Archive for October 10, 2011

Donations Needed For Film Post Production:

Posted: October 10, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Please contribute to my Ger Duany’s post production film Ger: To Be Separate, help him back this project and meet the goal of $3,000, go to — =search

Ger Duany is an actor, model and social activist from South Sudan. Ger graduated with a B.S. in Human Services at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut, and was featured in David O. Russell’s film, “I Heart Huckabees”. Award winning Kenyan filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu documented his odyssey from war child and refugee to Hollywood actor and international fashion model. His amazing journey back home after 18 years to vote for the first time for a new Sudan and celebrate independence was a historic and anticipated experience. The completion of this documentary will mark the beginning of Ger’s mission to help rebuild his nation, bringing educational institutions and health care facilities to his home village, Akoba, South Sudan.

More info on Ger:

Reec Akuak

The Southern Sudanese Community
Advocating — Mentoring — Nurturing

202.656.TSSC (8772)
Direct/Cell: 202.596.6009
Fax: 202.280.1007

South Sudan Exploitation: Buying African Land For A Dime?

Posted: October 10, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

By Nisrin Elamin

South Sudan: the Scramble for land

As the United States celebrates Columbus Day and the legacy of one of the biggest land grabs in history, another massive land grab is unfolding on the African continent, mired in secrecy and spearheaded by hedge funds, financial speculators and foreign companies. South Sudan has become one of the latest frontiers for these investors, prompted in large part by its newly found independence.

On July 9th, 2011 South Sudan became Africa’s 54th nation, after the vast majority of its people voted for secession from the North. The ink has barely dried on the documents formalizing South Sudan’s self-determination, but the scramble for its land is already in full swing.

Over the last two years, researchers estimate that approximately 10% of Africa’s most fertile land in over 20 countries, has fallen into the hands of foreign companies and speculators seeking to exploit its resources.

South Sudan has simply become one of the latest investment frontiers for foreign speculators, prompted in large part by its newly found independence.

The struggle for Southern Sudan’s independence began in 1955 and cost the lives of millions, displacing many more within their own homeland. At the center of this struggle for independence was the desire for the people of South Sudan to control and benefit from their own resources and land. Yet 9% of South Sudanese land has already been bought or rather leased to foreign companies and governments.

The irony of the situation is astounding and deeply troubling. According to a Norwegian People’s Aid report authored by David Deng over "28 foreign and domestic investments are planned or underway across the ten states of Southern Sudan totaling 2.64 million hectares of land in the agriculture, forestry and bio-fuel sectors alone."

The total land area is larger than the entire country of Rwanda. The investors include several North American, British, Finnish, Egyptian, South African and Emirati companies.

A brief history of U.S. and European involvement in Sudan’s peace process can shed light on the current scramble for land. It appears the same governments–and the corporations affiliated with them–who took an interest in Sudan’s peace negotiations over a decade ago, are now involved in acquiring some of the South’s most fertile, oil and mineral rich regions.

Before the discovery and flow of oil in Sudan beginning in 1999, the Sudanese peace process was dominated by neighboring African countries. The Clinton Administration was in fact criticized by Jimmy Carter for previously undermining the Sudanese peace process by militarily supporting Southern Sudanese rebels in an effort to destabilize and overthrow the Northern regime.

Once it became clear that 80% of Sudan’s oil was located in the South, the calculus for U.S. and European oil interests and policy shifted towards supporting a peace process which would likely lead to the South’s secession.

Clinton-era sanctions, had previously made Sudan’s oil, mineral and agricultural sectors off limits to North American and European investors. As a result, these sectors were dominated by Chinese, Malaysian and Indian companies. With the emergence of an independent South Sudan comes an opportunity for U.S., Canadian and European companies to now invest in these sectors.

