Author Archive

Call Me a Coward

Posted: April 23, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in Heskey Deng, Poems.

By Heskey Dzeng

I moved all around Equatoria, Upper Nile and Bahr el Ghazal regions

Hunting down really [an] enemy but not brother and sister [s]

I seen scores of corpses a years ago

As some died on my hand and others at encounter field

So that is enough; my eyes is suit

I cannot take gun at more

———–

Just call me a coward

My friends, colleagues and relatives were killed just to liberated you and I

And they did it, their blood cemented this Country, yep we got freedom two years ago

Now, I do not have friend, colleague and relative [s] to be kill again for sake of money and leadership and corruption

And I do not want to aim my gun on them

Just call me coward

I am not coward, but cowardice for love of lives

Desire for peace and stability

I do not want to be murderer/killer

I want to die in peace like my late dad and mum

————

Just call me coward

I am big, brave, heavy weighed man with 120 kg, I can lug RPG, hefty artillery like twelve and Ak47 all at one on my shoulder

I can even wrestle down Michael Sean, world super-power wrestler within second

I cannot even talk about Majok Jokriir [Jonglei] and Jeda [Equatoria], famous giant wrestler in South Sudan

I can bring trophy to South Sudan

Not trophy of bloodshed but trophy of peace

———-

Just call me a coward

I will not put on woman’s cloth

But remain as M or what you think

I will take refuge with woman, my wife and children

Soon I will desert you to butcher your tomorrow brother

And my wife would not get annoy, although women harrying at me

Coz she is mother of nation, mother of peace, not mother of bloodshed like your wife

————-

You can call me coward or woman but she will call real man

Simply I fought for freedom and I have won it

I have humanity; I am not fiend and bloodthirsty

I do not want to renew my life/soul with innocent bloods like Macharist, Peter Gatdet Yaak and Kiirist and more otherists

———-

Just call me coward

Though you call me woman, coward, stupid man, hyena and mores as you wish

It cannot needle me to take arm but vigor

And I will laugh at you

I do not care

———-

Just call me a coward

And if you give me a gun by force

I can shot you first

Then burn it

I just want peace and co-existence

Just call me a coward

——-

Heskey Dzeng @2014


By Reng’o Gyyw Reng’o, Addis Ababa

I wish to talk about Riek Machar’s hubris for power in South Sudan and how he wants to access the power. The “how” question, has been answered by the use of Nuer as the only mean for Riek to acquire power in South Sudan. The two have spoiled each other’s opportunities. The Nuer has spoiled opportunity for Riek and Riek’s failure every time spoils the image of the Nuer in the eyes of the South Sudanese.

Riek Machar attempts to seize power is ever diverted by the Nuer’s actions. First, in 1991 the coup against Dr. John Garang failed when the Nuer rose in support of their son Riek Machar, and in the process diverted their “revolutions” turned against the Dinka targets instead of the political leadership. This led to the Bor Massacre.

Again, Riek Machar challenged Salva Kiir’s leadership and when the Nuer soldiers in the presidential guards rose in support of Riek, it preempted the window of opportunity Riek had forged with a good number of non-Nuer politicians. The Non- Nuer colleagues of Riek would have canvassed nationwide support for him. This opportunity was again lost because the Nuer soldiers acted impulsively and diverted another opportunity for Riek Machar.

Peter Gatdet Yak and James Koang, two leaders who would act responsibly as national leaders, instead brought themselves down to the tribal level, created apprehensions in the minds of other tribes, when they declared their rebellions as revenges against the Nuer killings in Juba, of course which I think was true. The whole business became self-defence for other ethnicities. Riek’s opportunity was spoiled. Nuer defections from the army of South Sudan led to them being ostracized by the rest of communities. Riek lost support from the rest of communities. Hence he lost opportunity to access power.

Killings in Akobo, captured of Bor and killings, ethnic targets of non-Nuer in Bentiu at oil sites, Bentiu and Malakal towns made the Nuer’s revolutions senseless and ethnic in character. A leader with a national cause and moreover a community with a national cause would try its best to live above hatred and revenges, by even liberating and protecting those people who do not come from their own ethnic groups. Tit for tat, makes the national cause flees. Unless, the Nuer did not have the national cause as their agenda, their cause is trampled under revenges which is still ongoing.

While I condemn the target killings of Nuer in Juba and of recent in Bor, everything has become revenges against revenges. More target killings reported in Bentiu makes the whole thing visionless, directionless and unacceptable. The Nuer’s leaders and armed people are mobilizing other communities against them indirectly or directly. May I ask Riek Machar and the Nuer, was the real cause to avenge the Nuer killed by the Dinkas or national army or to liberate the country? I heard you talking about having ideological differences with Salva Kiir?

Don’t you think there is a big and clear gap between what you are pursuing and the actions of your ethnic soldiers. The Nuer, yes can conduct a revolutionary war on their own but not the way they have been doing it since 1991. You remember you were joined in 1991 by Dinkas such as Telar Riing Deng, Makeer Benjamin, Dhol Achuil, DengTiel Ayuel Kur, Dr. Achol Marial etc against John Garang, their own ethnic brother but when you and the Nuer launched the Bor Massacres, they redefected back to the Movement and rejoined John Garang. They said if the war was about the Nuer against the Dinka, then why should we be part of it?

Now, the eleven detainees were clearly your supporters against President Kiir. However, when your people overtook them in their support of you, they decided to keep aloof. They have refused to join you in the rebellions. And can I tell you and my people the Nuer, the eleven politicians refused not because your soldiers were and are Nuer but because of the nature of the destruction, killings and ethnic targetings in some places like Bor. Why killing in the church, mosques, mad people on the streets, hospital, the aged and children? Why?

I remember the words of an Old Gaawar man, Chuol who spoke during the Greater Upper Nile conference in Juba of recent, where he said, ” there is something unique with this blackman that makes him difference from the whiteman, the yellow man and the red man. This blackman easily forgives and easily forgets.” And Mzee Chuol added a question, ” what brought the Nuer to Bor?” To me, his message required soul-searching for a leader like you.

Like the 1991 group which had supported you, the recent groups were overtaken in support of you and not only that, they became secondary victims of your soldiers’ actions. Thus, they withdrew their support.

Unless, really your war is ethnic, which no one can help if it is, but if it is national in character and aims at rescuing all the South Sudanese, then the approach and methods are and have been wanting. You need not blame the South Sudanese for anything, you need to look inwards for mistakes. The Nuer have spoiled your opportunities. Advise them to stop killing their “enemies” for them to have wider support across the South Sudanese society.

And whenever you fail in your attempts, the Nuer as a community consequentially suffers because of those failures. The situation thus becomes a chicken and an egg issue between you Riek and the Nuer.

These are my observations. I am far away from both parties in the conflict.

South Sudan Will Never Die or Disintegrate

Posted: April 23, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in David Aoloch, Poems.

