Archive for August, 2011

South Sudan Faces New Challenge — Ending Ethnic Violence

Posted: August 31, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

South Sudan flag

By Nigel Roberts
Published 4 hours ago

After fighting a bloody, protracted civil war to win independence from its northern neighbor, South Sudanese are turning on each other.

The internal conflict creates new difficulties for a government that already faces formidable obstacles.

Violent ethnic clashes between the Murle and Lou Nuer communities of Jonglei state have resulted in about 600 deaths and unconfirmed reports indicating that almost 1,000 people are wounded, according to a United Nations report.

U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said the violence, displacement and casualties in Jonglei are disturbing. The United States is pleased, however, that the new government has condemned the hostilities and is promoting reconciliation between the two groups.

“The United States calls on the communities involved to exercise restraint and reduce tensions immediately,” she added.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced Friday that the U.N. Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) was sending troops and civilian experts to Jonglei to prevent further violence and to promote reconciliation. The U.N. Security Council created the peacekeeping mission following South Sudan’s independence from Sudan in July.

Hilde Johnson, the head of UNMISS and the secretary-general’s special representative for South Sudan, called for an end to “this cycle of violence.”

“We stand ready to support the government and state authorities with all their efforts to ensure peace and stability are restored,” Johnson said.

Johnson added that the mission deployed additional peacekeepers and roaming teams to Jonglei’s most vulnerable areas.

Meanwhile, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay, reported that the conflict led to the kidnapping of more than 200 children, the burning of more than 7,900 houses and the displacement of up to 26,000 people.

When South Sudan became the world’s newest nation following a referendum, everyone knew there would be bumps in the road to success. Johnson pointed to those challenges and pledged U.N. support.

“Only from a platform of peace can development progress follow,” she said. “The road ahead will not be easy, but I am confident that with the commitment of the new government we can and will build a better future for all people of South Sudan.”

Indeed, South Sudan can ill afford internal strife. The nation faces several formidable challenges. For one thing, it has one of the worst maternal mortality rates. Additionally, one out of every seven South Sudanese children dies before their fifth birthday. Female illiteracy exceeds 80 percent, and more than half of the children six to 13 years old are not receiving a formal education.

Rice stated, “While significant challenges remain for South Sudan as a newborn country, a nation born of conflict need not live in conflict.” PG

Author: Nigel Roberts

Nigel Roberts is the United Nations correspondent for Politic365. He has been a political, economic and international affairs reporter for more than a dozen years. Nigel also freelances in public relations and communications. He holds a master’s degree in Political Science/International Relations from the City University of New York Graduate School & University Center.

Controversy Surrounding Dr. Martin Luther king Jr. Monument

Posted: August 31, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

By Liz Goodwin |

Maya Angelou says memorial makes MLK look ‘arrogant’

MLK memorial (AP)

Poet and author Maya Angelou says a recently unveiled monument to civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. is inscribed with a quote taken out of context that makes the preacher seem "arrogant."

I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness, the inscription on the 30-foot-tall statue of King reads.

"The quote makes Dr. Martin Luther King look like an arrogant twit," Angelou told The Washington Post’s Gene Weingarten, and added that she thinks it should be changed. "He was anything but that. He was far too profound a man for that four-letter word to apply."

The quote was taken from a sermon King gave shortly before his death, where he imagined what his own eulogy would sound like.

"If you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice," King said. "Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter."

Angelou, who read a poem at Bill Clinton’s first inauguration, told Weingarten that taking out the "if clause" at the beginning of the quote makes King sound conceited, as if he were praising himself for no reason.

Angelou was on a committee of historians who helped choose the inscriptions, and the memorial’s chief architect, Ed Jackson Jr., said that she didn’t attend any of those meetings. But it also appears that the historians chose the entire quote, not the shortened version memorial officials eventually selected due to space constraints.

The Washington Post’s Rachel Manteuffel expanded on Angelou’s criticism, noting that King’s original sermon was actually "about the desire in the human spirit to be great without doing any great, difficult things. To be at the front of the pack, drawing all the attention. This is folly, King says." King admits in the sermon that he is also prone to this weakness like everyone else, but hopes that he will be remembered for fighting for noble causes and helping others, not for seeking attention. The shortened quote conveys none of that interpretive context.

Angelou isn’t the only one who has found fault with the four-acre, $120 million monument, which sits on the National Mall alongside monuments to Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Much of the criticism centers around the statue of King, which was controversially designed by a Chinese artist and built by Chinese workers. (Critics said an African-American artist should be chosen.)

Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer objects to the 30-foot-tall statue, which was sculpted by Lei Yixin, an artist from China who has also sculpted monuments of Chairman Mao. "His flat, rigid, socialist realist King does not do justice to the supremely nuanced, creative, humane soul of its subject," Krauthammer says, adding that he still liked the memorial.

The New York Times’ Edward Rothstein writes that the imposing statue and choice of quotations turns "the minister into a warrior or a ruler."

"The mound’s isolation from any other tall objects, its enormity and Dr. King’s posture all conspire to make him seem an authoritarian figure, emerging full-grown from the rock’s chiseled surface, at one with the ancient forces of nature, seeming to claim their authority as his," Rothstein writes.

The Economist writes that it’s disappointing "that a man who fought so intransigently, bravely, and beautifully for equality, of all things, has been set up for worship as a towering idol, more mountain than man."

"The image that we chose is one that, from our point of view, presents Dr. King as a philosopher of ideas, someone who was strong in his belief of what America stood for and where America should be going," the architect, Jackson, told The Root. "The goals he set have not been reached, but we have a memorial that allows us to champion his message, so that we don’t forget to pick up where he left off in trying to make the world a better place."

South Sudan starts life debt free

Posted: August 31, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

3 August 2011

North Sudan has in principle offered to keep all of Sudan’s $38 billion debt, giving the world’s newest country a debt free start.


Photo: Steve Evans

In return for keeping the debt, North Sudan expects to be allowed to proceed through a debt relief process over the next few years.

Jubilee Debt Campaign Director Nick Dearden said:
“It is great news that South Sudan is set to start life debt free. Too often in the past newly independent countries such as Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and South Africa have inherited unjust debts of past regimes.

“The world’s newest country faces many challenges in tackling poverty and inequality. The international community should support it primarily through grants, not loans. Debt leads to resources flooding out of a country in repayments, whilst giving lenders such as the IMF and World Bank control over economic policies, taking away independence.”

Much of North Sudan’s debt dates from loans to prop-up dictator Gaafar Nimeiry during the Cold War or to ‘help’ cope with devastating floods. For instance, the claimed £660 million owed to the UK originated with loans to buy British exports in the 1970s, possibly including arms sales. It has since increased massively due to ridiculously high interest rates charged for the last thirty years. The UK government has refused to reveal what it originally lent money for and what benefit this had for the Sudanese people.

North Sudan is hoping to go through the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) process over the next few years in order to reduce its debt.

Jubilee Debt Campaign Director Nick Dearden said:
“Major changes in the North Sudanese government’s respect for human rights and political accountability are needed before debt is cancelled. But lenders also need to recognise past unjust loans and the role these have played in Sudan’s history. An audit of Sudan’s debt should be held into whether loans have helped or hurt the people of Sudan.

“Rich countries are considering allowing Sudan to participate in the IMF and World Bank debt relief scheme. However this does not cancel all debts, makes countries take out new loans, and would require Sudan to actually pay out more in debt repayments than it is at the moment.

Furthermore, it gives the IMF and World Bank a huge say in the economic policies of the country concerned. Lenders should ensure debt cancellation supports the people of Sudan to have a greater say over economic policies, not create a dictatorship by international financial institutions.”

Monday, August 29, 2011

Invitation letter to all Nuer community’s members; spiritual leaders and the South Sudanese community at large.

Dear brothers and sisters,

It is our utmost pleasure to forward our morning greeting to you in the name of almighty God. Last two weeks ago, our brothers, sisters; mothers and fathers were caught in sudden attack which had resulted in the loss of thousands of people. They were attacked by our neighbor brothers whom we shared the sense of identity, believe, regional interest and religion as well.

Today, we the Lou Nuer clergy, leaders, intellectuals and the society at large are very delighted to thanks you for your emotional support in this critical and tough time of mourning the lost of our heroes and parents. It has been noticed that the attack had taken the life of thousands of brothers, and sisters whom we all believe can be the leaders of tomorrow.

While we were still mourning the death of our beloved one in the diaspora; the situation on the ground is still worsening than we can imagine. There are many people who were wounded and thousands of children/infants who left hanging in the burned villages without mothers and fathers. These infants are dying in the hands of survivors because some of them were little as one month/days old.

We had received many calls from the ground that the people are dying because there are no medicines, no food or milk to feed the orphans, and there is no better team of the people to search the forest for those little one who ran to bush when the attack started. The lack of medicines, health workers and the basic shelters such as tents are some of the urgent things needed in the villages.

It had been confirmed recently that many wounded children, men, and women had passed away in local health facilitates in the local area plus most of the children who were found dead in the forest due to the lack of water, and psychological reaction. Therefore, our people are still in critical and tough situation as we speak and the villagers have no alternatives ways to provide basic needs to the infants left as little as three days.

As I speak, the number of death doubled the first report and it still rapidly increasing as the government failed to provide medicines to heal the wounds of the patients, and nurse those in critical situation. The villagers were calling the government to transfer some of the wounded individuals to better health centers yet there is no better respond or answer to the call being made earlier to rescue those who are in the line of death.

Today, we the Lou Nuer clergy had proposed a praying service to pray for all those who are in critical situation and those who had passed away there in Uror County, Jonglei. The purpose of this praying will serve as contribution to help or offer an hand to the villagers who are still nursing the beloved people especially infants who left hanging without mothers and fathers in the villages.

It will also serve as “get together” for further project which may or may not help our entire society as South Sudanese. The insecurity in Jonglei has been there quiet long but solution will never come from any other elements outside us. We are the peacemakers, conflict mediators and we will be the one to bring the lasting solution to this deadly and repeatedly conflict within us.

Once again, the Lou Nuer clergy have invited you with the sense of hope that we are one family of Christ. As biblical literature said, “if one part of the body is in pain, the other body will also be in pain.” We have acknowledged that we condemn the act together and therefore, it shown that our body is one. Let us stand high to minimize the violent through the modality that can use nonviolent approach to solve our difference in the region as well as in the country. We asked you to extend this invitation to all members of South Sudanese community to come and share the words of God, encourage each other to move forward, and contribute fully base on our ability as people one Christ, one region, and one country who can change and help the nation while condemning their act of unfriendly.