The fragility of South Sudan’s transitional period and the legal ambiguity that surrounds it is a big draw for investors. A recent Rolling Stone
article on foreign landholders in Africa appropriately refers to them as "Capitalists of Chaos." Phil Heilberg, who was interviewed for the article and now owns over 800,000 hectares of land in South Sudan through the New York based Jarch Management group speaks openly about his motivation to invest in the region. “I saw the Soviet Union split up,” he recalls. “Saw it up close. I realized there was a lot of money to be made in breakups, and I vowed that the next time I’d be on the inside.”

“The world is like the universe – ever expanding,” he adds. “I focus on the pressure points.”

Due to South Sudan’s fragility and underdevelopment, foreign businesses that are purely profit-driven, can seize opportunities to operate under the guise of agriculture or infrastructure development while capitalizing on the nation’s resource wealth. While some foreign companies are supporting the development of the new nation by building schools, roads and hospitals, others are undermining the creation of democratic institutions and laws that will protect its citizens from exploitation. A closer look at a deal struck between a U.S. based investment firm and a local cooperative three years ago, reveals these dynamics poignantly.

In 2008, the Texas-based firm Nile Trade and Development and the local Mukaya Payam Cooperative negotiated one of the biggest land deals in South Sudan. The 49-year lease of 400,000 hectares of central Equatoria for around $25,000 allows the company to exploit all natural resources including oil, timber and minerals. It also allows the company to engage in agricultural activities and to sublease the land to a third party.

A key element in this deal, as well as other similar deals, is that they all relied on one determining factor: South Sudan’s imminent and inevitable independence. In February of 2009, two years prior to South Sudan’s referendum, U.S. and British business executives co-founded Kinyeti Development a company dedicated to supporting the “emergence of the human resource, logistical and economic basis for a new South Sudan dedicated to improving the living standards of its people within a framework of civic peace, free market economies, democratic institutions, and regional cooperation.”

Nile Trade and Development is one of its subsidiaries.

The company’s website includes maps of Sudan’s oil concessions and ethnic make-up along with rather extensive biographies of its three foreign partners. In May of 2009, a delegation of South Sudanese government officials interested in developing a green economy was invited to a smart-grid fact finding mission in Texas. The effort was headed by former U.S. Ambassador at Large and Coordinator for Refugee Affairs Howard Eugene Douglas.

Douglas made the seamless transition from diplomacy to international business in the 1990s and now heads both Kinyeti Development

and Nile Trade and Development. In brief, he has put years of diplomatic experience and political knowledge of the region to use in developing lucrative business ventures for prospective foreign investors in Africa’s newest nation.

But contrary to its stated mission, Kinyeti Development has done little to ensure that these land acquisition ventures take place in a
transparent, lawful and democratic manner. The Mukaya Payam cooperative, which originally negotiated the lease of land in Central Equatoria for instance, is said to be fictitious in a report released by the Oakland Institute.

The agreement, which guarantees the cooperative will receive a percentage of the lessor’s profits, was in fact signed by "one Mukaya Paramount Chief on behalf of the Cooperative, and witnessed by two others – a judge and a lawyer" without the knowledge or input of the community affected.

The Government of South Sudan has not officially recognized the deal, which is currently under scrutiny due to pressure and protests from members of the affected community.

The Southern Sudanese government also has yet to establish land and mining laws that would protect the nascent nation from foreign resource exploitation. Most importantly, no laws have been created to ensure that the communities affected by land acquisitions and foreign investments are protected from imminent displacement. The area designated for Nile Trade and Development has a population of approximately 90,000, largely dependent on land for survival.

According to the Norwegian People’s Aid Report:

"Even if companies were to invest in a manner that does not require resettlement of local communities, such extensive development would still significantly affect patterns of land access and use for tens, or even hundreds of thousands of people…. a number of the investments are located in highly populated areas where tens or even hundreds of thousands of people rely on land and natural resources for their daily livelihoods. If the project proponents choose to deny local populations access, it could have devastating impacts on rural communities whose lives have already been sorely affected by poverty, food insecurity, and conflict."