By David Aoloch Bion

 ———

South Sudan will never disintegrate into

Small tribal administrative unit as you wish

Or as they say

But the unity of her people will shine forever

Long live the 64 tribes of South Sudan

———

South Sudan will never die as you wish

Or as they say

Only the killers and those who support violence will die

The rest will live on

Long live the 64 tribes of South Sudan


By Juliana Bol

It was a bit disturbing to hear news of our citizens in the IDP camps (where they are seeking protection and shelter) celebrating the recapture of Bentiu -in light of what this recapture actually occasioned.

200 civilians [allegedly] killed in a mosque. Non-Nuer civilians and foreign nationals targeted and killed. Nuer men and women in a hospital killed for not being supportive or rather celebratory over the rebel forces ‘success’. Hate speech broadcast on a local radio station, calling for the rape of women.

https://radiotamazuj.org/en/article/hundreds-feared-dead-bentiu-massacres

Were we celebrating that a group of us now have to run and seek protection and shelter? Disturbingly, were the victims of this war celebrating the victimization of others? Are we seeing the creation of a ‘permanent victimhood’ that denies the existence of an equally victimized ‘other’? Historically this kind of moral ambiguity has been a prelude to victims becoming perpetrators whose actions, regardless of scale – they themselves perceive as warranted and a form of self-defense. This is a disturbing development.

In addition, does this mean that we have no empathy for those who are currently hiding in the bush and are not concerned when even more of us join them? The 800,000+ South Sudanese men, women and children whom we know are not in United Nations Protection of Civilians (PoC) camps, but we do not know where they are.

Also, what does it say about the international community, when we only condemn the actions of one group of actors, in this case the youths in Bor, and fail to equally condemn the actions of the actors in Bentiu? The international media widely reported the Bor massacre; international actors correctly condemned the actions of the youth involved. However, there has been a lack of condemnation of the actors in Bentiu, there has been no widespread calls for an investigation, despite that the Bentiu massacre took place in the same week as the Bor massacre.

Do the people of Bentiu not deserve equal consideration and if this is so, we should sincerely ask ourselves why. Because this makes us appear to be only quick to condemn actions that seemingly hold the government culpable (in this case in their failure to protect the IDPs) but then we remain silent on the need to hold the rebel army equally culpable. If this is the case, then we must question not only our partiality but also our humanity.

Lastly, perhaps we should be even more apprehensive when we hear reports of community youths reacting to this crisis with violence. Thus far, the communities of the affected have not engaged either the rebels or the SPLA, and have instead remained on the sidelines. About two weeks ago, there were reports of the Shilluk community mobilizing to form a community defense force (granted, this claim has since been retracted) and now we hear of youths in Bor attacking a group of the defenseless that they associate with the rebellion. I wrote an earlier article about the need to engage with the communities of the affected, in order to avoid an escalation of this kind of reaction. This needs to happen, sooner rather than later. We also need to begin to engage with the Nuer community – these are their sons and daughters – these actions cannot be culturally acceptable even if this were blood feud or retaliation.

This has been a horrible week for South Sudan. I reiterate that time is running out for us, we are on a precipice. Let us do all that we can to ensure that we do not fall into the abyss.

UNMISS Condemns Killing in Bentiu

Posted: April 22, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in Junub Sudan

 United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) Media & Spokesperson Unit Communications & Public Information Office

PRESS RELEASE date 21 April 2014.

UNMISS condemns targeted killings of hundreds of foreign and South Sudanese civilians in Bentiu

UNMISS strongly condemns the targeted killings of civilians based on their ethnic origins and nationality in Bentiu. UNMISS also strongly condemns the use of Radio Bentiu FM by some individuals associated with the opposition to broadcast hate speech. While some SPLA in Opposition commanders did broadcast messages calling for unity and an end to tribalism, others broadcast hate messages declaring that certain ethnic groups should not stay in Bentiu and even
calling on men from one community to commit vengeful sexual violence against women from another community.

UNMISS Human Rights investigators have confirmed that when SPLA in Opposition forces captured Bentiu on 15 and 16 April, they searched a number of places where hundreds of South Sudanese and foreign civilians had taken refuge and killed hundreds of the civilians after determining their ethnicity or nationality. “These atrocities must be fully investigated and the perpetrators and their commanders shall be held accountable”, said the Officer in Charge of UNMISS, Raisedon Zenenga, who also reminded the parties of their respective obligations to protect civilians and called on them to immediately stop the targeting of innocent, unarmed civilians, and to respect the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement they signed in January.

At Bentiu Hospital, on 15 April, several Nuer men, women and children were killed for hiding and declining to join other Nuers who had gone out to cheer the SPLA in Opposition forces as they entered the town. Individuals from other South Sudanese communities, as well as Darfuris, were specifically targeted and killed at the hospital. On the same day, the SPLA in Opposition forces entered the Kali-Ballee Mosque where civilians had taken shelter, separated individuals of certain nationalities and ethnic groups and escorted them to safety, while the others were killed. More than 200 civilians were reportedly killed and over 400 wounded at the Mosque. At the Catholic church and at the vacated WFP compound, SPLA in Opposition soldiers similarly asked civilians who had
taken refuge there to identify their ethnic origins and nationalities and proceeded to target and kill several individuals.

Between 15 and 17 April, UNMISS extracted hundreds of civilians who were facing threats of violence in several places in Bentiu and Rubkona where they had taken refuge. Over 500 civilians, including many wounded, were extracted from the Bentiu Hospital and other places, while thousands were escorted as they walked to the UNMISS base. The Mission is currently protecting over 12,000 civilians in its base.

For further information or media enquiries,

Acting Spokesperson: Joseph Contreras – contrerasj@un.org +211 912 1788 39

 

No One is an Enemy in South Sudan

Posted: April 22, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in David Aoloch, Poems.

By David Aoloch Bion

—–

They and we

Who are killing themselves

Are the children of the same mother

No one is an enemy in South Sudan

——

They and we

Who call themselves Opposition and the Government today

Will sit, eat together tomorrow whether you love or hate it

Because we will not separate like South and North

Why shouldn’t we stop killing now?

No one is an enemy in South Sudan

——

They and we

Have shown to one another and world that

We are not women but men

We are not cowards but brave and warriors

Why should we stop killing now?

No one is enemy in South Sudan

——-

He is your brother even if he greets ‘’maale’’

He is your sister even if she says ‘’ aluel’’

They are your people even if they speaks 64 languages

No one is an enemy in South Sudan


By Dr. Bior Kwer Bior

When Gadet and his defecting army descended on Bor and maimed the unarmed civilians, this barbarism was invariably excused on the ground that the Nuers were avenging the death of their people who were allegedly slaughtered in Juba. Then the Lou Nuer white army came and killed the churchgoers, the patients on their hospital beds, and a score of other UNARMED civilians, and that too was excused on the ground of vengeance on the killings in Juba. The SPLM-7 didn’t raise a condemning voice, and nobody accused the Lou Nuer politicians in the government of instigating the violence. The 700+ Bor civilians killed will never get justice; their killing didn’t bother anybody’s conscience, not even in the highly conscientious UN circle.

