As much as I admired the speech that was delivered by H.E. Salva Kiir in the UN sideline Meeting on the Sudan's Current Situation, and the support that was promised by the world leaders and the countries represented in the meeting, especially that of the US President Obama, yet I was unhappy that H.E. Kiir was marginalized and belittled protocol wise in the meeting hall.

Instead, H.E. Vice President Ali Osman Taha was given the honour because his status was always acknowledged before that of H.E. Kiir through out the session, except for the South African former President, Mr Thabo Mbeki, the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and very few others.

Even in the seating at the high table, H.E. Kiir was put after H.E.Taha who was seated right next to the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon to take the hounor of the second highest protocol in the hall. This was so bad because according to the protocol, the First Vice President of the Sudan should come first before the Vice President unless the First Vice President is absent. If the UN protocol officials did not know this hierarchy of honour, it would have been Mr. Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, the Chief of the GoSS Mission in US, to remind them to correct the wrong protocol that is vilificating to the honour of Southern Sudan and its highest leader.

Why should all this marginalization and belittling have to happen if Mr. Gatkuoth is keen to protect the honour that H.E. Kiir's leadership status holds, especially at the international level and with the whole world watching? Really, I felt mortified to see my First Vice President of the Sudan and President of the Government of Southern Sudan being humiliated simply in that manner.

How can Mr. Ezekiel allow the President of nearly an independent country in the waiting with all privileges and immunities be marginalized and humiliated that way? Alas! I wish he was a patriotic Southerner (not Ethiopian with Nuer identity representing the GoSS in US) and nothing of that shameful kind of belittling in the face of the whole world would have been allowed to happen. If I were H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, I will call back Mr. Ezekiel Lol to Southern Sudan immediately for this unforgivable mistake and replace him with a real professional Southerner!

I am tearing for the marginalization and humiliation of my GoSS President at the UN Headquarters today on 24th September 2010. I wish something of that kind will not repeat itself again. That is why we need professionals and real Southerners to take care of the honour that is attached to the top most important high offices that are held by leaders in Southern Sudan , especially when it comes to international exposure and representation.

What happened today is a shameful history that has been recorded and it is really painful and heartbreaking for those who want to see their leaders being valued and acknowledged for the protocols weight they hold. This humiliation (even if unintended) is so bad although the purpose of H.E. Kiir's attendance at that high level UN meeting is noble with promising outcome of the international support for the independent of South Sudan in time and with credibility for  its legitimacy when the eligible people go for it overwhelmingly.

God bless South Sudan with its land, people and government, and also God bless the friends and well-wishers of this rich African land.

Dr. James Okuk is reachable at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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  • I don't believe that the UN Protocol could have missed that Gen Salva Kiir is the First Vice President of the Sudan. The Sudan delegation to the UN General Assembly was led by Vice President Tah and there is no way this could have been reversed in consideration of the Sudan's leadership heirarchy. Gen Salva Kiir found himself in the UN only in the context of the meeting on the Sudan. This should not warrant speculation about protocol arrangements. It did not belittle Salva nor did it exalt Ali Osman. In my opinion that Salva was there as president of GOSS is a recognition that Southern Sudan is an entity of its own perhaps on the way to statehood.

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  • Guest - Simon Majok

    I am pleased that Prof. Peter Adwok Nyaba and brother Aban Kur have presented the logic behind what happened in the United Nations’ summit on Sudan. Gentlemen, thank you for the clarifcation to others.

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  • Guest - Kimy James

    هذا الموضوع أثرناه قبل قبل يومين في إجتماع التحرير الصباحي في الإذاعة التي أعمل بها ، و إشتد الجدل بيننا كمحررين ، حول لماذا يعلن راديو ام درمان بشكل بدا لنا إستفزازياً إن علي عثمان غادر الي نيويورك علي راس وفد السودان الكبير بينما سلفاكير موجود هناك أيضاً وهو النائب الأول لرئيس جمهورية ، ولم يفك الإستباك بيننا الا خبير من قسم البروتوكول التابع لبعثة الامم المتحدة في السودان.

    في تقديري إن ما قاله الدكتور بيتر أدوك اقرب الي المنطق ، فكما هو معلوم لا يمكن لمنظمة مثل الأمم المتحدة يقيس بروتوكولها المسافة بين الصحون و أكواب الشرب بالسنيتمر ، إن تفوت عليها الوضع المعقد لوفد السودان!! علي عثمان كان يمثل رئيس الجمهورية الذي كان يفترض إن يحضر الجلسات لولا لعنة أوكامبو التي تطارده ..

    بروتوكوليا ، فان ممثل وفد السودان هو الذي يقرأ خطاب الرئيس و بالتالي ياخذ مكان الرئيس في المقصورة المخصصة له داخل الجمعية غض النظر عن منصبه ، حتي كان سفيرا السودان بالامم المتحدة! سلفاكير كما قال الدكتور نيابا لم يكن له صفة هناك سوي إنه رئيس حكومة جنوب السودان و ثمة جلسة مخصصة لمناقشة قضايا السودان ، لذلك تعامل رجال البروتوكول معه علي هذا الاساس.

