Italian-born missionary shot twice in South Sudan

Newly elected Bishop of Rumbek Diocese, Fr. Christian Carlassare receives First-Aid treatment from AMREF’s Flying Doctors before being taken to Nairobi | Photo: Courtesy

Thessherald—An Italian-born missionary, Fr. Christian Carlassare, has been shot twice by unidentified gunmen in Rumbek, South Sudan, prompting nationwide condemnation on social media.

Fr. Christian Carlassare was recently appointed as the Catholic Bishop of Rumbek Diocese.

Speaking to the press on Monday, Lakes State Acting Information Minister William Kocji said that the unknown gunmen had ordered the bishop to open his door before they began shooting him twice in the legs.

The bishop was attacked by two gunmen who went to his residence at the church compound and asked him to open his door, after failing to open, they started shooting at the door before forcing their way in,” the state official said in a brief statement.

He’s currently receiving treatment in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

Since the country descended into conflict in mid-December 2013, Rumbek has been a hotbed and fertile ground for criminal activities.

The proliferation of illegal firearms in the hands of civilians continues to weaken and impede law enforcement efforts in the country.

Peter Biar: “Kiir is illegitimate, he will be removed like Charles Taylor”

President Salva Kiir Mayardit | Photo: File

Responding to the recent statement issued by Kiir’s office, the South Sudanese human rights defender, Peter Biar Ajak, says the current incumbent President, Salva Kiir Mayardit is too illegitimate to rule the country and should have been dethroned.

Greetings to the people of South Sudan. I am sure by now you have seen the clear intentions of Juba. Minister Nhial Deng Nhial’s response to my testimony has only confirmed the validity of the points that I raised.

Biar said the government’s decision to withhold long-awaited General Elections is the tip of the iceberg and a sign that the parties are not ready to allow the people of South Sudan to choose their next leader.

“They want to continue to rule the country without allowing our people to have a say. This is what they want to accomplish through a crash-22 situation. They don’t want to hold elections because the country is in conflict and the peace agreement is yet to be implemented. But at the same time – they deliberately create the conflict and drag their feet when it comes to the implementation of the peace agreement.”

“So by default, elections will never happen because that’s their intention.
So, you people of South Sudan must realize this. You have a legitimate government that was never elected by the people of South Sudan – that wants to use the conflict as an excuse to forever rule there.”

The human rights defender says that Kiir has become illegitimate and does not have any mandate to run the country.

“This is not the first time. This is why the election was extended in 2015 and extended again in 2018 — and now they’re arguing again for another extension. So, it’s very clear, the objective is to perpetrate corrupt rule so that continue to steal from you, kill you and displace you. So, let me repeat, Kiir was never elected. He’s an illegitimate president.”

“They only thing that is keeping him in power is the peace agreement; and the peace agreement requires that elections be held by March 2022. If that time comes and has not held any election—his illegitimate regime and will have expired.”

“So, the choice is this, hold the elections and do whatever you want to do and, implementation the agreement or by that time we will demand a Liberian model… Just like Charles Taylor was removed, Kiir will be removed, I assure you.”

The activist accused the Kiir administration of being responsible for the death of opposition officials, Dong Samuel Luak and Aggrey Idris, who were kidnapped by the National Security Services in Nairobi in 2016.

“Regarding the denial that they didn’t want to kill me, where’s Dong Samuel?… Where’s Aggrey Idris? — or didn’t you kidnap them, bring them to Blue House and kill them?. If you produce Dong Samuel and Aggrey Idris, you would have proved me a liar. Bring them and show them to us.”

Biar fled to the United States in July after accusing President Kiir of ordering him killed by a death squad, a claim vehemently denied by the South Sudanese government, which in turn accused him of seeking asylum in the Western world.

Breaking: Top SPLA-IO commander killed in surprise attack, forces dislodged

SPLA-IO forces dislodged, five soldiers killed in an attack | Thessherald

Juba—The main armed opposition group, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In- Opposition, came under a surprise attack on Monday, leaving at least five soldiers dead and a senior commander in charge of Lowereng cantonment area.

“On 22/03/2021 in the morning hours, the SPLA-IO cantonment site of Lowereng was attacked and burned down,” said Lam Paul Gabriel, SPLA-IO Deputy Military Spokesperson.

The senior military officer said that, although the attackers had not yet been verified, the aggression constitutes a breach of the permanent ceasefire signed by the parties in September 2018.

