By Paul Duwar Bak, Kampala

Warrap state universities and colleges students Association in Uganda elect the new chairperson of their Association. the chairperson of the electoral commission Garang Deng Majak declared Emmanuel Majok Akuecbeny as the winner of the election defeating his rival Akook Yai Akook with 148 votes while Akook got 121 votes.

Aluel Ring Thuch was also declared the secretary for finance beating Mary Achol Majak with 135 votes while Achol got 132 votes and Angok Ring Mathiang was declared the secretary General, he came unopposed. However, the chairperson of the electoral commission described the elections as ultimately free and fair.

On the other side the electoral commission secretary Paul Duwar Bak thanked the entire students for cooperating with the commission regulations during elections process , Paul described the elections as credible, free and fair elections which met the international standards of conducting elections.The observers and the agents of all the contestants express their satisfaction with results and described the elections as  free and fair ever regardless of who won and who lose.

the outgoing chairperson Kuol Jok Manyok gave thanks to contestants for accepting the out come of the elections and he therefore,vowed to supports the  new elected chairperson  with his cabinets. He  described the Association as the center of preaching unity and peaceful co-existence as well as to recognized the dreams of our grand parents,parents and more specially the dream of our leaders to have an educated generations.

The Association was established in 2010 as a platform to unite and address students grievances concerning the academic matters of warrap state students who are studying in various institutions of learning in Uganda.

WHAT’S PATRIOTISM MEASURED BY?

Posted: October 20, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in Tearz Ayuen

By Tearz Ayuen, Nairobi

It seems that we South Sudanese can at times be peculiarly patriotic. When one’s uncle or auntie or in-law is appointed minister by President Kiir, he and his community turn into patriots so fast. They run around with the national flag. They defend the government even when it’s wrong. Like dogs, they sniff the air in an attempt to locate where dissenting voices are coming from.

They even learn how to sing that hymnal national anthem. And during state functions, they crock like frogs as they sing along.

Musicians compose platitudinal songs about the President, songs with which traditional dancers dance to. Other ‘patriots’ pray for the cowboy; not only on Sundays, at church, but also during social communal events.

“Nhiali’ny Aberem ku Ithak ku Jocop, yi awundun col Kiir Mayardit tiit ne jaa ka dhuoom.” (God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, please always protect your servant Kiir Mayardit from satanic forces)

And imagine such a prayer is said in a wedding!

They literally punch, in the nose, those who criticize Kiir and his arrogant, thieving, lying juniors. They expect everyone to swallow everything that comes from Kiir, including urine and spittle. They want everyone to talk sweet of him. Anyone who talks negative of the heavily bearded man is considered unpatriotic and deserves to be fed to the national security human dogs.

In March this year, I went to this new joint opposite Oasis, along the Nile. I sat on a stool at the counter, next to a table of drinking fellows. It was on a blazing Sunday afternoon. The young men were keeping it all grown-up over cold beer – talking about women, girls and so on. At some point, their conversation shifted to politics, particularly on the current crisis. And this old dude – probably in his late 40s or early 50s, parachuted from nowhere and asked what the youth mentioned the president’s name for. This drew my attention.

“You can’t talk about Kiir like that, ya shabab. This is his country. He runs it. He ‘worek’d’ hard to be where he is right now,” the man lectured them. I noticed that he had strong Arabic accent, the kind that looks for letter R in a word. His grammar was good, though. The visibly scared youth remained tight-lipped.

“Say one more time that Kiir has a hand in this crisis and I’ll call SPLA ‘Comondo’ on you right now. Just drink your beer ‘beraha’ and in case you run out of cash, let me know; I could buy you some.” I also saw he had gold-plated teeth, lower and upper canines. He got up, pulled his pants up to the level of navel (Congolese style) and meandered his way to the gents.

Such is a man who, when his auntie or in-law or himself, is kicked out through a presidential decree, quickly turns into a foul-mouthed rebel and begin to run black PR against the president.

Even those who were sucking the nation’s cow dry, in the name of making business before falling out with the administration, have now turned against Kiir. They’re now all over the social media where they launch anti-Kiir textual missiles.

So, what is patriotism measured by in South Sudan? First of all, what’s patriotism? American Philosophy Professor Stephen Nathanson defines patriotism as a ‘special concern for the well-being of the country’ or ‘special affection for one’s own country’.

So, when is one supposed to love South Sudan? Is patriotism measured by the amount of crumbs one picks from under the high tables? Is it by the number of uncles and aunts one has in the cabinet? Or is it by the position one holds in the government?

Famous English writer Julian Barnes in his novel Flaubert’s Parrot, for which he won Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize in 1985, writes: “The greatest patriotism is to tell your country when it is behaving dishonorably, foolishly, viciously.”

Do we first help President Kiir’s government spifflicate the country through ineptitude, corruption, nepotism, totemism, and then when dismissed, we begin to tell him that he ‘is behaving dishonorably, foolishly, viciously’?
What patriotism is that?

And this goes to the self-made cherubs, the alleged potential saviors of the falling, failing nation – Pagan Amum, Majak de Agoot, John Luk, Dr. Riek, Rebecca Nyandeng and other self-deceiving SPLM-this-and-that seniors.

They now speak of Kiir having built no roads, no schools, no health facilities; they say the cowboy is mismanaging public funds. That he’s further plunging the young nation into political and economic abyss.

