By Apioth Mayom Apioth, USA

The true size of Africa

The true size of Africa

“Coffee is about white people,” was the statement recently unleashed by a Chinese cafe owner, in his self-defense as to why he refused to hire a black Brazilian as a barista in Sydney. It echoes a racialized remark spewing out of the harsh times of the segregated Deep South, isn’t it?

To decipher the hidden meaning of his statement, one would think he also meant coffee holds a significant value to the Western culture; sort of like a pleasantry they consume while enjoying the immense wealth of their civilization.

On the other hand, black culture doesn’t value coffee to the same exalted status as it is in the West; black civilization is still mired in its crippling malady, refusing to straightened up to realize its full potential. In coming to realization as to what this signifies, we refuse to let the East becomes the new heavyweights of prejudicial mythologists of imperialism.

In colonial Africa, explorers were the first fabricators who fictionized Africa to a mere land empty of people but a place where anyone can make a name for himself, or see a grandiose specter of bountiful safaris ever found on planet earth. The first task of the explorers was to exaggerate the truth about Africa; they did so to generate future sponsorships and business deals for maintenance of their already established colonies, and for creation of the new colonies.

Even today, in our 21st century, people are still sleeping on this fictioning of Africa: My Samoan associates at work only talk about going to Africa to hunt animals; and in today’s Hollywood’s animations such as the Lion King, Madagascar, and so on, you only see the animals without a single African soul making it to the screen.

I have to admit that part of the reason of why we get to see animals getting animated every so often is blatant racism; the Western world doesn’t want other people to compete with them in the film industry, especially films that are designed for their audience, because in doing so, it would be tantamount to glorifying other people’s cultures, leaving them in the dust; and the other partial reason is filtration of past colonial myths that turned Africa into a land devoid of people, where adventurous vacationers got to see copious safaris without any human interruption.

During my college days, one of my friends, who happened to be Eurasian (actually he was half Caucasian and half Chinese), reiterated to me that Asians and Caucasians get along very well. Going back to the above statement, one would walk away fully satisfied that his reiteration wasn’t far from the truth; that they are cabals clandestinely working together to mold the world to their liking.

Even today, at this very second, there are some social milieu in the Western world who think blacks and Hispanics, are the bottom pit of the global hierarchy of power, while the Asians and Caucasians are at the foreground leading the pack with a tantalizing authority.

Thus, when a Chinese entrepreneur says coffee holds a monumental value to white people, he is merely giving a laudatory complement to another camaraderie who he sees hold a sweeping exalted statutory culture to his own.

So, what is the answer to the million dollar question; “When are we going to stop writing about Africa, and black people in particular?” That is the question that Chinua Achebe thought hit the target on the nerve when he was asked by an Australian student during one of his lecturing tours about washing our hands clean from imperialist practices and racism.

And the answer to that question is precisely clear: We will interminably keep on writing until we run out of ink. Writing as an art of expression keeps on changing dimensions from one era to the next. Black people write to educate people who refuse to look at them from the perspective who they truly are.

We keep on pushing pens to cut the umbilical cord from the new generation of imperialists who wish to recycle old practices of racism, and let it dictates our futures. In addition, writing covers vast medium of cultures, epochs, and places, for example, in my country of South Sudan, people have been going through almost interminable humanitarian disasters for three generations and counting.

So, from an era starting in the 1940s up to until now, all kinds of writers have been conditioned to become news writers; it didn’t matter, and our time still doesn’t give a hoot about whether you were born to be a fantasy, adventure, or an entertainment writer; time will come when everyone involved in this art will take his or her rightful place of expression. 

The East doesn’t have to go through that sad route again; it won’t do an absolute justice to the rest of human race who happened to be none other than Asians or Caucasians, if they become the new torch bearers of prejudicial imperialism.

The East have gained greater strides in the international mercantile system in the last three or so decades. Western racism on their people has fastidiously been on the decline once after they rose to the helm of the global socioeconomic ladder; there are some few pockets of Europe that still racially harass Asian students every now and then, but other than that, things are looking bright for Asians at the moment.