When the unfortunate incident happened in Bor, which was largely provoked by the UNMISS’s lack of effective mechanisms to disperse a crowd, I see a change of attitudes. All of a sudden, the killing of UNARMED civilians constitutes war crime, and the SPLM-7 came out loudly looking for someone to hang. There are insinuations, especially from the DISGRUNTLED group, that the happening was somehow instigated by the Dinka Bor intellectuals in the government. This is presupposing, quite absurdly, that those people on the ground, the ones whose relatives were maimed by those rebels masquerading as IDPs in the UNMISS compound, aren’t pissed off about the fact that the killing of their relatives has virtually been swept under the rug of political expediency.

This war is messy, and I think nobody doubts this. More of these unfortunate incidents will continue to characterize our people’s troubled co-existence unless something drastic is done to speedily bring this war to an end. But if we’re going to be picky on the atrocities to condemn, we’ll keep missing the point, and justice will continue to elude us. We need to get our asses off this Orwellian world in which we believe, without a shred of qualm, that all unarmed civilians are important but some unarmed civilians are more important than others.

It would be more just if the people who are now bent out of shape by the Bor incident come out in pull force and condemn the killings which took place in Bor, Bentiu, and Malakal in which the Nuer armed youth attacked and butchered unarmed civilian from the other ethnic groups. These incidents ought to be collectively investigated so that justice is served equally.

If we don’t do this, then we are still sleeping and we will surely be jolted off this prolonged bout of sleep by the loudest bell of the unfortunate Rwandanization of our country.


By Malith Alier

It is true that President Kiir reiterated that he would not take the people of South Sudan to war many times since independence. He also promised that the events of 1991 would not be allowed to happen again during the National Liberation Council (NLC) meeting on the 14th December 2013 a day before it all unravelled into the current distressful conflict. Both, the promises of not taking people of South Sudan to war and the prevention of 1991 have come to negative. What does the President tell the people of South Sudan as the situation untangle further?

It is four months now since the beginning of the conflict, but no solution is insight. Yes there is the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) led peace process in progress in Addis Ababa. However; this may not yield instant fruits. The government negotiators are telling us that IGAD is dragging its feet and so much worse are rebels who are emboldened by easy capture of towns from the government. This precarious scenario prompted the writer of this piece to alert the government in order to devise a new approach to tackling this war.

This viewed is shared by many concerned citizens within and without the country. I have read two important articles by concerned citizens one from Australia and another from Malaysia. Both articles have one thing in common, alerting the government to change gear on the current conflict. It is now up to the government on the other hand to heed to these calls for its own survival and that of the majority of South Sudanese.

Now let’s analyse both statements by the President in the lens of management. Consider ideal and practical standards in management circles. The President thought it ideal not to take the country back to war or allow the event of 1991 to happen again. This was his vision for the country that has been in war since creation. He thought that the country could not afford another war because its people are war wary at best and with that in mind he wanted people to rebuild their lives in peace at least during his presidency. This proposition did not materialise why because he failed to take practical steps to realise that. The proposition that there will be no war is a mere wishful thinking without demonstrated path for peace.

This is where something called SWOT analysis comes in. SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. I wonder whether the government advisers committed themselves to this process of identifying Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and possible Threats to a country called Southern Sudan or later South Sudan. One expected that the late Dr. John Garang had this in mind and that was why he fought hard to retain the SPLA as one of the strengths in Southern Sudan.

Now let’s list these in turn.

Strengths

1. The SPLA
2. Southern Sudan Interim Constitution
3. The Troika: USA, UK and Norway
4. The CPA
5. UNMIS or United Nations Mission in Sudan

Weaknesses

1. Too many agreements dishonoured
2. Militias allied to government in Khartoum
3. Corruption
4. Tribalism

Opportunities

1. Oil revenues
2. The CPA – referendum
3. Autonomy during interim period
4. Vast prime agricultural land
5. MTDF or multi Donor Trust Fund
6. Goodwill from International Community
7. JIUs or Joined Integrated Units

Threats

1. SAF or Sudan armed Forces
2. Border
3. Tribalism/nepotism
4. Oil
5. Abyei
6. Militias

Our existential threats as a country have now multiplied as opportunities diminish in the current conflict. There is a gathering cloud over the nation where rebels kill everything that has life, UNMISS is double-face, USA wields sanctions, destruction of oil infrastructure and forced oil shut down, Sudan support of rebels, IGAD dragging feet and the looming famine in about five months as predicted by UN agencies. Can the current government emerge intact under such weighty threats? The guess is yours and mine. Some people may argue that the situation is not yet desperate to require desperate measures. Whatever the case, the time is now. Formation of a war Cabinet is long overdue. The talk about government of national unity, interim government or coalition government is a non-event. War cabinet is the answer.

The essence of war Cabinet

President George W. Bush said during Iraq war in 2003 that the war was not going to be a campaign of half measures. True, there is no small war that one should handle by a campaign of half measures not least the current rebellion. South Sudanese know themselves better. They fight to the best of their ability when the fight is among themselves compared to when they fight foreign invaders or Arab colonisers. Big towns like Bor, Malakal and Bentiu have exchanged hands eleven (11) times in four months, something that did not happen in 21 years of the SPLA versus SAF war. Malakal like Juba and Wau never came nearby by the SPLA rebels leave alone being captured despite efforts by all South Sudanese to liberate Sudan from the Arab minority rule. Only Bor exchanged hands at least three times, but not in four months as seen recently. This is a breakneck speed!

The American assistant envoy to Sudan and South Sudan reminded us that it is not business as usual during his meeting in Washington with the Minister in the Office of the President, Mr. Awan Guol Riak. Nobody should remind the President and people of this country about this position. It is self-evident. Having more than twenty ministries and subject to expansion not only flies in the face of the lean government proposal but also a hindrance to a successful conduct of the war.

The war Cabinet (Ministries) should comprise of no more than fifteen ministries as follows:

1. Ministry of Defence
2. Ministry of Interior
3. Ministry of National Security
4. Ministry of Health
5. Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Preparedness
6. Ministry of Cabinet and Parliamentary Affairs
7. Ministry of Dams and Water Resources
8. Ministry of Transport Roads and Bridges
9. Ministry of Communication, Broadcasting and Telecommunication
10. Ministry of Finance and Commerce
11. Ministry of Energy and Mining
12. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
13. Ministry of Education

The main aim is bringing the war to an end perhaps a benchmark of six months is in order. To do this, there are two main frons i.e. the domestic and international fronts. The domestic face of South Sudan needs to change to reflect the new realities of the war. Fuel and food rationing should apply, travel restrictions particularly that of foreigners should be imposed, recruitment which is in progress should continue, emergency laws which are ill defined in greater Upper Nile should be strengthened, contract with UNMISS should never be renewed and so forth.

On the international front, the country should try to identify hostile countries and keep a low profile from them, should strengthen cooperation with friendly nations so that more breathing space is created, do away with missions of hostile nations existing in the country and limit travel abroad by ministers and other government officials who waste scarce public resources even if they go outside to talk ill of the country and its leadership and then come back like angels to continue draining the very country they have no love for.

The former Sudan successfully resisted the massive efforts by the SPLA by metamorphosing regularly as conditions change. Neimeri was deposed by the military and General Sawara el-Dahab took over after which elections were held. Sadig El Mahdi who won the elections was deposed by General Beshir who is the current President of the Republic of Sudan. When General Beshir came, a lot of changes took place domestically including the ones earlier cited in this article.