Well, when did Salva Kiir turn unintelligent, inept, weak and tyrannical? Obviously after he left them out in the political cold, isn’t it?

Yes President Kiir’s leadership is wanting. He deserves the most severe rebuke there is, but not from any SPLM renegade. Kiir should be criticized and mauled politically by South Sudanese without ‘blemish’ – those who never partook in the looting of the countries riches.

Anyway, we must be the most stupid people on earth. How do we worship the same people who co-engineered the downfall of the baby country? Why are we this cheap?

Tearz © 2014


By Philip Thon Aleu, Bor, Jonglei State

Bentiu, UNMISS Camp

Bentiu, UNMISS Camp

First of all, allow me to define what hurdle means in this context.

Hurdle has other meanings but in this piece I am referring to the problem that one has to deal with before one makes progress.

Having told you what I meant by hurdle, I will now go straight to my argument. I am currently in Bor, the capital of Jonglei state and there is no local community radio, newspaper or TV (If TV would ever make one in this generation…just saying). The absence of any local media mean that for the past one week and some days, I have been relying on radio and other news channels from Juba and facebook posts from my ‘friends’ for updates. I saw Twice East county association on Facebook holding a meeting in Australia. Bor county ‘something’ electing a new leader in Nairobi, Kenya and Warrap state youth ‘something’ electing a youth leader in Kampala, Uganda.

I thought my memory has betrayed me. But after checking my clock and other gadgets, I confirmed that this is 2014. ‘So why are these tribal unions and clan gatherings still making sense?’ I asked myself. Ultimately, I realized I and my other colleagues never won the war but only the battle. And so I decided to challenge these tribal, useless and irrelevant associations or unions or whatever they are called, in this piece.

In 2010, I was given a chance of a leader for Students’ Union at Dr. John Garang de Mabior Memorial University of Science and Technology (DR. JG MUST) in Bor, Jonglei state as a Speaker. Our students’ political party, the Students’ Democratic Union (SDU), campaigned on democracy and non-tribal Southern Sudanese (that was before independence from Sudan) associations at the campus and rewriting of students’ union constitution.

We won by a margin of two votes. As a speaker, my core task was to rewrite the constitution and our leader, Mabior Philip Mach, gave me unwavering support. The students’ representatives accepted my leadership and we came up with a historical constitution. “No state, regional or tribal associations will operate at DR. JG MUST. Only professional unions, entertainment clubs or any other body with at least three-quarters from all regions of Southern Sudan will legally operate in the campus.”

That constitution was passed by the general students’ assembly after a fierce debate and all the Equatoria, Upper Nile or Bar El Ghazal regions associations plus counties gatherings ceased by August 2010. After the students’ meeting where the constitution got a majority blessing, I was approached by a member of Bor county committee and he asked me why I supported the dismissal of counties association when Bor was one. I told him that is what I believe is good for Southern Sudan. He made a sharp turn and headed to an opposite direction and I think I lost him as a close friend!

In March 2011, students at University of Juba fought amongst themselves on tribal lines. One American journalist was covering that story. And he cleverly linked it to how volatile, and tribally divided, South Sudan is ahead of July 2011 independence declaration. I had then left DR. JG MUST and I was a student in Uganda at Ndejje University but remained intact with DR. JG MUST.

When I read that American reporter’s story, I sent him an email to explain that there is one University in Southern Sudan where tribal or regional gatherings are illegal and hence tribal feuds are out of date. He requested for my company and by May 2011, we met students at DR. JG MUST in Bor. One of my opponents for non-tribal association in 2010 was the students’ leader by then. He proudly explained to the American reporter that DR. JG MUST is free of non-professional unions. I thought I and my SDU members have won but today, I have just realized that there is a long road ahead.

I don’t support these tribal, regional or state associations because they are useless, aimless and lack objectives. For your information (FYI), these associations support stealing of national resources in the name of tribe(s), states or regions for the benefit of few elites and at the expenses of the majority South Sudanese.

These associations are where tribalism breeds and if you want to eliminate malaria, you better first destroy the breeding grounds of mosquitoes.

We need paved (tarmac) roads, schools, and health centers but not those associations if you want your education to have value yaa students and the South Sudanese in Diaspora!

© Philip Thon Aleu, Bor


By Kur Wel Kur

It sends a chill down my spine to hear our brothers want to return as prodigal sons to their masters in the North Sudan. It makes me wanders in unthinkable thoughts because yesterday some of us disposed buckets full of shits in our own land in the hands of our enemies (Arabs in the North Sudan) so we waged a liberation war. In which, we aimed to liberate all Sudanese of African discern, born and living in Sudan.

However, because of religious numbness, some of our brothers sticked with the enemy and they fought us in the name of Allah-Jihad- all sons of Darfur and all Nuba, except sons of Southern Korodufan and some Blue Nile sons fought to choose wives among seventy most beautiful ladies in heaven, only if they (sons) die as jihadists while sons of Hassan al Turabi and Ali Osman Mohammed Taha, enjoyed their studies in either within Khartoum or abroad.