Detail of praying service
What? Praying service for the Lou Nuer community’s members who had lost their life in recent attack in the Uror County, Jonglei.

When? September 4th on Sunday………Sept 4th/2011
Place? First Church of Nazarene. The address is 14320 – 94 St in Edmonton, Alberta.

The Lou Nuer members invited all members to come and share this mourning praying service together. We appreciate you strong support and we still want your present in this occasion.

God bless you!
Faithfully submitted,

Rev- James D. Kwek.
1 780 643 3177
Rev- Joseph Makuei Nhial
1-403 698 4760

Cc: Sudanese community leaders and members

Cc: Dinka Community Association in Alberta

Cc: Equartorian Community Association ,,,,,,
Cc: Aweil Community Association ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Cc: Padang Community in Alberta

Cc: Bor Community Association in Alberta
Cc: Sub-Nuer communities/counties in Alberta
Cc: Sudanese elders for peace and spirituals leaders in Alberta
Cc: Anyuak Community Association in Alberta
Cc: Murle Community Association in Alberta

Cc: Panaruu Community Association in Alberta
Cc: Ruweny Community Association in Alberta
Cc: Sudanese organization operating in Alberta
Cc: Splm Chapter Members in Alberta
Cc:: Nuer Communities in alberta.

Cc: All Southern Sudanese Churches in Alberta.

President Kiir Meets Deputy Speaker of Israeli Knesset

Posted: August 31, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

UBA, 30 August 2011 – The President of the Republic of South Sudan H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayrdit on Monday Aug. 29th, 2011 in his office at Presidential Guest House in Juba met a high-level delegation from the Israeli Knesset (parliament) led by its Deputy Speaker Mr. Danny Danon.

President Kiir shakes hands with Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset Mr. Danon.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]

The meeting mainly focused on developing a framework by which Israel can support the economy of the new Republic of South Sudan.

Shortly after the meeting, the former caretaker minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, who has recently been appointed the minister for Cabinet Affairs, Mr. Deng Alor told the press that South Sudan has decided to establish diplomatic relations with the state of Israel. He also said that the Republic of South Sudan and Israel will soon name their respective ambassadors.

President Kiir meets the Israeli Knesset delegation.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]

Mr. Alor described the visit of the high-level delegation from Israel to South Sudan as a good beginning of the strengthening of relations between the two countries. He said that the new Republic of South Sudan will have a very close economic cooperation with the state of Israel. He said that Israel is ready to support South Sudan in agriculture, mining, roads and bridges.

Mr. Danon addressing the media after meeting the President.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]

On his part, Mr. Danon congratulated the people of South Sudan for realizing freedom and officially declaring independence on 9th July 2011. He further said that Israel is now ready to support the economy of the new independent state.

Juba — The President of the Republic of South Sudan H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayrdit on Monday Aug. 29th, 2011 in his office at Presidential Guest House in Juba met a high-level delegation from the Israeli Knesset (parliament) led by its Deputy Speaker Mr. Danny Danon.

The meeting mainly focused on developing a framework by which Israel can support the economy of the new Republic of South Sudan.

Shortly after the meeting, the former caretaker minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, who has recently been appointed the minister for Cabinet Affairs, Mr. Deng Alor told the press that South Sudan has decided to establish diplomatic relations with the state of Israel. He also said that the Republic of South Sudan and Israel will soon name their respective ambassadors.

Mr. Alor described the visit of the high-level delegation from Israel to South Sudan as a good beginning of the strengthening of relations between the two countries. He said that the new Republic of South Sudan will have a very close economic cooperation with the state of Israel. He said that Israel is ready to support South Sudan in agriculture, mining, roads and bridges.

On his part, Mr. Danon congratulated the people of South Sudan for realizing freedom and officially declaring independence on 9th July 2011. He further said that Israel is now ready to support the economy of the new independent state.

South Sudan okays cabinet despite protests over cost

Posted: August 31, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

(AFP) – JUBA, South Sudan — South Sudan’s ruling party used its huge majority in parliament to approve a new cabinet Wednesday over opposition objections that the number of ministers was beyond the means of the world’s newest nation.

The new line-up unveiled by President Salva Kiir last Friday comprises 29 ministers and 27 deputy ministers.

Critics, including some veteran members of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, hit out at the salary and expenses costs for one of the world’s least developed countries.

SPLM member of parliament Ramadan Hussein complained to the acting speaker that MPs were being asked to approve the whole line-up without the opportunity to vet ministers individually, something he said undermined accountability.

“The president and the speaker mentioned the corrupt people,” Hussein said, alluding to addresses to the inaugural session of parliament on August 8 by Kiir and speaker James Wani Igga in which both set the fight against graft as the new nation’s top priority.

But amid chaotic scenes he was drowned out by points of order from fellow ruling party MPs before he could press his point.

“This is a SPLM way of doing things,” complained parliamentary opposition leader Onyoti Adigo.

“We had wanted 15 to 20 ministers. But now we have 56 who can now squander resources,” he told AFP.

“Imagine if a minister can get 8,000 South Sudanese pounds (about $3,000) excluding furnishing offices. How much money will go to salaries and delivery of services to the poor citizens?”

South Sudan, which won recognition as an independent nation on July 9 after a landslide vote for secession in a January referendum, has been left in ruins by five decades of conflict with successive governments in the north.

In his speech to parliament earlier this month, Kiir said the fight against graft was vital if the new nation was to succeed in rebuilding.

“The people of South Sudan will not sit idly and allow corruption and abuses of public resources to continue unabated,” he said. “We must focus on delivery of basic services to meet the great expectation of our people.”

Copyright © 2011 AFP. All rights reserved

National Legislative Assembly approves new cabinet

JUBA 31 August 2011 – The National Legislative Assembly today approved the new cabinet of the Republic of South Sudan in its Sitting No:9/2011 held at the Main Hall in Juba.
The list of the new cabinet was presented by the Acting Speaker, Hon Gen Daniel Awet Akot since the caretaker minister for Parliamentary Affairs had been relieved of the position before being reappointed and was among the appointees to be approved.


The Acting Speaker Hon Gen Daniel Awet Akot (left) chairing the sitting.
[Photo: Marchelo Leopoldo]
The Acting Speaker explained that the appointment of national Ministers of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011 was a result of the Presidential Decree No. 29/2011. He further explained that the President appointed the 29 national ministers pursuant to provisions of the Article 112 (1) of the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan. The Acting Speaker also explained that the 27 Deputy Ministers of Republic of South Sudan were appointed pursuant to Article 117 (1) of Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan.
After brief deliberations, the Chief Whip Hon. Atem Gararg requested the August House to approve the new cabinet. The members then approved the new cabinet by acclamation. Nonetheless, the Official Opposition leader and other six members opposed the appointments. Given that the majority of the members supported the new cabinet, the Acting Speaker declared that the appointment of the 29 National Ministers and 27 Deputy Ministers was officially approved by the National Legislative Assembly of the Republic of South Sudan.
The sitting was attended by 210 honourable members. Members of the new cabinet who are members of the National Legislative Assembly also attended the sitting.
Reported by Clement Aturjong Kuot

Over 350 die of hunger in South Sudan

Posted: August 31, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

By MABIOR MACH NATION Correspondent JUBA, Wednesday
Posted Wednesday, August 31 2011 at 19:25

More than 350 returnees from Khartoum died of hunger-related problems in a remote resettlement camp in Warrap state, officials said on Wednesday.

A state’s parliamentary team constituted to investigate the circumstances under which the returnees perished said they succumbed to starvation in Mayen Gumer village in Gogrial West County.

“It is really a severe hunger and it has been confirmed that 358 people died,” said the area representative to the state legislative assembly and member of the team, Ariech Mayar Ariech.

The state governor, Nyandeng Malek confirmed the death toll, but said they may have died of curable diseases as she lamented the poor health facilities in the state.

“The truth is that 350 have died of hunger and then there is need to rescue the rest by providing food aid,” said Ariech.

Chiefs of the returnees showed graves of the deceased to the delegation.

The delegation said they saw a lot of children and women with distended bellies and protruding ribs as signs that confirm the severity of the hunger.

There has been scarcity of food items in the state and the whole of South Sudan after Sudan restricted the flow of goods across the borders.

Meanwhile, South Sudan president Salva Kiir has threatened to dismiss the newly appointed Governor of the Central Bank if he does not tighten the banking policies.

“We must know what do we have in the bank and we must know what do we give out and for what reason; nothing will go out without being accounted for,” Mr Kiir said as he establishes authority nearly two months after independence of his country.

“This is my word to you and mind you I am going to bring you experts even from outside our country if it is deemed necessary to have such groups present with you,” he said.

Mr Kiir made the statement two weeks after replacing the head of the central bank in the wake of a rapidly devaluating new local currency.

Governor Elijah Malok Aleng was sacked and replaced with his deputy, Korenellio Koryom.

Kiir also warned against nepotism and corruption, the factors that have undermined his government’s effort to deliver basic services in the last six years.

“Not only in the bank; even in the government – in the executive where we are will we have such groups as advisors,” he said

South Sudan denies backing South Kordofan rebels

Posted: August 31, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in World

JUBA Aug 31 (Reuters) – South Sudan on Wednesday denied accusations by Khartoum that it was helping rebels in South Kordofan, Sudan’s main oil-producing state, where fighting broke out with government troops in June.

The south won independence from the north last month after a January referendum promised in a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war in the vast African country.

Sudan sent a letter to the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday accusing the south of causing instability and disrupting peace in the neighbouring state of South Kordofan.

“This is an absolute lie on behalf of the government in Khartoum. We are not giving any support to the rebels,” South Sudan’s Information Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin told Reuters.

The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) fought alongside its southern counterpart against Khartoum during the civil war in which some two million people perished.

Benjamin said the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) now has no links with the SPLM-N.

Sudan’s foreign ministry on Tuesday accused the South of “standing behind all hostile activities in South Kordofan” and “supporting it with weaponry and equipment”.

Benjamin rejected the charges. “Khartoum is trying to set up a smokescreen to cover up Security Council concerns that they are bombing civilians in South Kordofan,” he said.

