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South Sudan is an orphan without a leader

Union of Nuer Community in North America (UNCONA)

Press Release

July, 19, 2006 — On behalf of the Nuer community worldwide, the Union of Nuer Community in North America (UNCONA) apologizes to the people of South Sudan for the press release the organization issued last year following the tragic death of Dr. John Garang. UNCONA issued a public statement stating that the death of Dr. John Garang was a blessing in disguise.

Our organization had hoped in the past that the coming to power of Salva Kiir Mayardit would lead to corrections of mistakes committed during the liberation struggle. The speech delivered by Salva Kiir in the SPLM’s leadership conference of 2004 in Rumbek misled the people of the South including UNCONA to incorrectly conclude that the new SPLM’s leadership would once and for all get rid of evils which crippled South Sudan struggle for democracy.

However, the hope the people of the South placed on Salva Kiir after his challenge of Dr. John Garang in Rumbek is waning. His performance as the President of the South has revealed more weaknesses than those of Dr. Garang he blamed. President Kiir promised complete implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). However, we are seeing militant islamists within the National Congress Party (NCP) using the historic document as a toilet paper. President Kiir promised the people in Rumbek there will be democracy. Yet, what he is currently practicing is kleptocracy, an informal term for a government that is corrupt in its management of public funds in the sense that its management is designed to primarily sustain the personal wealth and political power of government officials and their cronies.

He promised an end to institutionalization of tribalism. Unfortunately, the people of the South are witnessing the birth of Aweil-Gogrialism to replace Borism. He promised the rule of law. Tragically, there is only the rule of the jungle. He promised equitable ethnic representation in the Government of the South Sudan (GoSS). Yet, the three branches of government-executive, legislative and judiciary-are immensely dominated by one ethnic group.

For the last five months, UNCONA has never issued any public statement against the misrule of the South thinking that President Kiir should be given time to correct himself. However, the more President Kiir is given time, the more kleptocracy invades every corner of the South. We feel that a threat to democracy now in the South is a threat to democracy in the future.

Dr. John Garang left this world with a political vision that the SPLM must toil towards the realization of the New Sudan. He defined “New Sudan” as a country where all men are treated equal, where diversity must be the motto of the government, where democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights are the pillars that would create new civilization. However, President Kiir defines “New Sudan” as a country of kleptocrats, tribalists, sectionalists, clanists and Islamic fundamentalists. According to his secretary Madut Yak, “New Sudan” means a country that gives Aweil and Gogrial kleptocrats an opportunity to unjust enrichment.

President Kiir promised to develop the South economically. Yet, he declares that the South Sudan oil money are for charity. He first donated one million dollars to Kenya. When South Sudanese all over the world complained about the donation, he responded by donating $30 million dollars to UN World Food Program (WFP). South Sudan intellectuals in the Western World were admitted to hospitals for having heart attacks after hearing the news. Even the UN Secretary General, Kofi Anan, was shocked about the donation.

According to Gogrial-Aweil’s kleptocrats in Juba, the donation to the WFP is justified because the organization will build roads. The justification triggers many questions not limited to reason why Presidnet Kiir established the Ministry of Roads and Transport in the first place if it is the WFP that should be entrusted to build roads for South Sudan. Moreover, the issue of accountability comes to the fore. The UNWFP is neither accountable to the GoSS’s Council of Ministers nor to South Sudan Assembly. Who would answer questions to how $30 million dollars is spent by WFP? It can spend only a fraction of the donation on roads and use the rest for other things unrelated to the intention of the donor.

UNCONA once again reiterates its apology not only to the people of the Sudan but also to Dr. Garang’s family. It is clear beyond reasonable doubt that President Kiir is not equal or greater than Garang as we once mistakenly thought. Unlike Kiir, Dr. Garang was an intellectual capable of seeing the smooth implementation of the CPA and establishment of modern government in the South. Our people will dearly miss him until a true leader who is not a tribalist is found.


John Gatluak Kam

President of Union of Nuer Community in North America (UNCONA)


Email: [email protected]

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