Meanwhile, Asians other counterparts, the blacks, still face widespread racism in Europe: In football stadiums usually populated by over 70,000 people, you can see some sections of the fans chanting monkey, and throwing bananas at the black players; and these things happen right before our very own eyes in our today’s highly social media platforms and live television programming.

The reason why European racism is lenient against Asians and heavily targeted against blacks is simple: Our economic influence in the global playground is lightly concentrated, while the Asians have a heavily clouded influence to air their grievances to whoever is mistreating their lot.

Globalization is moving heads as we speak: countless populations from many different parts of the world are moving from one part of the globe to the other, seeking new opportunities to improve their lives; and it is in this spirit of this global phenomenon that we should let something that is beyond our control takes its course to a new world order.

Be it the Westerners, Asians, Africans, or Hispanics, we ought to play it safe to the ever-demanding tune of “cultural diversity.” When that day of reckoning comes, each and every one of us will have to contribute its share to the future ambitions of humankind, since we don’t know what the future will look like, and catering to the needs of a diverse world, wouldn’t require the ideologues of a selected few; stagnation would ensue on their part.

That is why it is very important now more than ever, to give chances of life improvisation to everyone involved so that we can approach our problems on a leveled-playing field.

 

Tone of the poor

Posted: August 29, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in Poems.

By Wenne Madyt Dengs (A poet and Journalist)

-

My life lies under my armpit

I have emaciated because of no emancipation

I cry and nothing carries my alarm

-

I am a soldier who has no wife

I am a student without pen and books

I am a farmer without land and seeds to sow

I live a lifeless life

Neither do I breathe nor do I bathe

 -

I have no shape to shelter

I recline on the street like dust

I am blind

I am deaf and even dumped

 -

My heart is full of grievances

I don’t have any secret about my future

Everything is dull

I can imagine my image

 -

Wenne Madyt Dengs ©2014

African States: Reject Immunity for Leaders

Posted: August 28, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in Press Release

For Immediate Release
African States: Reject Immunity for Leaders
141 Groups in 40 Countries Speak Out

(Johannesburg, August 25, 2014) – African countries should reject immunity for sitting leaders for grave crimes before the African Court for Justice and Human Rights, 141 organizations said today in a declaration in advance of an African Union meeting in Nairobi. The organizations include both African groups and international groups and have a presence in 40 African countries. 

The African Union (AU) Office of the Legal Counsel is convening a meeting in Nairobi on August 25 and 26, 2014, with government officials of AU member countries in East Africa to promote ratification of AU treaties. Discussions, which will take place at the Hilton Hotel, are expected to include a newly adopted protocol to extend the African Court’s jurisdiction to trials of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, while providing immunity for sitting leaders and other senior officials. The protocol to expand the authority of the African Court was adopted at the 23rd African Union summit, in Malabo in June.

“The immunity provision is a regrettable departure from the AU’s Constitutive Act, which rejects impunity under article 4,” said George Kegoro, executive director of theInternational Commission of Jurists-Kenya. “Immunity takes away the prospect that victims can access justice at the African court when leaders commit atrocities. African states should take a clear stand opposing this immunity.”

The adopted Protocol on Amendments to the Protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights is the first legal instrument to extend a regional court’s authority to criminal jurisdiction over genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. The protocol also covers 11 additional crimes and notably provides for an independent defense office.

But Article 46A bis of the amendments provides immunity for sitting leaders, stating: “No charges shall be commenced or continued…against any serving African Union Head of State or Government, or anybody acting or entitled to act in such capacity, or other senior state officials based on their functions, during their tenure of office.”

The statutes of international and hybrid international-national war crimes tribunals reject exemptions on the basis of official capacity. Other international conventions, including the Convention against Torture, the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, and the Geneva Conventions of 1949, recognize the crucial importance of accountability for serious crimes.

“Granting immunity to sitting officials is retrogressive, and risks giving leaders license to commit crimes,” and Timothy Mtambo executive director at Malawi’s Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation. “Immunity also risks encouraging those accused of the crimes to cling to their positions to avoid facing the law.”

