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South Sudanese president orders dismissal of Luka Biong from Juba University


October 21, 2015 (JUBA) - South Sudanese president Salva Kiir has given orders to the administration of Juba University to dismiss Luka Biong Deng from his lecturing post at the higher education institution in reaction to a forum that challenged his recent decree to create 28 states as unconstitutional.

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Former South Sudanese minister and academic Luka Biong Deng (Photo Courtesy of the Enough Project)

Although the order did not publicly explain what prompted the president to order the expulsion of his former close ally, several sources with knowledge of the recent fall out on Wednesday told Sudan Tribune that the action was prompted by the outcome of the recent public lecture at the Juba University which Deng organized to discuss the unilateral order by president Kiir to create 28 states.

Colleagues and lecturers at the university attributed the cause to public lecture organised by Deng’s Centre for Peace and Development Studies at the university attended by several prominent figures, including the leader of main political opposition party, Lam Akol, head of Jieng [Dinka] Council of Elders (JCE), Ambrose Riing Thiik and presidential advisor for legal affairs, Lawrence Korbandy, who attended as the chief guest of the event.

The debate was organised to seek public opinions on constitutionality and legality of the republican order number 36, issued by president Kiir on October 2, expanding the current 10 states to 28 despite the recently signed peace agreement with the opposition faction of SPLM-IO on the basis of the existing 10 states.

Several participants at the university public lecture expressed views rejecting unilateral creation of more administrative units, prompting Ambrose Riing Thiik, head of Dinka Council of Elders to walk out from the debate and rushed to president Kiir to request dismissal of Deng from the university and his expulsion from the country.

Thiik who was the first Chief Justice of the southern Sudan’s Supreme Court from 2005 was reportedly cornered by the country’s main opposition leader, Lam Akol, at the public lecture on the unconstitutionality of the presidential order, prompting the chairman of the Dinka Council of Elders, who served as ‘think-tank’ for president Kiir, to walk out in protest.

Sources claimed the president in response called the vice-chancellor of Juba University and instructed immediate dismissal of Deng teaching position for organizing the public lecture, seen as weakening the position of the president.

Until his dismissal and expulsion from the center, Deng was the Director of Centre for Peace and Development Studies and head of Kush Institute, a non-profit organisation promoting peace, stability and development, with a particular focus on South Sudan and Abyei area.

Deng is also a Global Fellow at Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), Associate Fellow at Carter Centre for Human Rights Policy at Harvard Kennedy School and a fellow at Rift Valley Institute.

He is a recognised expert on the affairs of Sudan, South Sudan in areas of poverty, vulnerability, famine, civil wars, constitution-making, and state-building.

He served for five years as a minister of presidential affairs of South Sudan and as national minister of cabinet affairs of the Sudan until May 2011 when he resigned in protest as the Sudanese army took over his native home area of Abyei.


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  • 21 October 2015 21:37, by Gatkuoth

    "Democratically elected Government" in action. Isn’t it interesting in democracy.....mockery!!!!

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    • 22 October 2015 04:11, by Shadrack Nuer Machut

      University of Juba takes a lot of time in politics making hupe noise & environmental pollution for just assumptions & time wasting. If no immediate change there, then chaotic wonders shall arise and/or change it to a learning institution instead of politicking campus. Dr. Biong has made the whole campus a dancing ground for nonsense.

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      • 22 October 2015 04:34, by Shadrack Nuer Machut

        I urge Dr. Biong to differentiate btn the duty of NLA & University. Besides, our c’try doesn’t want more talks than actions. This country needs not too much concentration on political arts in universities b’se it’ll produce dependent graduates full of problems. Political rallies in University of Juba & others if alike, Must Be Banned if VC wants a peaceful & conducive campus for successful studies.

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      • 22 October 2015 10:47, by Gatkuoth

        Calling intellectual debate in the university as an "environmental pollution", Shadrak, are you sensible? We must accept intellectual debate and freedom of expression. Pathetic enough is the role of JCE in making decision for a diverse supposed-Democratic nation

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      • 22 October 2015 13:35, by Mr Point

        Professor Machut
        Is Kiir’s decree constitutional? If it is, why does it contradict Article 162 of the Constitution?

        If it isn’t constitutional then follow article 4:

        Every citizen shall have the duty to resist any person or group of persons seeking to overthrow the constitutional government, or suspend or abrogate this Constitution.

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        • 22 October 2015 13:38, by Mr Point

          Professor Macht

          You don’t seem to support the Constitution. Are you against article 24?

          Every citizen shall have the right to the freedom of expression, reception and dissemination of information, publication, and access to the press without prejudice to public order, safety or morals as prescribed by law.

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          • 22 October 2015 13:41, by Mr Point

            Professor Machut

            Please explain the meaning of Article 38 of the Constitution, and where Luka Biong has crossed it.

            The National Government shall guarantee academic freedom in institutions of higher education and protect the freedom of scientific research within the ethical parameters of research and as shall be regulated by law;

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            • 22 October 2015 13:43, by Mr Point

              In fact the dismissal of Dr Biong could be seen as political interference with academic freedom and is therefore a further breach of the Constitution by Salva Kiir.