The liberation war consumed over two decades (22 years) because of our short sighted brothers who invested in short term benefits and short term wars; they returned to their filthy vomits; they asked our enemy for anything to do in order to pick scrums of bread for survival. The enemy propelled our brothers to the oil fields where they and General Peter Gadet Yaak, patrolled our oil wells so the enemy would drill our oil in their safe hands! General Gadet owed us our lives lost in the two-decades-war because the government of Khartoum purchased military gears with oil revenues. Apart from the slaying of the most respected and highly valued commander, William Nyuoon Bany (stay tune for a note about him), Gadet has proved himself a lone wolf roaming in and out of South Sudan.

For these reasons, we must absorb the brothers’ rumours of plan B to join the North Sudan if they don’t attain what they want; what’s this they want? This question needs Nuer’s community to answer it! Failure in answering it, will mean more deaths in Nuer’s community. Nuer’s community must understand that they bled and may continue to bleed to quench Riek’s thirst of power. I believe my brothers (Nuers) will disbelieve me but a government may roll down a test of this statement not far from now. If the government calls   for Tabaan Deng Ghai to take the presidency today, and Riek waits for an election; Riek will either remain in the bush or commit suicide! The ailing man has these two options at his disposal, could a government hit his weakest link by choosing someone in his camp as a president. A gain, what’s this Riek wants?   My brother Paul Tethloach Dak on nyamilepedia wrote: “Give sword a chance or compensate the ‘Nuer’ with power in order for a just and lasting peace to rain in South Sudan”; I believe that’s what Nuers especially Riek wants.

The government must capitalise on all fears. Histories recur because of fear, all sorts of fear, known or unknown fears drive the world. When US dismantled USSR, the fear of military competition and the fear of unity from USSR drove their (Americans) tactics; US troops, partying in the backyards of Asia, Europe and Middle East: US planned to sail 60% of her navy ships in Pacific region by 2020; in Darwin, Australia, US stationed 2,500 troops and navy vessels to repel the South east Asia threats. US deployed 116,400 troops in Middle East and Europe; Out of this number, 56,000 soldiers and 15,000 airpersons reside in Germany and the rests in Turkey, Britain and Italy. 47,000 of US troops reside in Japan, 37,000 troops live in South Korea because America fears the two communist countries: China and North Korea and in case of any conflict in Europe (Russia/cold war) and Middle East. And most US embassies in the world own some numbers of Marine Corps. With the same fear, US invests millions of dollars in missile defence in Israel to counteract the Iran’s nuclear threats.

The fears continue, Israel has established the best defence system ( the iron dome) the world has ever known, even US doesn’t come close to Israel when it comes to defending the citizens from terrorists/enemies. Israel has the best surveillance systems and the best missile-defence; they (Israelites) fitted all their domestic and commercial planes with missile deterrent system. The fear of Iran, Syria, Palestine and Lebanon, drives all these systems.

So my reader, having read this far, I am about to hit the core of this article because you deserve to know the truth. And the truth comes down to Upper Nile Region in South Sudan versus Crimea in South Ukraine and North Sudan in the shadows of Iran versus South Sudan in the shadows of Israel. I believe you keep looking over your shoulders for US in this picture; and you have rights to do so but I will let you know how to keep US in this picture without it interfering in a harmful way after I discuss the above mentioned topics. Or give it (US) the drilling of oil and all is fine

Upper Nile Region versus Crimea in South Ukraine

Early this year, the case of Crimea in the Southern Ukraine occupied the world headlines; the 58 or 60 % of Crimea population that belongs to Russia, pushed for secession of Crimea from Ukraine to Russia; However, the referendum failed to validate this notion so the Russian government backed the rebels from Crimea. This made European nations and US to warn Russia and threaten it with the economic sanctions. The case hangs without apparent and viable solution. How does case resembles our current crisis?

To be continued so lookout for part two….

Traffic Lights are Unnecessary Evil in Juba City

Posted: October 19, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in Economy, Featured Articles

By Malith Alier, Juba

Malith who lives and works in Juba since 2009 is not sure whether to laugh or cry as a gesture to receiving the good news of the advent of traffic lights or stop light as known in USA.

In late 2007, Malith arrived in Juba for the first time from a western country where technological things like stop light is part and parcel of everyday life of a motorist. The rate of motor accidents is a major hazard that kills nearly as many people as cancer. Both are major killers of people in the developed world.

To reduce the risk of accidents occurring and perhaps lessen the work the traffic police, the city councils continuously device new rules and regulations to control the ever increasing motor vehicles. This is mostly the case in build-up areas like CBD or Central Business District. The CBD is controlled not only by concentration of traffic lights but also by speed limits of as low as 50 kph. The speed limit in school zones are labelled with 40 kph at certain times of the day. The maximum limit on a free way is a hundred (100) kph. What is very important about the speed limits is the adherence by the motorists. None adherence on the other hand attracts penalties in form of pecuniary or cancellation of one’s licence.

The Juba before you was like a ghost town under revival in 2007. The population was rapidly growing exponentially by the world standard. The displaced by war and bunches of foreigners arrived by the hour to see for themselves the capital of the semi-autonomous region of the Sudan. The immediate returned of the displaced signalled eagerness to rebuild their lives in the motherland. No doubt about that in every ones’ mind.

Juba is described as a city of sunshine. The weather is hot throughout the year. The summer temperature is particularly unbearable. Juba is situated on the banks of river Nile. The eastern and western parts of joined by viaduct built around sixties or seventies. It is the lifeline to the western side and up particularly western Equatoria and Bhar el Ghazel states.

