Archive for December 31, 2011

Nigerian Fake Pastors and Church Businesses Exposed- Video

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

Nigerian Fake Pastors and Church Businesses Exposed- Video

Miracles, expensive cars, exorcisms and bodyguards: religion is big business in Nigeria. Reporter Seyi Rhodes and director Matt Haan travel to Lagos to reveal the extraordinary world of the millionaire preachers. Watch the 23 mins video for shocking revelation.

Watch the video or you may read the video transcripts below.

By promoting the dream of escaping poverty, they have turned their churches into corporations, which are changing the face of Christianity.

Every Sunday millions of Nigerians crowd into thousands of competing churches. The team visits one church in Lagos run by Dr Sign Fireman, an up-and-coming preacher who is attempting to break into the big time.

They find 2000 people at an event billed as the Burial of Satan. After a rock star entrance, Dr Fireman begins his service by exorcising the demons in his congregation.

Many Nigerian Pentecostal Christians believe that demons are the root cause of their problems in life and come to people like Dr Fireman to get rid of them. Over 20 men and women, including some who worked for Dr Fireman, have the evil spirits inside them expelled.

Sick members of the congregation come forward for miracle healing. Dr Fireman claims to have God-given powers that can change people’s lives, from raising people from the dead to curing earache. One man tells the crowd he is crippled and blind. Dr Fireman then channels his powers to help the man walk and see again. Yet, earlier the team has seen the man walking unaided.

At the close of the event the crowd swarms forward and throws money at Dr Fireman’s feet. There is so much cash it has to be collected in dustbins. Rhodes talks to one worshipper who says that those who give money are repaid by God with good fortune.

Some Nigerian Pentecostal Christians believe giving 10 per cent of their income will bring God’s blessing into their lives, their families and their businesses. With the service over, Dr Fireman leaves in his yellow Hummer 4×4.

Through the marketing of his talents, Dr Fireman has expanded his Perfect Christianity Ministry to 40 branches. Key to this growth is the emphasis on prosperity preaching: teaching that prosperity is a sign of spiritual blessing. The idea is that to become rich, you should give money to the church.

Pentecostal and independent churches in Nigeria tap into the Nigerian dream: the aspiration of having and being seen to have cars, houses, money and power. To get more people to join his church, Dr Fireman believes portraying the right image is essential and shows the trappings of wealth his church has brought him. He travels everywhere with his bodyguards in one of his three yellow luxury cars with a combined worth of more than £150,000.

Dr Fireman’s business model is not a new one. Most of the richest pastors in Nigeria use similar methods of expansion. The team meets Pastor Chris Okotie, the fifth richest pastor in the country, who had hits in the 80s with records such as Secret Love and Show Me Your Backside.

His church, House of God, attracts Nigerian film stars, celebrities and musicians. Pastor Okotie has used his power base to run for the last three presidential elections, believing the principles of prosperity preaching will provide a better future for Nigeria.

Local journalist Simon Ateba says it’s almost impossible to establish their true wealth. Simon takes the team to the headquarters of Christ Embassy. He claims that two years ago when he tried to take photographs of the building, security guards dragged him inside and beat him until he fainted. Soon after he tells this story, security guards drag Rhodes into the building by his belt. He escapes unscathed.

The team visits Dr Fireman. He’s busy in a music studio recording a new song as he expands his business into the music industry. Rhodes asks him how he can square his wealth and celebrity status with the teachings and life of Jesus.

Dr Fireman says that God wants him to be rich and denies that Jesus had a humble life. ‘Jesus was rich and had an accountant who followed him around,’ he tells Rhodes.

Year in Review: The Top 10 South Sudanese News of 2011.

Posted: December 31, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Commentary

By The Editorial: 

While much of Asia, Australia, Africa and Europe have already ushered in the New Year 2012; from North America though, it is still about several hours away to the arrival of 2012. And so, in memory of 2011—the year of South Sudan’s independence, we have decided to take a voyage, news-wise, back to the beginning of 2011.  Whereas the year 2011 may have been unkind to some individual South Sudanese people, it is still, however, the overall best year nationally because it marked the birth of a nation of South Sudan. Below are our editorial board top 10 picks for the year 2011 as reported by various news media.

