South Sudan Media War and Propaganda

By Peter Gai Manyuon

January 27, 2014 (SSNA) — There had been a lots of accusations between the Government of South Sudan under President Gen Salva Kiir Mayardit and the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM/A) in opposition lead by the former Vice President of South Sudan Dr Riek Machar. There is ongoing campaign on which group committed the crimes in Juba, Unity State, Malakal and Jonglei as well. There had been lots of propaganda on the side of the government since the war escalated in South Sudan especially the spokesperson of the Sudan People Liberation Army (SPLA) Col Philip Aguer had been in forefront advocating for what might benefit government which he is representing.

Most of the South Sudanese have acknowledged as the strategy of trying to implicate and inciting the all scenario which indeed happened and that was why the Inter-governmentals Authority on Development (IGAD) clearly regulated the propaganda as an issue identified as the way SPLA is always preaching. Well for those who studied Journalism and different scholars globally, will acknowledge that propaganda is always being use in politics, war and etcetera, because some people want to be heard well more than other side or group. According to Oxford dictionary, Propaganda, simply put, is the manipulation of public opinion. It is generally carried out through media that is capable of reaching a large amount of people and effectively persuading them for or against a cause.

However, many scholars came up with different views as Propaganda is concern, the exact meaning of propaganda is constantly debated, however, and no specific definition is completely true. Some argue that any persuasive communication is propaganda, while others hold that propaganda specifically alters political opinions. However, it is doubtless that propaganda is material which is meant to persuade or change public opinion, and though it often varies in form and technique it always serves the same purpose. Propaganda is communication for the purpose of persuasion.

Propaganda, although it has existed almost indefinitely, has grown immensely during the past few centuries. Although evidence of intentional propaganda can be traced back as far as ancient Greece, the advent of communication media on a larger scale has exponentially increased its usage. After the invention of the printing press, it became possible to quickly and easily produce posters and books. Prior to this development, however, the majority of propaganda was spread by word of mouth. The printing press enabled the propagandist to quickly produce mass amounts of posters with one intended effect, a form of propaganda much less risky and difficult than oral communication.

This indeed happened in the side of the government when fighting emerged between the Presidential Guards unit in Juba capital on 15th, 16th, and 17th and subsequently spread to most of the states.

Furthermore, the number of the civilians that were killed in those places is good number of people who can do something to the Republic of South Sudan because most of them were intellectuals.

Too much of anything sometimes, can lead to destruction, looting, and killing; why do I mention this? In South Sudan, people have given themselves titles that are too many; The issue of (Beny in dinka) (Kuarmidit in Nuer) and (Uthur maduong in Lou/Jurchol) have taken South Sudanese to square one. People like titles when they don’t do the needful to the Community.

What I know is that in every problem, there might be the cause which people should dwelled on, and for the case of South Sudan; people will be focusing on Juba massacre because people who were killed in Bor, Unity came as the revenged from the people whose their people were killed in Juba and no one will deny the fact. People are not making comparison on who is wrong and who is right and for your information the central government in Juba will be answerable to the all the mess that had been incurred. The loss of lives, properties, will be put on the government of South Sudan because they have implicated, motivated the fighting that started within the same Army.

Ideally and realistically, President Salva Kiir Mayardit have been regarded by most of the South Sudanese as the person who had been mislead by a small clicks of individuals that have taken the Country to the square one, people might ask who are those people misadvising Kiir? They are seven figures in Juba who are the very guys who were mobilizing people to killed one community in Juba last year 2013 ;they include Minister of Defense ,Minister of Information and Broadcasting, the two directors of National Security both external and Internal, Governor of Northern Bhar-el-gazal State and Army Generals who were in Juba during the incident including the General representing Republican guards in Juba.

Hence ,when the fighting erupted within President Kiir republican guards in Juba on the 15th of December 2013 and escalated to some states in South Sudan, it send massage to the world that, President of South Sudan known by the name Kiir Mayardit have been defeated by how he should governance the people of South Sudan in good faith. Others people term him as the second Museveni in South Sudan; others term him as another IDI AMIN Dada of South Sudan. People might ask why he failed in his leadership. The answer is very simple, he failed due to the fact that, Kiir have forgotten the mission and the vision why South Sudanese were fighting for their freedom with the Northern Sudanese beginning from 1945 -2005 when the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was signed in Naivasha Kenya on the 9th of January 2005.

Where on earth will you find the government without oppositions? But for the case of South Sudan many people do not see the problem within the ruling party.

More interestingly, many researchers, analysts and writers gave in different projections, recommendations about South Sudan crisis that started by the Republican guards which was turned by Kiir loyalists to be tribal war that ended up with Nuer massacre in Juba last year and subsequently affected every tribe that is in greater Uppernile region.

Compressively, there are very tangible points and facts that might need attention of the western world to oversee. When am talking about western world, am meaning the International Community that are dealing in Human rights monitoring and documentation globally. Why do I say so? The Country like the Republic of South Sudan is at the stage of disintegrations, collapsing because no one is trusted in the Country leadership at the movement. Tribal agendas are the only one that focuses on the people minds in South Sudan right now, some people are projecting on many issues when you hear might be disastrous to the people of the newest state.


There is need for immediate indictment and persecution of the people who were behind the genocidal that took place on the, 16th, 17th and 18th of December 2013 in Juba because they took the people of South Sudan to Rwanda history of 1994 which is unacceptable and ambiguous to be advocate for at this particular period of time . The number of the intellectuals who were killed especially in Gudele, Jabel Kujur, Newsite, Manga, Khorwilliam in Juba because they were born Nuer needs good methodology, qualitative and quantitative research to find the facts and realities on who killed them using scientific approach.

There is need to form a team of the Committees that comprises of the International CIDS and Journalists who can visit South Sudan to investigate the root cause of sending soldiers to killed one community without basis or legitimacy. Hence ,Human rights watch should be part of the committees to come and investigate the atrocities committed by President Kiir and his loyalists in the Country. This is the time to publish the findings and recommendations on what should be done to the criminals who are killing people up to now in Juba.

International Community (IC) and International criminal court (ICC) should also investigate or prosecute all the comrades who were inciting the tribal war through the media in South Sudan by using propaganda full of lies. Because most of the people have been killed due to the propaganda preached by those who do not love the peaceful co-existence in the society.

The death of two hundred people who die when the boat capsize in White Nile in Malakal when civilians   were trying to cross for safety, should be brought in to book for the proper accountability.


Media war and Propaganda is not good to be use in the South Sudan because we are one people with one objective that is peace and prosperity , propaganda is not good to be use at this particular period of time where people minds focuses still remembering the pasts like tribalism, corruption. Everyone is entitled to his/her rights in South Sudan as per the Transitional Constitution 2011 are concern. Let come together as South Sudanese and we identify what can determine our destiny to a better level.

Author is the Independent Journalist who had written articles extensively as Columnist on the issues of Democratization and Human Rights in South Sudan; you can contact him through, [email protected]


The Science of Modern Propaganda. , 2001.
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