In order to stay abreast with the Khartoum war tactics, Dr. John who was as shrewd as the Arabs employed creative reasoning premised on the commitment and motivation of the SPLA and the people of South Sudan. A training of no less than six months was accorded to recruits before going to the field. The recruits were divided into military formations and given interesting names derived from well known fierce African animals like Lion, Cobra and others. Some situational names like “Dhalan” the angry and “Majnun” the mad one were also given. Further, some targeted campaign names were also the norm. Bright Star Campaign or BSC and Operation Jungle Storm or OJS among others were operational names that caught the attention of every SPLA and were like catch phrases.

Time has come now for the President to try those solutions that work. The government of South Sudan tried reintegration of militias, pardon of military renegade officers who should have instead face the music for various crimes including treason charges went unappreciated.

The SPLA soldiers fighting the rebels needs a regular morale boosting particularly visits by the minister of Defence and the President on other more important occasions like the fall of Bentiu, Malakal or Bor. They also need replenish of military supplies and not forgetting regular salary and perks for their families’ upkeep.

The Addis Ababa peace is not coming anytime soon. This necessitates full commitment to the war by formation of a War Council. This helps solve lots of problems like waste of scarce resources.

Identification of existential threats is half the solution to the current conflict which is sometimes misunderstood as ethnic conflict between the major tribes in the country. Therefore, the government of the day should identify and effectively utilise available opportunities to achieve maximum advantage over the rebellion.


At Least 27 People Have Been Killed In UNMISS camp In Bor

By Achiek Jok Riaak 

BOR – More than 27 people have been killed during a fighting which erupted at UNMISS camp in Bor following a peaceful demonstration carryout by youth members of Bor county on Thursday.

Critic Ngueny said that Bor county youth were demonstrating peacefully with ultimate that Members of Nuer sheltering at UNMISS camp should be evacuated after they have discussed the number of issues provoking situation in Bor town.

“The youth from Bor county were demonstrating peacefully on the position that white Army who had participated during the crisis in Bor must leave the UNMISS camp within 72 hours but unfortunately during their marching toward UN Compound to hand over their petition to the head of mission in Bor, the United Nation Peacekeeping Force begun to shoot at the protesters,” Said Critic Ngueny.

No any clear information from the UNMISS office in Bor to clarify the cause of the clash between the civilians and them at the camp.

According to Ngueny statement, the youth were all annoyed on the ground following two days celebration carryout by the White Army group refuge at UNMISS camp in Bor after Bentiu, the headquarters of Unity state retaken by rebel force two days ago.

The Internal Displaced Peoples who are given protections by UNMISS at their base celebrated the recaptured of Bentiu by anti-government forces.

A UN health worker, William Oyual told the media that at least 20 people were killed during the fighting but other source said that death casualties from Nuer side are more than 61 people apart from 7 youth who got killed during the clash.

Bior Kuer, who works at Bor civil hospital, said another two people died at the health facility from wounds suffered during the fighting.

Panchol said that 14 people from protesters have been wounded meanwhile the number of the wounded people from IDPs is still unclear as the number is fluctuating from more than 60 up to 100.

The secretary of Bor community, Abraham Mach has said that youth were protesting the petition regarding the case of the White army inside the UNMISS camp.

Mach said that they give some copies to the government organs and they were heading to UNMISS compound to handed over a copy to UNMISS authorities petitioning that the White Army inside the UNMISS camp should be evacuate meanwhile in the process the UNMISS and the Nuer inside the UNMISS start firing at them not knowing that they were coming to handed the petition to them at the camp.

“I had just received the letter this morning, and the letter was addressed that the youth demand the urgent evocation of White Army members inside the UNMISS camp, calming that they always celebrated the fallen of others town under the rebel loyal to Riek Machar,” Mach said.

He said that, the office of Bor community is against anything that is violent, “they youth informed as that their protest is a peaceful protest, so if it is peaceful, then how can you denying them. how can you deny youth or a citizen of Jonglei who is perching in the names of peace or who is sacking she or he think is right in the name of protest.”

Abraham Mach said that they are for peace, UNMISS is here to help the people of South Sudan particularly people of Jonglei and anybody in the state and that is why UNMISS is here, they are here to facilitate peace in the country, and not to respond to any violent.

The UN Mission in South Sudan their statement released on Thursday strongly condemns the deadly and unprovoked attack on its base in Bor and they (UNMISS) has called on South Sudan’s leadership to uphold its responsibilities to protect all South Sudanese civilians and maintain public order.

The UNMISS has calls on all national, state and local authorities and forces to protect all civilians, to ensure that the inviolability of United Nations premises is protected, and to take effective measures to prevent a recurrence of such attacks.

Almost 5,000 civilians are sheltering inside the fortified base of the UN mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in the town, one of the most bitterly contested regions in the four-month-long conflict in the world’s newest nation.

Majok said the demonstrators had clashed with peacekeepers inside the base, but it was not immediately clear who had fired the shots.

Information Minister Michael Makuei said that a “huge number” of gunmen, seeking revenge for the rebel capture of the oil-town of Bentiu two days ago, overwhelmed government forces in a bid to slaughter the terrified and trapped civilians.

Attack on UNMISS Compound: What Happened in Bor?

Posted: April 18, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in Junub Sudan

Gunmen kill at least 20 in attack on South Sudan UN base: US envoy

Gunmen have killed at least 20 people and wounded 70 others when they stormed a United Nations base in South Sudan, the US envoy to the world body said.

Ambassador Samantha Power strongly condemned the “brazen, inhuman attack on unarmed civilians” in the war-ravaged town of Bor.

The United Nations (UN) had previously said dozens of civilians from a rival tribe had been wounded in the “unprovoked” attack before peacekeepers fought them off.

Almost 5,000 civilians are sheltering inside the fortified base of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), one of the most bitterly contested regions in the four-month-long conflict splitting the country.

“The United States strongly condemns the recent attacks by armed groups in South Sudan that have purposefully targeted civilians as well as UN Mission in South Sudan sites and personnel,” Ms Power said.

She called the latest attack “particularly egregious,” noting that the heavily armed group of attackers used rocket-propelled grenades to breach the compound and fire on the people inside.

“This latest outrage against the people of South Sudan is an affront to the international community and violates fundamental principles of civilian protection,” Ms Power said, adding that UNMISS sites should be considered “inviolable”.

The United States, she said, will collaborate with its allies to determine who was responsible for the “horrific attack” and bring its perpetrators to justice.

Ms Power also urged countries that have committed additional forces to UNMISS to speed up their deployment.

“The people of South Sudan deserve the opportunity to begin rebuilding their country, and to develop the national and local institutions they need to put South Sudan back on a path toward stability and democracy,” she added.

“But that process can only begin in earnest when all parties to the conflict adhere to the January 23 Cessation of Hostilities agreement, lay down their weapons, and engage constructively in inclusive political negotiations led by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development.”