Rights groups say Khartoum has broken its own ceasefire announced last week in South Kordofan by continuing to bomb civilians indiscriminately, frequently rolling bombs manually out of Antonov cargo planes.

According to a leaked U.N. report, the Sudanese army has carried out killings, arbitrary arrests, abductions, attacks on churches and aerial bombardment in Southern Kordofan which, if proven, might constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Researchers from New York-based Human Rights Watch and London-based Amnesty International say some of these allegations have now been proven.

The Sudanese government has dismissed the U.N. report as unfounded and malicious and has said it will form its own committee to assess the situation in South Kordofan.

Under the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, South Kordofan and Blue Nile state, which also fell north of the disputed border after the south seceded, were offered popular consultations to decide their future relations with Khartoum, but these have yet to take place.

“(Khartoum) has failed to bring peace to Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile. They are looking for a scapegoat and blaming the South,” Benjamin said. (For more Reuters Africa coverage and to have your say on the top issues, visit: (Reporting by Hereward Holland; Editing by Alistair Lyon)

South Sudan Denies Supporting Rebels in Southern Kordofan

South Sudan’s government has rejected an accusation from Sudan that it supports rebels in a conflict-ridden Sudanese border state.

In a statement Wednesday, South Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it “categorically denies” the accusation that it supports rebels in Sudan’s Southern Kordofan state.

South Sudan said the conflict in the state is partly due to differences between Sudan’s ruling party and the southern-allied SPLM party that followed last year’s elections.

South Sudan also urged Sudan to implement provisions of a 2005 peace deal that ended Sudan’s long north-south civil war, especially those addressing the rights of the people of Southern Kordofan.

Sudan made its accusation against South Sudan in a complaint submitted Tuesday to the U.N. Security Council.

Sudan’s government is battling ethnic Nuba fighters in Southern Kordofan, who are seen as supporters of South Sudan, which declared independence from the north in July.

Nuba fighters supported the south during Sudan’s 21-year war.

On Tuesday, two human rights groups said Sudan’s army may have committed war crimes in Southern Kordofan. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said they have evidence of an “indiscriminate bombing campaign” by Sudanese forces.

In Washington, the U.S. State Department said it was deeply concerned by reports of aerial bombings of civilian areas and called on both sides to agree to abide by a two-week cease-fire in Southern Kordofan.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir called for the cease-fire last week. The fighting near the Sudan-South Sudan border has forced tens of thousands of Nuba from their homes.

Also Tuesday, the United Nations said Sudan’s government has denied aid groups access to Southern Kordofan, leaving many people in a life-threatening situation.

The statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on the accusations of the Government of Sudan regarding the alleged support to rebels in Southern Kordufan and Darfur.

Statement of Foreign Affairs 31 August 2011.pdf Statement of Foreign Affairs 31 August 2011.pdf
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South Sudanese Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr

Posted: August 30, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Socio-Cultural

South Sudanese Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr
Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:33AM GMT

Hibatallah Morgan, Press TV, Juba
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The Muslim community of the new born nation of south Sudan celebrated the first Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. And yet despite the fact that it was the first time for Muslims, which according to the latest census make up thirty percent of the population of south Sudan, to celebrate Eid in the new country, many of them seem to feel that they were lucky to have been given to chance to do so at all.

And for the first time, south Sudanese Muslims celebrated the day with mixed feelings instead of the usual atmosphere of happiness, after becoming a minority group when south Sudan seceded from the Islamic north nearly two month ago. But even after becoming a minority, Muslims in the new country seem to view their status as dignified and respected, and that for a secular country, south Sudan, does not seem to have any religious discrimination and treated them all equally.

But even with fair and equal treatment and recognitions, the Muslims community here could not deny that they had challenges to face and still have to prove that they can play a great role in this new nation.

Recognition, which the government of south Sudan has promised to show them, but so far has failed to implement by not representing them (better to say Muslims) in many government establishments and institutions.

Despite this being the first Eid for the Muslims in south Sudan, many of them seem to be looking at what lies ahead of hindrances and challenges…. and can only hope that what the future brings, does not deprive them of their religion, or shake their faith.

Emergency Airlifts Aid Displaced in South Sudan’s Jonglei State

Posted: August 30, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Joe DeCapua

An emergency helicopter airlift is bringing supplies to more than 3,500 displaced people in South Sudan’s Jonglei State. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is taking the action after fighting earlier this month triggered by cattle raids.

Government officials said clashes between the Murle and Lou Nuer left 600 people dead. More than 200 children were abducted, nearly 8,000 houses were burned and about 250,000 left homeless.

Rainy season

“We are faced with the very intimidating logistics of the area,” said IOM spokesman Gerard Waite in Juba, “but we are doing what we can…to fly in the first response, particularly because it’s the rainy season. So we want to try to cover as quickly as we possibly can the shelter and mosquito net needs.”

The airlift is being operated by helicopters of the U.N. Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in coordination with Save the Children and Polish Humanitarian Action. The rains have prevented supplies from being brought in by truck.

“East of the River Nile,” said Waite, “is a flood plain and the types of soils that are there saturate extremely quickly as soon at the rains appear. Even though it has not been a year of extraordinary heavy rains, the area is inaccessible at the moment, even by 4X4 vehicle.”


“The majority of the population is displaced out of the main towns in the area and living in the bush. We are already trying to keep up on a sort of moment by moment, just to quantify and to locate the populations. We’re trying to deal with the populations as we discover them,” he said.

Besides the recent violence, militia attacks have been a problem in the past. There are also still landmines in the area from the long civil war between the north and south Sudan that officially ended in 2005.

“Clearly we know the area has long been an area with significant cattle raiding problems,” Waite said, “The fighting between militias in other areas is impacting the severity of these attacks, that are tribally based, by virtue of the flow of arms into the area.”

The IOM said more airlifts are planned in the coming days to help the displaced.

Cremation of South Sudanese accident victim draws complaints

Posted: August 30, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Socio-Cultural

By Harold Reutter

Published: Monday, August 29, 2011 2:03 PM CDT
This much is certain.

James Lual, a native of Sudan, was killed in an early morning traffic accident on Thursday, Aug. 18, on Highway 30 west of Grand Island. His body was cremated the following day.

This also is certain.

William Wiir Akot, Lual’s cousin from Sioux Falls, S.D., said he and Sudanese people from South Sudan strongly oppose the practice of cremation.

Stephanie Riak Akuei of Grand Island said the people of the Republic of South Sudan, who are Christian, do not even have a word for the practice in their native language.

“They have a word for fire, and they have a word for when somebody is burned on the skin, but they have no word for cremation,” she said. Akuei said the lack of such a word shows how foreign and even abhorrent the concept of burning a body is to the Sudanese people.

Aside from the fatal accident, the cremation and Akuei’s and Akot’s statements that cremation offends Sudanese culture, no certainty exists, but much debate does.

Hall County Attorney Mark Young said Lual’s body was cremated under the county’s rules for indigent burial. He cited a Dec. 11, 2007, resolution approved by the Hall County Board of Supervisors as the authority for the cremation, which was performed at Livingston-Sondermann Funeral Home.

However, Dan Naranjo of All Faiths Funeral Home said local practice has differed from a literal reading of the words. Following the passage of the 2007 resolution, Naranjo said, he has done traditional burials, even though they were indigent burials paid for by the county.

He said those burials were performed when family members were present to indicate that they preferred a burial over cremation.

He said that makes him wonder whether the 2007 resolution was intended to govern all indigent burials or just the indigent burials when family members are not available to express their preferences. Naranjo believes it is the latter.

His belief is supported by a December 2007 newspaper article written by Independent reporter Tracy Overstreet that said the following:

“The cremation-only policy applies only to those indigent deceased who lack a next of kin, said Chief Deputy Hall County Attorney Michelle Oldham.

“At this time, it does not apply to an indigent deceased who has family that desires a traditional burial, but that may be coming, Oldham said.”

Oldham is now a private-practice attorney in Hastings.

The 2007 article also said the change was made because cremation costs much less than burial.

Oldham’s comments might be described as evidence of “legislative intent” because the resolution itself says nothing about next of kin.

Additional legislative intent can be inferred from the fact that the county board established a committee in March 2008 to review indigent burial policies. The review was needed because the county and local funeral homes were operating under a policy that was last approved in 1986, according to another Overstreet article.

Her 2008 article revealed what the county was paying local funeral homes for indigent burials, with the implication being that 22-year-old prices were not fully reimbursing funeral homes for their costs. Naranjo was contacted by The Independent because he was one of the people on the committee.

He said the committee never made a recommendation to increase reimbursement because 2008 was when the economy began causing local governments severe financial problems, making it a bad time to ask for higher reimbursements.

For his part, Young pointed out that the resolution’s language makes absolutely no mention of next of kin. At the same time, Young said, his office tries to be sensitive to both the religious and cultural sensibilities of both individuals and identifiable ethnic and religious groups.

In addition to the polar extremes of either finding the deceased’s next of kin or not finding any surviving relatives is a huge gray area in the middle. That gray space is when next of kin is found, but the relatives say they will neither pay for nor attend funeral services.

That brings up the biggest point of contention between Akot and local authorities.

Hall County Sheriff Jerry Watson said personnel in his office first located Lual’s estranged girlfriend, who was in Omaha. Lual and the estranged girlfriend had a daughter. Girlfriends, even those who are mothers of the deceased’s children, are not considered next of kin under Nebraska law.

However, the girlfriend directed Watson’s employees to two cousins, one of whom was Akot, Watson said. Akot was contacted Thursday evening, the same day the fatal accident occurred.

Watson said that, after the conversation, people in his department believed Akot would not be traveling to Grand Island and would not pay for the funeral.

Akot disputes that.

He has jobs at both Avera Heart Hospital in Sioux Falls, where he was working on Thursday, and Casey’s General Store, where he was scheduled to work a Friday afternoon and evening shift, so he did not immediately come to Grand Island.

Akot said that, during that initial conversation, he did talk about needing to find resources to help him with the funeral. But he said he was not talking about financial help, but names of individuals, funeral homes and a church.

“I’ve helped with funerals before in Sudan,” said Akot, who worked within the context of a Sudanese community to plan services in his native country.

But he knew he would be expected to make all the final decisions himself this time, so he asked about resources to help him plan an American funeral. Although Akot said he would not have paid for Lual’s funeral himself, he said the Sudanese community would have come together to pay the expenses.

