Contributor's Opinion South Sudan

The Root Causes Of The Failure Of The Liberation Of South Sudan During The First Phase Of The South-South Civil War

By Yien Lam Tot

SPLA using sophisticated weapons
SPLA using sophisticated weapons

Feb 21, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —– The South-South armed conflict officially broke out on 15th of December 2013 as consequence of using authoritarian leadership style. Gen. Mayardit of the (SPLA) has been using autocratic leadership approach to remain as the king of the youngest nation for several decades. The opposition leaders are not allowed to express their opinions over the governance of South Sudan and also they are not permitted to campaign freely during presidential elections.

The SPLM / SPLA-IO. which operates under the chairmanship of Dr. Riek Machar Teny completely failed to overcome the SPLM/SPLA-IG headed by Gen. Salfa Kiir Mayardit following the eruption of the South-South civil war. The failures of the liberation of the newest nation were caused by number of reasons. The main reasons have been listed below;

  • Absence of the formation of the Joint National Liberation Leadership Council (JNLLC);
  • Absence of the International Community (IC) support;
  • Lack of the logistical support;
  • Absence of professional military training;
  • Blocking of the commission and promotion;
  • No anti-corruption policies in place;
  • Ignorance of the expert judgment;
  • Laissez-faire leadership style and
  • other

Each of the reason has been expanded below to fully understand the major causes of the liberation of the youngest country after the split of the SPLM / SPLA on 15th December 2013.

  1. Absence of the formation of the Joint National Liberation Leadership Council (JNLLC)

Dr. Machar of the SPLM / SPLA-IO. totally rejected the creation of the (JNLLC) which should be charged with planning, organisng, controlling and monitoring of political-military activities in the rebel held territory during the first phase of the South-South civil war. The main reason of the refusal of the establishment of the High Liberation Leadership Council (HLLC) was that Machar has been working harder to secure his previous Vice Presidency position. His plan against the creation of the (JNLLC) is very likely to be successful. The Comprised Peace Agreement (CPA) that was signed between the two warring parties endorsed Dr. Machar to be sworn in as First Vice President of the republic of South Sudan in the forthcoming (TGNU). This position has no any different with the position of the Vice President. The First Vice presidency was deliberately designed to confuse the enslaved ethnic communities in the newly founded nation.

2 Absence of the International Community (IC) support

The SPLM / SPLA-IO. completely failed to win the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the African Union (AU), the Arab League (AL), the NATO countries (NC), the European Union (EU), the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), Non-governmental International organisations (NGIO) and the legitimate governments. This indicates that Dr. Machar has been running the movement without foreign allies. The implementation of the (CPA) was intentionally delayed because the (SPLM-IO.) did not fully win even single nation on the planet. A reliable source said that he frankly told the members and the supporters of the movement that the (oil wells) and (gold) are belong to the future generations and not the present generations. Due to this reason, he totally refused to sign alliance deals with the peaceful foreign nations.

  1. Lack of the logistical support

The SPLM /SPLA-IO. did not receive logistical support because its leader failed to build effective diplomatic ties with the foreign governments and the International non-governmental bodies. Dr. Machar has been leading the movement without advance modern military weapons, ammunition, communication equipment, uniforms, boots, sleeping materials, medical supplies, food, drinking water, and other defence needs. This is not the first time for Machar to experience shortages of logistical support; he was running the Nasir Faction (NF) without military hardware, sleeping materials, food, clean drinking water, and other army needs.   The SPLM /SPLA-IO. which operates under the Mayardit ’s leadership has been exchanging the oil with modern military hardware to eliminate the Nuer and the non-Nuer who threaten his reckless authoritarian leadership style. The government of Uganda (GOU) the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) and other anti human foreign forces receive multimillions (USD) from the government of Juba in order to involve fully in the protection and the advancement of the Dinkas’ interests at home and in Diaspora.

  1. Absence of the professional military training

There are no adequate military training centres opened by the (SPLA-IO.) after the eruption of the first stage of the South-South civil war. Additionally the (IO) was unable to motivate the people to go to the military training camps in the liberated area to receive professional training. The (IO) only managed to transform few people for the war against the government forces. This happened because laissez-faire leaders mostly focus on the provision of maximum freedom to the followers and not interested in the transformation of the team members.

  1. Blocking of the commission and promotion

The commission and the promotion of the eligible fighters was deliberately blocked until the end the first phase of the South-South civil war. A reliable source said that more than 300 university graduates who were travelling alongside with Commander Puok Kong from Pagak or/Maiwut were not commissioned after the completion of their military training to secure Dr. Machar’s current and future delegative leadership in South Sudan. As result of the blocking of the commission and promotion of the combatants many (SPLA-IO.) ’s fighters were reportedly deserted.

  1. No anti-corruption policies in place

The SPLM / SPLA-IO. has no proper anti-corruption system in place to prevent corruption in both political as well as military wing. The source stated that the military hardware that was captured from the enemy are not all kept in the armouries for future usage. Some of them are reportedly sold by the freedom fighters to marry the girls from Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Sudan, and other parts of the World. This barbaric behaviour is caused by the failure of the application of the bureaucratic leadership style in the organisation.

  1. Ignorance of the expert judgment

The five types of the powers that were described by French & Raven (1960s) are legitimate, reward, coercive, referent and expert power.

The members of the SPLM / SPLA-IO. who have the expert powers are not allowed to comment on the liberation of South Sudan from Mayardit’s regime. The source said clearly that their opinions are ignored because there is no incorrupt governance system in place. Those who talk about the expert judgment are hated or automatically dismissed from the movement.

  1. Laissez-faire leadership style

The SPLM / SPLA-IO. has been operating without effective leader since its foundation in 2013 unto now. The free reign leadership approach was first described by Lewin, Lippitt and White (1939) alongside with democratic and authoritarian leadership style. Dr. Machar has been using this style since 1985 until now. The major split of the SSIM / SSIA in the 19th century and the breaking up of the SPLM / SPLA-IO. in the year 2015 was caused by delegative leadership style. Machar was identified as one of the extreme laissez faire leaders on our planet. This style has got too many weaknesses. The organisations that are led by laissez-faire leaders are very likely to collapse because the leaders allow their followers to make their own decisions exclusively. Every team’s member operates as the head of the corporation because the leader does not provide satisfactory direction.

  1. Conclusions

Dr. Machar’s delegative leadership style has to be blamed for unsuccessful liberation of the whole South Sudan from the SPLM / SPLA and its allies. The failure of the advancement of the freedom fighters from Greater Upper Nile towards Greater Bahr al Ghazal and Greater Equatoria Region was caused by the usage of the laissez-faire leadership style. The free reign leadership approach cannot be used in the wilderness because it has got too many disadvantages. The current chairperson of the SPLM / SPLA-IO. will be submitting the formal reports to the governing body called Dinka National Council of Elders (DNCE) because his extreme free reign leadership style successfully hijacked the liberation of the youngest country during the first phase of the South-South civil war.


Commander Yien Lam Tot

The author is an Advocate for Situational Leadership theories and he holds Asso. Dip. of Sustain., Asso.Dip. of Admin., Dip. of Bus., Dip. of HR., Dip. of Mgt., and Post Grad. Leadership Degree.

The writer is also the President of the (SSNDP) and Commander-in-Chief of the (SSNDF)

South Sudan, Liberated Area. He can be reached at totTottot2014@hotmail.com, yien.military1991@hotmail.com or + 249 -96 5060 624.

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