Wednesday, September 3, 2008



By Lemi Stephen
Khartoum, Sudan

Pagan Amum, Minister of Cabinet Affairs is categorized as a hawk of SPLM which had built a reputation of disdain of Muslim and Arab entity during wartime. Moreover, he was among a group who were opposing negotiations with the government of National Salvation Revolution in a bid to topple the regime

Pagan and his comrade Yasir Arman who have common thinking and political beliefs different from the beliefs of other SPLM leaders who joined the movement to regain certain rights of their people which they believed were not realized. Because Pagan and the other comrades in SPLM are seeking agendas different from those declared by SPLM, their continuing hard-line, before and after the protocol signed in Naivasha, Kenya, can obviously be seen by all observers.

They have kept the same hard-line in spite of the political partnership. Furthermore, it seemed that Amum has been harder still during his time in the office of the ministry he occupied. It's a very strange behaviour for all politicians that a government official plays the role of opposition against a regime he had had the responsibility of its failure or success. Such a strange behaviour can only be justified by other agendas led by Pagan to make it victorious. Once, the Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Pagan Amum described, as collapsing, failed and corrupt, the government which he is supposed, as a minister in that government, to supervise its good performance.

However, we never can tell which government he means: is it the Government of South Sudan (GoSS), which is completely corrupt and whose recruitment is exclusively allocated for one or two tribes, as reported by the people of Juba who earnestly wished that SPLM would have sought an alternative capital other than theirs where their lives and properties are insecure.

We never can tell whether Pagan meant the government in which he is occupying an important office or the GoSS where his movement occupies most of the seats excluding the Southerners not affiliated to his movement. In the South of Sudan, families miss a member daily, but they would have no answers for his missing except that he was taken by SPLA and no one knows his whereabouts.

Even those who hold diplomatic immunization do not remain intact. In fact, the government depicted by Pagan as collapsing, failed and corrupt, had provided more developmental projects, roads, hospitals, educational institutions before he joined it because it had been working in better harmony without being hampered by unfortunate statements like his. In fact, SPLM would never have been delayed from urbanization and the ethics of a civil political party, had Pagan and his group that works for its own agendas never worked with it. Except for SPLM politicians, the southerners are miserable and the members of SPLA get their salaries in installments despite the big oil revenues to GoSS.

They do not get this money in the forms of health, educational or road services, though they have been exhausted by land traveling between Juba, Wau and Malakal, except for one paved road built by SPLM politicians between Juba airport and the premises of GoSS to facilitate their traveling to Europe or Khartoum without delay or exhaustion. Before launching his subjective criticism of a government in which he takes part, Pagan has to find an answer for the most critical question about the GoSS where the National Congress Party (NCP) has no role: What are the achievements of the GoSS during the last two years although it has received a lot of money enough to transform the current poverty and underdevelopment into affluence and progress that can put the people of the South shoulder to shoulder with those of advanced countries?



Southern Sudanese and indeed the marginalised of Sudan went to war and paid dearly precisely to enjoy the comforts of development. The war brought what is now known as comprehensive peace agreement (CPA) between North and South Sudan. However, within the North there is a war raging in the West between one time allies against the South. It is not clear what is going on in the East and further north. It is not, though, within the scope of this article to go any further.

The CPA signed in 2005 to end 21 years of a protracted war was to usher in what may be described as an era of peace and development. Nonetheless, one is not anymore sure whether the sacrifices made were really for the lack of development or a deceptive way for personal gain and satisfaction where one's stomach and wallet were full with less consideration and empathy with the marginalised for the common good. There were obviously fundamental differences between the North and the South on issues of race, ethnicity, religion, culture and development to mention a few of the differences that had widened the gap. The widened gap was partly due to short-sightedness and greed of the political leadership in the North with the mistaken belief that they were serving the Arab and Islamic cause instead of championing the Sudan as the land of the Blacks as the lighter Arabs of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries know it. The gap was also partly due to
opportunists from the South who would just accept without reservation to be second class citizens in their land of birth. The MENA countries have problems of their own to bother much about Sudan.