“This surprised attack led to the lost of five SPLA-IO soldiers including the commander of the cantonment site. Much as the attackers are yet unknown, this attack amounts to violations of the permanent ceasefire that needs to be investigated.”

The SPLM/A-IO calls on peace monitors to investigate the ongoing violations of the peace ceasefire and hold those responsible to account.

“The SPLA-IO calls upon the JDB and CTSAMVM to investigate this aggression and bring those responsible to books. The SPLA-IO remains committed to the implementation of the Security Arrangements but has the right to self defence.”

South Sudan’s government and the opposition signed a permanent ceasefire in Addis Ababa and re-committed to the cessation of hostilities. However, sporadic attacks and intercommunal violence remain an issue of concern.

Authorities urged not to open Pandora’s box, by arresting innocent musicians

Agel Ring Machar, former Press Secretary in the Vice-President’s Office | Photo: Courtesy

Juba—The South Sudanese government has been urged to stop cracking down on innocent people, including musicians, who try to exercise their constitutional rights by expressing their feelings in songs.

Agel Ring Machar, a former Press Secretary in the Presidency, warned authorities not to foment more trouble at the time when the President is working to reunite the country divided by violence and tribalism.

“To those behind the ongoing unfortunate witch-hunt on Cde Larson Angok, I have free advice for you. Please try to reconsider your decision. It’s unnecessary and dangerously provocative,” said Agel in a Facebook post on Thursday.

“Let’s not open another front at the time when President [Salva Kiir] Mayardit is trying his best to unite his people and transition the country from war to peace and tranquility.”

This comes after the government had arrested a musician, Larson Angok, accusing him of composing political songs that criticized the current administration.

Progress and momentum as National Consultations on Solutions Initiative get underway in South Sudan

The IGAD Chair, the IGAD secretary and the UNHCR Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa at the high-level meeting in Khartoum, Sudan | Photo: UNHCR

Press Statement

Juba – The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), UNHCR, the Refugee Agency and partners, applaud progress toward lasting solutions for forcibly displaced persons as national consultations took place last week in Juba, South Sudan.

The two day event successfully marked another milestone for South Sudan’s implementation of the Sudan and South Sudan Solutions Initiative, under the auspices of IGAD, following the establishment of the Inter-Ministerial National Technical Committee (NTC) and hosting the second High-Level technical meeting in Juba in early January.

The workshop was attended by over 70 persons, both virtually and in person, including representation of those internally displaced, refugee returnees and host communities in Bentiu, Bor, Jamjang, Maban, Malakal, Wau and Yambio. Refugees hosted in Kenya, Sudan, and Uganda also actively participated virtually.

“As fragile peace holds and the number of people seeking solutions increases, we have a unique opportunity before us,” expressed Arafat Jamal, UNHCR Representative to South Sudan. “This process belongs to the government as well as the people of South Sudan, and I welcome the continued robust participation of displaced people as state level consultations are rolled out.”

IGAD commended the Government of South Sudan for the progress witnessed in the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS), which provides prospects for durable solutions for millions of displaced populations.

Reflecting the cross-cutting challenges and collaborative spirit needed to create conditions that would allow for solutions, the Government of South Sudan was represented by the Office of the President and Vice President, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC) and Commissioner for Refugees Affairs (CRA). In addition, government line ministries, including Gender, Land, Housing and Urban Planning, Education, Health, General Education and Foreign Affairs took part. In addition, representatives from the United Nations, IGAD and civil society participated.

Key priorities raised at the dynamic workshop include accountability and transparent governance; security such as disarmament, demobilization and reintegration; peace building; restoration of social services; coordination of returns and support in return areas; and partnerships to ensure solutions are sustainable.

With some 2.3 million South Sudanese refugees hosted in neighbouring countries, another 1.6 million internally displaced and some 360,000 refugees spontaneously returned to South Sudan, their voices at all stages, including in consultative and dialogue processes that are shaping the path to peace, remains vital. The next step on the way towards the IGAD Heads of State Summit is the launch of state level consultations including outreach to government counterparts, internally displaced people, refugees, returnees, as well as the communities hosting them. The findings of the consultations will inform the drafting of a solutions strategy.

Recognizing that there are still significant obstacles in the way of refugees returning home, any return must be voluntary. UNHCR remains committed to supporting the respective governments in their efforts to create the conditions on the ground that will allow for safe, dignified and sustainable return and integration.