Ms Power urged the country’s leaders to “put the safety and wellbeing of their fellow citizens above their own short-sighted political and economic interests, or risk the future of their country, the welfare of their people and strong international consequences”.

UNMISS said its forces returned fire – first firing warning shots and then taking part in a ferocious gun battle – before the fighters retreated.

The gunmen had initially approached the camp “under the guise of peaceful demonstrators” intending to present a petition to the UN, before opening fire and breaching the compound, according to the mission.

The civilians had fled into the base weeks ago amid brutal ethnic massacres in the world’s newest nation.

AFP

President Kiir Should Learn From the Past

Posted: April 18, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in Featured Articles, Simon Yel

By Simon Yel

President Kiir will not learn from the past until he heard in SSTV or miraya FM that ” president Kiir was ousted some few hours ago” in the way he did not learn the plan of disgruntled group when they had conducted their press release on Decc.6.2013 and boycotted the NLC meeting not until the bullet missed him in December 15th.

President Kiir will not will discover the plan of UN chief Hilde Johnson until he is arrested by UN soldiers like Laurent Gbagbo of Ivory Coast in the same way he didn’t discover how Riek and Taban managed to escape Juba .

President Kiir will not learn that UN is supplying weapons to the rebels and equipping her troops to fight the gov’t until UN start capturing Lakes,Wau and Warrap . The recently intercepted UNIMISS vehicles in Lakes state full of munitions and lethal weapons should have been a great lesson for him to learn from though he always refuses to listen to NS reports, I didn’t know that he will also refuse to use his own eyes to learn what the hell Halide is doing behind the scene of keeping peace but it became the same ” as ears as eyes”. Yesterday(16.4.2014) during the launch of Food Security Council and the Agriculture Season 2014 , he ordered the security organs not to search again the UN vehicles and other related humanitarian organisations but in the same day evening , the three(3) UN ferries were caught on river Nile near Bor( Bor port) heading to Bentiu full of ammunition and lethal weapons.

President Kiir will not learn operations of United State foreign policy of regime change until he is killed like Mamuar Gaddafi of Libya or he is in dock at ICC like Charles Taylor of Liberia or until Pentagon release another press confirming their support to the regime change like what they did in south Vietnam “For the military coup d’etat against president Ngo Dinh Diem of south Vietnam , the U.S. must accept its full share of responsibility,”says Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara in 1963.

President Kiir will not learn the interest of EU and USA diplomats nor even learn from president Putin’s speech during the crisis of Ukraine and I quoted ” our western partners have come to believe in their exclusivity and exceptionalism, that they can decide the destinies of the world, that only they can ever be right. They act as they please: here and there, they use force against sovereign states, building coalitions based on the principle “If you are not with us, you are against us.” To make this aggression look legitimate, they force the necessary resolutions on the UN Security Council and the UN”, until John Kerry and William Hague call for military action against his gov’t and say ” he is a man who has killed thousands of innocents civilians on tribal line and he has across the red line and hence lost his legitimacy” . I though what is happening in Syria and Ukraine should have great lesson for Kiir to learn who exactly the western nations are .

President Kiir will not learn about how many gov’ts did US overthrow until he reads the newspaper while in prison that USA had overthrown 24 gov’ts eg ,Syria, Guatemala, Indonesia , Cuba, DRC, Dominican Republic, South Vietnam,, Brazil, Argentina, Angola, Turkey, Philippines, Iran, Libya , Somalia, Venezuela, Afghanistan, Chile , Poland and recently south Sudan .

President Kiir will not learn that the UN has a record of overthrowing one gov’t on her own , the gov’t of Ivory coast which UN had claimed that “Gbagbo made mistake after mistake and in the end he lost everything ,We intervened to prevent a disaster” until Halide Johnson says ” Kiir made decree after decree and he lost the legitimacy’’ and ordered UN to clear his stronghold like Aweil, Rumbek and Warrap like what UN had done in Ivory cost clearing Yopougon the stronghold of Laurent .

How History is made?

Posted: April 18, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in David Aoloch, Poems.

By David Aoloch Bion

—–

History is not stolen at midnight

By cunning

Not robbed at noon

By might

But a honour confer upon the wise

Who sacrifice to allow those deny

Free right of sunshine by unjust cloud

Of human wickedness to see the sun

—–

Never open history

And you don’t find your name there

And you become rabid

Start to kill people

Where were you

When they were writing the history?

Is their blame?

—–

Never enter library

Find the name of your age mate

Who fought a great battle

Who made a political achievement

And you model yourself after him

Realigning his campaigns and decisions

You can kill as many as Hitler

And you can kill yourself as Hitler too

And never make the history you aspire


By Malith Alier 

Reports coming from Bor, Jonglei State’s capital that people are being killed by UNMISS “protection force” is the first of its kind. Under whatever circumstances, it should never have happened. The UNMISS which has now taken a partisan stand did not use force in Gumuruk and Akobo when about seven members of its staff were killed by attackers from the Counties of Pibor and Akobo respectively.

The latest development is a sign that the current conflict has so far acquired a three notch height. It is advisable for UN mission to note that fact. More than five people dead and many more injured by the UNMISS which is suppose to protect civilians is not a simple matter. Let’s recalled that UNMISS was advised to evacuate those they think are in danger to safer places because its compounds were never meant to be for camps of displaced people. From now on nothing will prevent such occurrences from taking place while this conflict persists.

The people of Bor are not to blame in this situation because of UN and government negligence. This is because there are many unpalatable events that have spelt doom to cooperation among the host community, IDPs and the UNMISS.

First of these is the weapons saga that surfaced in Rumbek early in the year. This has had irreparable damage to the relationship. The same saga surface once again when a boat carrying fuel was discovered to have a hidden cache of weapons and munitions on board. This caused disagreement between the State Governor on the one hand and security and the residents of Bor on the other. The Governor argued that they should be allowed to proceed to Bentiu which is still experiencing fierce battles and also under threat of rebel control citing their clearance from Juba by Ministry of Interior.

Secondly, is the imposition of a Governor on the people of Bor and other scores of Counties whose inhabitants have not rebelled. He himself is seen in the lens of rebellion because his County of Fangak is under rebels’ control. This is evident from the fact that he recently appointed new County Commissioners of Fangak, Uror, Nyirol, Ayod and Akobo replacing the ones who joined Riek Machar conspirators. Note further that he had stones thrown at him with his entourage at the same camp when he went to persuade the IDPs to leave the camp and join the rest of civilians. Therefore, he is neither credible nor reliable in the eyes of the rebels and government supporters. The rebels think of him as a sell-out but the government supporters regarded him as sympathetic to rebels. His appointment of Baba Medan whose County was involved in another devastating rebellion is like adding an insult to injury.

Thirdly, those who shelter in the UNMISS camps are rebel core supporters who celebrate every little victory scored by the rebels either on the battle field or in Addis Ababa on political level. The capture of Bentiu was a major victory they celebrated in such away to annoy the residents of Bor City. There is a saying that says do not abuse the crocodile while you have not crossed the river. The rebels should have known that those who dying on the front line have family members in Bor who do not share their happiness brought about by the fall of Bentiu. Had they celebrated quietly in doors, the results should have been different. What they did was an intolerable height of folly.