While Nile Trade and Development agreed to finance the development of the land they leased by building roads and schools for the community, these promises have failed to materialize over the last three years. Moreover, an upsurge of post-referendum clashes between the South Sudan army and militia factions, has already led to the displacement of hundreds, in areas leased to Jarch Management.

According to a Sudan Tribune article published in April of 2011, “hundreds of civilians were displaced in Mayom County as a result

of clashes between the South Sudan army (SPLA) and militia loyal to Peter Gatdet, Unity state officials say.”

Peter Gatdet incidentally serves on the board of Jarch Management. One can only speculate that Jarch Management is playing a role in fomenting conflict in order to access areas they would like to exploit.

It becomes clear from these examples that some foreign interests have never been committed to true self-determination for the people of South Sudan. Instead, they supported secession in order to clear the way for resource exploitation.

To recover from decades of war and promote development, South Sudan is in need of both foreign and domestic investors. But they must operate within a legal framework, which ensures that its citizens will benefit from their country’s resource wealth. Without such a framework, the scramble for land and resources will continue, with potentially devastating effects on the new nation’s most vulnerable communities.

Nisrin Elamin is a Sudanese educator and activist living in New York City. She is the coordinator of the Support Darfur Project which documents and supports Sudanese-led grassroots initiatives and blogs at

"Speaking Truth To Empower."

Collecting Feminine Items for Girls of Sudan

Posted: October 10, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Socio-Cultural

Oct 9 2011 11:55PM
KXMBTV Bismarck

Normally the phrase, “don’t get your panties in a bunch” means “calm down”.

But a group wants you to get riled up about getting LOTS of panties in a bunch.

This pile of donated underwear and feminine hygiene products will soon be shipped to South Sudan.

Deb Dawson with African Soul, American Heart has traveled to South Sudan four times.

She says young women there often drop out of school after hitting puberty because a lack of supplies.

(Deb Dawson/African Soul, American Heart Board President) “I mean you can imagine if you have your menstrual cycle and you have no way to manage that, you’re literally home-bound for a week a month, if you miss a week a month from school, you’re not going to stay in school, because it’s too difficult, you fall behind, kids make fun of you, and it’s embarrassment.”

Dawson first heard about orphan issues after meeting a “Lost Boy” of Sudan named Joseph who lived in Fargo.

Since then, their organization has collected thousands of pairs of underwear to donate to girls in two villages… and it has many other projects dedicated to educating orphans.

(Dawson) “They’ll literally circle me and Dance because they’re so happy that these things are coming to help girls in their village, they told me that when they were young, they didn’t know it was important to educate women, they didn’t have education themselves, a lot of men didn’t get education at that time either, but they say now they’ve seen educated women and what a difference it has made in their lives and they want this for their daughters or the orphans that they care for.”

She will deliver the collected “bunch” of supplies after Thanksgiving.

To learn more about the nonprofit organization…

Two in hospital after charity soccer brawl

Posted: October 10, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Socio-Cultural

Francis Tapim

Updated October 10, 2011 07:35:46

A charity soccer tournament organised by the Queensland Police Service has ended with an all-in brawl in Brisbane.

The multicultural tournament at Greenslopes is Queensland’s own version of the World Cup with over 90 teams representing their countries.

Late yesterday Scotland was playing South Sudan in the grand final and the two teams clashed at the end of the game.

Officials say words were exchanged as the teams were leaving the field and a fight broke out involving players and spectators.

Two players from one team were taken to the Princess Alexandra Hospital for treatment but their injuries were not serious.

Police are investigating the incident and no charges have been laid.

The tournament is the largest multicultural football event in Australia.