Some African countries like Benin, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, and South Africa rule out immunity for sitting officials for serious crimes under their national laws, the groups said.

This text of the group declaration was drafted by Malawi’s Center for Human Rights and Rehabilitation, with input from several African organizations and international organizations with a presence in Africa.

“Instead of retreating from important achievements to limit impunity, advance the rule of law, and promote respect for human rights, African governments should remain steadfast in supporting justice for victims of the worst crimes by rejecting immunity before the African Court,” said Angela Mudukuti, international criminal justice project lawyer at the Southern Africa Litigation Centre.

To read the declaration, please visit:
https://www.hrw.org/news/2014/08/22/call-african-states-reject-immunity-serious-crimes-african-civil-society-organisatio

Jonglei State: The Barren Land!

Posted: August 28, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in Featured Articles, Kur Wël Kur

By Kur Wel Kur
 
I offered myself a liberty of saying many people in Jonglei State or in South Sudan know nothing about how jonglei, the name originated or what it(Jonglei) means! Apart from natives and foreigners misspelling or mispronouncing it, the name that rhymes with jungle stops many from considering its meaning and origin.
 
Though many can claim to know both its meaning and origin because of opinionated explanations they received from their parents, elders or teachers, it would do me no good if I cannot share one of the meanings. A meaning that’s coated with our tradition(sacreleging and adoring objects).
 
In an occasion, a senior member of my payam___payam is the second lowest of local government in South Sudan___ in Adelaide, stood in front of a community gathering. He started his remarks in his usual manner, peace in his soft voice. “(people of Jonglei), we’re strong and industrious, we can build a better and brighter State or a nation as a whole if we eliminate VIOLENCE!” He made his remarks in Octomber, 2010. I enjoyed his speech not how soothing his words sounded, but how he explained the name of our State, JONGLEI.
 
Jonglei is a partnership of two Dinka words, Jong and Lei; jong means an idol____in regards to idolatry____ and lei means foreign. He lectured the meaning to the attendees and asserted that workers of either Chevron(American oil company) or TOTAL (Franc_Belgium oil company)erected metallic poles in Dhiam-Dhiam (Ziam-Ziam) a Dinka’s area, so the locals named them Jonglei, foregn idol(god) because they(locals) understood not why they planted the poles and what the poles stood for! “Maybe their(Whites) god or something!” the locals pondered!
 
The name became to represent other things including the State, things like the cargo ship, which sailed from Khartoum___another Dinka’s words that became the name of North Sudan’s capital___through Mading (Bortown, the Jonglei’s capital) to Juba. The ship dropped sacks of ‘dura'(sorghum) in Bor town.
 
These, the meaning and origin of Jonglei. They could be other opinionated meanings like the rests or they could be the truely meaning and origin of our beloved State.
 
However, I allocated a small portion of this article to explaining the meaning and origin of our State name and the rest of the article in lumps must explain why the mighty Jonglei State is BARREN!
 
Geographically, Greater Upper Nile region bore Jonglei State so big portion of South Sudan’s economic blessing(untapped oil reserves) streams under Jonglei land, the endemic wildlife dotted our State and the agricultural lands patched Jonglei so technically Jonglei (suppose to) hands feed the whole nation if the violence ceases. And nothing BARREN in This!
 
However, the mother of tribes diversity { (6 tribes: Anyuak,Dinka, Jie,Murle and Nuer) with (11 counties: Akobo, Ayod, Bor, Duk, Fangak,Nyirol Pibor, Pigi, Pochalla, Twic East and Uror) }, gave herself to horrors of war, horrors such as death, poverty, famine and exodus of her children. So the agricultural lands become weeds farms and wildfires blaze our loam (soil) as it (fire) wishes.
 
Consequences of war
 
Death empties the land especially when the mortality rates exceed birth rates by thousand miles. No accurrate deaths recorded, but the deaths in the recent conflict must be in six digits number! Nevertheless, The UN documented the numbers, in exodus, people affected by war through famine(food shortages and poverty) and diseases.
 