Govt delegation, hold group sign Declaration of Principles in Naivasha

Government delegation led by Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin | Courtesy Photo

South Sudan’s delegation and holdout groups have signed Declaration of Principles in Naivasha, Kenya.

In a statement issued this evening, the Parties renewed their commitment to ending hostilities and embracing peace for the sake of suffering people in the country.

They also agreed to investigate and find the root causes of the conflict and achieve lasting peace in South Sudan.

For his part, government negotiator Barnaba Marial Benjamin stressed the importance of peaceful dialogue and said that the signing of the Declaration of Principles is a big step towards achieving peace and stability.

Real SPLM leader, Pagan Amum praised the breakthrough made by the parties and said these steps will definitely lead to lasting peace in the country.

Paul Malong Awan, Chairman of the South Sudan United Front underscored
that what is important now is for leaders to learn to put the people’s interests above all considerations.

South Sudan Spoilers, Corroborators, and Post-war Recovery

Right to left: Gen. Taban Deng, Dr. Riek Machar, President Salva Kiir and Dr. James Wani Igga | Photo: File

Opinion | By Nhial K. Wicleek

The nascent nation had and continues to experience stuttering journey that shaped the history of its past starting from June 12th and 13th 1947 Juba conference to its present day 2021. Such a journey, in a chronological sequence, played a series dramatic shift in both negative and positive way in a very unimaginable manner. The birth of the Republic of South Sudan in its entirety is reminiscent of such journey, though the aftermath of social and political breakdown, which originated from the December 15, 2013, violent conflict that resulted into systematic extermination of the innocent Nuer civilians before it expanded to the rest of tribes in South Sudan, has its fundamental backing from that experience.

Ironically, it could be argued that the path to a greater future is unimaginably predictable given the nature of political development and its changing inclinations. However, time and space intertwine in unpredictably controllable manner, and this would play out in a way that set the recorded time that identified the current spoilers of social and political fabric, corroborators of such mischief and how to foster a comprehensive postwar recovery to achieve a viable nation reflective of social and political accountability.

In a move that shook the young nation, the spoilers of social and political fabric began their dirty tactics of dividing the nation well beyond the 2005 CPA signed in Naivasha in a very negative way to achieve their selfish political objective. The identities of these people are salient to South Sudanese common men and women on street as their deeds relentlessly prevail on streets for the obvious reasons the people of South Sudan know. Through deception and outwitting, such personalities assumed superiority over others without objectively identifying what would appear to be the weakness of their social and political calculation.

As John Garang braced for unification of the Sudan as one Republic State, he then worked on brainwashing few elements to assume superiority over their ordinary colleagues without definitive charisma the society requires. Such assumption made these individuals victim of their political conscience, whether in a positive or not negative way. The failure of Anya Nya I movement led by Samuel Gach Tut had its direct result from these rogues’ hidden agenda. The emergent of the chaotic situation leading to the death of Gaajaak Nuer and the rest of South Sudanese starting from 1985 to 1987 was a direct result of these assassins. The occurrence of the SPLM/A 1991 split was a direct result of these people’s faulty play. The political wrangling between the party leaders during and after 2008 convention has its fundamental roots from their selfish miscalculation.

The classification of tribes, some being viewed as second class citizens and some claiming the ownership as liberators of others, was a direct result of their work. The staging of a political protest held on December 6, 2013, prior to the outbreak of the civil war, in a nutshell, was also a direct result of their savagery. All these are evidenced on social media and human rights organizations accountable for recording and keeping of such records as these are not fabrications. In their words, but reframed to fit the content, they have been saying all along to the people of South Sudan that they are the SPLM/A; they are the liberators; they are savior of the nation; they should be the ones to profit; that their honor should remain above all odds; that if not recognized should timely detract South Sudan from achieving her dream; that they will fit tribes against each other; that nobody else should deserve right to leadership accept them; that they will be praised as lords and embezzle money whenever they want and deserve no investigation; and that they would set the country ablaze.

All these characteristics are found in the personalities of antidevelopment individuals hiding under the shadow of a black hut and the associates, the principal representatives of the Republic of South Sudan. Who are the associates, whether by social and political association or any person that does not seek answer to any political breakdown, or exempting the leadership from being held accountable to this failure, are the ones we called black hut’s associates? The down spiraling of activities, which originated from their work, drained South Sudan down the rabbit hole with which correcting it would be very hard if strategic care is not considered.