    كير كان ليحظي بالوضع البروتوكولي الذي حظي به طه فقط لو إنه ذهب الي هناك ممثلاً لحكومة السودان و حاملاً لخطاب الرئيس البشير !! و علي كل فان مخاطبة كير للمؤتمرين في الامم المتحدة اياً كان يمثل مكسب كبير للجنوب وهو يخطو نحو الاستقلال.

    شكراً للإخوة في بعثة حكومة جنوب السودان في واشنطن دي سي و أخص بالشكر للأخ إينوك دانيال أبا، مسؤل البروتوكول بالبعثة ، فلا شك إن ليلهم كان موصولاً بالنهار من أجل إنجاح الزيارة.

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  • Guest - Dr. James Okuk

    For Those Who Want to Defend the Damage done to H.E. Kiir's Protocol Weight:

    Did you really watch live what happened in that UN meeting hall? There was no any instant that H.E. Salva Kiir was not called the "First Vice President of the Sudan". Most of the speakers did not address him as the "GoSS President" or "SPLM Chairman" or whatever, but the First Vice President of the Sudan.

    Now, if the UN and world knew that H.E. Kiir was there on the high table of honour in the UN in his capacity as the "GoSS President" why did they put a plat in front of him with the title "First Vice President of the Sudan" instead of "GoSS President or SPLM Chairman", and why was it not clarified that he was there in the UN hall in his capacity as the "GoSS President" or "SPLM Chairman" or "SPLA C-in-C" or whatever lower position he holds than H.E Ali Osman Taha. This is where my argument of belittling and humiliation or marginalization of H.E Kiir makes sense. If it doesn't sound correct to you, then that is your own problem far from the fact that was there and seen by any observer.

    Let's not fool ourselves here. Instead, let's be courageous to tell the king he has been striped naked so that next time he becomes careful before he comes out to public scene. The damage of belittling has already been done on H.E. Salva Kiir's Protocol and history has recorded it. The only thing we can do is just to forgive and forget instead of defending the hay that got burn into ashes and the milk that got spilled in the sand.

    In truth we should trust and nothing else but the truth!!!

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  • Guest - 0jwok nyawella

    Wow?The osciliation of the SPLA-M between speration and unity is the cause of this humiliation,since the appointment is based on tribal status. withuot knowing that the president of the south is the symbol of a real state,standing for two million martyers and the fifteen million population of the suothern sudan for whom he is not a second class vice preident,but a President like Obama of the united State?

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  • Guest - Dr. James Okuk

    Brother Gerwech,

    I understand your argument but still the hard fact remains: Why did Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth allows the UN protocol to put the plate written "First Vice President of the Sudan" in front of H.E. Salva Kiir. Why he did not advice the UN protocol officials before time to put "GoSS President” instead to avoid belittling and humiliation of our Southern Sudan leader.

    My brother, I blame Mr. Ezekiele because he was the one who arranged the travels and meetings of H.E. Salva Kiir and his accompanying delegation, and not the Sudan Charge D’affaires, Ambassador Dr John Akec in Washington DC nor the Sudan Ambassador Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman who heads the Sudan Permanent Mission in the UN at New York. Since that meeting was a sideline meeting and not the official General Assembly Session where H.E Vice President Ali Osman Taha should represent the President of the Sudan and his message to the World, I don’t think it makes sense to exult Taha and Belittle H.E. Salva Kiir in the protocol arrangement in that room. Mr. Ezekiel should have reminded the UN protocol officials on this because H.E. Kiir was under his total care as the GoSS President visiting the US and attending the UN sideline meetings.

    Any way, our king has already been striped naked in front of the whole world and there is nothing we can do except to forgive and forget the past, and leant our lessens from it for future use so that he put on cloth before he goes to public scene, especially the ones with international representation and exposure. We should not allow any one even at the UN or US levels to create inferiority out of our Southern Sudan leaders. This is degrading to the superiority that resides in the highest constitutional offices Southerners hold.

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  • Mr. James Okuki Solomon!!!
    I watched the episode live, thanks to Pachodo website which provided the live linkage to the UN TV. You are reading too much into what happened or perhaps you are the one trying to belittle Gen. Salva as you have been insulting him all along forgetting that you are a civil servant who has no business maddling in politics. You should first and foremost recognise that Salva is your leader and after that you can peddle anything. Stay well

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  • Guest - Simon Majok

    Can someone tell James Okuk in Shilluk language that South Sudan will be an independent country after 09/01/2011 please! Why on Earth can James not understand that when anybody refer to H.E. Kirr as First Vice President the person addressing him sees Kirr as representing about 39 million people of the hold Sudan. Many members of UN council are aware that Salva Kirr is the president of the would be nation of South Sudan, but they are addressing Sudan as one country until it actually break-up.

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  • Guest - Jiben Kokding

    I didn't watch the news agencies to find out how seating was, but from your arugments I 've summarized the issue which is clear regarding the representations.
    H.E Gen Salva Kiir 1st Vice President of the Republic of Sudan was representing the President of GOSS & SPLM party while H.E Ali Osman was representing the Republic of Sudan which he holds the President status and NCP.
    So we don't need to make all these arguments and speak bad words to ourselves. If there is a mistake some where, then we need to correct it and forgives ourselves as long as we are human being.

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  • Guest - Othwonh Thabo

    President Salva Kiir was belittled because he went complaining in the streets of Washington and New York about NCP behaviour and conduct. That's why they treated him like a child.

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