South Sudan is a nation of grumblers say observers in the government. The educated and people of interest mostly in towns lead this pack. This may be the opposite of the unsuspecting rural folks who rely on second information most of the time.
Kiir Mayar is the overall leader of the country. They also know about the SPLA and the SPLM. These are the only things known by rustics who are in the majority. They have no hint or whisk about the mammoth corruption. Nothing about dysfunctional street lights often knock down by drunken over speeding motorists. Nothing about durra saga or the 75 wanted officials. This is the reality that will also live with us in the towns for the foreseeable future.

At the speed the country is moving by erecting street traffic lights, we may be sure there is more to come. Our neighbouring countries of Uganda and Kenya are still struggling with two or three stop lights in terms of managing them. Kenya and Uganda have at least stable power supply unlike south Sudan. Uganda supply Kenya with excess power from Jinja. This means that there are numerous questions than we have answers for the project of the city stop lights. The questions may be framed such as: Where is the source of power to run the lights? Does Juba city which is poorly planned need such lights? Will the motorists who are not in a position to interpret the different light colours like red, green and yellow obey the erected stop lights? Have the traffic department made the traffic control centre? Will the traffic control centre manage the many lights erected at a go? Will the stop lights have surveillance cameras to take photos of violators? Will the armed forces who are always flouting traffic rules be turned around?

It is mesmerising how the asphalted kilometres of roads are getting depleted by clogged water in many parts of Juba City. However, no one seems to bother about that. ABMC South Sudan and Thailand, the company that constructed the road stretches is nowhere to undo this damage that is not only an eyesore but also a risk to road users, motor vehicles and pedestrians alike. The roads in the city constructed by the poor engineers won’t serve the motorists for long.

The writer passes the roundabout of University of Juba and saw some interesting observations about the traffic lights. The roundabout is at the intersection of University road and Unity road. The old roundabout is still intact. Nobody made an attempt to modify it to a full functional cross section fully controlled by traffic light. The traffic lights are placed at the invisible corners such that the approaching motorists can’t see until they are within 1 metre of the lights. The lights have four bulbs indicators but only two were functional. The two are just arrows pointing in different directions. Both are on the yellow background. They are powered by flat solar panels measuring about 1 metre by half a metre. This is indeed a modification of the normal traffic lights seen around the globe.

Many people have come to accept the fact that new projects come with new possibilities. This is a trend that may be difficult to circumvent. Many institutions including the City Council would like to make an attempt at it. The traffic lights are a temporary measure which no one will make an effort to maintain just likes the disappearing road sections commandeered by flood water.
The drivers for the Lologo route are still on strike because of bad roads. They parked their vans on the 13th this month until the authorities who are executing new projects come to their senses. The authorities include the Juba City Council (JCC) which busy with new projects and the administration of Rajaf Payam full of self serving officials.

No level of government got policies and priorities right since CPA. Even if they are got right, there is a ghost called corruption in over projects in form of kickbacks. A company cannot get a contract until it does speak the language we speak. This is the dead end of doing business the way it is. The traffic lights under construction will be abandoned like the roads that nobody maintains to date.

President Appoints New Ambassadorial Team

Posted: October 19, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in History

1. Telar Ring Deng….Presidential Advisor on Legal Affairs……..appointed Ambassador to Russia.

2. Garang Diing Akuong……The Minister for Commerce, Trade and Investment…..appointed Ambassador to the USA.

3. Gen. Alison Manani Magaya………Former Minister for Interior……..appointed Ambassador to the EU.

4. Dr. Michael Milli Hussein…….Former Minister of Education……..appointed Ambassador to China.

5. Emmanuel Lowilla……..Minister in the Office of the President…….appointed Ambassador to Belgium.

6. Beatrice Khamisa Wani………Former Deputy Minister for Telecommunication and Postal Services……..appointed Ambassador to DR Congo.

Celebrating the Inauguration of Kongor Diocess

Posted: October 19, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in Featured Articles, History
Tags:

Unmasking the Assumptions and Misunderstanding about the Diocese of Kongor

By Abuna Nathaniel Athiaan Deng Mayen, Canada

Introduction

After the recent inauguration of the Diocese of Kongor on October 11, 2014, many opinion writers and commenters have written phrases, such as “Congratulations Kongor Paneerda [Kongor my maternal Family/Community] or Kongor Wundit [Kongor Great/Big Community]…on getting the new diocese.” Such statements are both incorrect and misplaced. Overwhelmed by excitement (and possibly guilt, surprise and continued objection) after the eventual archiepiscopal confirmation of the Diocese of Kongor in the Episcopal Church of the Sudan, some individuals ignore the fact that the Diocese of Kongor (religious entity), Kongor Payam (political entity) and Kongor Wut/Community (cultural and communal entity—which the non-Kongor members refer to as Paneerda or Paandie or Pathuooudie, among other Jieeng personifications) are three different jurisdictions. For example, there are believers who are non-Episcopalian by affiliations but they are living and are born in Kongor Payam and Kongor Community, respectively. These individuals are not members of the Diocese of Kongor unless they, together with other members from other payams, communities and archdeaconries in Bor, Twic East and Duk counties, choose to be part of the newly inaugurated diocese.

