Home | Comment & Analysis    Monday 25 January 2010

GoSS should empower its judiciary


By Zechariah Manyok Biar

January 24, 2010 — The recent tribal clashes in Jonglei State in which at least twenty-four people were killed and a dozen others wounded shows that there is a need for the empowerment of judiciary in South Sudan. These clashes, as shown in the media report, have nothing to do with the invisible hand of the National Congress Party (NCP) in Khartoum.

Sudan Tribune reported that “The fighting broke out in the New Fangak area of Jonglei last Monday after a dispute between two Nuer everyone of them living in a different village populated by the two ethnic groups; the quarrel involved neighbors from both sides where nine people were killed.”

The same report also mentioned that “the fighting erupted again when armed members of the Dinka Rut attacked a settlement of the Nuer Thiang on Thursday killing 15 people and wounded other 16.” The report has not specified why the Dinka ethnic group got involved in what started as the clashes between Nuer groups, caused by the quarrel of two Nuer people. Maybe a Dinka person was accidentally killed by one side of Nuer during the fighting. I am just speculating.

But in either ways, the clashes reminded Southerners that there is no rule of law in South Sudan at the moment. People take law into their own hands to avenge themselves even in a mere quarrel between two people. There are other things that show the inability of judiciary in South Sudan. For example, nobody has been convicted of corrupt practices in the government even though ministers and undersecretaries have been fired because of corruption. This is very disappointing!

The powerlessness of judiciary in South Sudan is even discouraging some South Sudanese from pursuing degrees in Law simply because they are not willing to be part of the institution that does not seem to work. Late last year, for example, after I decided that I may continue with my studies after getting my second master’s degree this year, I considered doing a Juris Doctor (J.D). But I dropped the idea later on and applied for a Doctor of Philosophy in Social Policy instead of applying for doctorate in Law. If many people have the same feeling that I have about the lack of power in our legal system, then South Sudan may lack enthusiastic lawyers in the near future.

Southerners do not seem to know that human beings distinguish themselves from other animals only through speech and the rule of law. These days, the “Somalization” of the South has become part of our English vocabulary in an attempt to scare Southerners and force them to jump into the unexamined change of regime. But even those who try to scare people about the so-called “Somalization” of the South do not seem to know how to control this Somalization of the South.

Recently, I read with my mouth opened Dr. Lam Akol’s warning against the secession of South Sudan in 2010. My surprise about Dr. Akol’s warning was not because the problem he talked about does not exist, my surprise was that educated people like Dr. Akol believe that South Sudanese cannot rule themselves. So they need a savior somewhere else to save them from their “anarchy.”

Dr. Akol did not say directly that South Sudanese need a savior somewhere else to rule them. But this is what was reported as Dr. Akol’s statement: "At the moment, with the state of hostility in the South, with the state of tribal conflicts, intra-tribal conflicts, any call for secession at this moment will be a call for the ’Somalisation’ of southern Sudan.” If this statement is Dr. Akol’s statement, then there is no reason why I should not say that Dr. Akol is looking for a savior somewhere else to save the South because Southerners cannot rule themselves.

These ideas from our educated politicians are really troubling to us citizens of South Sudan because they seem to show that our politicians trivialize solutions to our problems. I am becoming sick with politicians who seem to believe that we Southerners can just jump onto the wagon of those who believe that a mere change of regime is the magic we need for our problem-solutions. What we need are ideas for change, not a condition for change.

A concern for tribal crisis in South Sudan is a genuine concern, but a belief that staying under Khartoum government is the only solution to problems in the South does not make sense to me. If Northerners know how to maintain peace and order, then are Southerners incapable of the same? If the answer is yes, then why don’t politicians in the South give up running for offices and invite Northerners to come and rule the South now?

Whatever politicians, like Dr. Akol, would like us to believe is their opinion. The reality is that the solution to lawlessness in South Sudan does not lie in the hands of Northern magicians or in the hands of Southern political parties. The solution to lawlessness often lies in the power of judiciary. Regardless of which party is in power, if judiciary system is not strengthened in the South, then lawlessness will continue to be the order of the day.

Every politician needs to practically realize that the law is above everybody in any human institution, including the family. The practical part of the respect for the rule of law is that leaders from top to bottom need to submit to the rule of law and demand that every citizen does the same.

Every citizen who commits any criminal act must always be brought to justice in court so that all citizens can understand that the arms of the law are longer than the hands of those who take the law into their own hands. Apart from the empowerment of judiciary, chaos may not stop in the South even if we become servants of the Northern government.