Last but not least is the genesis of this entire ongoing and unfortunate hostile environment beginning last December. It has stoked hostilities and drove wedges among communities and between communities and the UN Mission. Riek Machar and President Kiir will have an uphill battle to reunite a country ethnically divided down the middle if either wins the fight for the soul of South Sudan.

The people of Bor are among the most tolerant people in this country. This tolerance was shown the night before the fall of Bor on 18 December 2013. Two brothers close to Nuer camp popularly known as “ci Nuer ben?” in Dinka were mercilessly slaughtered by the rebels who hid in the camp. There was no retaliation despite Dinka being the majority in the town.

The events of 1991 seemed to have been tacitly forgiven however, the 2013 and running conflict where the so-called white army ransacked and killed thousands of innocent people for the second time will take years to heal. The living dead still haunt us in whatever we do. Nobody celebrates death except the IDPs in Bor compound under the watch of UNMISS. This celebration is utterly intolerable and deserves what it gets. Just imagine if it were the other way round. Would they accept it, absolutely no?

The demonstration in Bor is a result of temperature boil over in the heat of towns falling to rebels and the subsequent celebration by the displaced people not knowing that they are in a different territory that is mourning not only the lost of towns but their sons being killed in the battles. People should not offend sensitivities of others particularly in relation to death. It is un African to celebrate death event that of your enemy.

Redefined CPA: Community-Led Peace Agreements

Posted: April 17, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in Junub Sudan

 It is becoming increasingly clear that the IGAD-led mediation process in Addis Ababa will not lead to a definitive resolution to the conflict in South Sudan in the near future. Three months after the cessation of hostilities agreement, there has been no progress on implementation modalities, tabling of an agenda and declaration of principles. And yet the talks have been adjourned (yet again) to April 31st 2014 ‘to give time for the mediators to consult with the heads of IGAD’. We have fully prioritized this externally driven process of mediation as the sole response to the current crisis. This, despite misgivings about whether those currently at the negotiating table fully represent the needs and fears of the communities affected and impacted by the conflict. Indeed, there have been numerous calls for inclusion of various stakeholders in the Addis Ababa talks, but fewer calls for a parallel mediation process that engages the grassroots. This must change. It will be important to recognize that the victims and perpetrators of this conflict are interchangeable to an extent, numbers involved are huge and in the case of the Nuer, impact entire age-set(s). Conversely, reasons for sustained violence continue to evolve; for some this is retaliation – albeit, seemingly no point at which they are sated – others would like to overthrow government, while for those in Addis, it is about political reform(s). It is presumptuous to believe that all these differing viewpoints will be addressed solely in Addis Ababa. In addition, this conflict has impacted entire communities: over one million persons displaced, there is no valid estimate of the numbers of civilians dead but we do know that they are many and entire towns burned to the ground. This has intensified an environment of distrust amongst communities who will have to continue living side by side. There are also fears that this conflict, if left to escalate further, could lead to splits within the greater Nuer community, and that communities on the sidelines of the conflict will become embroiled in it. We must de-escalate this situation. Community-led processes of dialogue, truth, justice and restitution can potentially tackle outstanding issues including how to re-establish law and order at the grassroots; disarming or rehabilitation of armed youths and processes for the return of the displaced persons – including perhaps compensation. They allow communities to identify their missing and dead, and redress grievances. Community-led peace agreements can inspire a lasting peace, leading perhaps to a new definition of CPA; Community-led Peace Agreements. Numerous examples of community peace-building and conflict resolution processes exist in South Sudan. This article draws lessons from these past efforts (see appendix), in an attempt to offer modalities for engagement at the grassroots.


By Reng’o Gyyw Reng’o, Addis Ababa

Just over a month ago, a well placed individual in the system, South Sudan, confided in me and told me the information I did not understand, – Khartoum had been supplying weapons to Juba, during and after the December 2013 crises. The gentleman was very happy. The only question that I asked, was, ” don’t you think Khartoum is doing the same thing to the other side?”. His answer was no. “Why would they?” He asked. I said ” for the same old reasons, wanting to fail South Sudan and now that we are fighting each other, Khartoum might be interested in seeing us annihilating each other!” I was assured Khartoum now needs Jaath [oil] flowing.

While my fears were not addressed, the gentleman sentiments were not isolated. Khartoum’s ambiguous hibernation during the crises, made many regional and international analysts happy. They were praising Khartoum , believing a new era has dawn between Khartoum and Juba. The notorious Islamist Ali Karti, Sudan’s foreign Minister gave concrete assurances of his country’s neutrality in the conflict. He had also taken part in the IGAD’s mission to South Sudan to resolve crises.

However, piecing together number of evidences and occurrences today between South Sudan and Khartoum, it makes me believe that my misgivings then are coming home. First of all, Khartoum was kept out of the countries interfering in South Sudan current conflicts. This is in spite of the fact that it was ferrying weapons to the government in Juba. As long as it was supporting Kiir’s government clandestinely, public relations placard dictates that it was a neutral friend.

You know President Kiir has been accused by his colleagues of flirtation with Beshir, NCP and Khartoum. It was evident in the press release during the December 2013 when the SPLM opposition accused Kiir of wanting to establish a new party that will work the NCP. Only serious minded citizens did not believe that. Otherwise, the gullible groups took the message serious.

There were other developments that were convincing that a new beginning has just arrived in the relationship between Juba and Khartoum. Juba had requested Khartoum to deploy troops in South Sudan to protect oil fields. To effect this, Minister of Defence, Hon. Kuol Manyang Juuk, had to pay a visit to Khartoum just over two weeks ago. Sudan thus has become one of the two neighbouring countries that are seen publicly to be supporting President Kiir. The other being Uganda.

Last week, President Kiir paid a visit to Khartoum to meet President Beshir. It was assumed number of issues were discussed, peace talks, implementation of cooperation agreements, oil protection, etc. However, Abyei, and border demarcation were not mooted. The two issues were not on the table for discussion. Juba read into the mind of Khartoum,-raising these would be a red line. After all, they are “not crucial issues” at the moment.

As soon as President Kiir left Khartoum for Uganda, Sudan’s AirForce bombed Panriang and other areas in Unity State. People were shocked. What was it that Kiir had gone to fetch in Khartoum, “peace or bombs?” I discussed this with my friend Paanluel on the facebook. Below were our exchanged.