The unifying factor among the members from these three entities is the name Kongor. Although the members cooperate in achieving similar goals and objectives (as the ongoing celebrations in Kakuma Refugee Camp and other places in Kenya could attest), they are accountable to different authorities. For instance, the congregation of the Diocese of Kongor fall under the leadership of Bishop-Elected Gabriel Thuch Agoth Deng, while Chief Duot Ajang Duot and Hon. Isaiah Chol Aruei Barach lead other jurisdictions in the Kongor Community and Kongor Payam, respectively. The chains of authority and leadership in the Church continue with the congregation of the Diocese of Kongor and their leaders (clergy, elders and laity) accountable and loyal first, to Archbishop Hillary Garang Deng Awer, the archbishop of the Episcopal Church Upper Nile Cluster of dioceses; second, to His Grace Lordship The Most Reverend Daniel Deng Bul, the Archbishop of the Episcopal Church of the South Sudan and Sudan and the Primate of the Anglican Communion in Sudan and South Sudan; and finally to Archbishop Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the symbolic leader of all the Anglican and Episcopal Churches worldwide. On the other hand, the citizens in Kongor Payam follow a different chain of leadership and authority, starting with community leaders at various Boma levels; to Civil Administrator (CA) in Kongor Payam; to Commissioner in Twic East County; to Governor in Jonglei State; to President of the Republic of South Sudan; to the leader of East Africa Community; to the leader of African Union; and finally to the global governments through the United Nations and other political and geopolitical jurisdictions.

Both the outrageous acknowledgement after the failure to oppose the new diocese and the excitement about the final confirmation and inauguration of the Diocese of Kongor are manifestations of the ongoing power struggles in the Episcopal Church of the Sudan and the diffusion of conflicts from the Church to ethnic communities. I have described similar wrangles in the last chapter of my forthcoming Christian leadership book, Christian Faith among the Jieeng: the Shift in Leadership Values, the Stages of Faith, and the Cultural and Religious Experiences of Jieeng Believers in the Episcopal Diocese of Bor. I am writing this piece to highlight the developments that led to the creation of the newly inaugurated Diocese of Kongor.

Background

The newly inaugurated Diocese of Kongor was established in recognition of Kongor District which branched out of Bor District in 1976. For this reason, all Twic East and Duk believers are members of the Diocese of Kongor because it was approved for the congregation in Kongor District in 1988, four years after the creation and inauguration of the Diocese of Bor in 1984.

The history of Christianity (Episcopal) among the Jieeng in the former Bor and Kongor districts dates back to 1906, the year that the first Anglican missionaries from the Church Missionary Society (CMS) arrived in Malual Agorbaar, among the Jieeng on the eastern bank of the River Nile, near the current Malek Mission Centre. After the acceptance of Christianity, the Church and other non-political institutions followed the existing political and administrative units in the area to name the expanding dioceses, archdeaconries, deaneries and parishes. For instance, the Diocese of Bor was established and named after the former Bor District.

The second mission centre after Malek was built in Kongor (Pawel) in 1984. As a result, Kongor became the headquarter of the second deanery among the three deaneries in the Diocese of Bor, which was stretching from Chuei Keer (at the far south end of Bor County) to Chuei Thon or Amien (at the far north end of Duk County). The first deanery, which was headed by John Kelei Chiengkou, with Abel Alier as the President of Jol wo Lieech youth ministry, had its jurisdiction from Chuei Keer to Jalle. The second deanery, which was headed by Joseph Akol Gak, with John Chol Majok as the president of Jol wo Lieech Youth Ministry, ran from Piol (Pakeer) to Payom (Kongor). The third deanery, which stretched from Wernyol to Duk-Padieet, was headed by Samuel Majok Deng, with Isaac Deu Chol as the president of Jol wo Lieech youth ministry. The appreciation, loyalty and affiliation to these three deaneries influenced the infamous verse in Mary Aluel Garang Anyuon’s song: “From Amien to Chuei Keer is praying before you, God (Nhialic). Deliver us, we are your flock.”

After the devastation of Bor and Kongor districts in 1991, the second and third deaneries in the Diocese of Bor fell under the leadership of Archdeacon Daniel Dau Deng. Daniel Dau was assisted by senior clergy like William Kongor Deng, David Alaak and Simon Bul Manyuon. Bishop Nathaniel Garang oversaw the Church, both in the remote villages in Bor and Kongor districts and in the displaced and refugee camps in Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and SPLA liberated parts in Sudan. The Episcopal Church of the Sudan was using the name Kongor as the name of the district, not a name of the community. Agreeably, the Episcopal Church of the Sudan approved the Diocese of Kongor and passed it in a synod meetings in 2002 (Tombe 2012) and 2004 to be inaugurated to full diocese. Only the approval in 2004 resulted in elections for Kongor Area (a new diocese), conducted under the supervision of Bishop Nathaniel Garang.

The Controversy about the Name Kongor and the Defections from the Church

After numerous announcements about its creation as early as 1988, the Diocese of Kongor was not inaugurated because of civil war in the southern part of Sudan where majority of the congregation lived and because of the controversy that later resulted from the name Kongor. The controversy about the name Kongor started when the retired politicians, who no longer benefited from the larger population in Kongor Payam, and the senior clergy, who lost in successive elections for Kongor Area (Diocese), politicized the procedures to inaugurate the new diocese making it difficult to differentiate the three entities—diocese, community and district.