I strongly take issue with the horrible and depressing conditions of roads in and around Juba, the southern national capital. It is totally unacceptable for such horrible and depressing sight of roads in Juba under the very noses of the authorities concerned to be ignored. May be the question to ask is "who is precisely responsible for roads in and around Juba?"

Most roads criss-crossing Juba are in utter state of disrepair. One road of concern is the Konyo Konyo main road from the Freedom Square to Kator residential area and to Lologu, a suburban village. This is a very busy road. It is in the heart of Konyo Konyo trading centre which is bustling with mini-buses plying back and forth between Konyo Konyo and Lologu and between Konyo Konyo and Customs including the recently established trading centre near the previous Sudan Armed Forces main barracks in Juba. The road is so bad that recently a car overturned. In peak hours the congestion is unbearable. One really wonders whether there is at all a unit responsible for the town's roads. We know that there is a tarmac road in progress that may become a ring road of Juba. However, the World Bank had criticised the award of the contract for the said tarmac road citing what must have been a sort of mismanagement and possible corruption.

With regards to Konyo Konyo poor road a two-day work with a grader and a couple of loads of gravel or maram could have been the appropriate solution in the meantime. It is not necessary to list the entire roads in Juba that need urgent attention for this will never make any difference at all. The road authorities are already aware of the problem but probably the main weakness is incompetence. Also the usual claim of the lack of resources may be the reason for doing nothing while motorists including myself who frequent the Konyo Konyo main road endure untold sufferings. I was stuck until some youth came to my help to push the car out of the dreadful potholes muddy road. I was left fuming and most probably cursing in the confusion. I am writing from experience and what I have seen as a resident of Juba.

The traders and retailers in Konyo Konyo market deserve a better treatment. They pay taxes and the taxes collected should have been seen in a form of services to the people notwithstanding the CPA supposed dividends. Rehabilitation and maintenance of roads is obviously one visible way of demonstrating that taxes collected from the people are used for the common good. One finds it strange that expensive cars are driven around while there seems to be indifference to the state of roads in Juba. Three years on after the CPA the original residential areas of Juba have not tasted modernity since colonial times. Malakia is a case in point. Roads in Juba after the CPA seem not to fair any better. Sanitation is the poorest probably exarcebated by the massive influx of people into the southern national capital after the CPA. However, what is being done as for now to alleviate the problem is anybody's guess. Words of mouth do not anymore carry weight. However,
provision of graders and loads of maram for roads may be a sure way to convince people of the seriousness of the focus on the rehabilitation and maintenance of the inner Juba roads.

In conclusion the pace of the rehabilitation of roads in Juba is very slow indeed and unacceptable three years after the CPA was signed. Professionals should be seen to talk less and do much more in practical terms. Rehabilitation of busy public roads is a very welcome step that will be appreciated by all in the end. This should be done sooner rather than later. People seem to be losing confidence and hope as expressed by one Konyo Konyo resident citing the past as better than the present under the CPA. This will only be good news to anti CPA elements. To starve the enemies of CPA people should focus on revolutionary vision of development to alleviate the sufferings of the poor. This means focusing on basic needs with immediate tangible results as a proof of commitment to development goals. Many in Juba rely on public transport and poor roads are a serious problem to breadwinners. Road authorities need to do more without stories for stories do not add
up. Good roads are a pleasant sight and may be a sign of commitment. The next election in 2009 may be a barometer to test the perception of the electorate as to what extent their satisfaction is with the implementation of the CPA and the services provided to address their basic needs. It will not be a surprise when some will not win enough votes while some will find themselves out in the cold.