The exodus:

” more than one million have been forced from their homes by ongoing conflict in South Sudan,” the UN says.
The conflict internally displaced 803,200 people and some 254,000 people raced in horrors into neighbouring countries, as per UN report on the 29th of March, 2014. Jonglei owns a big chunk of this statistics.
 
In addition, famine(food security), UN estimated 4.9 million people as in need of humanitarian assistance and out of this number, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs(OCHA) reported that 3.7 million people are in high risk, as per its report of March,2014. The latest is BBC report which used UN’s terms, BBC on the 25th of July,2014, reported the crisis as “catastrophic food insecurity” and UNICEF noted that 4 million could be affected in which 50,000 are children.
 
I consider Jonglei as barren land in the above senses; however, my heart bleeds in shock for learning that when the conflict peaked high in Greater Upper Nile Region(GUNR), and students with their teachers switched off the luxurious buttons of schooling and concentrated all their energies on how to revive and survive, students in Greater Barh el Ghazal and Greater Equatoria Regions, prepared and sat for their respective examinations. The school children from the conflict torn areas swamped around schools in those safe regions but no national arrangements for them! Call it sad or shame, all the same.
 
Untill, the politicians understand the voters’ lives, their politics will continue to kill.
 
In conclusion, the already conflict in Jonglei State with the status quo conflict that erupted in Juba, made Jonglei barren____that number of internally displaced people from Jonglei gave Jonglei the adjective(barren), that number of refugees in neighbouring countries from Jonglei made Jonglei barren, that unknown number of fallen Jonglei habitants branded her(Jonglei) with barren, that increasing number of children from Jonglei, vulnerable to diseases and malnutrition, covered Jonglei with barren____ and the list goes…
 
N/B: Khartoum is ‘portmanteau'(compound name) of two dinka words, Kiir(mispelled as khar), which means Niles; and Tuom means meet! The White Nile and Blue Nile meet in this place(capital) so the dinka called it Kiirtoum.Due to mispronouncing and misspelling with the desire to change names and historical facts of places, Arabs pronounced and spelled it as KHARTOUM!

 


South Sudan IGAD Talks

Suggestions for Reviving the Stalled Peace Process – Part I

By Paul Muortat

College Administrator

BA History, MA Peace Studies

Mawan Muortat

IT Specialist

Political Analyst

BSc MSc Agriculture, Post Grad Dip Computing

24th August 2014

Version 1.0

Introduction

This document is aimed at South Sudanese and all who are concerned about South Sudan and its welfare.  We are ordinary South Sudanese citizens who are based in the UK. The desire to produce this document arose from our deep frustration with the lack of progress in the Addis Ababa IGAD led peace talks and how this is prolonging death and suffering among our people and the destruction of our country.  We start by offering some ideas about how the gulf between the warring sides might be bridged.  The aim is not to provide anything prescriptive, but rather to encourage further discussion around the challenges facing the peace process. We further add background sections about the rise of South Sudan nationhood and the post-peace experience.

Proposed Approach to the Political Crisis

  • There is no military solution

Several proposals for resolving the on-going conflict have been presented.  We welcome all these initiatives, both domestic and international.  We hope that our modest contribution will encourage further discussion among all concerned so that a final, workable and just solution is found.  We add our voice to those who are calling for an immediate end to hostilities since an outright military victory by either side is impossible. 

  • The importance of ethnicity in the war

Although the war was triggered by political in-fighting among the senior leaders of the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), it has quickly taken an alarming ethnic character with tens of thousands killed in the last nine months.  Tensions that have accumulated between various South Sudanese communities, particularly during the last north-south war, have not been adequately addressed.  They have not gone away, but have been lurking below the surface, threating to explode at any moment.

Each community is now largely rallying behind their figurehead (Dinkas behind President Kiir and Nuers behind Dr Riek) for fear of obliteration or marginalisation.  Hence, any solution that seeks to exclude Riek Machar or Salva Kiir is unlikely to bring an end to the fighting as it will unquestionably be rejected by either community. Other groups also exist and they too have their grievances as well as aspirations.  The historic demand of Greater Equatoria for a more decentralised form of government is a typical illustration of such potentially volatile issues that South Sudanese must ultimately address.