Akuei affirmed that, saying “Sudanese community” does not just mean Grand Island residents. Since Lual’s death, hundreds of dollars have been sent to Grand Island from Sudanese people living in San Diego, Calif., she said.

Akot was upset he was never told during the initial conversation that cremation was the likely outcome if he did not immediately say he was coming to Grand Island and paying for the funeral.

“There was no transparency,” said Akot, who added he also telephoned the Hall County’s Sheriff’s Department on Friday just before his work shift started. “I should have been informed.”

He said he and two friends began driving to Grand Island on Saturday. That’s when he got a call on his cellphone from Lual’s estranged girlfriend, who informed him that Lual had been cremated. Akot said that was the first he had heard of cremation.

Kevin Wood of Livingston-Sondermann, which is in charge of arrangements, said he did the cremation Friday afternoon when informed by the Hall County attorney’s office on how to proceed.

When asked by The Independent, both Naranjo and Wood said Nebraska state law says that funeral homes must either embalm, cremate, bury or refrigerate the deceased within 24 hours. If a body is refrigerated, a funeral home can wait 72 hours before having to proceed with embalming, cremation or burial. Wood said he has no refrigeration capabilities at his funeral home.

After learning his cousin had been cremated, Akot spent not only Saturday and Sunday in Grand Island, but also much of Monday, so he and Akuei talked to people in the Sheriff’s Department, county attorney’s office and Wood at the funeral home. The talks helped, as many people expressed regret about what happened.

What may have helped most of all was Wood’s offer to provide a coffin at his own expense for Lual’s funeral services, which were on Saturday.

“I’m going to take a picture of it,” said Akot, who said he will give the photograph to Lual’s mother when he goes on a planned trip to Sudan in late fall.

Wood said he wished it was possible to go back in time to do things differently, and that is why he offered the coffin for the funeral.

Young said his office is solicitous of people’s religious and cultural practices when it comes to indigent burial. For example, both devout Jews and Muslims typically would want the dead buried within 24 hours.

Young recalled when a mandatory autopsy prevented a Muslim from being buried within the desired time period, although the burial took place not long after 24 hours had elapsed. However, he kept the family fully informed so they felt respected.

As a funeral director, Naranjo said, he wants to make sure that not only immigrants’ lives are honored, but also that their loved ones’ deaths are honored by observing their cultural and religious traditions as long as those practices conform to Nebraska law.

Resolution No. 07-088 was approved by the Hall County Board of Supervisors on Dec. 11, 2007.

Whereas, pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. Section 71-1339(8), a county board is authorized to control the disposition of a deceased person if that person is an indigent person; and,

Whereas, the Hall County board wishes to establish a policy which would require the remains of indigent deceased persons whose disposition over which the county board has control should be created; and,

Whereas, the Hall County board wishes to delegate the authority to authorize said cremation to the county attorney of Hall County.

Now, therefore, be it resolved by the Hall County Board of Supervisors: The Hall County attorney shall have the authority to authorize the cremation of an indigent person, pursuant to such authority given to county boards in Neb.Rev.Stat. Section 71-1339(8). The Hall County attorney shall not be required to obtain any other approval from the Hall County board in addition to this resolution in order to exercise such authority.

Visalia native’s agricultural missionary work helps people in Liberia, Sudan

Posted: August 30, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Economy

Robin Denney, 30, shows a map of the world's newest nation.

Robin Denney, 30, shows a map of the world’s newest nation. / HILLARY S. MEEKS
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Robin Denney, 30, is a Visalia native who came back Sunday to speak to St. Paul's Episcopal Church about her mission work in South Sudan. HILLARY S. MEEKS

Robin Denney, 30, is a Visalia native who came back Sunday to speak to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church about her mission work in South Sudan. HILLARY S. MEEKS

When Robin Denney was just a tiny tot, members of the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Visalia didn’t know what the future had in store for her, and today they are inspired by what the 30-year-old has done with her life.

“Little did we know she would end up doing something so dramatic,” said church member Mary Lou Burbery. “I really admire her for her courage.”

The dramatic thing Denney did was to enter into a program through the national Episcopal Church that sent her as an agricultural missionary first to Liberia in 2006 for almost two years and then to war-torn Sudan for more than two years.

Denney was born in Visalia and grew up here, although her family moved away to the coast after her freshman year at Golden West High School. She went on to earn a degree in viticulture from the University of California, Davis, and then took a job in Sacramento. But something was missing in her life, something tugged at her heart, she said.

“I felt as though I was supposed to be out in the world doing something,” Denney said. “It was definitely a calling, but I didn’t understand what I could do.”

She considered the Peace Corps, but knew she would be constrained from mentioning her faith if she worked through a secular organization. That’s when she discovered the Episcopal Church’s mission program, which suited her perfectly because it reached out to those in other countries and incorporated her faith into the mission.

Her first undertaking as a missionary was to help establish the agricultural department at Cuttington University in Bong County, Liberia. The country

was in the midst of rebuilding after years of conflict had finally settled in 2005, and so the school was also being revived.

After her work was done there, Denney was sent to Juba in what is, as of July 9, the world’s newest nation, the Republic of South Sudan.

Denney treated the congregation of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church to a sermon Sunday, where she touched on her experiences in South Sudan. After the service, she presented a slide show chronicling her time there. The local church has always supported her missions, said Rev. Suzy Ward.

She is an amazing woman driven by her love for the Lord and her passion to help people.” Ward said. “One of her greatest gifts is her knowledge of agriculture, and she knows how important it is for countries around the world to have that knowledge.”

Denney’s mission in South Sudan was to establish an agricultural program there through the local diocese in Juba. When she arrived, the area was still a part of Sudan and was constantly in conflict with northern Sudan.

The northern and southern parts of what was Sudan had been lumped together by colonialism years ago, but were both very different areas in religion, culture and land, Denney said. This put them at odds with each other.

South Sudan has rich land and oil reserves while the northern region has fewer natural resources; this was part of the reason behind the conflict between the north and south in the first place, she said. The north is about 90 percent Muslim, while at least 50 percent of the south is Christian — either Catholic or Episcopal, Denney said.

Though the land in South Sudan is so rich that it’s considered tropical in some areas, 50 years of war between the north and south meant 50 years that agriculture was neglected and 50 years that agricultural knowledge wasn’t passed down to the next generations, she said. That’s where she stepped in to help.

While she was there, Denney was able to see South Sudan break free from the oppressive force of the north when 98 percent of people living there voted to separate from the main state and become their own country this year. While there are still areas in both South Sudan and Sudan where the people are being terrorized by rebels hired by the north, the hope and individual victories of those who live in South Sudan are out-shining the suffering, she said.

“I think when people hear about the conflict and struggles in Africa, they sort of immediately lump them together and think about it in that way without connecting them to people’s personal stories,” she said. “Besides the stories of tragedy, there’s also stories of great hope.”

Denney expects that in coming years places in Africa such as South Sudan will burgeon with economic development and become world players. She said she wants people in the United States to better understand these countries and what is happening there.

“We don’t learn that much about Africa in school and we don’t meet many people who have been to Africa,” she said. “It tends to become something easily stereotyped in our minds and we don’t realize that Africa is a tremendously diverse continent.”

Now that she’s back stateside, Denney is in Gonzalez, helping establish an Episcopal church in the town.

NY donors pay to build South Sudan school

Posted: August 30, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Education

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — Two war refugees from southern Sudan say they’ve raised more than $50,000 in upstate New York to build a school in their homeland.

Mathon Noi (ma-‘THON Noy) and his cousin, Sebastian Maroundit (ma-ron-‘deet), plan to travel to the village of Mayen-Abun (my-en ah-boon) in January to oversee construction of the school in the central hinterland of newly independent South Sudan.

They were among 3,800 mostly orphaned Lost Boys resettled in the United States beginning in 1995.

They began seeking donations for their Building Minds in Sudan charity in 2010 and expect to soon reach their initial target of $75,000 to erect the school for 600 children.

Another former Lost Boy in Rochester, Salva Dut, has raised nearly $3 million since 2003 to drill 104 deep-water wells in semi-arid South Sudan.   

NY donors pay to build South Sudan school

Associated Press

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Two war refugees from southern Sudan have raised more than $50,000 in upstate New York to build a school in their impoverished home village.

“I’m praying that we ‘Lost Boys’ is the U.S. can be the ones to change the lives of people in southern Sudan and … make sure that that country is not failing,” said Sebastian Maroundit, 32, a parking-lot cashier in Rochester.

Maroundit and his cousin, Mathon Noi, plan to travel to the village of Mayen-Abun in the central hinterland in January to oversee construction of a primary school for up to 600 children in one of the world’s poorest regions.

The men were among 3,800 mostly orphaned children displaced during Sudan’s 22-year civil war who were resettled in the United States between 1995 and 2001. A small band of now-grown Lost Boys are returning to newly independent South Sudan with a humanitarian project in tow.

Another former Lost Boy in Rochester, Salva Dut, has drilled 104 deep-water wells since 2005 in the same semiarid province of Bahr el-Ghazal where Maroundit and Noi were forced to flee as children when war swept through in the 1980s.

On their long trek to find safety in a refugee camp in Ethiopia, Noi survived three gunshots in the leg and hand. He and Maroundit, whose father was among village elders who were tortured and killed, landed in upstate New York in 2001.

They began seeking donations for their Building Minds in Sudan charity last fall and expect to soon reach an initial target of $75,000 to erect four classrooms. They’re aiming to raise about $125,000 more to build at least four more classrooms, a library and a kitchen.

The village’s school was bombed long ago and some 500 children now attend classes under the shelter of trees. On a visit home as a volunteer teacher, after he’d arranged for his little brother to go to school in Kenya, Maroundit said another little boy approached him and asked, “What about me? What about us?”

Literacy rates are low in South Sudan, but many people yearn for an education, said Noi, 31, a financial analyst in Buffalo.

“We have what we have because someone helped us,” Noi said. “If we cannot do this, who will do it? We are in the United States, and this country has people with good heart.

“If we build this school, it will change lives. And it will be there for maybe 10, 20, 50 years, and children will come year after year and study there.”

Sudan complains to UNSC against South Sudan gov’t

Posted: August 30, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

KHARTOUM, Aug. 30 (Xinhua)

Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Karti has sent a message of complaint to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), accusing the South Sudan government of violating the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), the official SUNA news agency reported Tuesday.