Rwanda eyes South Sudan produce market

Posted: October 10, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Economy

Sunday, 09 October 2011 21:28 Alec Muhoho

KIGALI, RWANDA — Rwanda has completed comprehensive studies on South Sudan’s agriculture sector in a bid to export its vegetables, roots, and tubers in Juba, the capital city of the newest nation in the world.
This is the second study conducted on the regional produce markets by the Land Husbandry Water project (LWH) under Rwanda’s Agriculture Ministry. The first study was done three months ago on DR Congo’s potential for Rwandan exports especially vegetables.
Mr. Hashim Mulangwa,  one of the consultants assigned to carry out research on potential of South Sudan market for Rwanda,  told agriculture experts and traders while presenting their findings , that there are  both opportunities and challenges in the Juba market.
He added that Rwanda does not have the advantage of proximity as Uganda and Kenya to South Sudan and that the country can benefit if they focus on quality of their produce.
Mulangwa said Ugandans today dominate the produce market in South Sudan but that the demand still exists and there is a gap that Rwandans can fill.
Mr. Leonard Mungarulire, a consultant with Ntareinsights, a Rwandan based group said despite several risks of doing business in South Sudan, Rwandans should look out for opportunities.
“What we need is to focus on quality of our produce, which does not take rocket science to tell our farmers to adhere to it if we are to get leverage in the market,” Mungarulire explained.
The consultants said that all challenges of trade between Rwanda and South Sudan such as lack of storage facilities, ware houses in the new country and several check points especially between Nimule and Juba(148km) can be solved through high level negotiations within the East Africa Community (EAC).
The biggest headache for traders is the time it takes one to move between Nimule and Juba. The 148 kilometres journey takes eight hours.

Tanzania eyes South Sudan, Comoros

Sunday, 09 October 2011 21:09 Ally Hamisi

DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA –  Tanzania investors who have been traditionally inward looking are now set to venture outside their boarders by investing in new country of Southern Sudan and Comoro islands.
A ten-man task force is expected to travel to newest sovereignty state, South Sudan and the third-smallest African nation by area, Comoro, early next month to identify various investment opportunities which Tanzanians can grab.
The chairperson of the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF), Ms. Esther Mkwizu told The East African Business Week, that her foundation was looking for investment opportunities beyond the borders especially in the Eastern Africa.
“We need to penetrate the market more systematically and follow all procedures to ensure that investments by Tanzanian investors are protected and stay safe as well,” said Ms Mkwizu
She added that TPSF had written to the Prime Minister to seek permission for the business delegation to enter South Sudan and conduct both diplomatic and business meetings with their local counterparts.
She said that the mission is expected to come with a report that will provide a clear picture on the business opportunities and various challenges.
According to Ms Mkwizu, Tanzania’s exports to the rest of the East African Community (EAC) countries were making outstanding performances.
Due to this, she added, South Sudan and Comoro could offer new markets and investment opportunities for the business community.
The Tanzania Chamber of Commerce Industry and Trade (TCCIA) chairperson, Aloyce Mwamanga, was quoted recently expressing concern over the private sector’s sluggishness in grabbing new opportunities in South Sudan and Comoro.
Tanzania exports to the EAC nearly doubled to US$450 million in 2010 from $263 million recorded in 2009.
“This is almost 71 per cent increase,” she said. The exports were mainly mosquito nets, domestic utensils and transformers. Others are mattresses, rice, cement, plastic products, paper products and machinery.


7 Thousand Families Trickle from South Sudan to Darfur

Posted: October 10, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

About 7 thousand families affiliating to Fallata and Um Bararo ethnicities trickled back to Damso Locality on South Darfur Friday. The families returned to Darfur within the framework of voluntary return program supported by government and the United Nations. Head of Damso Locality Mansour Abdul Ghader Mansour told Sudan Media Center (SMC) that South Darfur government has already prepared sufficient camp to receive returnees, explaining that the camp aims at providing returnees with basic services in preparation for localizing them in particular areas.
The returnees who work in grazing has brought about 20 thousand heads of cattle with them; the thing necessitates urgent measures to provide cattle with veterinary services. Chieftain of the returnees Mohammad Issa Omar confirmed their commitment to effective participation in development of Darfur

Museveni meets South Sudan Speaker

Posted: October 10, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in World

President Yoweri Museveni

By Vision Reporter 

President Yoweri Museveni on Monday received and held discussions with the Speaker of the South Sudan Parliament James Wani Igga who paid a courtesy call on him at State House in Nakasero.