  • Poor governance in South Sudan

It is no secret that the government, under both President Kiir and Dr Riek Machar, has failed to meet the high expectations that many people had when South Sudan won its independence. Little has been achieved by way of service delivery or economic development and billions of dollars belonging to the people of South Sudan and donor countries’ tax payers have been misappropriated. 

Consequently, many people want the peace talks to yield not just an end to the fighting, but also a restructuring of the system in South Sudan so that future governments perform better.  This restructuring process, which we will – for the purpose of illustration – refer to here as the Comprehensive Review of the State Structures (CRSS), is likely to be a lengthy and complicated process requiring constitutional changes and  strong involvement by other stake holders.

  • What is holding back the talks?

There are essentially two intractable problems; first, there is the power struggle issue between the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement/Army In-Opposition (SPLM/A I-O) and the government which will require a power sharing deal.

Secondly, there is the demand of the public and development partners for the CRSS process to be included in the peace negotiations.

Owing perhaps to the difficulty in reconciling these competing priorities, the peace talks have been frustratingly slow.  Conceivably, the objectives (i.e. solving the issues of power struggle and the CRSS simultaneously) have been set too high and perhaps it is now time to recognise that the human and economic costs required to meet these objectives may have become untenable.

The negotiation partners should be assisted to reach a mutually agreeable balance of power in the upcoming proposed interim government.  Moreover, they and other stake holders should identify the elements that will constitute the CRSS process. 

The aim should not be to fully analyse, discuss and complete the CRSS process during the negotiations period, but rather to identify its main components and to setup, staff and sign off the bodies or commissions that will be tasked with undertaking and completing the process during the interim period.

We hope that by separating the formation of the interim government from the CRSS process in this way, we may be able to speed up negotiations somewhat while providing South Sudanese with the means and time, during the interim period, to improve the structures of their country.

Interim Government

We believe that one of the main obstacles in the peace talks is the challenge of finding a formula that is mutually acceptable to the warring sides.  Such a formula must offer the SPLM/A I-O a significant role in the proposed interim government without diminishing the role of the current leadership. 

  • The role of the interim President

The interim President would be the head of state and the commander in chief of the national army.  He or she would have executive powers over the security, economic and diplomatic sectors.  In addition, he or she would appoint the ministers for these sectors subject to parliamentary approval.  This position could be filled by President Kiir or another individual he or the SPLM/A party will appoint.

  • An new executive role for SPLM/A I-O

We suggest that a new executive post be created and charged with the development and service delivery functions. This position will – for the purpose of illustration – be referred to as the interim Head of Development and Services Executive (HDSE), presiding over ministries such as health, education, industry, agriculture and others.  The interim HDSE will also be a Vice-President. He or she will appoint the development and service ministers, who will report directly to him or her.  This position will be given to the SPLM/A I-O, to be filled by Dr Riek Machar or another individual he or the SPLM/A I-O will appoint. The interim HDSE will report to the interim President.

  • The role of the First-Vice-President

Vice-President Wani Igga would become the interim First Vice-President and this role will remain unchanged. He will remain deputy to the interim President and the person to assume the role of the interim President when the latter is absent. 

  • The interim Presidency

The interim President, interim First Vice-President and the interim HDSE will form the interim Presidency of South Sudan and will be duty bound to work consensually and cooperatively as a unit for the welfare of South Sudanese public. 

  • The CRSS Process

The interim period should be set to two or three years to allow the CRSS process to be completed. The CRSS process should involve the active participation of the civil society and other sectors as well as a very strong and binding presence of the international community.  It should include, among others, a peace and reconciliation process, the reregistration of all political parties, constitutional review, the adoption of stronger and more transparent fiscal control systems, better anti-corruption provisions, the strengthening of the law and order sector, safeguarding human rights and freedom of expression and preparing for national elections. 

  • Limits of the interim Presidency

The interim government will take full charge of the everyday running of the country but should never interfere with the CRSS process.  The role of the interim Presidency is to deliver during its term and not to be concerned about the shape of future governments.