“I’m committed to send you a complaint concerning violations by South Sudan’s government during the past period. The Republic of South Sudan has adopted hostile stances towards the mother state ( the Republic of Sudan), starting from the negative signals embodied in the speech of Salva Kiir Mayardit, president of South Sudan, on the day South Sudan was declared independent,” SUNA quoted Karti as saying in the message to the UNSC chairman.

The South Sudan president’s “negative signals” included his reiteration to support the Darfur rebel movements, together with his remarks about the South Kordofan and Blue Nile areas, which belong to north Sudan, Karti said.

South Sudan has hosted the Darfur armed movements and provided them with shelter, training and arms, and it is still supporting them, the foreign minister said.

The South Sudan government also violated the CPA when its forces attacked the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) soldiers who were part of the Joint Integrated Units escorted by the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) troops, he said.

“The South Sudan government has gone beyond that when, on Aug. 9, it patronized a conference in Kauda in South Kordofan that brought together representatives from the Darfur rebel movements in addition to commanders of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM)/northern sector to coordinate joint military action to topple the Sudan government,” he said.

In the meantime, the Sudanese minister reiterated commitment of the Republic of Sudan and its keenness to achieve a political settlement and stability, saying that the government’s commitment to peace was represented in its signing and implementation of the CPA, including its recognition of the referendum results as well as of the newly-born South Sudan state.

Despite the violations by the government of South Sudan and its continuing support of the Darfur rebel movements to undermine security in Sudan, the Sudanese government has initiated a unilateral ceasefire for two weeks, Karti said, adding that the South Sudan government was still instigating the SPLM/northern sector to launch a war in South Kordofan.

The minister urged the UNSC to use its powers and means to push the government of South Sudan to commit to the agreements signed between the two countries and to immediately stop training, supporting and instigating the armed groups, whether in South Kordofan or Darfur.

He also called on the UNSC to urge the rebel groups in Darfur and South Kordofan to respond to the ceasefire declared by the government and sit directly with it to reach a peaceful solution through dialogue and negotiations.

Sudan Accuses South Sudan of Inciting Violence


KAMPALA, Uganda — The Sudanese government has filed a complaint with the Security Council that South Sudan, its newly independent neighbor and former territory, is inciting violence and instability in the Nuba Mountains region of Sudan, a volatile border area where United Nations officials warn that war crimes may have been committed in recent months.

A spokesman for the Sudanese government in Khartoum said Tuesday that South Sudan was supporting Nuban rebels with weapons and logistical support.

“We have documented proof” that the rebels receive aid and instructions from the south, said the spokesman, Rabie A. Atti. “All of them are one group, and they are moving as one group,” Mr. Atti added. “Soldiers, weapons, tanks, everything.”

Many people in the Nuba Mountains fought alongside the southern Sudanese through decades of civil war in Sudan, but while the south gained independence last month, the Nuba Mountains remained Sudanese territory, and an insurrection has been building there in recent months.

With the south’s independence, the conflict has taken on an international dimension.

“This threatening is coming from a foreign country, and this should be handled by the Security Council,” Mr. Atti said.

A United Nations official in New York confirmed that it had received a letter on Monday evening from the Sudanese government, written in Arabic, accusing both the South Sudanese government and the Sudanese wing of its governing party, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, or S.P.L.M., of violating the peace agreement.

Neither South Sudan’s minister of information nor its army spokesman could be reached for comment.

The northern government has long accused South Sudan of propping up the Nuban rebels, who, like the southerners, are non-Arabs and have suffered discrimination under the Arab-dominated government in Khartoum.

The liberation movement maintains a wing in the north, and Abdel Aziz al-Hilu, a senior Nuban politician, has been known to refer to President Salva Kiir of South Sudan as “Chairman Salva.”

Human-rights groups and some United Nations officials have accused the northern government of indiscriminate bombings and widespread human-rights abuses in the Nuba Mountains this summer. Some fear that the mountains could become the next Darfur, another conflict-racked region of Sudan, where brutal repression has led to the indictment of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan by the International Criminal Court.

A version of this article appeared in print on August 31, 2011, on page A5 of the New York edition with the headline: Former Territory Inciting Violence at Border, Sudan Tells the U.N..
Khartoum lodges complaint against S. Sudan at UN

(AFP) – 3 hours ago

KHARTOUM — Sudan’s government has lodged a complaint at the UN Security Council against South Sudan, accusing it of fomenting unrest in its northern neighbour, an official announced on Tuesday.

The complaint also accused South Sudan, which obtained its independence in July, of “supporting rebels” against the Khartoum government, foreign ministry spokesman Al-Obeid Merwah said in a statement.

“Our representative to the UN delivered to the president of the Security Council a complaint against the government of South Sudan,” he said.

“The government of South Sudan is still causing problems in Sudan by supporting, training and encouraging rebel movements in South Kordofan and Darfur,” Merwah said.

South Kordofan remained under Khartoum’s northern administration when South Sudan became independent in July, but clashes have pitted Nuba rebels once allied to southern rebels against the Sudanese army.

In the Darfur region of western Sudan, bordering South Sudan, some rebel groups maintain links with the SPLM, the ruling party in the south.

South Kordofan was a battleground during the north-south civil war from 1983 to 2005, and Khartoum is trying to reassert its authority within its borders redrawn following the formal independence of South Sudan on July 9.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Tuesday that the Sudanese armed forces have launched deadly air raids on civilians in rebel-held areas of the Nuba Mountains that may amount to war crimes.

The rights groups said that during a week-long visit, their researchers saw almost daily bombing raids by government aircraft on villages and farmland.

They said the researchers had investigated a total of 13 air strikes in the Kauda, Delami and Kurchi areas which had killed at least 26 civilians and wounded more than 45 since mid-June.

No evident military targets were visible near any of the air strike locations the researchers visited, they said.

“The relentless bombing campaign is killing and maiming civilian men, women and children, displacing tens of thousands, putting them in desperate need of aid and preventing entire communities from planting crops and feeding their children,” said HRW’s Africa director Daniel Bekele.

Amnesty’s senior crisis response adviser Donatella Rovera said: “The international community, and particularly the UN Security Council, must stop looking the other way and act to address the situation.

“Indiscriminate attacks in civilian areas and restrictions on humanitarian aid could amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

The research team completed its South Kordofan visit before the announcement by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on August 23 of a unilateral two-week ceasefire by government forces.

But the rights watchdogs said that reports from on the ground suggested that the government was continuing to bomb civilian areas.

In Darfur, at least 300,000 people have been killed and 1.9 million people have fled their homes since the Darfur conflict erupted in 2003 between non-Arab rebels and the Arab-dominated Khartoum regime, the United Nations says.

Khartoum puts the death toll at 10,000.

Following a relative lull, there have been sporadic clashes there since December between rebel groups and government forces that have forced more than 70,000 people to flee their homes.

Copyright © 2011 AFP. All rights reserved. More »

Sudan sends complaint against South to UN Council

08/30/2011 14:27

KHARTOUM – Sudan’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday it had submitted an official complaint to the United Nations Security Council, accusing South Sudan of causing instability in South Kordofan state, the latest sign of growing tension between the two nations.

“The complaint accuses South Sudan of causing instability, disrupting peace and offering support to rebel groups in the South Kordofan state,” the spokesman told Reuters. —

Report: ‘Indiscriminate bombing’ in Sudan

Posted: August 29, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Amnesty, HRW accuse Sudanese government of bombing civilians and blocking aid workers in South Kordofan.

2011829145429710734_20.jpgMore than 150,000 people have fled the fighting in South Kordofan since June, according to rights groups [EPA]

The Sudanese government has killed at least 26 civilians this month by "indiscriminately bombing civilian areas" in the Nuba Mountains region, according to a new report from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

Researchers from both groups traveled to the region and reported government planes dropping bombs in populated areas. "No evident military targets were visible near any of the air strike locations," they wrote. The bombing has reportedly wounded dozens of people, including a number of women and children.

More than 150,000 people have fled their homes since June, with many hiding out in caves, abandoned homes and other makeshift shelters.

Khartoum has been fighting armed groups for months in South Kordofan, the state which includes the Nuba Mountains region.

Sudanese officials insist that their bombing raids have only targeted rebels: Daffa-Alla Elhaj Ali Osman, the Sudanese ambassador at the United Nations, told Al Jazeera last month that rebels were responsible for civilian casualties.

But the report from Amnesty and HRW notes that many of the bombs used are unguided – in some cases, simply rolled out of cargo planes – and cannot be directed at military targets.

"Use of weapons in a civilian area that cannot accurately be directed at a military objective makes such strikes inherently indiscriminate, in violation of international humanitarian law," the groups said in their report.

Hunger a growing problem

The Sudanese government has blocked international aid agencies from entering South Kordofan, and insists that all aid to the region be delivered through the Sudanese Red Crescent.

Food supplies are rapidly dwindling: The World Food Programme only has enough stockpiled to feed 23,000 people for ten days. Researchers said many people have been forced to supplement their dwindling food aid with wild berries and leaves.

South Kordofan borders South Sudan, which broke away from the north last month to become an independent nation. It has a large population of ethnic Nuba groups, many of which are linked to the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, the rebel group which fought the north for decades.

SPLM fighters and other militia groups in southern Sudan have also been linked to widespread human rights abuses.

The 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement between north and south requires "popular consultations" this year on South Kordofan’s status, but that process has not yet begun.

Khartoum announced a two-week cease-fire in South Kordofan earlier this month.

New South Sudan tourism minister appointed

Posted: August 29, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

By Wolfgang H. Thome, eTN | Aug 29, 2011

(eTN) – South Sudan President Gen. Salva Mayardit Kiir has last week put final touches on the first post-independence cabinet, after first creating 29 ministries before, on subsequent days, appointing the ministers holding the respective portfolios.

Retained in name and function was the Ministry of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism, which oversees the country’s national parks and game reserves and is in charge now of building a viable tourism industry.

The newly-appointed minister, notably not from the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM) and a coalition member party, is the Hon. Gabriel Changson, while the deputy minister is the Hon. Obuch Ojwok. Permanent Secretary in the ministry remains Dr. Daniel Wani.

South Sudan presently has 6 gazetted national parks and over a dozen game reserves, and conscious of the need to conserve wildlife as a valuable resource for future safari tourists, has banned hunting completely.