Wani who represented the government of South Sudan at Uganda’s 49th, Independence celebrations in Lira was accompanied by the Member of Parliament of Warrap State Charles Majak Alier, South Sudan Ambassador to Uganda Ador Akor and Manasseh Magok Rundial of Unity State.
The two leaders discussed issues of mutual interest between the two countries.
Uganda and South Sudan enjoy relatively strong cultural, political, and economic ties.
Following the Independence of South Sudan the two countries have taken advantage of increased opportunities for trade, development and educational exchanges

Landmine kills 20 in South Sudan oil state

Posted: October 10, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

South Sudan map | FILE |
By MACHEL AMOS in JubaPosted Monday, October 10  2011 at  17:15
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At least 20 people were killed and five others critically injured when a landmine blew up a pick-up landcruiser in the oil-rich Unity state in South Sudan, an official said on Monday.

Unity State Information minister Gideon Gatpan said that the fatal incident took place on Sunday between Mayom and Mankien counties, which were the bases for the former rebel leader Peter Gatdet.

The rebel leader later struck a peace deal with the government and returned to Juba in August, while his forces are being absorbed into the regular army.

“When the truck slipped out of the road due to many potholes, immediately it was exploded by the landmine,” Mr Gatpan said Monday.

“The rain has made the road too slippery and big trucks have worsened them,” Mr Gatpan said, blaming the state of affairs on the the rebellions in the state.

Late rebel leader Peter Gatluak Gai, who was shot dead by his deputy for allegedly intending to backtrack on a peace deal he had reached with the government days earlier, was also concentrating his operations in Unity State – burning huts and looting property.

The landcruiser blown up was carrying passengers to Mankien, Mr Gatpan said.

Blue Nile terror as Sudan air strikes cause havoc

Posted: October 10, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in World

By Hannah McNeish (AFP)

KURMUK, Sudan — Satdam Anima’s eyes flicker and weep as the doctor sews up the stump of his left arm, before he rolls back on the hospital bed, one of the latest victims in Sudan’s relentless bombing campaign in Blue Nile state.

Dr Evan Atar says he has done seven amputations since war broke out between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and fighters loyal to the SPLM-North in Blue Nile state last month. He has treated more than 600 others for shrapnel wounds.

“We are really now running out of supplies. We have been running here and there and crying… But now where to get it from is really an issue,” he said.

President Omar al-Bashir has blocked foreign aid agencies from entering Blue Nile and nearby South Kordofan state, where a separate conflict between the army and SPLM-North rebels has raged since June.

Kurmuk’s is the only hospital between neighbouring Ethiopia and Damazin, the state capital of Blue Nile, which remains under SAF control, and Dr Atar is the only doctor.

He says the hospital will run out of vital supplies such as saline solution, cotton and gauze this week if no aid arrives, after using up six months’ supplies in one.

In another hospital bed, 65-year-old Altom Osman is recovering from a deep shrapnel wound in his back and one in his arm after a bomb hit the village of Sali an hour north of Kurmuk.

“I was taking some sorghum flour to my wife. We were passing our farm and then the Antonov came immediately and bombed,” Osman whispered.

Two hours further north, in Maiyas, village chief Khidir Abusita points to a hole a bomb from an Antonov made that he said killed six people, including 55-year-old Hakuma Yousif and her 20-year-old daughter Soura in their hut.

“Yesterday there were two Antonovs and they were circling for an hour. We are very scared… We sleep by the river during the day and come back at night,” Abusita said.