The three individuals serving in the interim Presidency will not be allowed to stand for their position in the following elections to discourage the use of the interim period as platform for electoral campaign.  Should President Kiir, Wani Igga or Dr Riek Machar be interested in standing for leadership in the next elections, they could refrain from entering the interim government and propose other people to take their position.

The Genesis of Nationhood

South Sudan has been described as the land where time stood still.  A land scarred by the legacy of colonialism, enslaved and downtrodden by the burden of Islamisation and Arabisation. 

As is the case elsewhere in Africa, the genesis of political and national consciousness in South Sudan goes back to the 1940s and 1950s.  The people of South Sudan have suffered and fought back collectively beginning from the 18th century when the slave trade arrived, through the brutal British pacification wars, to the civil wars waged against them by the Khartoum based governments since 1955. 

In a manner similar to that seen elsewhere, from India to South Africa, it was the modern Western educated elite, drawn from all regions and ethnicities, who championed and spearheaded the cause of liberation.  They were also joined by chiefs, workers’ unions, students as well as other sectors of society. 

In 1972 a tenuous peace agreement was reached with the Khartoum government, but this later failed due to a raft of factors including the rise of Islamism in the north and the unfulfilled aspirations of the south for independence.  War returned in 1983 on a much larger scale. 

The two wars killed over 2.5 million South Sudanese and by the end of the 1990s, South Sudan’s cause had finally touched the conscience of the regional and international players.  American, European and African diplomatic support for a just end to the war culminated in the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005.  This guaranteed South Sudan the right for self-determination and opened a new page in  north-south relations.  South Sudan gained its independence in 2011. 

The Post-Peace Experience

The biggest success in this period was the achievement of independence, the primary credit for which goes to President Kiir, former Vice-President Riek Machar and all the higher echelons of the SPLM.  However, throughout this entire period, the government was also beset with daunting problems including huge developmental challenges, intractable and unresolved issues with Sudan, an acute lack of capacity, inter-communal violence and rampant corruption. 

Both the government and the society as a whole were ill prepared to meet these challenges.  The ex-combatants who had been accustomed to the unrestrained life of the bush were perhaps not the best suited to govern a population that was expecting high levels of delivery, accountability and financial trustworthiness. 

The war created many adverse changes, some of which were caused by the SPLM’S own policies.  These include the favouring of fighting ability over educational credentials, the observance of ethnic balance when appointing officials and the interference with traditional authority in order to guarantee loyalty to the movement.  These have left the SPLM with fewer educated leaders than it otherwise might have had, while at the same time rendering the society more ethnically divided and less respecting of law and order than it was before the war. 

South Sudanese patriotism was toned down in favour of the united Sudan policy which the leadership had adopted.  This departure from traditional South Sudan political thinking might have gained the movement regional and international respectability, but it is also to blame, at least in part, for the decline in patriotism and self-sacrifice among South Sudan’s current political ruling class. 

Embattled and weighed down by enormous problems, the government was unable to present a clear vision for the future.  Pressure on the government began to build up under mounting public dissatisfaction.  The veneer of a united leadership began to crack along predictable fault lines.  The old and volatile ethnic tensions (Nuer vs. Dinka or Equatoria vs. the Nilotic) and ideological struggles (Garang’s camp vs.  Kiir’s camp), that had been buried but not resolved, were rekindled and the country was plunged into chaos. 

It is worth emphasising here that it is the blind ambition and uncompromising attitude of all concerned and their readiness to use all that is at their disposal to reach their goal – rather than ethnicity or ideology per se – that is to blame for the current conflict. 

The Role of International Partners in the Post Peace Period

The tools for supporting fragile war-racked states have been well studied and it is beyond the scope of this document to cover them in any detail.  Suffice to say that if we were to rewind the clock or if the actors had anticipated the current crisis, things might have been done differently.  Some resources that were pledged never materialised.  International technical support for South Sudan was far below that given to similar countries, such as Mozambique and Sierra Leone. 