Presently, the most prominent of these parks is the Boma National Park from where a migration, second only to the Serengeti/Masai Mara migration of the wildebeest and zebras, emerges annually when as many as 800,000+ white-eared kobs, lechwe, and other plains game species emerge in search of pasture. National Geographic highlighted this natural wonder in their series "Great Migrations," which already raised substantial interest among adventure tourists and investors wanting to set up tented safari camps and safari lodges.

South Sudan Welcomes Playing for Peace

Posted: August 29, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Aug. 29, 2011

JUBA, South Sudan – Amid the dusty dirt roads of Juba, South Sudan, there is an echoing message of unity, peace and joy being delivered. The message is coming from all angles; via the national newspapers, television, radio and believe it or not, mobile DJs driving through the streets. All channels of communication are spreading the good news, whether the media platform is South Sudan TV or via Land Cruisers equipped with generators and audio systems to communicate to the thousands of internally displaced people in temporary housing throughout Juba.

The message: Come out and support South Sudan basketball through Notre Dame’s Playing for Peace basketball initiative that has arrived in South Sudan, the world’s newest nation.

The initiative, started by the Notre Dame men’s lacrosse and men’s basketball teams has been taken to South Sudan by Kevin Dugan, manager of youth and community programs for the Notre Dame athletics department. Dugan is on location in South Sudan for 10 days of international sports development work. South Sudan just received its independence and now faces an incredible challenge of nation building while uniting a region of the world that is heavily divided among tribal and ethnic lines.

Following independence, Dugan began consulting with Catholic Relief Services, the South Sudan Basketball Federation (SSBF) and the South Sudan Demobilization and Demilitarization and Reintegration Commission (SSDDRC) on how to best execute the event. On the ground there has been an incredible collaboration between the community, church and government partners to turn the Playing for Peace Championships into a powerful and symbolic event in South Sudan.

It has been an exciting and hectic week for Dugan; he has had an emerging world experience in sports marketing that has proved to be invaluable.

"Pulling this event together with the local community has been pure inspiration. People here in South Sudan have so much hope in the future of their new nation, but along with that, there is an absolute incredible atmosphere of excitement surrounding the future of basketball in this country," said Dugan. "It has been a crazy week of non-stop event planning, meetings and interviews. I’ve been flying around the streets of Juba on the back of a motorcycle from government offices, to the South Sudan TV station, to the radio station to the print shop to meet with NGOs to basketball practice."

There is no wonder Playing for Peace is getting so much attention right now (the championship game will be broadcast on South Sudan TV.) It brings together the two things that people in South Sudan love to talk about right now, peace and basketball.

"The grassroots effort of basketball players, the church, government officials and the media has been incredible," said Dugan. "This event is going to be a perfect example of the way sports can be used as a form of social and human development in the emerging world."

South Sudan to uphold ties with Israel, despite pressure

Posted: August 29, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in World

08/29/2011 20:21

Jerusalem Post: MK Danon visits new African country to discuss helping Sudanese refugees return to their homeland.

South Sudan will uphold diplomatic relations with Israel despite Palestinian pressure, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir told MK Danny Danon (Likud) on Monday.

Kiir said that Hamas leaders Khaled Mashaal and Ismail Haniyeh told him that, as an Arab state, he should cut ties with Israel.

“I told them that I see Israeli embassies in Jordan and Egypt, and South Sudan is not an Arab state,” Kiir explained to Danon, who flew to the world’s youngest country on a visit intended to strengthen diplomatic ties and discuss refugees.

Kiir also agreed to Danon’s request that the future South Sudanese embassy to Israel be built in Jerusalem, and said he would visit Israel.

The new African country’s Deputy Parliament Speaker Daniel Akot said that “Israel is like a big brother to South Sudan,” and recounted that Israeli flags were waved at the state’s declaration of independence, 59 days ago.

Kiir asked Danon to promote vocational training for Sudanese refugees in Israel, so they could successfully return to their homeland.

“The Sudanese people have undergone ups and downs, but its luck has improved with the establishment of a new, civilized state,” Danon said. “The world must help rehabilitate the Sudanese people and support the refugees who left families and homes behind by helping them return safely to their new state.

On Tuesday, Danon plans to meet with former refugees who returned to South Sudan after working in Israel. Danon said he intends to discuss with them ways to streamline the process of sending refugees from Israel after vocational training.

In meetings with the Sudanese Industry and Trade Minister, Foreign Minister and Finance Minister on Monday, Danon also discussed ways the new African state can work with Israel, pointing out that South Sudan has oil, gold, silver, lead, copper and other resources.

“Israel’s technological wealth and South Sudan’s wealth of natural resources are a sure recipe for prosperity in both states,” he said


ZAKARIA BULLEN WANI SITE, Petitioner, v. ERIC H. HOLDER, JR., Attorney General of the United States, Respondent.

No. 10-3244.

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit.

Argued June 9, 2011.

Decided August 26, 2011.

Before MANION, Wood, and HAMILTON, Circuit Judges.

