinary sitting number seven of 18th September of 2022, the global steering committee for the establishment and registration of the National Democratic Alliance unanimously nominated and endorsed the appointment of Mr. Garang Kuot Kuot as Global Secretary General with effect from 21st September 2022.
Garang Kuot said that his appointment came after critics claimed the new party launched last week was just a faceless internet thing.
“This is the only appointment done by the NDA, and the purpose was to put a human face on the organization so that people would not think that NDA is some kind of internet thing and the people leading it are afraid to be known. This is the reason we at NDA wanted to reach many people and give them confidence in the NDA as a legitimate political force,” Garang said.
National Democratic Alliance is a youth-led political party backed by former child soldiers popularly known as the Red Army.
Grabbing of Juba University’s Land: Preserving our Learning Institutions for the Next Generations
By Ariik Kuol Ariik Mawien, Juba, South Sudan
Saturday, September 24,2022(Thejubamirror ) — The University of Juba was established in 1975 by the government of Sudan. It is considered one of the oldest institutions in the country’s archive when revisiting the historical background of the South Sudanese people. The university produced the most outstanding and brilliant leaders that fought for this beautiful country. For instance, the students of the University of Juba in 1980 became the first Southern Sudanese to acknowledge the value of the Nile water and stood firm against the construction of the Jonglei Canal.
Again in 2022, the University of Juba led the successful campaign for the anti-dredging of the Bahr el Ghazal (Naam) River, Sudd Wetlands, and the resumption of the Jonglei Canal Projects. It was one of the events that projected most of our leaders as pro-foreigners (South Sudanese-Egyptians) in their thoughts and actions, having too much greed for money, being less conscious about the future of the next generations (unpatriotic spirit), and self-serving individuals.
On June 19, 2022, Hon. Manawa Peter Gatkuoth (God Continue resting his soul in peace), the National Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation died in Egypt and his funeral prayer was conducted at Simba Square in Juba. The death of Manawa was a very sad moment for South Sudanese people within and outside the Country.
On the other hand, it was a brilliant opportunity for the Nile Water DEALERs to advance further their selfish interests, angrily revealed themselves with emotions, accused the general public over the death of Manawa and described citizens as “Social Media Criminals”, a term that went extra viral on several media platforms for more than a month.
From that time, we felt, our Country and valuable resources were under the custody of untrustful people and are experiencing potential threats within and outside the Country. For example, when leaders compromise the future of their Country and generations to come, decided to deal with outsiders and trade in common goods, the Nile Water and public land just to get a few dollars for survival.
Preserving the Land of the University of Juba and other Public lands is a collective responsibility of every South Sudanese Citizen. We don’t access public finance, health care, clean drinking water, electricity, favourable transport, reliable communication and stable security services. But, we continue to achieve dividends of education, though very little from our Universities and other Institutes of Higher Learning across the Country.
, JUBA, SUDAN : A classroom of the Juba university is full of students, Wednesday 02 May 2007, Sudan. ERIC LALMAND EricxLALMAND PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY x6631012x
In this case, the University of Juba admits the largest number of Students every year compared to the other four (04) public Universities operating in the Country. It has established a forum of becoming the mother of other learning institutions of Higher Education and a permanent Home of Wisdom for many South Sudanese seeking further qualifications.
Currently, the University has more than twenty-two (22) schools, numerous faculties/colleges and centres hosting over fourteen thousand (14,000) South Sudanese students. Imagine, there is a growing demand for more space to establish new schools, colleges/faculties for undergraduate and post-graduate programmes as well as specialised research centres, libraries and laboratories.
What does it mean when grabbing the Land belonging to the University of Juba?
Grabbing the land that belongs to the public institution, especially the University of Juba, privatising and turning it into an individual-owned investment asset, is a capital crime equivalent to selling the future of the Country and her people. In other words, registering what belongs to us in your own name, amounts to institutional crime and corruption and is punishable by law.
