South Sudan makes us all look bad: Africa must advice or oust Kiir
from power now
May. 17 National, Uncategorized 3 comments
By Charles Onyango-Obbo, THE EASTAFRICAN, MAY/17/2017, SSN;
Africa needs to read the riot act to Kiir to piece the country back
together, or marshal an invasion force and oust him if he won’t. South
Sudan makes us all look bad.
The sacking of an army chief anywhere in the world, particularly
Africa, is usually big news.
But the panicked reaction to the news that South Sudan’s President
Salva Kiir fired army head General Paul Malong on Tuesday was
Many feared that the situation could get worse in the world’s newest
nation, which has been ravaged by war since Kiir fell out with his
deputy Riek Machar, resulting in savage fighting that made many
ashamed of knowing the South Sudanese.
They had reason to be afraid. Malong was no longer an ordinary army
chief. A polygamist with 40 wives and enough children to fill two
villages, he was seen as the puppet master in South Sudan, and Kiir
the puppet. He was the hardline Nuer iron fist behind the throne.
On Wednesday, Kiir trotted out the SPLA spokesman to say that Malong
had withdrawn with his security guards to outside of the capital,
Juba, but was not planning a rebellion.
Maybe he won’t, because the new army chief James Ajongo is alleged to
been picked by Malong. He is a kind of Malong lite.
Hopefully, Kiir will now strike a more moderate posture, because he
may still have a country, but will soon run out people.
More than 1.8 million South Sudanese have fled the country as
refugees, according to the latest UN figures. Most have ended up in
Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Sudan.
Uganda hosts most of the refugees, nearly 800,000. In Kampala on
Tuesday, Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda said the country would next
month seek $2 billion at a UN refugee summit in Kampala to help fund
relief operations for the South Sudanese refugees.
With a population of 12.4 million, South Sudan has made nearly 15 per
cent of its population refugees in fewer than four years.
In addition, more than 3.5 million people have been internally
displaced since the fighting erupted in mid-December 2013.
If the war doesn’t end, and intensifies, in another three or so years
more than 25 per cent of South Sudanese could be refugees. And if the
number of IDPs were also to double over the same period, accounting
for those who will have been slaughtered in war, fallen to disease, or
starved to death in the famine, virtually the whole population of
South Sudan would be living outside their homes and off their land.
For a country like Uganda, the prospect of say two million South
Sudanese pouring into the country by 2020 is scary, its much-praised
refugee policy notwithstanding.
The only place where the South Sudanese are living properly at home
could be the street on which Kiir lives in Juba.
That is overdramatised, yes, but it is to make the point that Africa
must finally do something bold to stop the madness in South Sudan.
Among other things, it should ensure that Malong leaves South Sudan,
either by force, or by being paid off Yahya Jammeh-style. He has a lot
of prime real estate in Nairobi and Kampala, and a small country of a
family to feed, so he may be susceptible to generous inducements.
And Africa needs to read the riot act to Kiir to piece the country
back together, or marshal an invasion force and oust him if he won’t.
South Sudan makes us all look bad.
Charles Onyango-Obbo is publisher of data visualiser Africapaedia and
Rogue Chiefs. Twitter@cobbo3
May 17, 2017 at 9:37 pm
you said it all…! fact, the current crisis has made south sudanese
more miserable than the over two decades war fought by SPLA/M with
that aside, government recognition of malong’s militias as
personal security & yet were fully funded by state resources –
salaries, guns & ammunitions – speaks for itself and its only a matter
of time that your predictions will unfold, needless to say we already
look bad, and not now but since the CPA period.
i doubt though the issue of african ideology, premised on the
failure of ARRCISS under their watch….IGAD and AU was part but failed
on its obligation to ensure implementation – with most member states
having interest in prolonging the war!
Kuc Majok Kuc
May 18, 2017 at 11:49 am
Dear Charles, I commend you for this precise article, which is
focusing on clear objectives and out of tribal hatred. Objective
articles focusing on real problems facing South Sudan nation is what
we should focus on, particularly at this juncture.
May 18, 2017 at 7:11 pm
Charles. If you are not South Sudan, then mind your country
business. I am sure your country is full of it own problems, for you
to say that war made South Sudanese look bad is nonsense .
To post to this group, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
Visit this group at https://groups.google.com/d/forum/southsudankob
View this message at
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
"South Sudan Info - The Kob" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email
To post to this group, send email to SouthSudanKob@googlegroups.com.
Visit this group at https://groups.google.com/group/SouthSudanKob.
To view this discussion on the web visit
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.