WOOD, Circuit Judge.
South Sudan declared its independence from Sudan on July 9, 2011, making it the world’s newest nation. President Barack Obama formally recognized the new Republic of South Sudan on the same day. See This was exactly one month after we heard oral arguments in Zakaria Bullen Wani Site’s petition, in which he contends that the Board of Immigration Appeals (the Board or BIA) erroneously denied his application for deferral of removal to Sudan under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). We point this out because Wani Site’s hometown, Juba, is now the capital of South Sudan, and so the geopolitical circumstances framing his petition have changed fundamentally. Aside from that, Wani Site identifies three legal errors in the opinion of the Immigration Judge (IJ) rejecting his claim; the Board, he argues, either repeated or ignored those errors when he appealed to it. These errors, in his view, led the IJ and the Board mistakenly to conclude that he was not likely to be tortured if removed to (old) Sudan, and thus he was not entitled to relief under the Torture Convention. The government does not dispute that the agency’s analysis is riddled with legal errors. Instead it contends that we have no jurisdiction to review the Board’s conclusion that Wani Site is unlikely to be tortured in Sudan. The government also avers that it no longer plans to remove Wani Site to Sudan anyway, and so we should dismiss this case as moot. In light of the three undisputed legal errors in the Board’s analysis, the government’s contention that it does not intend to remove Wani Site to Sudan, and the changed circumstances there, we grant the petition for review and remand for further proceedings.
Sudan has a long history of violence and instability, arising in large part from racial and religious conflicts. Civil war has raged intermittently since Sudan gained its independence from Egypt and Great Britain in 1956. In 1972, a peace treaty quelled the violence by granting regional autonomy to roughly what is now South Sudan. But civil war erupted again in 1983, when the government based in the North revoked the South’s autonomy and imposed Shari’a law on the entire country. Violence and human rights abuses, most prominently the genocide in Darfur, regrettably have been a part of the status quo. See Niam v. Ashcroft, 354 F.3d 652, 656 (7th Cir. 2004) (discussing “Sudan’s terrible human rights record”).
Wani Site is from Juba, which as we noted is the new capital of South Sudan. He and his family are practicing Christians, which made them a minority in their homeland. (Christians are not only a minority in the former Sudan as a whole; according to the State Department, the Southern Sudanese practice mainly indigenous traditional beliefs, although Christian missionaries have converted some. See In 1989, Wani Site’s father was arrested by the Sudanese Army for cooperating with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), a group that had long opposed the government. Wani Site never heard from his father again; he presumes that his father is dead. Following his father’s disappearance, Wani Site’s mother, entrusting her children to the care of their uncle, left the country to find work. Shortly thereafter, the army arrested his uncle based on suspected involvement with the SPLM. The uncle too was never heard from again. Wani Site and his siblings then went to live with another uncle, yet the government continued to target them. In 1992, Wani Site’s brother was arrested on suspicion of transmitting information on behalf of the SPLM while returning from Christian missionary work. The next year, members of the army raped one of his sisters.
To escape this incessant violence, the family moved from Juba to the capital in the North, Khartoum. While in public school there, the army targeted Wani Site for conscription. Shortly thereafter, he dropped out of school to avoid fighting for a military that, in his view, was killing his own people. In 1996, the army arrested and badly beat his surviving uncle for supporting the SPLM. At that point, the family, except for one sister, fled Sudan for Egypt. They lived there until 2001, when they were admitted to the United States as refugees. Wani Site became a lawful permanent resident in 2007, at the age of 29.
With those horrors behind him, a new chapter of troubles began in 2008. That year, Wani Site was convicted of aggravated criminal sexual abuse under Illinois law. This led the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to serve him with a Notice to Appear charging that he was removable on various grounds because of that conviction. He conceded removability, lost all of his claims for relief before the IJ and the Board, and now appeals solely the denial of deferral of removal under the CAT. See 8 C.F.R. § 1208.17. His argument is that the Sudanese government will detain and torture him upon arrival in Khartoum because he is a failed asylum seeker and fled Sudan in part to evade the draft. The IJ found that Wani Site credibly described the events we have set forth above at his removal hearing. His sister also testified at the hearing, and the IJ similarly found her credible. After concluding that there was plenty of evidence of past persecution, the IJ nevertheless denied Wani Site’s claim for deferral of removal because he failed to prove that it was more likely than not that he would be tortured if returned to Sudan. See 8 C.F.R. § 1208.16(c). Wani Site appealed to the Board, which supplemented and affirmed the IJ’s analysis, issuing a final order of removal to Sudan on August 27, 2010. He now petitions for review before our court.
The government’s position in this case simplifies the task before us. Much of the government’s brief is devoted to arguing that 8 U.S.C. § 1252(a)(2)(C) strips our jurisdiction to review the Board’s denial of Wani Site’s request for deferral of removal under the CAT. But this is not a case that requires us to revisit Issaq v. Holder, 617 F.3d 962, 970 (7th Cir. 2010), which held that the jurisdiction-stripping provision has no force for deferral of removal claims arising under the CAT. We can resolve this case without wading anew into the jurisdictional tangle for two independent reasons. First, the government concedes that we have jurisdiction to review legal errors, but it offers nothing to rebut Wani Site’s argument that the Board’s decision is premised on three such errors. See 8 U.S.C. § 1252(a)(2)(D) (securing jurisdiction to review legal questions). The government’s silence on these issues operates as a forfeiture, see Cincinnati Ins. Co. v. Eastern Atlantic Ins. Co., 260 F.3d 742, 747 (7th Cir. 2001), which means that Wani Site prevails on the merits. Second, the independence of South Sudan combined with the government’s representation to this court that it has no intention of removing Wani Site to Sudan persuades us that the Board needs to take another look at this matter in light of the profoundly changed political situation. See INS v. Orlando Ventura, 537 U.S. 12, 16 (2002). (This is not a case in which the government is simply refraining from carrying out an otherwise unobjectionable order, as in Jama v. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, 543 U.S. 335 (2005); here, the government itself has effectively disavowed the existing order.)
Although Wani Site prevails because of the government’s forfeiture, we briefly explain in the interest of simplifying the proceedings on remand why Wani Site is correct that the Board committed legal error. The first legal error Wani Site identifies is the Board’s reliance on the fact that his sister, who was not permitted to flee Sudan with the rest of the family, has not been tortured since his departure. This fact, in the Board’s view, supports its conclusion that Wani Site is also unlikely to be tortured upon return. But their two cases are entirely different. Wani Site’s claim is based on his status as a draft evader and a failed asylum seeker. It makes no sense for the Board to focus on his sister, since she does not share the characteristics that Wani Site believes will make him vulnerable to torture at the hands of the government. See Niam, 354 F.3d at 655 (rejecting identical analysis in asylum case); Kourski v. Ashcroft, 355 F.3d 1038, 1039 (7th Cir. 2004) (criticizing Board and IJ for a “gaping hole” in its reasoning). In other words, he is not basing his argument on his family status, nor was his sister involved in any of his actions.
Wani Site also complains that the Board’s conclusion that he must have personal knowledge that he will be tortured to support his application for deferral of removal is erroneous. We have previously held that the Board cannot require a person seeking relief to articulate, with personal knowledge, how he knows he will be tortured. See Bosede v. Mukasey, 512 F.3d 946, 959 (7th Cir. 2008) (“We are confused as to what kind of further proof the IJ expected. Short of presenting himself to Nigerian authorities and waiting to see their reaction, we do not fathom how, at this juncture, Bosede could do more than take at face value” evidence showing that persons in his position are likely to be tortured.). The Board cannot require this sort of testimony from people seeking relief, for it is impossible to provide.
Finally, Wani Site points to the Board’s failure to consider evidence that he submitted showing that the Sudanese government persecutes repatriated nationals. The Board recognized that the IJ failed to consider this information, but it thought that the error was harmless because the overlooked reports focus on people from Darfur, while Wani Site is from Juba. True, the first report in question, published by the United Nations Human Rights Commission on Refugees (UNHCR), is entitled “Position on Sudanese Asylum-Seekers From Darfur.” But the Board has either misunderstood the report, or it failed to read beyond the title. The report discusses more than the plight faced by those in Darfur. This excerpt from page one illustrates our point:
Forced returns to Sudan entail risks for certain categories of Sudanese, regardless of their place of origin, including Darfurians. These categories include young men of fighting age who are regularly singled out for detention and interrogation. These arrests are often pursuant to an administrative decree dated 28 February 1993, which authorized border authorities to arrest returning Sudanese who left after the June 1989 coup and have stayed away for more than a year.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR’s Position on Sudanese Asylum-Seekers From Darfur, February 10, 2006, available at 43f5dea84.html (last visited Aug. 10, 2011) (emphasis added). Plainly, the Board missed the relevance of this report to Wani Site’s case. The second report, contrary to the Board’s conclusion, has nothing to do with Darfur. Rather, it supports Wani Site’s contention that military service in Sudan is mandatory and that Christian draft evaders from the south are tracked down and punished by the government—and not just punished in the ordinary sense, but subjected to measures that qualify as torture. Cf. Dobrican v. INS, 77 F.3d 164, 168 (7th Cir. 1996) (no basis for asylum where military would punish equally all who fail to obey orders). The Board’s rejection of Wani Site’s application for deferral of removal based on a misunderstanding of the evidence is no better than a rejection that takes no account of important evidence in the first instance. See Joshi v. Ashcroft, 389 F.3d 732, 736-37 (7th Cir. 2004) (“A decision that resolves a critical factual question without mention of the principal evidence cannot be considered adequately reasoned.”). Even if the government had not forfeited its opportunity to defend these arguments on the merits, these errors would have warranted a remand to the Board for reconsideration.
What perplexes us about this case is why the government itself did not move to remand to the Board once it decided not to remove Wani Site to Sudan. It chose instead to ask us to find that the petition is moot solely because of counsel’s statement that Wani Site will not be removed to Sudan. We decline the invitation. As long as there is an outstanding removal order (which as we understand the facts, there is) and this court retains power to grant relief, the appeal is not moot. Cf. Qureshi v. Gonzales, 442 F.3d 985, 988 (7th Cir. 2006) (observing that a petition for review is moot only when “we are unable to grant relief affecting the legal rights of the parties”) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).
The government also asserted at oral argument that once South Sudan declared its independence, it may remove him to that country. We recognize that the government retains broad discretion to designate a country of removal for Wani Site. See 8 U.S.C. § 1231(b). But it must exercise that authority in the appropriate way, not for the first time in the middle of a petition for review. We are in no position to comment on a plan to remove Wani Site to the new nation of South Sudan before the Board has considered the issue. See Orlando Ventura, 537 U.S. at 16 (“[W]e find that the well-established principles of administrative law [] require the Court of Appeals to remand the `changed circumstances’ question to the BIA.”). Finally, we point out that the relief Wani Site seeks—deferral of removal under the CAT—is by definition temporary and country-specific. See 8 C.F.R. § 1208.16(f) (“Nothing in this section . . . shall prevent the Service from removing an alien to a third country other than the country to which removal has been withheld or deferred.”). This means that even if Wani Site had prevailed below, the government still could have initiated proceedings to remove him to a country other than Sudan, presumably including South Sudan once diplomatic relations were established. But for reasons that we do not understand, the government has opted to attempt to win the right to remove Wani Site to Sudan, rather than officially to abandon its position before the Board—and this while assuring us that it has no plans to remove him to Sudan anyway. For the reasons we have set forth above, we GRANT the petition for review and we REMAND for further proceedings.

Court Halts Removal of Convict to South Sudan

– In one of the first deportation proceedings involving someone from the newly founded state of South Sudan, the 7th Circuit vacated removal and ordered the Board of Immigration Appeals to devise a protocol for dealing with future deportations involving that country.
South Sudan declared independence from Sudan on July 9, 2011, and was immediately recognized by the United States. The move was optimistically hailed by many as a closing chapter to decades of genocide and violence in the area.
Zakaria Bullen Wani Site certainly was relieved. Born in Juba, a former Sudanese city and now the capital of South Sudan, Wani Site and his family faced constant persecution under Shari’a law, which the Sudanese government had imposed on the entire country since 1983.
Wani Site’s father and uncle were arrested for cooperating with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and are presumed dead. His mother soon left the country to find work, and Wani Site dropped out of school to avoid fighting for a military that, in his view, was killing his own people.
To avoid persecution, Wani Site and his family fled to Egypt and were later admitted to the United States as refugees.
Wani Site became a permanent resident in 2007 but was subject to removal proceedings when he was convicted of aggravated sexual abuse a year later.
Claiming that the Sudanese government will detain and torture him upon arrival as a failed asylum-seeker and draft-dodger, Wani Site sought cancellation of removal under the Convention Against Torture. His petition was denied by an immigration judge and the Board of Immigration Appeals, which found that Wani Site failed to prove that he would face torture upon his return.
Exactly one month after the 7th Circuit heard oral arguments on the case, South Sudan declared independence, temporarily derailing the proceedings.
Finding several administrative errors, some related to the emergence of the new county, the 7th Circuit vacated the removal order.
“The independence of South Sudan combined with the government’s representation to this court that it has no intention of removing Wani Site to Sudan persuades us that the board needs to take another look at this matter in light of the profoundly changed political situation,” Judge Diane Wood wrote for the court.
“The government also asserted at oral argument that once South Sudan declared its independence, it may remove him to that country,” the ruling states. “We recognize that the government retains broad discretion to designate a country of removal for Wani Site. … But it must exercise that authority in the appropriate way, not for the first time in the middle of a petition for review.” document.ico

The Statistical Facts of Domination in Kiir’s New Government

Posted: August 28, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

By Gordon Buay



(Announced on 26 August 2011)

No State/Tribe Number Ministries
Minister D/Minister Total
1 Warrap 4 5 9 Cabinet Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Labour & Humanitarian Affairs
2 N. B. G 2 2 Commerce, Industry and Investment & Telecommunication
3 W.B.G 2 2 4 Health & Education
4 Lakes 2 2 4 Electricity and Dams & Irrigation
5 Unity 4 4
6 Jonglei 5 6 11 Defence, Justice, Parliamentary Affairs, Information & Roads and Bridges
7 Upper Nile 4 2 6 National Security, Higher Education, Petroleum & Wildlife.
8 C. Equatoria 5 3 8 President’s Office, Transport, Environment, Gender & Animal Resources
9 W. Equatoria 3 1 4 Interior, Finance & Housing
10 E. Equatoria 2 2 4 Agriculture & Culture
TOTAL 29 27 56
1. Dinka 11 12 23


2. Nuer 4 4 8


3. Shilluk 2 1 3
4. Zande 2 1 3
5. Bari 2 1 3







From the above table, the following facts are clear:

1. The government is huge! Many ministries would have been combined together. For example, the Ministry of Electricity and Dams was unnecessary. The electricity would have been part of the Ministry of Energy and Mining (presently, Petroleum and Mining), and the dams part of the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation. Also, the Ministry of Environment would have included Forestry and Wildlife Conservation. Again, Transport, Roads and Bridges should have been one ministry.

2. At this initial stage, there was no need for Deputy Ministers. If some were needed, it would have been TWO only; each in the ministries of Finance and Foreign Affairs.

3. The same faces are kept in the Cabinet; some maintain their previous portfolios and some are moved to other ministries. Only a few left the Cabinet altogether.

4. The discrepancy in allocating ministerial positions according to States is unmistakeable. The highest getting 11 and the lowest only 2.

5. As there are discrepancies from State to State, the same is true within regions. In Greater Upper Nile region, Jonglei got ministerial positions more than the total for the other two States combined! In Greater Equatoria, Central Equatoria got the same number as the other two states combined. Whereas the number of ministerial positions got by Warrap State is only less by one compared to positions got by the other three States of Greater Bahr El Ghazal combined (Lakes, Northern Bahr El Ghazal and Western Bahr El Ghazal). This is amazing!