Nobody knows the circumstances that influenced Duk and Twic East politicians and civic leaders to give their district the name Kongor in 1976, and what factors later prompted the campaigns to change Kongor, first to Bor North in 2004, then to Twic East and Duk counties in 2007. The politicians might have used the name Kongor to secure larger population in Kongor Payam and Kongor Community. The quest for the change of name was probably due to change in political landscape, with Arok Thon Arok (a senior SPLM/A politician and other politicians from Kongor Payam and Kongor Community) in conflict with John Garang and other senior politicians in the rebel movement. It could be possibly because members of Kongor Community composed songs that exalted them and isolated other communities in Kongor District.

The name of the district was changed from Kongor to Bor North in a meeting attended by Bor, Duk and Twic East community and religious leaders and politicians in Panyagoor in 2004. However, the name of the diocese was not changed because the leaders and politicians agreed with the former Member of Parliament of Kongor District Hon. Elijah Malok Aleng’s suggestion that the name of the diocese should remain Kongor. Three months after the meeting, five senior clergy vied for the position of a bishop in the Diocese of Kongor (Kongor Area). Bishop Ezekiel Diing Ajang (23 votes) won over four other clergy, namely, Peter Bol Arok (19 votes), Peter Garang Thiel (23 votes), Elijah Abuoi Arok (3 votes), and Bartholomew Bol Deng (6 votes).

After the elections, Peter Bol, Peter Garang and Elijah Abuoi defected from the Episcopal Church of the Sudan, Diocese of Bor, protesting the election of Bishop Ezekiel Diing whom they called “three-wife bishop” (Thiel and Arok 2005). Peter Bol and Peter Garang also wanted Bishop Nathaniel Garang to take the names of the top three contestants (Peter Bol, Peter Garang and Ezekiel Diing) to the archbishop of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan. They argued that the House of Bishops should conduct elections for the Diocese of Kongor. The Archbishop Joseph Marona affirmed that the elections were fair and that the House of Bishops could elect the bishop when the clergy in the upcoming diocese had not peacefully conduct elections by their own. The clergy’s concerns that Ezekiel Diing did not fit the bishopric position did not disqualify Ezekiel Diing from contesting for elections. As a result, the same accusation could not disqualify him from being consecrated after the election results showed that Ezekiel Diing was preferred by most clergy in Kongor Area. The archbishop came to Kakuma Refugee Camp to consecrate Ezekiel Diing in 2004, but the defecting clergy (Peter Bol and Peter Garang) mobilized their clan youth members to surround Zone 3 Parish Compound, obstructing the consecration. After this encounter, the Sudanese chairperson in Kakuma advised Archbishop Marona and Bishop Nathaniel Garang to postpone the ordination because insistence might result in fighting.

After the postponement, the congregation of Kongor Archdeaconry—sympathetic with the visiting senior clergy because it was the first time Archbishop Marona visited the Christian believers in the Diocese of Bor in the refugee and displaced camp—invited the archbishop, Bishop Nathaniel Garang and Assistant Bishop-Elect Ezekiel Diing in Zone 1 Parish. This invitation made the name Kongor controversial again. The defecting clergy argued that Kongor owned the new diocese and that the name of the diocese should be changed to correspond to the name of the county. In this case, the name of the diocese should be Bor North after Kongor was changed to Bor North. During lengthy talks and closed door meetings among the remaining clergy in the Diocese of Bor, Kongor Area, and after Ezekiel Diing was consecrated as the assistant bishop of the Diocese of Bor and presiding bishop of Kongor Area, the final resolution on name and the creation of full diocese were interrupted by the death of Joseph Marona, leaving the inauguration of the Diocese of Kongor in the file for the next archbishop. In 2007, Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul took over leadership in the Episcopal Church of the Sudan and ordered that the preparation about the Kongor Area be started over and that the name of the diocese be changed to the name favoured by majority of the clergy in Kongor Area.

The name of the diocese was changed from Kongor to Twic East, under the directive of the archbishop. On his first visit to Nuerland in April 2009, the archbishop forcefully inaugurated the new Diocese of Twic East without consulting with the congregation in Kongor Archdeaconry. As a result, the clergy, laity and elders in Kongor Archdeaconry boycotted the inauguration of the Diocese of Twic East in Wangulei because they felt dissatisfied about the course of direction of the diocese, especially after the involvement and interference of the archbishop. Few months before the Diocese of Twic East was inaugurated and new elections were conducted, the congregation of Kongor Archdeaconry declared independence from the Diocese of Twic East. The congregation maintained that the procedures that the archbishop acted contrary to his expected roles and that Kongor had fulfilled the provincial requirements for a diocese:

