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


By Deng Simon and PaanLuel Wel

———————

By Elijah Deng Simon

Instead of incriminating Emmanuel Jal, Jok Madut, Ajak Chiengkou or Deng Elijah, we should be incriminating the system. It is this system that instructs us to do what we are doing; sorting the truth from different perspectives.

It is the system that creates and exploits these perspectives to turns Mabior against Dau , Puljang against Koang, Olony against Ogat, Wanni against Lado, tribes against tribes and regions against regions because the system is reaping these [regionalism, tribalism, nepotism, corruption, and divide and rule] for its own gains; to reign for 100 or 1000s years as long as we remain in our narrowed comfort zones.

Your incriminations and selective praises nurture the crippled system while reaping your intelligence and respect. A bad system would reduce you to believe that Ajak is your hero and Jal is your enemy and vice versa, when there is no profound ground to prove that the two can’t work together for a collective interest instead of your interest! 

–Way forward —

Since the coup allegation has collapsed, divide and rule has failed, regionalism as well, and war won’t bring a sustainable solution. Instead of defending “status quo” we should defend the nation and to defend the nation the perpetrators must be held accountable. It is unreasonable to end a presidential term prematurely but it is highly irresponsible and illegitimate that over 4 millions people re in a food shortage, over 1 million displaced and over 10,000 (well above 30,000) people died. So there must be a trade off and the best trade off is to teach the upcoming leaders that they will be forced to step down prematurely should they imitate Salva Kiir and his crooks.

Our lives as citizens can’t be traded off for any other gain(s). The short term solution is for Kiir to step aside and the long term solution would be to elect a patriotic and visionary citizen to reconcile and rebuild the nation after this interim government. Dr. Riek has a constitutional right but does not have to lead South Sudan as a president, however, the country has to be transformed and reconciled for the next generations to enjoy freedom,justice and equality!

———————

By PaanLuel Wel (Response to Deng Simon)

Elijah Deng SimonI absolutely concur with you that “Instead of incriminating Emmanuel Jal, Jok Madut, Ajak Chiengkou or Deng Elijah, we should be incriminating the system” because, as you rightly pointed out, “It is the system that creates and exploits these perspectives to turns Mabior against Dau, Puljang against Koang, Olony against Ogat, Wanni against Lado, tribes against tribes and regions against regions…” But while you may take the system to be President Kiir and his henchmen who seem to know nothing about what is going on in the country, some people would go further and say that the system in question includes not just the President, but Dr. Riek Machar (who had been no. 2 in that very system for 9 years) as well as the 11+ political detainees who are currently presenting themselves as better alternatives to the bloodied hands of President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar.

Therefore, if indeed the system is the stumbling block to the realization of long lasting peace and political stability in South Sudan, and there is no reason whatsoever to doubt that postulation, it entails that the best way forward is not just to get rid of President Kiir, but rather the whole system which include, in addition to the President, Dr. Riek Machar and the 11+ political detainees. Bearing in mind that there was no coup in Juba and that the 11+ political detainees are already out of power, the next people to go from power are President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar. The logic is simple: neither President Kiir nor Dr. Riek has been able to decisively defeat the other notwithstanding over 4-month of continuous fighting. Therefore, to paraphrase your statement, the short term solution is for President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar to step aside from their respective power bases and the long term solution would be to elect a patriotic and visionary citizen (say Dr. Marial Benjamin or Wani Igga, for example) to reconcile and rebuild the nation after this interim government.

Whereas it is certainly true that President Kiir and Dr. Riek have constitutional rights to contest the ‘next election’, they should not necessarily be part of the interim government if fighting has to stop in South Sudan. Of course, such course of actions in which both President Kiir and Dr. Riek would be barred from being part of a transitional government is an anathema to their respective supporters, and few avenues abound, barring international military intervention, to bring about such course of event as they are the ones wielding Kalashnikov in the entire country. Of course, the government of President Kiir is wishing for a swift military victory over the rebels, akin to the decisive defeat of the Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka. On the other hand, the rebels under Dr. Riek Machar are entertaining the thought that they would ride into Juba like Paul Kagame in the 1990s while Presient Kiir is taken to the ICC for killing the Nuer in Juba.

Well, both are wishful thinking, for the government will never completely defeat the rebellion even if they were lucky enough to kill or capture Riek Machar, and neither will the Rebels realize their conjured up triumphant march to Juba for the best the rebel can achieve is a Somalization of South Sudan.

–Way forward —

But for us South Sudanese to have meaningful, serious and constructive dialogues, the best and only way forward other than an outright military victory as wished by the government and as dreamed up by the rebel is two-fold: (1) Going back to the status quo–an interim government with both President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar, in their respective pre-July 23rd positions and seniority or (2) charting a new course–a transitional government without President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar, back by international military forces. But of course, my pro-rebels friends Deng Simon and Jesus Deng Mading-chuai would prefer an interim government without President Kiir while my pro-government friends Simon Yel and Gordon Buay would want nothing more than the blood-dripping head of Dr. Riek Machar.

And thus, stalemate–political and military–set in and Addis Ababa talks are treated as a necessarily evil to be tolerated but never taken seriously. The government is wishing, and the rebels are dreaming, for a decisive military victory!! The conversation is yet to commence because there are no genuine conversationalists, only Kiirists and Machariists rule the air, the web and the field!!

Till then, the present carnage in Bentiu might soon get replicated in Bor and Malakal and over again as it has been the case. President Kiir is majestically unperturbed, Dr. Riek is boyishly excited and their supporters are marching, cheering on and wishing and dreaming while the DREAM “for the next generations to enjoy freedom, justice and equality!” is being stymied!

Junub Thudan in the hands of the same monkeys in different forest!

Letter: Dear Mother

Posted: April 15, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in Junub Sudan

Originally posted on Nyamilepedia:

By Puk Goar,

Dearmotherscoolafp300

Former child soldiers attending  primary school after the peace returned to the area.(Photo: AFP)

April 14, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — This morning I will be leaving for Paloch a key oil-filed [oil field] in the very heart of Upper Nile. Machar told us that closing down the oil will force kiir to stop bringing more Uganda that fuel the war. And maybe we shall realize peace in our nation.

However, I know you are already gone and my two sisters in Juba. So I am not fighting for Machar but for the freedom of your daughter in Kakuma camp who have been there since independence. If you were not killed and my uncles in Juba today I could be doing my final exams in Ethiopia by the end of this year. Something I wish you could be proud of, but now you are gone.

This will be my third…

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