Insufficient pressure was brought to bear on the government to support a national reconciliation exercise which might have redressed past grievances.  State-building was prioritised above nation-building.  Army strength was prioritised above its ethos and professionalism.  It is easy in hindsight to see where things went wrong, but the return of peace will open a new window for improved policies to be adopted. 


proposed agreementRiek Machar: “I won’t sign it unless the following agreed”:

1. 4×2 presidential term limits.

2. federalism system must start immediately in interim government.

3. There must be independent bills to parliament and if approved and implemented successful then the proposer must be awarded.

4. 70% of resources to States.

5. President must not have power to sacks any elected officials unless approved by parliament.

6. President kiir must not be candidate for next election.

7. Judiciary systems must be independent, so, chief Justice and president of Supreme Court must not be sacked or appointed by President but impeached by parliament.

  8. President must not touched any independent commissions.

9. Army must be independent and its commissions and division commanders must not be sacked or appointed by President.

Press Release from the Rebel Delegation in Addis

rebels-tabanrebels-taban.jpg2rebels-taban.jpg3


By Mamer D. Jur, Australia

I would like to inform my community that I am really worry about the future education of all our born South Sudanese – Australia; if we cannot do something about it, as parents and the community to help our children to takes advantage of the profound education in this country Australia. They need a courageous helps fromthe parents to support them in theirs studies. I know that many parents are not educated in English way. But traditionally they are intelligent; and they know the norms and the values of where they come from.

Such norms and values can be passing to the young children who have no idea about traditionally norms and values.Knowing your culture as a person, is more than anything in a human life. Cultures,norms and the values makes people who they are; yesterday and today in the diversify world. However, parents can still do their bit to encourage theirs children to study to be educated people; so that they could be better people in the future.

Telling those stories of struggling, suffering, hungry and thirsty, will makes them grow up knowing that, life is sometimes unfair to some humans’ beings in the universe; children needs to learn history of who they are from their parents. I am really appealing to many parents, especially parents who are graduates, and undergraduates to help their own children through into the journey of knowledge and education. As say goes ‘charity begins at home’.

I cannot really blame parents who has never walk to the classroom door.If theirs children are doing poorly in numerous schools in the States and the Territories. Because they do not know anything to add to their children learning, regarding school matters. Moreover, parents of know – how should do more to helps their own children.I think more could be done to solve this puzzle of poor performances of our children in schools.

Education is the only thing which will bail us out of many things which are facing us as refugees in21st century. And who will bail us out of these crises? Our born Australian citizens can change that pattern of poverty in us; laziness, talkativeness, and outside beauty and blank in the head. These young children are very intelligent; but we need to do more to help them to be even more intelligent.

These young children are in the competition with the other children of theirs ages for the future jobs prospect in this country Australia; ‘if some of us do not know that’. As a community at large, we need to be an organise community which has their own medical Doctors, Nurses, Midwifery, Lawyers, Engineers, Police Officers, Judges, and Parliamentarian and Business Personnel and other areas of profession of which are of the benefit to the community.

Why is it important to give extra hands to educate our/your children in their early childhood?

• Respect their parents, siblings and other people in the community.
• Know God as create of universe; living things and non – living things.
• Learn basic things at home. For example, cleaning, making their bed once they are awake, and all other hygiene duties. This how they learn to be responsible people.
• Knowing the differences between ‘wrong and right’ ‘good and bad’.
• Just and unjust. Fairness/unfairness.
• Equality
• So that they could grow up as better people in the future;
• Knowing why the humans are important above all the other creatures of universe.
• Be smart in their classrooms.

It is very important for the parents to educate their children at home once they have learnt how to walk and talk. And importantly when they have started attending kindergarten, parents should start teaching them how to:

• Scribble – that how they learns how to write.
• Read – do some readings for them if necessary.
• Take them to the library to read independently under the supervision of one of the parents ’or borrow

children books from the library especially when people are busy not to go the library, and of course people are very busy.

Such routines will helps them learn how to writes and read effectively. It will help them with theirs grammar, pronunciations, and analytical skills of solving problems. It is the parents’ duty to inspect their children exercise books in order to read comments from the teachers. And to make sure that they do their homework. To make sure that they do their prescribe readings from the school. It is also very important for the parents to know what their children are learning in the school.