Zechariah Manyok Biar is a graduate student at Abilene Christian University, Texas, USA. He just graduated with a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry and he is still pursuing a Master of Science in Social Work, specializing in Administration and Planning. For comments, contact him at email: manyok34@gmail.com

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  • 25 January 2010 07:20, by kuminyandi

    Dear Biar,

    You have to learn that politicians are the most dangerous people in this earth. They make their money when they lie to us.

    repondre message

    • 25 January 2010 07:36, by wisdom for us

      Mr. Biar,
      all the infomation you have given here in your artice is wrong and make no sense in any way, you have the wrong information handy witout any verification or analysis. This is a politically motivated clashes and there were no Nuer group who fought in the first place, but the matter of fact is that, the issues is fuel up by Major General George Athor who lost the nomination for govrnorship in Jonglei.

      If you want more information please talk to people rather than to relay on baseless information that do not reflect adequat genesis of the issue to the public.

      the main aim of this aticle as i can see is to protect the criminal who alegedly involved in killing innocent civilian in Fangak county but remind you some one will pay for this.

      Next time try to have good information if this is not your first time to write a article as i have seen here


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      • 25 January 2010 09:36, by Gatwech

        Zechariah Manyok Biar is simply another idiot who only rushes to his computer in order mention something about his qualifications down his article as an advertizement and mention something about Nuer (his most hated tribe) or Jonglei state where his Bor-Dinka reside.

        I have believed that Manyok does not follow other media like SSTV satellite. I guess he doesn’t have a sattelite TV that accesses the news live from South Sudan. Otherwise, Manyok would not have bored us with the lies written by somebody already corrected.

        Kuol Manyang Juuk, the governor of Jonglei state where the fighting took place did not say that it was caused by two Nuer guys quarelling. This is the making of Dinka reporters who want to say negative things about the Nuer even when Nuer is not the cause.

        Kuol Manyang on SSTV said that the fighting was caused by dispute over the border between Dinka of Pigi (Khorfulus/Atar) and the Nuer of New Fangak. This is why Manyok found it even more difficult to figure out how did the Dinka got involved in the Nuer fight deep in their own villages. The matter is that no Nuer fought against the other Nuer, but the Dinka attacked the Nuer over the border dispute.

        That Christian University under which custody Zechariah Manyok is should advise their fellow man not to rush any time and quote outdated untruthful issues just to get a chance to put his qualifications beneath the article. It is boring and we are not interesting in writing for self-advertizements.

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        • 25 January 2010 10:08, by Gatwech

          To you Manyok Biar,

          People are sick of your boring, outdated and irrelevant articles.

          People knew that it was necessary for GOSS since 2005 to empower its judiciary (the title of your tribally motivated article) and not because the two Nuer quarreled in Fangak this week. Gosh, you are an idiot!

          There has been numerous death cases of murder and inter and intra community fightings involving Dinka against Dinka, Nuer against Nuer, Shilluk, Murle, etc since the bush time and recently since 2005. These were clear manifastations that people were taking laws into their own hands and thus the need for empowerment of judiciary since that time. Have you ever written an article about the Bor-Dinka who murdered the Nuer SPLA officer in Bor town?

          Among the Dinka, chiefs and their family members get killed just because of quarrels and disputes, etc. You never wrote any article about those issues. But now since something was biasely and falsely written about the Nuer quarreling another Nuer, and that resulted to a fight, you rushed to your computer and shamelessly wrote that the case showed the need to empower judiciary as if those other cases did not qualify for your article. You are a tribal biased writer, Manyok.

          Your point was simply trying to show to the readers that the problem was the Nuer and that they were the only people who could kill themselves over a simple argument while such similar cases happened among the Dinka. And by the way, no Nuer quarreled another Nuer in that Fangak case. It was the Dinka ethnic group that attacked the Nuer settlement over border dispute. Get yourself a SSTV satellite television or access the UN Miraya FM radio through the internet so that you save us from your writings which are mostly based on speculations!!!

          And by the way, I thought I was going to read your view on Salva Kiir’s military status. You are dumb quiet about it.

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          • 25 January 2010 12:35, by Lokorai

            Mr. Zachariah,

            That is too much garbage to come to the open.

            Wonder as it is, a graduate can’t daily stuffed an important website full of intellectuals with broken hypothesis; one piece here and another one there, what a future!

            May be one of the commentators (Gatwech) sum it up somewhere in his always keen anaysis.

            Dinka, you are a disgrace to the people of Southern Sudan.

            Look Kiir two hours ago moved shameless to the Office of the NEC here in Juba; he was escorted by his Dinka supporters.