*The author is a regular contributor to Sudan Tribune and can be reached at


BY: Isaiah Abraham, Juba

AUG. 25; Southern Sudan after Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) has been in crisis as to good governance particularly on the fight against corruption. The government (GoSS) seems to be losing this war. For the past three years, there are documented and otherwise (theories and talks) cases of graft everywhere- high level of corruption by senior Government officials. The government on its turn had attempted to sound fighting it but somewhere its efforts were nipped in the socio-political bud of this land. A lot of politicking and only politics found its way in to the process of fighting it, needless to mention the leadership and the public traditional tribal gloves. The tribal element in the fight against corruption shall make this devil to stay in our society for ages. Although it's true that some leaders aren't mentioned by the Anti-Corruption team the majority of our leaders are corrupt. That is a sad reality. Aldo Ajo Deng defense of the government
on graft was misguided. Mr. Aldo, there are cases of graft within GoSS Divisions and you go down to Dr. Pauline-Philip axis (Anti-Corruption team) and find out by yourself. This is the time to open these books because we are going for an election. But Madame Rebecca Nyandeng's finger was wrongly pointed. She was selective and that was bad. The Vice President from my humble submission isn't corrupt or has traces of this vice before GoSS formation; but to paint him as an angel is 'corruption'.

For starters, the ugly face of this menace (corruption) came to the fore just last year when Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Arthur Akuien Chol was accused of financial mismanagement or crimes and was shown the door (fired from his job) along with other senior officials of that ministry (Finance). No further court proceedings though to try him and his group; but until to date, the law deems them innocent until they are found guilty.

The former minister I guess is in pain as it seems he has something to say but no proper forum to say it. People have expected him to be heard but the Ministry of Justice has dragged its feet far too long on his case. His rights and wrongs must be accorded due respect. May be the former Minister could unearth some information badly needed now by the Anti corruption team and the Southern public.

This month again, the graft tsar Dr. Pauline Riak cried out aloud in frustration that she won't go any further because of an obstruction somewhere around the ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and Parliament, about 1400 cases of graft in her Commission. In Parliament, Minister of Labor and Human Resource Development- responsible for public services staff- brought yet another salvo against the Justice Ministry on the graft clustered as payment for Senior Officials and Legal Counsels under this Ministry. Where is this man going to hide?

There is little time to talk about the role of this ministry when it comes to interpretation of some legal clauses or simple discharge of legal advice to the Executive in its relationship with the Legislature & Judiciary. There has been words on interference and obstruction of justice and I could believe so; not to mention the then side show grumbling about staffing procedures in that ministry- one tribe is accused of having taken over that ministry right in the middle.

Southern Sudan must not keep quiet and bury her head because of fear of unknown. Righting the wrong is a duty of every citizen. Southern Sudan meager resources are being siphoned out of our land by few individuals in the government and only get blanket slogan of zero tolerance to corruption.

People are tired of talking and want action. Relieving or dismissing of officials implicated in corruption isn't a solution but a process to force this criminal to bring back tax payers money. Officials need to help the President. Imagine, no single senior official is charged or behind bars over corruption, even when there are cases against him/her. Why? Because the Ministry entitled to gazette and advertise bills related to moral and ethical issues never took enough initiative to force its way in Parliament. There are no legal grounds (laws) to guide cases in courts against those accused of corruption.

Southern Sudanese didn't fight the war to allow few members of our community to loot our funds in the face of development challenges, just to enrich their families and their bank accounts through their families in Australia, Canada, USA, Britain, Kenya, among other cities in the world. If Deputy Minister (Undersecretary) gets close to $10,000 a month, how much budget do we need as a government to support this gentleman within the next three years of the interim period under the CPA? In each Ministry and Commission they have Legal Officers (Counsels) with close to $8,000 monthly, how much money is going to be paid in the next three years before the Referendum?

After Referendum of course people shall rise up and take no novice and mediocrity in the government! Right from the top to the bottom, there would be proper scrutiny of who should be our Chief Executive and his team. If someone refuses to leave power peacefully after being bundled out fairly through election, it's easy and safe to fight him no matter who he is or tribe he/she comes from. Days of abusing public offices by irresponsible leaders are gone. Even the officials of the National Congress Party (NCP) aren't doing what our ministers are doing to our people.

Back to Justice Ministry: The Minister has a case to answer about the said hefty pay to his legal officers against public service policy or standard. The Minister again must tell our people why he is not fighting the graft he has been saying he would fight. Who intimidates him to slow down and at what magnitudes?