P: Khartoum bombing Panrieng county. Kiir was in Khartoum 1-2 ago.
Me: They were welcoming him with bombs.
P: Apparently, yes.
Me: Who might they have targeted? Are there Riek’s rebels in the area, therefore helping Kiir?
P: No. Bombing the civilians.
Me: Hahaha…He has lost it all. That is a message for Kiir to interpret.
P: Bad.
Me: Have they condemned it?, I mean the Kiirs.
P: Aguer Panyang was doing the laundry.
Me: I do not know when Kiir will wake to the reality of politics, and development. He has revejuvanted Beshir to strength and potency, and now Beshir is slapping him incessantly on the face.
P: Yeah and Beshir is consolidating his position. While kiir is fighting everyone in the RSS. Beshir is wooing his political rivals.
Me: That is what I have seen over the media.
p: Consolidation and with consolidation comes the exigency of creating distraction. Possibly a conflict with RSS wud be a perfect one.
Me: A sound politician would that, to consolidate at home? I mean I would do that.
P: And create trouble abroad to keep the consolidation intack, and the public occupied with “cockroaches in Juba.”
Me: Hahaha… Kiir is a toddler when it comes to that politics. I would have done just that, when crises where developing in Juba, to divert the rebels.
P: yep. Beshir [is] doing it, perhaps.
Me: We would be fighting along the border now, while seeking international mediation

Khartoum in its crafty ways, was quick in denying any bombing. That was one negative development.

Just few days ago, Juba announced that its intelligence reported massive movements of the Sudan Armed Forces along the border. The Military Spokesperson Philip Aguer made an alarm. However, Khartoum through its armed forces spokesperson denied the allegation. Yesterday but one, Sudan Tribune website published Khartoum or Sudan’s reservations on IGAD’s mediation, accusing IGAD’s process of being bad. We noticed something that was growing.

On Tuesday 14th April 2014, all of a sudden, Bentiu, Capital of Unity State fell to Riek Machar rebels that were alleged to have come from Sudan. South Sudan Military Spokesperson, Col. Philip Aguer, accused Sudan of not only offering sanctuary to the South Sudan’s rebels but also training and supporting them. Still, Khartoum has denied that accusation as if there is going to be a day they will accept any accusation.

We knew something was developing when rebels went silent. It might be that they have now made another agreement with Khartoum over the oil. I had just raised an alarm the other day, that the Juba’s way of handling Khartoum is wanting in all aspects. That type of foreign policy relations would definately backfire. Juba wake up. I am missing Mading Ngor on that.

Portrait on the Tulip Leaf

Posted: April 16, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in David Aoloch, Poems.

From Karach Deng: Sparkle in Crowd

——– 

By David Aoloch Bion

 ———

God created three unchanging beauties

Sun in the sky,

Cherub in the Heaven

Love on the Earth

I drew my Love on Tulip leaf

I love the painting. I obsess about…

The leaf dried, wind blew it off

——-

She left me with hallucination

In day, she appears, I cuddle the bosom

But, in my hands illusion

At night, she appears, I fondle waist

But, abreast a dream

She disturbs me grimacing

But “I am not sorry”

The Love that do not cause pain

To it author is nothing but shadow of…

——

Men come to world with nothing

But “crying”

Men leave with nothing

But “silence”

I will go to soil with nothing

But screaming “Karach”

In eternity I will recite infinitely

Her name,

—–

Karach Deng: Sparkle in Crowd is the title of unpublished collection of poems about love, beauty, courage, faith …etc

 

The Mystique Nile River (Part-I)

Posted: April 16, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in Featured Articles, Malith Alier

By Malith Alier

 Stand on the banks of the River one lovely evening like this and watch the River flow north in one style, progressively determined for its destination. The cadet blue water takes after the River valley silts. The Riverbanks are lush with evergreen grasses that drink from the River day and night at no cost. Huge green trees parade calmly morning and evening along the course of the River. They play with the mighty wind during the day in contrast to the morning and evening posture.

Stand on the banks and watch the shadow of the trees cross to the other side of the River during sunrise and sunset. The sun mysteriously throws plant shadows across to commune with one another on the divide in a spiritual union.

The River attracts every creature, insects, birds, reptiles, amphibians and above all people who develop inseparable association for millions of years with the River. The River is their life and their life is the River.

Crocodiles, hippos, fish and insects dominate the second longest River in the world. The crocodiles are the strongest of the reptiles. They police the Nile down to the bottom. They are master swimmers and live longer than any other creatures in the Nile. Their teeth grow continuously. The new ones push the old ones out in gradual replacement. They must have the strongest jaws in the world to support the long teeth that are in perpetual growth.

Walk on the Nile one evening and notice amazing scenery, the nature’s gift of water that nourishes flora and fauna. The water swirls on the deepest spot as it moves with speed like a dancing crane. This is one of the latent powers that enable the water to redefine the River course. The water has the power to carry away soil and vegetation in its passage. It soaks hard ground and dissolves it despite resistance. The rocks underneath are laid bare by the same power that dissolves and erodes the less compacted soils.

The Nile feeds and keeps alive the Mediterranean Sea in Arabian Egypt. The people of Egypt who demand exclusive use of water also regard it as a give from the almighty. This false entitlement perception is a result of the Anglo Egyptian treaties of 1929 and 1959. These not only deprived the upstream peoples of their natural accession but also set a dangerous course for the future generations to contend with.

River Nile is like a great serpent moving from highlands to lowlands. It dug a trench million years ago where water collects from the mountains through the valleys and eventually to the sea. It waters the fields that feed mankind.

Lake Victoria joins the countries of East Africa of Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. This is thought to be the important source of the Nile. The city of Jinja is the first exit point of the River. The River meanders through Uganda, DRC, South Sudan, Sudan and finally Egypt. Egypt is the self-appointed mother or father of the Nile River who has never been.

The total length the River is approximately 3,700km or 2,300 miles from the city of Jinja to the delta.

The Nile is given names in sections from the Lake to the sea. From Lake Victoria to Lake Albert is Victoria Nile. Albert Nile is after Lake Albert in Uganda. Bahr El Jabal is from Nimule to where it is joined by Bahr el Ghazal River and that section becomes White Nile. It eventually becomes River Nile from Khartoum where it is joined by Blue Nile, which emanates from Ethiopian highlands.

The Busoga People in Jinja continuously collect water hyacinth (Eichhonia Crassipes) barred by a dam immediately after the River exit. This is one way of keeping the Lifeline River from pollution this strange weeds whose native abode is South America. A few metres upstream after the bridge are Bujagali Falls. This is where Uganda generates much of its electricity supply. The water holds back, collects and superimposes on the rock forcing its way and creating incredible energy as it falls. Man has realized that this can be harnessed to generate power for lighting and industry usage.

The other waterfalls on the way from Uganda to south Sudan are Karuma falls, Murchison falls and the lesser Fulla rapids. Water features like these are not only for power generation but are also tourist attractions. Towns or cities with waterfalls serve as tourist attraction sites. The incredible sights and thrill or sport are difficult to erase in the memory of those who witnessed them forever.

Listen to water roars as you approach Murchison or Karuma falls. The mountain devils unleash wails for help as water splash mercilessly between the rocks. This is a rite of passage with force even the mountains cannot deny. The Nile creatures dare not to be careless on the falls for their lives may be in danger. The canoe people and the swimmers exercise extra care over the falls. And then there is the Murchison Falls National Park. Uganda is blessed with plenty of animals in the wild. These animals are threatened by urbanization, pollution and poaching. It has become a habit for all countries to provide protection to these wild creatures in game Reserves and Parks. This is the age of harnessing nature in modernity. Waterfalls are for sports and generation of energy and wild life generates income through tourism. Poaching is the killing of endangered wildlife for meat or parts like tusks for sale. This is illegal in most countries including Uganda.