Any Authority doing this act is seen through the lenses of a public enemy, considered a perpetrator who committed a crime against the Country and her people. We must respect such old Institutions that existed for the length of forty-five (45) years, a period that is equivalent to or more than the age of some government officials currently serving in the Country.
We expect to add new things to the University structure not subtracting even the existing peripheral parts of it. This is a total mess for our people, how do we establish an informed Nation without respecting the learning environments, how do we produce competitive and talented human capital when the existence of the right-wing Institutions of Higher Education is under threat, how do we produce our own Teachers, Engineers, Doctors, Lawyers, Economists, Accountants and Agriculturalists.
We will not drill our own oil and mine our gold, diamond, uranium, copper, silver and other precious metals without the existence of the University. We will not be able to undertake major infrastructures like building towers, tarmac roads, railway lines, airports, waterways and specialised telecommunication services without favourable learning environments.
We will continue to have a weak and substandard education system in the Country if we don’t embrace our higher institutions, protect their existence and help them improve their performances in producing capable, talented, dedicated and competent teachers.
We can not be free from diseases, injustice, corruption, economic crisis and food insecurity if we don’t stop threatening our learning institutions. Without reflecting on career issues, we will continue losing our vital business, oil, health, construction and communication sectors to foreign nationals from Sudan, China, Malaysia, India, Egypt, Uganda, Kenya, D.R. Congo Ethiopia, Eritrea and Lebanon just to mention a. Why?
Because, we are not competitive, we are lacking knowledge and skills, our Universities are lacking necessary support and could not get enough resources (budget) they need to operate, we lack trust in our home education and could only trust Countries like the UK, USA, Australia, Kenya, Uganda, Sudan and other Countries we believed to have better and standard education systems, we are seriously endangering and imposing major threats on our own institutions in terms of land grabbing, pollution and lack of cooperation from stakeholders (University and State government).
Thank God, our only son, Dr. Prof. John Akec Apuruot for transforming the University of Juba into the world standard level. This is what I exactly meant by the word, “adding new things into the University structure and avoiding subtracting the existing peripheral parts of it”. If South Sudan could get ten (10) more of Prof. John Akec Apuruot, our Country will drastically turn into a paradise on earth.
Since he became a Vice Chancellor of the University of Juba, we witnessed rapid development at the University, the number of lecture halls increased, the more qualified teaching staff was recruited, the salary structure changed significantly, and new schools, colleges and centres were established, the graduate programme increases, the academic calendar becomes regular, annual graduations take place, graduates receive their certificates and transcripts on time.
What a great transition from an underdeveloped and weak institution into a strong transformative and world-standard institution we are having today.
The University officials on their Senate Meeting No.122, September 22, 2022, Passed the Following Resolutions as hereunder:
RESOLUTIONS UOJ SITTING NO 221
Dated: 22nd September 2022
1- Calls on MoFP to honour proposal by Ministery of Higher Education to apply 120% salary adjustment rise for the financial year 2022/23
2- Calls on Central Equatoria State government to cease all developments activities on University Lands and withdraw all military personnel deployed on University premises
3- Failure by MoFP or Central Equatoria to resolve the above by Friday 29 September will lead to industrial action by UoJ staff.
We urge the Government of Central Equatoria State to distance itself from grabbing the land belonging to the University of Juba. It must be made very clear that, University is a public Institution and that its land must be respected and fully defended by every citizen. We call on the Chancellor, His Excellency, President Salva Kiir Mayardit to immediately intervene in helping the University restore every single inch of its land without hesitation.
The University of Juba is a public Service Institution that existed before this government and will continue to reign permanently for many generations to come. The University’s lands that are under threats of grabbing, including Custom, Hai-Thoura and other campuses that are yet to be disclosed in the future.
The author, Ariik Kuol Ariik Mawien, holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Rural Development and Community Studies (2018/2019) and a Bachelor of Science in Economics (2013-2017) from Rumbek University of Science and Technology (RUST). He can be reached via Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter: @AriikKuolAriik or Skype/WhatsApp: +211 (0) 923 650 380 or Cell Phone: +211 (0) 928 187
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