There is a rumor that says the Minister is fighting his political life due to graft "counter attacks" or fighting back. To me that is unfounded and just a cover up for a failure. If he thinks there have been difficulties prosecuting people who are politically connected to the top then why serve in a government that is corrupt? Why didn't he clear his name when Madame Pauline Riak of the Anti-corruption presented his case about the lack of laws that shall permit her to publicize cases and forward them to Prosecutors for action?

But for crusaders against corruption, corruption sometime preys on decent people having good intention. Corruption is subtle. On matters of ethical behavior, there is a grey area that is generally undetected until the spotlight shines brightly; then what seemed to be a mere indiscretion suddenly becomes national scams. Therefore care must be applied. But there are real crooks and swindlers who say 'this is our government, we fought for it and therefore right to eat as much as we can before we leave it'; that mentality is morphed, they must be stopped.

Madame Riak must not stop by just groaning in Hai Cinema, she must take the fight to the enemies of our people. There are troubles (corruption cases) in the army (SPLA), she must not fear to be shot. This is another bigger challenge to our government and deserves concerted effort from everyone.

I therefore commend Minister Awut Deng for her courage to come open and expose one biggest scam of all times. She is the only 'man" among many who put their tails behind and only shout the loudest when those who preach 'water' and drink 'wine' are doing their evil business as usual. Great lady from a great background! It's unbelievable to read and hear that the Ministry that's supposed to be the guardian of the people's trust has turned out to be the graft-invested den. The Minister should you resign honorably!

Isaiah Abraham lives in Southern Sudan; he's on


GEMTEL is a fake network and Ugandans have been enriched with millions of dollars worth building a better network in South Sudan. Does its closure or the refusal by Ugandans of their country's code usage have an impact? Let us explore what it takes.
With Sudan's Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), many foreign companies had sought investment in Telecommunications in South Sudan, in a free flourishing market and among these International networks were MTN and ZAIN (formerly known as MobiTel), but they met resistance from some self-centered elites and conflicting ideologies of war enmity between north and South Sudan.

Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) had its first Network called (Network of the World; the NOW of Rumbek 2003 --- 2006). NOW company management was forced and ordered to shut down after the community citizens staged a strike against it. The simple reason was that, it was using conning and blackmailing connectivity that the citizens of South Sudan and especially Lakes State community had loathed because it was a one-way network traffic system. NOW had obtained a license for operating a fake network, which had a sealed in SIM Card with a coined up internal code of 0944286….you can only make calls and can't be called back.

In July 2006, GOSS President went to US of America to seek any assistance of any kind that will enhance development of South Sudan. Among many things that were on President's list, which were and are dearly needed, was Telecommunications. American Government offered to set up a network over South Sudan using their resources and only that South Sudan will have her citizens connected in less than a year. Regional and International interests could not emerge along side.

However, the minister for Telecommunications and Postal Services in the Government of Southern Sudan allegedly had a con man in mind in Uganda called Augustus Caesar Mulenga of whom he'd share with abundance the benefits and so they designed a network in partnership, called GEMTEL, a name that is said to come from Gier Chuong (Minister: for G), E for Elijah Malok, (Bank Of South Sudan Chairman) and Biar, (Director-General in the Ministry of Telecom) and M for Mulenga, plus Telephone and so we have GEMTEL as a network over South Sudan today.

In April 2007, Uganda Parliamentarians raised a motion and resolved that a committee be set up to investigate how South Sudan got her country's code of (+256) to use as its semi-Country code.

After a hot debate on the issue, Ugandan President advised his Government that South Sudan is emerging to an independent nation, and so South Sudan signed a contract that allowed her to use Ugandan Country code of (+256) and an internal code was created as 047710.

Fifty thousand (50,000) US dollars is paid to Uganda every month for using her Code (satellite and space) internally and Internationally which is unrealistic (very blurred network). Now South Sudan GEMTEL uses (+256) adding 47710… to make and receive international calls. Using Uganda code, an internal call in the same network costs 40 --- 60 Piasters a minute, a cost which may communicate a full message in Khartoum, Kenya and Uganda herself.