            Imagine he didn’t clear the air on the controversial military ties. I pray that him and his dogs kiss the ground in shame when Khartoum returns his papers.


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            • 25 January 2010 13:34, by Manyok

              Those who have commented under this article have confirmed my concern. If what Sudan Tribune reported about the quarrel of two Nuer men was a lie, then has anybody sued the reporter or Sudan Tribune for telling lies? If not, then those who accused the reporter for telling lies are either projecting their own practice onto the reporter or they are willingly trying to distort the news.

              Second, if George Athor was the one who motivated the attack, then has anybody taken the case to court in order for us to believe such an allegation? If not, then should we believe in rumors not reported by media or should we believe in the media, unless in case where the media has apologized for a certain report?

              If the problem was a border issue, has anybody brought this problem to court before attacking anybody? If not, then how can one jump into conclusion that it was the case? All the above questions show that people, even those who commented here, use wrong means to address problems.

              Gatwetch often accused me of hating Nuer, has Nuer stayed away from problems and then I dug out their family issues to talk about them? Didn’t I condemned my own people of Bor when they killed children in Mundari? Didn’t I write against Minister Mayom Akech, a Dinka, when he was accused of banning journalists from attending government meetings?

              Mr. Gatwech, if you do not want anybody to mention Nuer’s name, then let Nuer stay out of problem. I have never mentioned Nuer’s name as a tribe in any of my writings, I blamed specific sections of Nuer for a particular crime. If you cannot see that, then do not blame other people for knowing anything about reports.

              The reality is that our judiciary is powerless, giving all kinds of people freedom to jump into issues even when what they jump into endanger the lives of innocent civilians, because they know nobody is going to hold them accountable.

              To correct those who commented here, columnists are not journalists. Columnists comment on news. I am not a journalist, I am a contributor to news papers. That means I will continue to believe in what media report as long as the reporter does not apologize for what has been reported. I am very skeptical about rumors that pretend to be news. Find different contributors who are specialized in such rumor-based writing, not me.

              repondre message

              • 25 January 2010 14:43, by makuei

                I am a new commentator on Sudan Tribune. However, Iam dismayed by the way this important site is being used an ideological weapon against each other by the most beloved tribes of South Sudan. I can see the Dinka, Nuer and Equatorians trading insults and abuses at each other on this site. How necessary is this practice? Did God make a mistake to create us along each other?

                repondre message

          • 25 January 2010 15:00, by kuminyandi

            Dear Gatwech,

            Manyok Biar is right. He does not make the news, he just comments on news as you are, or as you do. So leave the man alone and be a little help to shed the light of knowledge to our ignorant brothers in this web. Thanks.


            repondre message

  • 25 January 2010 16:15, by James Okuk Solomon

    Sometimes I tend to agree with Gerwech on his criticism of brother Zechariah Manyok. If President Kiir himself is the one who breaks the law in the country what would you expect a common man to do. Up to now, Kiir defied the orders of the constitutional court demanding him to declare null and void his directive to upset and block SPLM-DC activities in the South. Here is an excerpt from the court rule (you can details of how this ruling was reached from www.pachodo.org):

    The Republic of the Sudan
    The Constitutional Court
    No: CC/CD/172/2009
    Date: 17/1/2010

    Members of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement- Democratic Change
    The First Vice President of the Republic, President of the Government of Southern Sudan and Chairman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, and Other.

    Head of the Khartoum Summons Office,

    On the strength of the order of the Constitutional Court, you are kindly requested to summon the below mentioned that following the presentation of the suit to the Constitutional Court and after considering it, the court issued the following order:

    The suit is accepted and the order issued by the first defendant stipulating that there should be no cooperation with the party of the plaintiffs directed to the ten Governors of Southern Sudan vide the letter of the second defendant dated 9 November 2009 carrying number GOSS/DPA/PO/J/1.A.1 is cancelled.

    Please, hand each a copy of the decision and confirm.

    Thank you.

    El Hadi Talha El-Mubarak
    Chief Supervisor of the Constitutional Court.
    Summons issued to:
    Mr Kamal Mohammed El Amin Abdel Salam
    Advocate, Khartoum- Advocate of the Plaintiffs;
    Mr Nabil Adib Abdalla and Manal Awadh Khogali
    Advocates, Khartoum.

    repondre message

    • 25 January 2010 20:58, by Gatwech

      Dr. James Okuk,

      And that is exactly what I don’t like with this tribalist, Zechariah Manyok Biar. He bores us with either bias, irrelevant or outdated stories leaving the truthful, relevant and current ones untouched.