Another group to blame are the corroborators of social and political mischief that has taken shape in South Sudan. This social and political mischief has been boldened by both the opposition groups and the IG together with regional and international allies, which played a disproportionate role of a great importance resulting in the death of the system, sub-institutions, and the basic delivery of services to the rightful beneficiaries at the grassroot level. History may recall the “animal farm” and its ironic plays as it stood out in all the political developments and thier twists and turns.

People may recall, the holocaust, the Rwanda genocide, and all the “fall of empires” from East to West, North to South and the outcome realized across the world that the consequences were far reaching and debilitating to both victims and perpetuators. Successes in bringing the perpetuators to book across the world were entirely influenced by the direct involvement of the international community that was willfully disagreeing with people violating human rights across the world. However, in the case of Republic of South Sudan, the region together with allies, have become the sole corroborators who, with the act of intent, solidify their support to the incumbent administration in Juba to coerce her people.

The corroborators, because of their socioeconomic and geopolitical affiliations interestingly played cat and mouse game in a way that put them on spotlights due to their participation in genocidal act committed against innocent civilians in Juba by the regime in question. Their bipartisan relationship made them to cover up the evidence and allegedly side with the culprit even when they should easily correct the mistake saliently at play before their very watch. Look at the regional leaders in the like of Museveni, Uhuru Kenyatta, Egypt, and their hidden agenda against the people of South Sudan. The cover up of evidence and the fault mediation they have been facilitating in an interest none other than theirs for over 7 years is a direct betrayal to the rule of law, justice, and accountability in South Sudan.

Look at Africa Union and the international collaborators doing the underground works in the interest of peace yet are testifying in the name of peace when in fact the benefit of such peace is not being realized by the common person on the street. Such corroborators’ works made South Sudan a police state to ensure that their economic gain is boisterously bolstered, and to ensure that the intended act of ethnic cleansing would successfully meet its due course to the best of the incumbent leadership’s ability.

If regional leaders that supposed to protect vulnerable population are the very people betraying such trust, the Napoleon of South Sudan in his black hut would notoriously continue to spray South Sudanese with Museveni of Uganda’s cluster bomb that was used against the white army during 2014 in Jonglie State. The famous quote “money is the root of all evils” significantly fits the personality of the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) who spoiled the good name of Jieng by turning South Sudan tribes against the Jieng community. The first paragraph squarely hosts this group for their dirty politics.

Thanks goodness, the Jieng intellectuals are becoming vocal to account their voice as it has been silenced for quite sometimes. Has it not been for hosted shows that voiced their disapproval of the JCE as their mouthpiece, they would equally remain the representation of the 1.5million Jieng community that has nothing to do with their selfish benefit? Let not be blinded by the other corroborators that are crying wolves for decamping the SPLM-IO with the hope of being able to earn the Napoleon, the great of South Sudan’s trust, but miserably failed to, at last, earn such trust. In George Orwell’s argument that some animals betrayed the rebellion and joined up with the King to bolster his power represents the disgruntled opposition groups that pledged allegiance to the black hut Napoleon of South Sudan. Their hurtful intension was painstakingly unbearable and have equally played the role of ethnic cleansing.

However, it is apparent that we should not only give due attention to the spoilers’ and corroborators’ misdeeds, but also the postwar recovery as the parties in agreement gear up, yet for undoing a complete cessation of hostility. This means that the unpredictable experience that detoured the to be good and compelling history of South Sudan will need to be erased and jointly foster a new South Sudan order that favors a viable system, unlike thievery manifested by bigotry. In fact, fostering a Comprehensive postwar recovery is not an easy task, rather requires utmost commitment and a great deal of accountability. It is doable if care and strategic approaches are considered. Peace by its people from grassroot level (bottom-up process) could change the way things manifested before the very watch of every individual South Sudanese. This can be done by impowering the grassroot communities, the technocrats and institutional accountability.

Consolidating and harmonizing the revenue and raising the nation’s GDP could change and transform the country for better. There are multiple resources untapped in South Sudan and these should be utilized to ensure prosperity of the country. Mandating the anti-grab department to compartmentalize corruption would also bolster such change required as people that were accused of stealing from government coffers get sanctioned and caged to reduce the flow of such embezzlement initiated at the higher level. Direct or indirect restitution of all the victims would encourage far reaching healing and recovery and so the reconciliation processes. Opening free and transparent trade relationship with neighbors would boost the capacity of revenue collection for the benefit of both countries in each border point.