  1.   The Independence of South Sudan, July 9, 2011
  2.  South Sudan admission into the U.N. as the 193rd member
  3.  The formation of the first government of the Republic of South Sudan, August 26, 2011
  4.  The Death of George Athor Deng, December 20, 2011
  5. The Return of Dr. Lam Akol to South Sudan
  6. The Dinka-Murle-Nuer Tribal warrings
  7. The South Sudan Investment Conference in Washington DC, December 13, 2011
  8. President Kiir’s daughter marriage to Ethiopian man
  9. Dr. Machar apology for the Bor massacre, August 28, 2011

       10. The Proposed relocation of South Sudan capital from Juba to Ramciel, September 3, 2011.

Runner up

  1.  The Founding of PaanLuel Wel: South Sudanese Blogger
  2. Release of Wikileak Cache on South Sudan, September, 2011

Please let us know your picks too!

We wish you a Happy Prosperous New Year 2012!!! We do hope that you will still sojourney with us in the new year, here at the South Sudanese Bloggers’ Platform.

Happy New Year 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sudanese Celebrate Independence Day for the First Time Free of South Sudan …

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

New rebel group established in South Sudan calls for confederation with north

Sudan Tribune
December 30, 2011 (JUBA) – A new rebel group by the name of South Sudan People Liberation Movement and South Sudan People Liberation Army (SSPLM/SSPLA) announced its formation this week to fight what they describe as “marginalization”. 

Sudan military helicopter crashes, killing 6: army
Reuters Africa
Sudan’s armed forces are fighting insurgents south of North Kordofan, near the volatile border withSouth Sudan, and rebels from the western Darfur region say they have carried out attacks in North Kordofan, but there was no indication the helicopter 

Sudanese Celebrate Independence Day for the First Time Free of South Sudan 
Sudan Vision
Abdul Aziz Badr, steward, said that South Sudan is part of the Sudan for the social and economic ties and that he felt regret for separation because it went with the great wealth in favor of the South, and that the two countries have to cooperate in,41143

BREAKING NEWS: Lou-Nuer armed youth enter Pibor town

December 31, 2011 (JUBA) — Armed members of the Lou-Nuer ethnic group today attacked Pibor town, home of the Murle tribe, in defiance of efforts by senior politicians to diffuse tension in Jonglei state’s Pibor county.

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Lou Nuer youth listen to VP Riek Machar at Linkuangole on Wednesday Dec. 28, 2011

Vice President, Riek Machar, and other senior members of the South Sudanese government met with the leaders of both groups this week to try and prevent further violence.

Around 3,000 youth entered Pibor town today setting fire to houses, according to acting Pibor county commissioner Allan Keriri.

Eyewitnesses told Sudan Tribune that the Luo-Nuer youth control most of the town including the airport. They have made the main county hospital their base inside the town.

Machar, was still in the previously captured Likwangole town trying to negotiate with the Luo-Nuer youth by phone when the attack occurred.

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Lou Nuer youth listen to VP Riek Machar at Linkuangole on Wednesday Dec. 28, 2011

The youth who entered the town at around 3pm said they will continue to capture other Murle areas in search of 180 Luo-Nuer children they claim the Murle abducted in August.

The Luo-Nuer say there offensive is in response to an attack in August, blaimed on the Murle, in which more than 700 of their members, mostly women and children, by armed youth from the Murle community in a village called Pieri in August.

This year over 1,000 people have died in Jonglei state in reciprocal attacks, which began as cattle raids but have escalated into retaliatory violence along ethnic lines.

More to follow…


Apple’s Jonathan Ive gets knighthood in honours list

Posted: December 31, 2011 by nyanyung in World

Jonathan Ive
Mr Ive has been behind many of the iconic gadgets of the last 15 years

Jonathan Ive, Apple’s head of design, has been awarded a knighthood in the New Year Honours list.

Mr Ive, who can now style himself Sir Jonathan, has been made a Knight Commander of the British Empire (KBE).

Raised in Chingford, Mr Ive began working for Apple in 1992 and since then has been the brains behind many of its products.

He described the honour as “absolutely thrilling” and said he was “both humbled and sincerely grateful”.

Mr Ive added: “I am keenly aware that I benefit from a wonderful tradition in the UK of designing and making.