The community of believers is convinced that the conditions required for the establishment of a diocese had already been met. For instance: in 1988, in northern Sudan, Kongor Area was promoted as a diocese and the present Archbishop, the Most Rev. Daniel Deng Bul was subsequently consecrated as the first Bishop of Kongor Diocese; in Ame IDP (Internally displaced persons) camp, Eastern Equatoria, in 1993, the Rt. Rev. Bishop Nathaniel Garang Anyieth announced to the IDPs and ECS congregation the creation of Kongor Area; in 2004 in Panyagoor, Vicar General Rev. Ezekiel Diing Ajang was appointed as Assistant Bishop of Bor Diocese based in Kongor Area (presiding bishop for Kongor Area); in Panyagoor in 2004, the greater Bor community chaired by H.E Michael Makuei Lueth confirmed the upgrading of Kongor area to a full Diocese; in 2006, the Diocesan Synod of Bor confirmed upgrading of Kongor Area to a full diocese; the same year (2006), provincial Synod sent an assessment team under the current ECS Archbishop to the Area to establish the viability of Kongor Area as a diocese and the team confirmed the same (fulfilment of the requirements); on April 25, 2007, the former ECS Archbishop (Joseph Marona) through the provincial Secretary, Rev Canon Eng. Enoch Tombe, confirmed the upgrading of Kongor Area to a full diocese, and blessed by the provincial Emergency Synod in Juba in 2008; and Kongor Area has practically fulfilled the other requirements for subsistence of a diocese such as the building of two Cathedrals at Panyagoor and Kongor towns, house for the Diocesan Bishop and a Vehicle  (Atem 2009).

The congregation also expressed their intention to sue the archbishop for manipulating the existing laws and procedures in the Episcopal Church of the Sudan. On August 4th, 2009, the law firm that represented the congregation of Kongor Archdeaconry wrote a letter to the Chancellor of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan: 

 

I have been retained by my client, the Congregation of Kongor Archdeaconry represented by a) Rev. Andrew Juac Alaak—Clergy; b) Chief Duot Ajang Duot—Elder; and c) Mr. Jacob Biar Deng—laity, who have instructed my firm…to write to your Honour in your capacity as the legal advisor of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan: that the House of Bishops under the leadership of His Grace, the Anglican Archbishop of the Sudan is unreasonably and illegally withholding the establishment and creation and of the Diocese of Kongor contrary to the Ecclesiastical Constitution Rules and regulations of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan; the Congregation of Kongor Archdeaconry , Clergy, Laity, Elders and other others, is hereby expressing its intention to sue the Archbishop of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan before the Supreme Court for violating the Ecclesiastical Constitution of the Church; failure by the Episcopal Church of the Sudan to settle the issue out of court within 14 days after receipt of this letter will leave my clients with no other options than instituting legal procedures; and if this suit is allowed to proceed before the court, the Episcopal Church of the Sudan should expect to incur expensive advocacy and service fees (Atem 2009).

After receiving the letter from the court, the Acting Provincial Secretary replied, on August 5th: “I am writing responding on behalf of the Provincial Chancellor in your letter date 4th August, 2010 which has been received today the 5th August, 2010. Settling of the issue outside the court is welcome .We will appreciate if you could come to the Archbishop’s office on Thursday 12th August, 2010 at 11.00 a.m.” (Atem 2009).

After taking the issue out of the court, the follow-up procedures delayed for five years, with the congregation of Kongor Archdeaconry continually accusing the archbishop for blocking discussions about the diocese among the bishops. During this period, the archbishop turned political and exchanged some statements with individual Kongor members, such as David Aruei Dau and William Ajang Chan. Finally, the House of Bishops and House of Clergy in the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan voted for the confirmation of the Diocese of Kongor on November 27, 2013. This led to creation of the newly inaugurated diocese.

The Possible Reasons for Excitement among the Congregation in the Diocese of Kongor

The excitement among the congregation in the newly inaugurated Diocese of Kongor shows that the long-awaited journey was difficult to navigate. As seen from the preceding section, the congregation invested much energy and resources in claiming the right for the diocese. First, the congregation struggled with political pressure from other Twic East and Duk archdeaconries and communities about the establishment of the Diocese of Kongor. This wrangle caused conflict in the Church because other Twic East and Duk archdeaconries were furious about the name for the diocese, with argument that Kongor was a name of one community and that the congregation of Kongor Archdeaconry had established a strong relationship with the top leadership in the Diocese of Bor to protect their name. Historically, Kongor was recognized as the flag bearer of the new Diocese, which is evident from their earliest invitation of the archbishop in Kakuma.

Secondly, other archdeaconries and communities within Twic East and Duk refused to financially support the creation of the diocese. Kongor congregation had to devise possible criteria to generate fund for the new diocese. For example, in Kakuma, all members agreed to contribute Ksh. 3,000,000, the estimated amount that was required for the consecration of the elected assistant bishop Ezekiel Diing in 2004. As the contribution continued with half of the money contributed, the archbishop visited Kakuma but the consecration failed. The congregation of Kongor had to use some of the money and, to compensate for the amount spent on welcoming the visiting senior clergy, the contribution was extended to Kongor community: all the Kongor chiefs were asked to collect money from their clan members. Other Twic East and Duk communities did not see anything favoring them. Consequently, Kongor financed everything.