In conclusion, time and space have told us that there was a faulty start, and this should be corrected if due attention is strongly encouraged. Elimination of selfish interest can be the core aspect of changing the social and political perception being implemented by the spoilers and corroborators of injustice. The republic of South Sudan is very rich in human and financial capital and all it requires is a set system that can set things in order. Empowering the institutions to account for the welfare of the nation, its people and resources is the baseline for which no objection would be warranted. Spoilers and corroborators have done so much damage and loosely encouraged people to continue wracking havoc the Republic of South Sudan.

The Great Napoleon of South Sudan has grown horns because of their unthinkable strategies, which could have, otherwise, been stopped from getting to this level. Since it went undetected, our postwar recovery strategy should play a role in fostering unity and this should be achieved through consolidating the manpower and resources to ensure prosperity, which can be realized by the people at large. With time and space, the Republic of South Sudan would be better off without the spoilers and corroborators that are still working against the postwar recovery under the Museveni’s disciple of the Republic of South Sudan.

Nhial K. Wicleek, a concern citizen of South Sudan. He is reachable at

The views expressed in this “Opinion Section” belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of The South Sudan Herald. Should you wish to submit your opinion piece or analysis, kindly contact us at:

Taban’s loyalists say they’re being left out from state appointments

Officials representing SPLM-IO (IG) feel left out | Courtesy

February 23rd, Taban-led group has lodged a formal complaint against South Sudan’s President Salva Mayardit over what they termed as “exclusion” from the ongoing appointments of state officials.

“Your Excellency issued Decree No:11, 12, 13, 14 establishing the State Government of Central Equatoria, Northern Bhar el Gazal, Unity and Warrap States respectively. We are indeed deeply shocked and dismayed because the Decree omitted the nominees of the former SPLM/A-IO led by Gen. Taban Deng Gai despite the fact that we are part of ITGONU as clearly stipulated in Article 1.3.1 of the R- ARCSS 2018,” said former SPLM-IO officials in a letter signed by 40 officials.

The group expressed concerns that if they are to miss appointments from other pending states, it means that they will be excluded from the unity government forever.

“Our serious fear is that if the bad development in these states is copied by the other states, then our group will be completely excluded from participation in the State and local governments in the country.”

“We are also deeply concerned with the proposal of the acting Secretary General of SPLM which was submitted to you concerning the expansion and reconstitution of the National Legislature, Her proposal allocates:

• 165 seats for those elected to Juba NLA in 2010 to be maintained.

• 91 seats for those elected to the Legislative Assembly in Khartoum in 2010 to be maintained.

• 47 Presidential appointees to the NLA in 2011 to be maintained.

“Thus the total number of seats for the SPLM alone will be 303 out of 332 leaving only 29 seats for the other parties in ITGONU. Furthermore out of the 29 seats, ten will be allocated to some elected members in 2010 leaving only 19 seats for those who were appointed in 2016. If her formula is followed, it means that the majority of the 68 Presidential appointees in 2016 as a result of the 2015 ARCSS will have been excluded.”

“Consequently the 50members of the former SPLM/A-I0 led by Gen. Taban Deng Gai will have been wickedly excluded. Your Excellency, our humble prayer to you is to maintain the unity of our people and parties which have been historically supporting you since the 2016 crisis by distributing the 332 seats fairly.”

Kiir faces lawsuit over unlawful appointments of state officials

President Salva Kiir Mayardit | Photo: File

A group of lawyers has filed a lawsuit against President Kiir Salva Mayardit, accusing him of violating the constitution by unconstitutionally appointing state officials .

Over the past few days, President Kiir has reconstituted and appointed state officials including ministers, advisors, and chairpersons of independent commissions in a presidential decree, a move considered as illegal by observers and activists.

“The concern that comes with the appointment is the distinction between the power of the governor and the powers of the presidency being exercise by the president himself,” Advocate Philip Anyang said, on behalf of the layers.

The group said in a statement that the move taken by Kiir is illegal and conflicts with the provisions of the peace agreement, which mandates the president to appoint ministers at the national level only.

“The agreement gives the president powers to appoint national ministers, governors and structures at the national level only. All the state appointment should be handled and done by the governors.”

On Monday, the Minister of Information, Michael Makuei Lueth noted that since the agreement has not been incorporated into the South Sudan Constitution, the president has the right to appoint officials at the local level.

“The state constitution has not yet been incorporated into the agreement; and as such, this idea of power-sharing or responsibility-sharing is not in their (states) current constitutions,” Makuei stated.

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