Does the Company have any regards to the welfare of the communities of South Sudan? No! Instead, they are enjoying this ignored sector and so they are exploiting South Sudan to the extent that its employees are predominately Ugandans. Is GEMTEL operating as a foreign network thus, they are keeping their Ugandan employees? Yes!
The biggest problem with GEMTEL isn't only limited to its making a call expensive, but also as an unreliable network. Once your line is damaged, it can't be rewritten on another empty SIM Card, but to be thrown away and one is obliged to buy a new line completely with different numbers. One can't transfer money to a friend, family member or a colleague. One can't send an international SMS, which is normal in any other network even to Uganda itself.

On the other hand, the cost of SIM Card is officially forty five Sudanese Pounds (45 SDG), the market price ranges from 50 SDG to 150 SDG (US$ 25–75) or more during GEMTEL first installation in Yei, Juba and Rumbek.

The network has difficulty in connectivity. In Rumbek, the network allows only one hundred (100) subscribers to make and receive calls in a minute. One takes more than one minute to get connected even if one is five kilometers from the booth/aerial. South Sudanese in Diaspora have complained of the difficulty of its connectivity. In Jonglei State during April 2008, a group of students and intellectuals in Diaspora petitioned their State Governor to ask GEMTEL Company Management to improve the network; otherwise it is useless to complain that a network exists back home in South Sudan. Has it improved its connectivity in Jonglei state only or not; readers will share.

I have personally received many complaints from friends outside of why do we assert that there is GEMTEL network operating in South Sudan?

The company has no regard in developing South Sudanese nationals, but instead, it is bringing in Ugandans as operators and Managers all over South Sudan. GOSS is too busy to ask of why the company brings in only foreign operators and Managers?
Will the company remain a Ugandan property or has it got any Plan to remain a South Sudan national Telecommunications network come 2011 Referendum which is imminent? Will South Sudan use Sudan country code of (+249) as a separate entity or have they have got a South Sudan Gateway?

MTN and ZAIN (formerly MobiTel) are torn in-between Southern Government with different idea of network to set up in South Sudan and Government of Khartoum demanding overall authority owning (+249) Gateway for the country in its satellite.
In October 2007, Southern Sudan Government designed and placed a foundation stone of South Sudan network. Many are speculating that come Referendum in 2011, we will opt for an independent state and a Network code will be given by International Telecommunication Centre but many also think that it can be done like the Great nations of America and Canada which are sharing one suffice of (+1) and have got different receptions.

The suspicion lies between the Arabs predominated north and South Sudanese black Africans that our secrets are being leaked by Khartoum Government to weaken Southern Government on their quest of Separation in 2011. The two international companies fall prey to this situation. ZAIN is more of Khartoum's infested network like the Government owned Sudani and Canar. Any call on these networks is being monitored and records are always done. In Khartoum Government, Security is the top priority in dealing with national and international issues.

Now that MTN is using Sudan (+249) considering country one two systems, and itself being an international company which is based in South Africa. MTN and ZAIN are integrated networks with of East, Southern and Western African countries.
Having MTN and ZAIN covering South Sudan or Sudan in general, has their requirements of one having a national ID or Passport to buy or be issued a SIM card have impacted on marketing. Yes, it does.

In Rumbek, Yei and other places which were SPLA liberated areas, their market will have to change or face market difficulty which is already in pursuit. The Public is suspicious that Khartoum Government is behind the requirement of National ID so that they can declare Unity of the Sudan in 2011 Referendum, in which these South Sudanese votes will be converted into forms which can be used by Khartoum to declare that majority of the Sudanese have voted for Unity of the Sudan.

In South Sudan, GEMTEL is four times more expensive than any imaginable networks in the world. South Sudan is characterized by different networks. The most dominate phone during those days and now is Satellite Phone (Thuraya), which is operated in Dubai of United Arabs Emirate in Middle East. It is expensive and one kg heavy mobile phone whose scratch card is being bought for twenty five ($ 25) dollars now and more.