“I discovered at an early age that all I’ve ever wanted to do is design.”

Team work

Mr Ive has been lauded for the tight fit between form and function seen in Apple gadgets such as the iPod and iPhone.

Born in February 1967, Mr Ive inherited a love of making things from his father, a silversmith, and reportedly spent much of his youth taking things apart to see how they worked.

From the age of 14, he said, he knew he was interested in drawing and making “stuff” and this led him to Northumbria Polytechnic – now Northumbria University – where he studied industrial design.

On graduation he started work as a commercial designer and then, with three friends, founded a design agency called Tangerine.

One of the clients for the agency was Apple which was so impressed with the work he did on a prototype notebook that it offered him a full-time job.

Mr Ive was apparently frustrated during his early years at Apple as the company was then suffering a decline. Everything changed, however, in 1995 when Steve Jobs returned to the company he helped found.

“He has a very determined sense of getting things right” Deyan Sudjic Design Museum

“What’s made him so outstandingly successful is the relationship he’s had with Steve Jobs and Apple,” said Deyan Sudjic, director of The Design Museum.

“He’s been working there for 19 years and has built up the kind of relationship that’s very rare.”

Mr Jobs described Mr Ive as his “spiritual partner” in the recent biography of the Apple co-founder written by Walter Isaacson. However, it also said that Mr Ive was “hurt” by Mr Jobs taking credit for innovations that came from the design team.

Mr Ive’s eye for design combined effectively with Mr Jobs’ legendary attention to detail and the products that have emerged from the company since the late 1990s have turned Apple into the biggest and most influential technology company on the planet.

Mr Sudjic said Mr Ive’s talent was to help people stop worrying about technology and just get on with using it.

There have been some mis-steps along the way. Most recently, Apple’s iPhone 4 was criticised because many people said signal strength dropped when their hand touched the phone’s metal case. This was thought to be because the antenna for the handset formed part of the device’s metal shell.

In contrast to many other design celebrities, said Mr Sudjic, Mr Ive had not cashed in on his fame but had let what he and his team created speak for itself.

Mr Sudjic said: “He has a very determined sense of getting things right.”

The knighthood is the second time Mr Ive has been recognised in the honour’s list. In 2005 he was made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE).

By Richard Dawkins

Afterword by Richard Dawkins.pdf Afterword by Richard Dawkins.pdf
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Nothing expands the mind like the expanding universe. The music of the spheres is a nursery rhyme, a jingle to set against the majestic chords of the Symphonie Galactica. Changing the metaphor and the dimension, the dusts of centuries, the mists of what we presume to call “ancient” history, are soon blown off by the steady, eroding winds of geological ages. Even the age of the universe, accurate—so Lawrence Krauss assures us—to the fourth signi!cant !gure at 13.72 billion years, is dwarfed by the trillennia that are to come.

But Krauss’s vision of the cosmology of the remote future is paradoxical and frightening. Scienti!c progress is likely to go into reverse. We naturally think that, if there are cosmologists in the year 2 trillion “#, their vision of the universe will be expanded over ours. Not so—and this is one of the many shattering conclusions I take away on closing this book. Give or take a few billion years, ours is a very propitious time to be a cosmologist. Two trillion years hence, the universe will have expanded so far that all galaxies but the cosmologist’s own (whichever one it happens to be) will have receded behind an Einsteinian horizon so absolute, so inviolable, that they are not only invisible but beyond all possibility of leaving a trace, however indirect. They might as well never have existed. Every trace of the Big Bang will most likely have gone, forever and beyond recovery. The cosmologists of the future will be cut off from their past, and from their situation, in a way that we are not……………………………………..
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December 31, 2011 (JUBA) –South Sudan’s Vice President, Riek Machar, has called on Lou-Nuer youth to implement the verbal agreement he reached with them on Wednesday 28th December 2011 and withdraw back to the Nuer territory. Machar warned them not to advance towards Pibor county headquarters of the Murle community.

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Vice President, Riek Machar, tells Lou-Nuer youth to withdraw from Linkwangale, Dec. 28, 2011 (ST)

Earlier this week, several thousands of armed Lou-Nuer youth marched onto Murle land and captured a strategic payam called Likwangole, which is about 25 kilometers from the county headquarters. The youth announced that they would continue to capture Pibor headquarters and other payams and villages until the Murle community was completely “liberated and disarmed”.