              Professor Machut, can you explain what safeguards exist to prevent Kiir from becoming a dictator?

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    • 22 October 2015 06:57, by Ayuen deng

      Dr.Biong have cross his border to president Kiir work,if he was looking for public oppions why can just take countrywide celebration over creation of 28 state the to call Lam Akol who refuse Shiluk King State.Its good that the president Kiir did his work to creats 28 State So that any Mad person will refuse his Mother home State.

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    • 22 October 2015 08:47, by okucu pa lotinokwan

      No demoncracy in this Nation call South Sudan,all what is taking place will lead us to federal govt where by one to be in his own state and can talk freely there

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    • 22 October 2015 12:31, by okucu pa lotinokwan

      A tribe can not rule a country or a clan in warrap can not rule a nation

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  • 22 October 2015 00:40, by Mr Point

    Kiir never supported the Dinkas of Abyei.

    Kiir has always attacked anyone who questioned his undemocratic way of governing.

    Luka Biong is expert on making a constitution. Kiir is an expert on breaking a constitution.

    What are the legal limits on Kiir’s use of power that prevent him becoming a dictator?

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    • 22 October 2015 00:53, by Mr Point

      Another interesting question comes from this story.

      Why was a former Chief Justice unable to discuss whether Kiir’s 28 state decree is legal?

      Kiir’s decree is either constitutional or it isn’t. Why did the former Chief Justice run away from the discussion?

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  • 22 October 2015 00:50, by Akol Liai Mager

    Ustaz Luka Biong Deng is a national living hero and a reserve bank of Big Ideas. He is a potential saviour of South Sudan from all man-made South Sudan’s disasters and this order, the sister of all bad orders heard and yet to be heard will not stop the surge of popularity of Ustaz Luka instead, it will help him build the momentum he seeks for positive change the nation need.

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  • 22 October 2015 02:34, by Developer

    This is totally ashamed and unacceptable to interfear education institution and free speech acts of south Sudan rse people by the President Kiir. It has total demeaned salva Kiir leadership acts.

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  • 22 October 2015 03:06, by Positive Thinker

    Dictarship knows no boundary. There are many presidents now in South Sudan. They are, President Ambrose Riiny Thiik, president Michael Makuei Lueth, President Tilar Ring Deng, President Awut Deng Achuil, and the list is long. Dr. Luke I hope you will not cry. Who told your truth will be bought by dictators. The first enemy to dictator is truth. Sorry Dr. As you lick your wound.

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  • 22 October 2015 05:43, by Whortti Bor Manza

    I thought all the Dinkas would have a cohesive approach in supporting whatever comes out of Kiir’s regime. Why the fallout now? Kiir now even fears his own shadows. The Dinkas have not learned from the redivion of the South in 1983. The SPLM was built on false hood and wild assumptions. Now the reality has become very clear,

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    • 22 October 2015 07:10, by Lorolokin

      We shouldn’t vote for Independence from Sudan if we knew Dinka elders are going to use jungle (cattle) laws to rule this country.
      Sorry for you brother Biong otherwise we are behind you.

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    • 22 October 2015 13:04, by Khent

      Whortti Bor Manza

      Salva Kiir has a lot of Dinka enemies, some of which he has murdered so I don’t think you can justifiably treat the Dinka as a monolith. The SPLM was not built on falsehoods. The movement was grounded in facts. Sudan was/is governed by a genocidal Arab elite that actively discriminated against and marginalised all others and so a movement was formed to counter it...

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      • 22 October 2015 13:08, by Khent

        ..The movement has since lost its ideals, principals and objectives to a criminal network that took the reigns of power following Dr. John Garang’s death. The SPLM has been hijacked, misdirected and destroyed.

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  • 22 October 2015 07:57, by hamil

    South Sudan needs more people like Luka Biong Deng who can boldly stand up and publicly challenge these dubious, nonsensical and senseless decrees Kiir issued time and again. Does Kiir actually think he is right in every decision he takes? We can clearly see that South Sudan’s constitution is merely a worthless document Kiir and JCE are the constitution. I salute you Luka Biong turn away from Kiir

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  • 22 October 2015 08:42, by KEAT BAYAk

    South Sudan is a place where democracy is not exist practically but exist theoretically

    If you want to stay unarmed don’t tell the truth.’’The pen is mightier than the sword’’

    God help the people of South Sudan

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  • 22 October 2015 10:07, by Mapuor

    Dr Luka Biong is a traitor and deserves more than dismissal. President Kiir responded to te demands of the people by granting each social group its autonomy. Why then did we separate from Arabs if we are against social groups autonomies. Its extremely ridiculous.Dr Luka Biong supported federal system when Dr Riek proposed that. Why reject it now?