Thirdly, because of leadership wrangles and undue delay in enthroning the Diocese of Kongor, the archdeacon in charge of Kongor Archdeaconry Daniel Dau Deng defected (together with John Machar Thon and Philip Agony Chol) from the Episcopal Church of Sudan, Diocese of Bor, to the Reformed Episcopal Church, a new denomination formed by Bishop Gabriel Roric Jur after Gabriel Roric disagreed with Archbishop Joseph Marona. This defection exerted more pressure on the ongoing preparation because the congregation of Kongor Archdeaconry was divided over the remaining and defecting senior clergy. Despite this setback, the congregation continued with the mission to contribute the money for the elections and the inauguration of the new diocese. In addition, shortly after Daniel Dau defected, the senior leaders in the archdeaconry started campaigns, before church leaders and few community members, to get a qualified leader to take over leadership of Kongor Archdeaconry and vie for the position of Kongor Diocese. The congregation nominated the Vicar General and Radio broadcaster Ezekiel Diing Ajang to take over the position of archdeacon in charge of Kongor Archdeaconry, the position formerly held by Daniel Dau. The clergy also nominated Ezekiel Diing to vie for the diocesan elections, against other four clergy aforementioned. After Ezekiel Diing won the election and became the Head of the Diocese, there was no money to cater for inauguration services. After the disgruntled archdeaconries within Twic East refused to contribute to the budget for the inauguration, which was estimated at 60,000 in Kenyan shilling, Kongor Archdeaconry, whose son Ezekiel Diing had won the election, had to cover the expenses. The clergy in charge of Kongor Archdeaconry called entire Kongor Community in Kakuma and the members agreed to collect the estimated amount for the inauguration from the members. The members collected Ksh. 56,600 from clans and sent it for Ezekiel Diing’s consecration and continued to contribute more money and kept in Ezekiel Diing’s account for the enthronement.

After the name of the diocese was abruptly changed from Kongor to Twic East in 2009, the congregation of Kongor Archdeaconry felt dissatisfied because they thought Twic East archdeaconries were reaping the fruits from the land they did not prepare. However, because Ezekiel Diing won the election, the congregation submitted their letter to the office of the archbishop but did not ask refund for the money. The amount that remained in the Ezekiel Diing’s account helped in the inauguration of the Diocese of Twic East: “30,000 Sudanese Pound was produced in cash, and a bank statement of 22,895 Sudanese Pound shown, though the account was Bishop Ezekiel Diing’s personal account”  (Ramsden and Denney 2009).

The eventual confirmation and the inauguration of the new diocese means that the congregation of Kongor Archdeaconry and their friends and partners have finally achieved their dream. The excitement reveals the exploded happiness for achieving diocese in which the congregation have invested more resources and efforts. The congregational peaceful follow-up for justice is a recommendable precedence to challenge the people in authority for misusing the power bestowed on them. However, the celebration should not miss its main objective: thanking God for the guidance and protection during the struggle for social justice for the congregation. The resources used in extravagant celebrations may as well start the development of a school or a hospital in the new diocese instead of being temporarily used for perishable cause: feasting.

Conclusion

The rampant defections and conflicts in the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan was, and still is, not about names, whether Kongor or Bor or any other name. The defections are expressions of power struggles, with senior clergy putting names and tribal differences as rationalizations and scapegoats to justify their frustrations after they lost leadership positions in some ways. Second, the conflicts are consequences of lack of dialogue and compromises to jointly address issues after certain leadership disagreements. The Church should envision a leadership that takes responsibilities for their actions. The congregation of Kongor Archdeaconry have shown some steps towards this initiative. The congregation needs great support, not discouragement, for peacefully seeking the justice that they were denied for decades.

A distinction about the values on what constitutes a church jurisdiction, a clan or community and an administrative unit, how to name such entity, and the choice of leadership and authorities to facilitate the delivery of services and activities in such an entity should guide the leaders and citizens in their choices and relationships. The Diocese of Kongor have been inclusive since its conception and as a result, it is incorrect to narrow the congratulatory compliments to Kongor Community where the diocese is located on its land. It is worthwhile to acknowledge the fact that the congregation of the Diocese of Kongor (religious identity) and the residents of Kongor Community (social and cultural identity) and Kongor Payam (political identity) are cooperative in achieving goals and objectives, but they are different entities.

Bibliography

Aleu, Philip Thon. 2008. “Jonglei Governor Calls on Upper Nile Church Leaders to Preach for Peace.” The Sudan Tribune. January 25. http://www.sudantribune.com.

Atem, Sirocco Mayom Biar. 2009. “Commentary: Disagreement in Bor Diocese after the Declaration of Kongor Diocese.” The New Sudan Vision. April 29.http://www.newsudanvision.com.

Deng Atem, Stephen de. 2005. “A Split in the Church.” Kakuma News Bulletin 2 (2): 1-3.

Ely, Right Reverend Thomas Clark. 2007. “Together we can make a big Difference: Establishing the new Diocese of Kongor.” Mountain Echo, an edition of Episcopal Life.

Ramsden, Nicholas, and Robin Denney. 2009. Archiepiscopal visit by His Grace the Most Rev. Dr. Daniel Deng Bul to the dioceses of Jonglei State, the Province of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan Official Report of the Visit from Wednesday 8th – Friday 17 April 2009.Juba: Episcopal Church

Thiel, Peter Garang, and Peter Bol Arok. 2005. Proposed Post-Conflict Program: Background of the Twic Area and the Current Situation. Program, Nakuru: ANGELICAN CHURCH OF KENYA (ACK). Proposed Post-Conflict Program: Background of the Twic Ahttp://twicdiocese.org/proposalpost.htm.

Tombe, Rev. Enock. 2012. “The Episcopal Church of Sudan in the History of Divided Sudan.”Comboni Missionaries South Sudan. March 20. http://www.combonisouthsudan.org.