      I hope you have read again and again his nonsense up there which he calls logic. He ignored governor Kuol’s explanation of the cause of fighting because it didn’t suit his purpose of writing.

      Manyok also thinks that the situation in South Sudan’s judicial system is like the one of USA where you can sue a weather reporter (meteorologist) for predicting a sunny day for the following day and instead it rains and you get wet and you sue the weather reporter for letting catching pneumonia because made you to go out without umbrella.

      When did Manyok wake up to know that judiciary is weak in South Sudan?

      Dr. Okuk, I hope you noticed that Manyok has not even responded to my question which asked for his opinion about Salva Kiir’s military status. He simply ignored it because this is the real typical of Manyok.

      Can’t you see how the title of his article talks about judiciary and yet he jumped to Dr. Lam Akol; one piece here and one piece there as one commentator described his writing.

      If it were Lam Akol or Riek Machar who refused to retire from military as required by law, Manyok would have written an article about it from day one. But because it is Salva Kiir, his tribemate, he pretends not have noticed the importance of the issue.

      Or he may wait to bore us with it next year as he may write an outdated article about it that late.

      That Christian University that educated Manyok will soon find out the truth in the saying that you ’can’t teach an old dog new tricks’.

      repondre message

    • 25 January 2010 23:34, by R. TOOL


      You did it again body; you need to pay attention to details. Is name is not “Gerwech” but “Gatwech”. For some one who is supposed to be highly educated, you make silly mistake. … It’s a free advice … no charge… you will thanks me later or pay me, what ever makes you comfortable.

      G-d … you people are dull, and very stupid … you are still at war for G-d sake with the “NORTH”. Get your independent first and then talk about who will run for higher off. Until then 2011 will determine the fate of your families and south in general. The Arabs are not going to just walk away.

      As a PhD person, you should know better. When the country is (if you call south a country) at “WAR” you don’t change commanders. The war is not over yet, and that’s a fact. Remember you don’t have a country as of now. The Arab can reoccupy south again, anytime they want. And you and your cohorts can’t do anything about it.

      Until your”country” is free, you need to stop all the nonsense, and support the moment so you can reach your promise land. If you and your group of people are being paid by the north, then continue being sarcastic and dump. Remember the “KRAMA”.

      Okuk, you should start contributing financially to the people of the south, since you’re a big shot with a “PhD”. Maybe then you might get back the respect you have lost.

      As for Mr. Gatwech, I read your article twice and I didn’t get what you are trying to say. You too sir, should start supporting the freedom fighting who are fighting the Arabs. Unless you are in the tank with them … Lam.

      As for the old man ... Lam Akol he is “WORTHLESS”…. He is follower, real leaders demand freedom instead of being a subservience to the Arabs.

      Finally, the Arabs are inferior’s race in my humble opinion.

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      • 26 January 2010 02:13, by James Okuk Solomon

        Hi R .Tool,

        I will pay you 10 dollar for correcting the name on bealf of brother Gatwech though the name could be spelt as Gerwech as well, but please don’t regard this pay as Beggar-Where-Is-Your-Star.

        Back to the real business with logic: If you are sayng the war is not over then why have we been deceived that there is something called Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi at 12:30 p.m? Were we dancing, matching and signing for nothing in that stadium!!!! Or is this CPA another illegal deal like the current SPLA uniform with 1st. Lt. Gen. worn by Kiir and the group? Please explain becaue my intelligence is much disturbed now by too much and too dull contradicting statements and bizzare arguments from the so-called born to rule.

        repondre message

        • 26 January 2010 02:43, by Dinka Boy

          James Okuk Solomon,

          If you argu with the advise of mr Tool, then i don,t think you have anything to contribute at all. The signing of CPA is temporary, it just for couple of years which is about to get expire and the war will depend on border, oil, debt, ( Nuba and Blue nile consultation) and many referendum laws that can make North and South disagree.

          Your thinking is like the way fish breath especially through the gill.
          Just follow Lam Akol because you have the same thinking capacity.
          If you think CPA was sign to stop North-South war for good,then you are stupid who knew nothing.

          repondre message

  • 25 January 2010 21:53, by Time1

    I agree the Juditiary needs to be strengthen, this will bring law and order and allow the citizens to follow the constitutional law insted of their own tribal laws.

    GOSS should build parmanent structures in every county to represent the justice system and the authority of the constitution, a chief judge should then be appointed in each state with deputies in each county. Through this the rule of law will be extended throughout the country. The justice system have to know its job and work to fix things up and not compalain, they have been put in that position so they can lead and come up with solutions, but complaining like what we heard from the chief justice is a sign of weakness and inability to achieve and trive.

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