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    • 22 October 2015 11:24, by Kumbo

      when talking about Federalism it does not mean you create states without consent of the people, and also it does not mean create the state on your own way and apoint all the MP of and apoint the Governors Federalism mean people apoint people whom they want to rule them not one I literal stock idiot dinka impose his idiotic jungle law on pple

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    • 22 October 2015 11:33, by Kumbo

      you need to go back to school just to learn what is Federalism what does it mean.

      if Kiir is responding to people’s call then he should resign coz the whole south Sudan is calling resignation with exception of you who are his close allies and his warrap native. You can boldly tell me that people of South Sudan love Kiir that would be a bold ly

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    • 22 October 2015 12:10, by Khent


      You really are an idiot. How exactly is Luka Biong a ’traitor’? You seem to think that blind loyalty to the regime equals loyalty to the country and that if anybody should dare criticise this mafia for breaching the constitution, initiating a terrible war and murdering journalists... a ton of bricks should fall on them...

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      • 22 October 2015 12:23, by Khent

        ..and idiots like you [whores to power] can start throwing around terms you clearly have no understanding of. You’re the traitors. You seem to think that Salva Kiir should exercise absolute power; not to be encumbered by even undoubtedly legitimate and constructive criticism, delivered with civility and tact. Contrary to your retarded flailing, Salva Kiir has been accorded far too much respect.

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        • 22 October 2015 12:26, by Khent

          Are you suggesting that millions of people died essentially so that we could be *ruled* by a myopic and incompetent king? Every misery that we’ve endured was for this? Every young man martyred; Every mother deprived of her child, left broken and bereaved; Wives widowed; Children orphaned and left vulnerable; Entire families wiped out...

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          • 22 October 2015 12:26, by Khent

            .. Entire villages cleared. Scores of virile young men and children were rendered amputees. Women were subjected to the soul crushing indignity of rape. Populations displaced to the four corners of the earth, left feeling out of place even if they grew up there. This you seem to suggest was all very necessary for Salva to assume the divine and infallible position of a pharaoh?

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            • 22 October 2015 12:37, by Khent

              Your claims are completely false. You claim that Salva Kiir’s illegal and unilateral decree was in response to people’s demand that each social group be granted greater autonomy. Well, how does delivering the people of Raja County to Dinka domination help them achieve autonomy? How does enabling the Dinka to dominate the much smaller Maban, Uduk and Burun help these tribes achieve autonomy?

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              • 22 October 2015 12:43, by Khent

                How does taking huge chunks of land integral to the great Chollo kingdom help them achieve autonomy? The newly created ’Boma State’ has deprived the Anywaa [Anyuak] of their claims to significant portions of Akobo County, which the Mor Lou Nuer have since occupied and refuse to return in accordance with the 1956 borders. How does this help them?

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                • 22 October 2015 12:59, by Khent

                  In addition to your ignorance and stupidity, you’re too blinded by your absurd devotion to your dear ’leader’ to realise that the essential difference between Riek’s *proposal* and Salva Kiir’s unilateral decree is that one was up for discussion, debate and negotiation, whereas the other one is an incontestable edict. Seriously, are you related to Salva Kiir or something?

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                  • 22 October 2015 13:39, by King of Nyamlel

                    Crazy! Biong wanted to make a name on Kiir’s kingdom!

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    • 22 October 2015 13:33, by Mr Point

      Professor Mapuor,

      When and where exactly was the demand of the people for 28 states expressed?

      There was no support for federalism in Kiir’s camp six months ago.

      Kent puts forward good reasons why the unworkable geography of Kiir’s proposal is a problem.

      Can you answer each of Khent’s points and explain how Kiir will solve them?

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    • 22 October 2015 15:00, by lino

      Mapour, who is stupid here? Either you or Kiir. Federalism must be done in constitutional way not like Jieng Council of Evils wanted it.
      A Primitive President should argue match with scholar. Wait 6 months and you will see where your country heading.

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  • 22 October 2015 15:00, by Akuma

    What do Dr. Luka Biong know about constitutions has if he is a South Sudanese. He should not oppose creation of 28 states, let him go and complain to UNSC on how to get his state.

    No one know his nationality where to belong whether in South Sudan or Sudan. He should Shut up in South Sudan affairs!!!

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    • 22 October 2015 19:30, by lino

      Stupid Akuma. Where were you when he was fighting on your behalf idiot. If not people like Luka, your cowboy would not have seen this leadership chair ya street boy.
      Give SS 6 months and you will be talking different language. Cowboys should be sent back to the zoo or tamed.

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  • 22 October 2015 15:53, by Son of Upper Nile

    Khent. Don’t waste your valuable time trying to convince him. He is one of BHG thugs. Who think president shouldn’t be bound by any law, they don’t know what rule of law, civilization & system mean. They turned our beautiful country to a lawless state like their villages. Where youth wrestle cattles, people are ambushed along roads & clans fight for their son to marry a beautiful girl.

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  • 22 October 2015 19:16, by Edema Darius Marcello

    Dear Comrades,

    The order to dismiss and expel senior lecturer Deng from Juba University is null and void. There is no point of dismissing Lecturer based on defeat in public lecture. If Thiik is think tank for president he should be able to defend the position of caretaker president for establishing 28 states without knowledge of citizen. The care taker president should dismiss Thiik instead. ED

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