Making a call with GEMTEL, one has to be prepared with ($5) five dollars to make a call of a short message to your friend or family. Some subscribers of GEMTEL in Rumbek are saying that GEMTEL is an image of NOW of 2003 --- 2006 whose scratch card was the same amount and calling cost is the same. The only difference is that you can remove the SIM CARD which was not with NOW of 2003 --- 2006 whose SIM CARD was sealed in.

For over two months in Rumbek, people are anxiously waiting to have MTN and ZAIN officially opened. Having been deprived since creation, no one cares of people's need to Communicate in South Sudan and especially Rumbek which is a basic need, in a town which is of the best competitive market output. Its geographical set up as in the centre of South Sudan makes it suitable for a good profit. But it's a town that is measured nationally and internationally very expensive after the Sudanese Capital of Khartoum.

GEMTEL is facing an imminent close down, MTN and ZAIN are feared for Khartoum Security apparatus monitoring. What is the future of South Sudan in Telecommunications services to her citizens? Can Khartoum stop monitoring these two networks? ZAIN is showing the whole country code with one's number even if one is making an internal call within the same network of ZAIN, which is considered as Security monitoring.

The Author is a South Sudanese residing in Rumbek, SOUTH SUDAN; he can be reached on

Resources management lack in south

To response To Peter Jal Ngor Opinion, I think you'e perplexed between SPLA/M and SSDF; they're two different factions. If you're not well informed, SSDF was struggling for Southern Sudan that is why it is called southern Sudan defend force (SSDF) and SPLA/M was fighting for different course. For your information Sudan people army/movement was fighting justice and freedom of the whole Sudanese. The late Dr. Garang declared that 'Sudan will never remain the same any more," he didn't say that South Sudan will not remain the same. To answer your question simply I will tell you that yes, SPLA/M was fighting for twenty one years in order to bring people into a just government not to separate south from north. But for SSDF I won't provide you with right answer because I've never been and I will never be in SSDF, to give you simple answer that I had learned in articles, the answer will be no SSDF was fighting for separation. Therefore, don't mix up different solutes in one solvent that might be dangerous.

Dear brother Jal, I was really fondled by your words. Indeed I agreed with you and I hope some of the readers on this site agreed with you. You mentioned that "We all know south Sudan has many natural resources, such as oil, gold, zinc, waters, tree gums, wild animals and rain forests. The question is why south Sudan still a very poor country in the world today?" To my Natural Resources management knowledge I'll simply tell you that the reason why our nation has such poor steps in development is due to luck of human resource management. For any country to develop is to established better and well organized management.

To me it doesn't matter who is president, what matters to me is who will distribute and use our resources efficiently. We're well blessed with resources, but we are lacking the ability to management of these in manner that will benefit us and our next generation to come. Reuben G. Panchol - Environment Scientist/Geologist in USA

Greed and tribalism will take the president to hell

It's ridiculous for Salva Kiir to sign a tribal list of 9 Dinkas selected and presented to him by his tribal office Manager as GoSS Mission officers in Canada. The First Vice President and President Kiir's office Manager, Martin Majut Yak, is very well known for promotion of tribalism.
Many people who knew him well before he was appointed by the President as his office Manager could not understand what the President liked in him to qualify him for that important office.
Now it is probably clear that his tribalism can be blessed by the President who just signed into office nine Dinkas occupying all nine seats. Where is regional or ethnic balance or consideration in Southern Sudan?

It is not surprising, though as this has been the point of criticism always in the media when we talk of tribal leadership in GoSS, etc. Many things like this occur in Juba, may be they are new to the Diaspora!
I wonder what kind of history do people like Salva Kiir and Martin Majut Yaak want to leave behind when God finally gets fed up with them and they follow the rest of our former leaders. Greed and tribalism will not take such people to paradise but to hell. This greediness was always the cause of divisions in the South and should not be encouraged by our President who wants to prove himself as somebody who can distribute power equally and unite the people.
I suggest that the corrupt and illegal list of those tribal opportunists be cancelled and the rightful GoSS Minister of Regional Cooperation should be returned his mandate to nominate the officers. Raan Naath, South Sudan.