Tag Archives: SPLM

South Sudan’s new vice-president: Battles Fought and the Secrecy of Diplomacy

You used to be able to buy James Wani Igga’s book at the Juba airport newspaper kiosk. Perhaps you still can. Southern Sudan: Battles Fought and the Secrecy of Diplomacy is the kind of 400 page war memoir that includes anecdotes of the Third Punic War (p57, 149 – 146 BC, Wani tells us) as well as more contemporary descriptions of Wani’s adventures during the second civil war: Continue reading


Three good reasons why Riek Machar won’t leave the SPLM

Greetings internet!  I’ve succumbed to the folly(?) of starting my own blog.  I’ll gradually incorporate a back catalogue of articles published elsewhere on the web.  And so for an inaugural post, as news breaks of James Wani Igga’s appointment as South Sudan’s new vice-president:

When Salva Kiir dismissed his government in July, there was plenty of speculation that this was a prelude to a formal split of the SPLM, and that as Kiir’s chief challenger, Riek Machar would be the most likely figure to lead a breakaway faction.  And while nothing can be ruled out when it comes to the SPLM leadership, and, in time, as with most liberation movements, the party will almost certainly divide and re-configure, there are at least three good reasons why Riek Machar won’t (or shouldn’t, if he’s smart) leave the SPLM any time soon: Continue reading

Thoughts on the Juba reshuffle

Originally published by African Arguments on July 29, 2013.

Given rumours in Juba about the authenticity of Salva Kiir’s signature on earlier presidential decrees, I couldn’t help but be curious about the five examples on the latest batch of presidential stationery.  I’m happy to report that each of the chief executive’s signatures seems to have authentic, natural variation.

Other questions are less easy to answer. Is Kiir’s move really a clean sweep of old and tired faces, or will most, excepting the president’s chief irritants Riek Machar and Pagan Amum, return with new titles?  (So far, the announced appointment of Barnaba Marial Benjamin as Minister of Foreign Affairs would suggest the latter.)  Is the appointment of speaker of parliament James Wani Igga as chair of the committee in order to investigate Pagan’s recognition of parliamentary sovereignty or something more: a hint of a grand alliance between Kiir and Wani for 2015? Continue reading