6. Two States got 5 ministers each (Jonglei and Central Equatoria); two got 4 each (Warrap and Upper Nile); one got 3 (Western Equatoria); Unity State has none and the remaining four States got two ministers each.

7. It is inexplicable why the Unity State was not allocated a Cabinet Minister.

8. The key ministries (Cabinet Affairs, Defence, Foreign Affairs, Interior, Justice and Finance) went to only three of the ten States ( Warrap, Western Equatoria and Jonglei), each getting TWO ministries. These are the same States which got the highest number of ministerial positions (ministers and deputy ministers).

9. Although Central Equatoria got 5 ministries none of them is a key ministry.

10. Jonglei came at the top getting 11 ministerial positions. However, ten of them went to Nuers and Dinkas; 5 each. The Murle got a Deputy Minister and none at went to the Anuaks.

11. Although Warrap State came second by getting 9 ministerial positions, this is misleading. Because the President hails from there, as well as the Chief of Internal Security, the Chief Justice and the Governor of the Central Bank.

12. In Upper Nile State, 4 ministerial positions are from the SPLM (TWO ministers and a Deputy Minister went to the Shilluks and ONE to the Dinkas). The SPLM never nominated anybody for a ministerial position from the Nuers (Jikany) who form the majority population in the State. Only the minister nominated by UDSF-M is a Nuer.

13. From the ethnic point of view, the following facts emerge: Five (5) tribes only form 71% of the ministerial positions; of this the Dinkas form 41% and the Nuers 14%. The Dinkas and the Nuers combined form 55% (The Dinkas are almost three times more than the Nuers). These facts show that it is a long way to inclusiveness.

14. Except for the Ministry of Justice, any key ministry not occupied by a Dinka has a Deputy Minister from the Dinka tribe. The ministries are: Defence, Interior and Finance.


The people of South Sudan should not be fooled that the government announced on August, 26, was a government of national unity as some quarters would want us to believe. The facts above speak for themselves and the conclusion is obvious; domination and marginalization of the worst kind. Furthermore, what appears like a semblance of regional balance in the allocation of key ministries is deceptive if we look deep beyond the surface. It is a well calculated move to take us for a ride. For those who are not aware of political games behind the formation of the post-independent government, it is important for them to know that it was designed at the residence of Salva Mathok Gengdit on August, 23rd.

In the meeting at Salva Mathok’s residence, the military and political elites of Warrap State agreed that Warrap would dominate the government to protect itself from people who want to hijack their leadership. They identified three enemies of Warrap’s leadership in South Sudan. The first group of enemies is composed of non-Dinka; the second group is political elites of Dinka Bor and the third group is composed of Aweil’s political and military elites who are disappointed with the way Aweil is marginalized under Salva Kiir’s regime.

The elites of Warrap identified Dinka Bor as the second group of enemies of Salva Kiir`s regime. People can see that despite the appointment of Michael Makwei Lueth, Majak Agot and Atem Yak, Dinka Bor are marginalized in this new cabinet. The best educated Dinka Bor are left out of this government because they cannot support the continuation of corruption. One could argue that Dr. Majak Agot is demoted to become the deputy minister as a way to keep him close because the Warrap`s elites accused him long time ago of having plans to overthrow Kiir`s government. If qualification matters, Dr. Majak Agot could have been appointed as a Minister of Finance given the fact that his PhD dissertation was on banking. In terms of economic thinking, there is no comparison between Dr. Majak Agot and Costi Manibe who is a theologian all his life.

One should not go far to realize the Warrap`s conspiracy against Dinka Bor other than the removal of Elijah Malok Aleng, who was replaced by Kornelio Koryom whom he once dismissed because of corruption. Most importantly, Koryom is a retiree who retired from Sudan’s central Bank in 2005. He was brought to South Sudan to become the Deputy of Elijah Malok Aleng to facilitate corruption. He personally clashed with Malok many times because facilitated transactions which violated rules of the Bank in order to embezzle the money of the people of South Sudan.

Most people in Juba know how corrupt Koryom is but he was retained as the Chairman of South Sudan Bank to safeguard the interests of Warrap`s elites. Salva Kiir does not want somebody other than a Dinka from Warrap as the Chairman of the Bank in order to hide corruption from public scrutiny. It is preferable if Elijah Malok should have been the Chairman of the Bank of South Sudan because he is a straightforward man who doesn’t like corruption as most Bor elites do.

As we all know, all people of the South from different areas contributed to the liberation of our country. However, it is fair to conclude that Aweil’s contribution surpassed that of Warrap in terms of population. Nobody could deny the sacrifice of the people of Warrap in our liberation struggle. But the point here is that a place like Aweil (Northern Bhar-el-Ghazal) cannot be represented by only two ministers while Warrap has nine full and deputy ministers. This is an insult to our intelligence and commonsense.

On the issue of handling the Equatorian, Nuer and Shilluk’s opposition to Salva Kiir’s rule, Salva Mathok Gengdit came up with a brilliant idea of how to deceive the world that there is a fair representation. The Warrap’s elites decided to give the Minister of National Security to Gen. Oyai Deng Ajak because he is the right person to deal with the Shilluks. As many people may remember, Gen. Oyai Deng was disappointed with Shilluks after losing election in April, 2010. Soon after election, he declared publicly that “the tanks will roll in the Shilluk land” because they didn’t vote for him.

It was reported by reliable sources that after losing election, Oyai Deng Ajak persuaded his friends in the SPLA army to punish the entire Shilluk Kingdom as he promised. Indeed, not long after, the Shilluk Kingdom was on fire that created untold suffering to the innocent population and all living things in the Kingdom. As the head of National Security, his job would be to arrest, on the basis of concocted “security reports”, any Shilluk deemed as an opponent of Warrap’s regime. We know the first victims in his list.

On the case of Gen. John Kong Nyuon, he was brought to become the Minister of Defence so that he will be used to fight the Nuer as he did in 1980s when he fought Anyanya II, and Abdalla Chuol in particular who hails from the same area as him. In the meeting at Salva Mathok’s residence, the Warrap’s elites agreed that Lt. Gen. James Hoth Mai would be replaced by Lt. Gen. Pieng Deng Majok as the Chief-of-Staff to consolidate Warrap’s dominance in the army. In this scenario, John Kong Nyuon would be used as a rubber stamp to fight the Nuer’s rebels in Unity, Jonglei and Upper Nile states. His appointment, as Warrap’s elites strategized, would divide the Nuer because John Kong is expected to neutralise Greater Fangak Nuer to support Warrap’s government and fight the rest.

The people of Greater Upper Nile should be aware that the appointments of both John Kong Nyuon and Oyay Deng Ajak is a Machiavellian fulfilment of the Arab’s practice well known in the Sudan which states that “Adhrub al Abid bil Abid”, that is, “fight a slave with a slave”.

On the appointment of Alison Magaya as a Minister of Interior, those who are well-versed in politics know that he was appointed to be used. As people should remember, Alison Magaya was part of the National Islamic Front’s Military Council which staged a coup against a democratically elected government in 1989.After the 1989 coup, the NIF appointed him as the military Governor of Greater Equatoria and was responsible for arming the LRA which is now devastating Western Equatoria State. He remained a loyal member of NIF for 21 years when he declared in June, 2011 to have defected to the SPLM simply because he was for the first time dropped from the NCP’s Cabinet. He is not a man who will stay out of government position!

The Warrap’s elites are aware that Alison Magaya is a man of self-interest and doesn’t care about the welfare of his people. He was indeed appointed to be used against Equatorians for he wouldn’t care a damn about land grabbing in Greater Equatoria. To be used effectively, the Warrap’s elites decided to deputize him with Salva Mathok himself. Based on the mindset of SPLM/A commanders, he could not have been appointed as a Minister of Interior if Warrap’s elites were not convinced that he was a good tool to use.

There are many reasons for them to conclude that way. As so many Equatorians are aware, Magaya is a man who prefers his self-interest to the welfare of the nation. As a member of NIF’s Military Command Council, he actively participated in the meetings where policies to torture South Sudanese were designed. In his current capacity as a Minister of Interior, he will not have any problem to execute dirty policies of Salva Mathok Gengdit to punish any Equatorian who dares to question land grabbing by Warrap’s elites.

As to Kosti Manibe, he is just an errand boy who will do anything the cabal tells him to do. Having lost the April 2010 elections to Dr Richard K. Mulla, he owes a lot to the Gogrial elite. Therefore, anybody who thinks there will be a change in the Ministry of Finance is a day-dreamer.

Another thing the people of South Sudan should know is that the main objective of forming the new government is to perpetuate corruption, dictatorship and ethnic domination. To do that, the Warrap`s elites utilized Machiavellian politics of aligning themselves with the devil. One crucial example is the accommodation of NCP in the new cabinet. Agnes Lukudu, who is the Deputy Chairman of NCP Party in the South, is given the Ministry of Transport because the NCP agreed to work with SPLM to consolidate dictatorship in South Sudan.

Seventeen South Sudan political parties which rejected the interim transitional constitution are not included in the new cabinet because they refused to exchange the rights of the people of the South with positions. The Warrap`s elites want parties which are submissive to SPLM`s dictatorship and cannot question centralization and corruption taking place in South Sudan.

If politics of principle were to govern Warrap`s elites, they couldn’t have accommodated NCP in the new government. It is an insult to the intelligence of the people of South Sudan that Salva Kiir could prefer working with NCP to accommodating South Sudan parties whose loyalties is towards the South. Agnes Lukudu voted for unity in January referendum and she is now the darling of Salva Kiir Mayardit because she agreed to serve a new master that replaced Omer Bashir. With the accommodation of NCP in this government, the people of South Sudan are convinced beyond reasonable doubt that Warrap`s elites are bent towards forming a permanent dictatorship and corruption in South Sudan.

To sum up, there is no doubt that this government announced on 26th instant does not deviate from the former ones. Certainly, we have replaced Arab’s domination by Warrap’s. In addition, the Warrap`s elites under Salva Mathok have inherited the colonial “divide-and-rule” policy which they are bent on applying with rigour on any dissenting voice in the South. I hope I am wrong but I fear I am right!

God save South Sudan.

The author is a former Secretary General of South Sudan Democratic Front (SSDF). He can be reached at gordonbuay.