The Nile associated vegetation are in form of papyrus, tall bamboo like grasses, reed mace (Typha Latifolia), water lettuce (Pistia Stratiotes) and water hyacinth (Eichhonia Crassipes). Large fruit tree like mangoes are a feature of the River valley.

River Nile is not the only source for fresh water, fish fruit trees but it also used in other beneficial ways. Watch the people mould bricks on the banks in Juba. Young men build huge hillocks of moulded earth, which is burnt to increase strength for construction of shelters. This is an important source of income in Juba in particular. Young people who are unemployed successfully engage in brick molding which in turn make them useful contributors in the development of their country. Self-employment is the word.

Stand on the Nile and look at the fishermen traversing the River in canoes morning and evening. These are called “atooc” in Dinka. They have special skills in dealing with the River. They hollowed logs for use as canoes. They are usually seen rowing canoes with small oars or bamboo, which is lowered down to push the canoe forward in shallow sections close to the banks. This is also the case in rocky and shallow sections in the middle of the River. The catches include tilapia, Nile perch and other variety.

In South Sudan, the nomads depend on the River like no one else. Crossing to either side seasonally is like a sport. This usually is motivated by the search of green pasture during dry season. The cattle owners envy the greens on the western side of the River known as “toc” the night before the crossing is a colorful night. Certain rituals are performed like those of the Israelites when they crossed the Red sea. This is usually to avert disasters like the refusal of a herd to successfully cross all in one accord. Someone volunteers to kill a cow. Others perform prayers, usually someone whose ancestors were the ones who led such activity. In this way, crocodiles and other animals that have potential to destroy the epic journey are put to rest that day.


The leader of South Sudan’s rebels has vowed to attack the capital Juba and target crucial oil fields, warning in an exclusive interview with AFP that the civil war will not end until the country’s president is removed from power.

Former vice president turned rebel chief Riek Machar branded his arch rival, President Salva Kiir a “dictator” and said he saw “no reason for power sharing”.

The comments came as the conflict in the world’s youngest nation enters its fifth month, and amid warnings of looming famine and floundering peace talks.

READ: UNSC warns of famine in South Sudan

“If we are to remove the dictator, Juba is a target, oil fields are a target,” Machar said late Monday in a secret location in Upper Nile state, one of South Sudan’s key oil producing regions.

“We are only resisting a regime that wants to destroy us,” Machar said, adding he still hoped a moribund ceasefire deal signed in Ethiopia in January “will be respected by both parties.”

The conflict in South Sudan has left thousands dead and forced around a million people to flee their homes since fighting broke out on December 15 in the capital Juba, before spreading to other states in the oil-rich nation.

READ: Refugee conditions worsen in the Sudans

The fighting is between soldiers loyal to Kiir against mutinous troops who sided with Machar, who was dismissed as vice-president in 2013. The conflict has also taken on an ethnic dimension, pitting Kiir’s Dinka tribe against Machar’s Nuer people.

Seated in a plastic chair in his basic camp — a dozen mud huts on flat grasslands — the 62-year-old Machar said he was willing to hold face-to-face talks with Kiir, but also that he saw little point.

“What would we discuss? You are a discredited leader, you have committed massacres, I hope he accepts that,” Machar said.


By Amer Mayen Dhieu

I apologize. I might end up with a different interpretation of your beautiful poem. Forgive. But as simple as you have stated, all you need is a village girl: somebody in the village. Indeed, you describe some reasonable attributes you love to see in your future village-girl-wife.

That has triggered a burning question ringing on my mind. Are you indeed looking for the actual village girl or a particular type of woman with your desired-attributes? Are you aware that a village may just be a place to live, which might have minor influence on individuals?

Good on you, you really know the type of woman you want to marry. But I suppose you failed to state clearly the actual type of woman you need. Let’s squeeze it between two warring terms: “village and modern girl”. You have chosen a village girl but the attributes you have stated are not for a village girl but for a reasonable and well educated modern girl.

Your description is that of someone who knows how to operate a bank a/c and know how to save your money; of someone who can read and write and who can appreciate and enhance your ambitious way of writing; of someone that can be devoted to your ideas since you are too devoted to them too. This is not a village girl but a well-educated modern girl. That’s the one you need.

Modernity judging on its parlance has been mis/overused. I guess this is what makes you abhorrence to the term itself. But I assure you that those who like to bend their loves one like their belts are not the modern one.

The modern ones are those who aim to push their husbands to the limit; those who encourage them to be who they are; those who support them to reach their potentials and possibilities; those who value and appreciate differences and partnership of teamwork on the family level; a woman that can lead you through your learning journey.

Do not shy away from the truth. With what I read from your point of view, you do not need a village girl. You need a girl with the above-mentioned experiences; a woman with compassion to provide you with understanding and empathy; to bring you hope and inspiration.

If I am not wrong, if I am not ending up with a different interpretation of your beautiful poem, then this is the woman you describe but might have been given a wrong name of a “village girl”.

She’s not a village girl. It’s a girl that got banking experience to save your money. She’s a girl who have read, “person centred care approach” from the academic books to let you rises to your ambitious way of thinking. She is the modern girl, not the village girl.

AMER@2014


By Mama Junub

Oh my God! It is sickening. How some grown up and well educated adults struggle with self-insecurities. I never struggle to understand what services SBS DINKA and other South Sudanese News sites are giving back to the society. I found nothing but an amazing, commendable job in what they are doing. How do you feel when someone makes you a bed and invite you to have a rest on it? Do you hate that person for giving you free space to lie down and have a rest?

Come on people; let us be honest with ourselves. These guys are giving you and I a space to share our points of view, debate our own issues, express ourselves and our views through articles and letters and press releases. Again it is free of charge. We read and listen to this program and other news sites for new ideas. What is really the issue with people attacking individuals behind these great services? Something I completely do not understand.

So many direct attacks have been made publicly toward individuals working behind these services. Did you ever ask yourself what is it that you are really attacking them for? They are not the one who only expresses their views. The only prepare ground for people to come and communicate their views and opinions. If you think they are not doing well by allowing those you do not like to come and participate in the program or blog. Fair enough go and established your own program or blog to help you choose the people you want to share ideas with.

I do not want to go deep, but I think you are struggling with your own insecurities, if you hate what they are doing then do not turn that radio channel on or do not open the webpage. Easy brezy! There is no point of giving them negative feelings when we all know that they are doing a great job to our community and us. Why do we really care whether what SBS DINKA is doing is part of the role in its contract? Why do you want to know all that anyway? It’s a good service so enjoy it; if not, then do not be bothered and just stay away baby.

Remember no one ever promise us that views opinions are always the same. They are not. You come with yours and I come with mine. This will give us all a bigger picture to look at thing in hand in an inclusive manner. If I didn’t say what’s in your heart, that didn’t give you a right to hate. You are not against each other; it’s that you have different opinions on given topics.

Please let’s us all be courageous and appreciative of each other. Let your heart admits that they are doing these things for us. All in all I love my PaanLuel Wël and that’s all I care.

MAMAJUNUB@2014