The group claimed that they were carrying out a revenge attack for the killing of more than 700 of their members, mostly women and children, by armed youth from the Murle community in a village called Pieriin August. According to officials this was the first major surprise attack since independence in July this year.

According to the Vice President’s Press Secretary, James Gatdet Dak, who accompanied the Vice President to Pibor county, Machar flew to the isolated payam of Likwangole on Wednesday to try to convince the Lou-Nuer youth to withdraw and move back to their territory.

The youth, who at first refused to meet with Machar, finally agreed to withdraw on the condition that their wounded were evacuated first, before they withdrew to the Lou-Nuer area.

The wounded were evacuated on Thursday and on Friday the Lou-Nuer youth informed the Vice President, who was spending the night with them, that they were withdrawing to Lou-Nuer. However instead of withdrawing they diverted their route towards the Pibor county headquarters.

The Governor of Jonglei State, Kuol Manyang Juuk, told the BBC on Friday that the youth were now demanding that the Lou-Nuer women and children who had been abducted must be handed over by the Murle community before they would stop their attacks.

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said that they had intercepted about six thousand armed Lou-Nuer youth moving toward Pibor county headquarters on Friday burning villages and taking cattle on the way.

According to the UN report, tens of thousands of civilians had already fled from Pibor town on Friday, into the bush in fear of imminent attack. UNMISS has already deployed a battalion of its troops in Pibor town to protect the civilians, in addition to the SPLA forces on the ground.

The Jonglei State Governor warned that the deployed UN forces were insufficient and would not be able to contain the situation or stop the marching Lou-Nuer youth from attacking the town.

On Friday, the Vice President, Machar, who is still in the affected Murle area of Likwangole, continued to try to stop the youth from further movement into the interior of the Murle land.

On Friday he spoke on the phone with the leader of the Lou-Nuer youth, Bor Doang, who assured the Vice President that he would order his group to stop advancing toward Pibor town and return back to Lou-Nuer.

However it is not yet clear whether or not the youth leader will hold true to his word, despite the fact that the attack on Pibor town did not occur as feared on Friday.


FAREWEL, DEAR DR KHALIL by Edward Abyei Lino

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

Edward Abyei Lino

The news that discontinued the flow of the joyous atmosphere of our first Christmas to celebrate after our independence was the unpleasant news about the assassination of Dr Khalil Ibrahim! It was so detestable like putting salt in our tea. Indeed, it was so shocking for it is too early for the man to depart in that most crewel way, at the time in which everything was prepared and moving smoothly to bell that most inhuman cat called al-Bashier. He must have shouted very high and loud, enchanting “Allahu Akbar! Alhamdu lil-Lah” for receiving the news about the savage murder of one of his closest in-laws, Dr Khalil!
The two people the Islamic fundamentalists feared most were Dr John Garang and Dr Khalil Ibrahim, because the Islamists do not fear God in all their dealings. They much dreaded Dr John when he advanced towards Kassala heading to Khartoum. And they feared Dr Khalil when he reached Omdurman and did what he wanted for more than three hours without any confrontation, sending a big guy like Dr Naafe Ali Naafe panicking rushing to airport and Salah Gosh in his civil clothes at the verge of abandoning Khartoum for good, as they shall soon panic the very day Abdel-Aziz Adam al-Hilu and Malik Agaar Ire shall move from different directions to that Islamists infested city, Khartoum. Nothing shall salvage them from their ultimate doom, whether they claim to have assassinated Dr Khalil Ibrahim or choose to celebrate the murder of Daud Bolad and the air crush of Dr John Garang openly or in privacy.
That soothsayer called al-Sawarmi Khalid, a Colonel in that Sudan army, tried his best to concoct a story that Dr Khalil was hit during the battle with their forces at Wadbanda and quoted other skirmishes somewhere around Nuhud on his way to the east, which he forged to be on his way to South Sudan to get organized! The truth is Dr Khalil was bombed with his two bodyguards far away from where Col al-Sawarmi indicated to have been gunned down in the battle. He added South Sudan simply, because they still panic from the days of war when al-Sawarmi was a junior officer with a pip on his shivering shoulders, the way cocks fear kites right from the time they were chicks. From where they reported the war to have taken place in western part of North Kordufan to South Sudan and from there to Khartoum where their enemy abides, are almost the same.