Rebel leader Malik Agar, Blue Nile?s ousted governor and the chairman of the SPLM-North, said he knew of 63 bombs that had hit Kurmuk, and he claimed 74 civilians had been killed and 100 wounded by the air strikes.

Agar called the “random bombing” part of a strategy aimed at demoralising the SPLM-North that for years fought alongside the SPLA, ex-southern rebels turned regular army in newly independent South Sudan, during their 22-year conflict with Khartoum.

“The strategy is to break the will of the fighters. The civilians are their mothers, their wives, their beloved ones. If you bomb them you will scatter them all over the area,” Agar said from a hideout near Kurmuk, the main rebel stronghold.

He estimates that half of Blue Nile?s 1.2 million people are now on the move.

“The humanitarian aspect is very catastrophic here and this is an area where we need a very quick intervention” by the United Nations, the rebel leader said.

The interruption of the harvests and the number of displaced means there is no food in the area, one of Sudan’s agricultural heartlands, Agar said.

Independent information on the situation in Blue Nile is very difficult to obtain since Khartoum ordered international organisations out of the state.

But last week, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said 27,500 displaced people had crossed to Ethiopia from Blue Nile, and it was opening another camp near the Sudanese border to accommodate the new arrivals.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation has also launched a $3.5-million appeal to help 235,000 people on the brink of starvation in Sudan’s embattled southern border region, because of fighting in Blue Nile and South Kordofan.

“When I hear the Antonov coming I?m really scared. I look for my children and I run inside,” said 21-year-old Huwa Gundi as she sits on a sheet next to a makeshift tent.

She fled from the village of Sali after it was bombed, and says the family has for weeks been living off sorghum porridge, which they found in abandoned farmhouses.

Agar called on the UN to pressure Bashir into “stopping the bombing of the civilians” and opening humanitarian corridors in the war-affected areas, while urging the government to return to mediated negotiations.

But Bashir himself said last month that Sudan would never again negotiate “under UN supervision,” and vowed to crush the rebellion.

Like many others in Kurmuk, Dr Atar fears the Antonov bombs will soon be replaced by shelling if the conflict persists, while hunger levels continue to rise among Blue Nile’s frightened inhabitants.

Presidents Kiir and El-Bashir Hold Joint Press Conference

Posted: October 10, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Thomas Kenneth

Khartoum — The two Presidents H.E Salva Kiir Mayardit and H.E Omer El-Bashir after their closed-door meeting at the Friendship Hall in Khartoum on Saturday held a joint press conference at the Khartoum International Airport yesterday on Sunday October 9th, 2011.

President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit in the press conference announced that the Republic of South Sudan is committed to a friendly relationship and will work to build mutual understanding and dialogue with the Republic of Sudan. President Kiir explained that his government is ready to discuss and reach a final solution with Khartoum on all outstanding issues on the economy, security, boarders and Abyei status.

President Kiir said his seriousness in these issues is demonstrated through the high-level delegation he led to Khartoum to discuss the issues between Juba and Khartoum in a brotherly manner. President Kiir explained that some elements in both sides would like to take the two states backwards (war) but he asserted that none of the outstanding issues will take the two states back to war since he and President El-Bashir are committed to peace and stability for the two neighboring states.

On his part, President El-Bashir expressed his sincere gratitude to President Kiir for visiting Khartoum for the first time with such a high-level delegation to cooperate with him in resolving all the remaining issues. President Bashir said a fruitful meeting at the ministerial level was held and they discussed all the issues in the spirit of the agreement and determination of overcoming them to begin a new economic, political and social relationship between the two states.

President El-Bashir declared that some committees were setup and a limited time is given to them to reach a final solution to the outstanding issues, and he said the two sides will soon celebrate the signing of a final agreement on security, military, political, economic and social issues.

South Sudan Job Vacancy:

Posted: October 10, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Jobs

Please directly contact the employer if you have any further questions.

To anyone of interest, please circulate the following job vacancies:

Economic Empowerement Manager.doc