With advance in technologies, parents need to be vigilant to discourage ‘too much Access’ of technologies by their children. Such technologies destroy children learning capacity in other areas of studying which requires other competence apart from the computer literacy. Parents should reserve adequate time for children to be allowed/ not allow using these technologies.

These tech devices which many children are addicted to them are:

• Video games.
• Facebook.
• Smart Phones.
• Mobile Phones.
• Tablets, iPad, and iPhone.
• Television.

What we needs as a community to avoid/prevent today and in the near future is that;

• To make sure our children/youth do not end up behind bars (prison). Currently numbers of our youth are serving their prison terms in juvenile centres and also in the adults’ prisons in all the States and the Territories. It seems that we South Sudanese have a higher rate of incarcerations compares to other refugees’ numbers.
• Encourage children to go to school in their early ages will helps them to understand the important of education and why it is very important to be an educated person.
• Encouraging young girls to think about school rather than thinking of getting marriage while they are not ready to confront the world.

For the last 10 years I had learnt that our children and teenagers were not; and are not doing very well in their studies whether in primary schools, secondary and the university. I did not really carryout any research to back up what I am trying to explain.

But I had been in this State of South Australia for nearly 13 years since my arrival from Africa in 2002. Many of our youth are really doing very well; they speak very good English somehow, some speaks slangs English because of the mixed culture and the influence of mother tongue.

And what I had notice was that, African – American slangs were dominate every time I speak with some of the youth. Many of them act as if they know English very well, when they are having a conversation with people; face to face chat. But I assume that they could not write clearly as they speak.

Certainly, I do believe that some of them could not even read or write properly, it is a nightmare and a shocking saga. But for the record, they are wasting their valuable time believing that they know the language.

Furthermore, I had also learnt that 8 in 10 of South Sudanese youth fail their final year, which is year 12. Then once they had failed year 12, they choose to do bridging course at the universities.This is a brilliant idea, to correct some stupid mistakes which have led them to fail.

But for some reasons many of them never finish such course. Many of them rock up at the university.To disturb the peace of well truly discipline students who has goals to achieve. Not a Facebook material and addict, and perhaps beauty thinking tank that has no future in this ever changing world.

Apparently, some of them are brave and chosen to undertake a TAFE course which is a good thing to do. They can do certificate IV or diploma for a period of 1 or 2 years and it will give them a credit to transfer to any University. Then they can do a bachelor degree at University of their choice in Australia.

But I do have sympathy for all South Sudanese youth who were born during the war and in the refugees’ camp. They had never had any convenient or quiet place to study normally, likechildren who were born in free war countries. In addition to that,their parents do not have a formal education to advise them about the important of education.

The fact is that, majority of South Sudanese youth were born oversea and they had been through many things which children of their ages should have not been through. And I could not blame their parents for their down falls; for poor performance in schools, disobeying of the laws, and disrespecting of law enforcing personnel.

Another fact is that, 98.5% of their parents are illiterate. They do not know how to write or read. So it is very difficult for these parents to help them do their homework, reading, and even computing skills.For that reasons, many youth became frustrated, stressed and depressed when things get tougher at school.

Then they chose indirectly to drop-out from the school; by walking with theirs friends who do not go to school because of the same conditions. Then they start drinking, taking drugs, smoking and stealing. And all these kind of behaviour are unlawfully under the law. So if they are caught stealing they are punishes as criminals and put away for sometimes – in prison.

In conclusion, I hope that all South Sudanese who holds certificates, diplomas, degree of sort, would not make a mistake to neglect to educate their children. I believe it will be horrific for someone who is working in the factory very hard to feed his/her family.

To let his/her child ended up in the factory like him/her. It will be a challenge for many people if this happens, because his/her child was born in this country Australia like any other child. So all the opportunities which were closed to him/her for some reasons will be available and open to his/her child to explore them.

NB: it is important if we can watch news and current affairs sometimes during weekdays and weekends. Rather than watching DVD videos all the times.