But habitually, they would always add South Sudan to be the cause of their woes beside America, Israel, Western World and Churches like dictated by their inherent Islamic fundamentalist culture of fear!
However, the Sudanese army as we know them have no capability what-so-ever to under-take such a complicated electronic war-fare. What they know is how to spray poisonous gases left-over from the days of Saddam Hussein on our poor civilians; raping, pillaging and burning villages like dictated by ‘jihad’! What the Sudan military spokesman attempted to do was to claim what happened to be of their making, while Israel operates freely these days killing elements of Hamas along Red Sea State. The truth is: Dr Khalil was assassinated somewhere far in the Sahara Desert along Wadi-Hawar, where his Thuraya phone was picked by an advanced high altitude surveillance plane which targeted him with two body-guards near the Libyan-Chadian boarders, without suggesting the involvement of any of the two countries and without negating the probability of having crossed through any one of them.
Of course, of late the Dar-Furi Problem has reached sensitive proportions with the involvement of Libya under an outgoing Moamer al-Ghaddafi and Qatar, involved in the fight against Gaddafi. Given the manner in which Dr Khalil Ibrahim turned his back at Doha Peace Talks, which he refused to sign, leading to the loss of President Debbi’s open support to him and his subsequent stay under close surveillance in Libya under the eyes of Col. Moamer al-Gaddafi, many cooks arose to prepare what could kill him. It was during the civil war in Libya in which the Sudan Military Intelligence and National Security Service did their level best to trap and kill him during the turmoil, but they utterly failed to reach him.
To hunt or trap a seasoned guerrilla leader like Dr Khalil like a fish in the ocean, was not that simple game to be under-taken by a wanted criminal like Omer al-Bashier, a confused simpleton like Col. al-Sawarmi Khalid, a Mongolian nut alike Abdel-Rahim Hussein or a non-intellectual killer like Mohammed Atta. That endeavour entails more intellectual readiness to under-take it. They even claimed to have poisoned Dr Khalil Ibrahim with six of his aides when he was in Tripoli during the war, which came to be the cheapest propaganda ever made by a desperado. Eventually that saga was crowned by Dr Khalil’s most triumphant return to his motherland with a mountain of lethal means like a determined fighting Leader, which shall quieten Khartoum in a few months to come.
Yes, indeed, many of us might have rightly or wrongly differed with the ideological direction which Dr Khalil cherished for long. But for sure, we all stand to admire the man who kept his position very clear specially, when he returned from Doha and Libya. Foremost, Dr Khalil refused to be directed by Arab chauvinism and refused to embrace Islamist pretence as an African man whose marriage was concluded in the court to one of the daughters of a close relative to al-Bashier himself, who stood against the marriage because he considered it to be haram since he, Omer al-Bashier, considers Dr Khalil to be a “slave” like any black African person, in spite of the fact that Dr Khalil was a very devoted Muslim and they were both members of the same Islamic party which took Dr Khalil Ibrahim to fight a ‘jihadist war’ in Southern Sudan.

Dr Khalil stood firm against being taken like an obedient slave, and so are almost all the Dar-Furians.
Before his great march to Khartoum, Dr Khalil declared for the first time that he would firmly abide by what the people want. He promised to stand firm for the liberation of the marginalized people of Sudan. He promised to stand for democracy like desired by every Sudanese person. So he stood until his death for justice and equality of the Sudanese people. After his return from Libya Dr Khalil had no master in Khartoum to whom power should be delivered. He was a free man struggling for peace and freedom. That stand sent a shocking wave to Khartoum, as they saw their doom coming, firmly mounted on many a Landcruiser!
History shall record that the Arab Islamists in the Sudan premeditatedly murdered Sultan Ali Dinar in 1916, Commander Daud Yahya Bolad in 1991 and Dr Khalil Ibrahim in 2011 almost with the same degree of brutality, in order to subdue Dar-Fur! Sultan Ali Dinar was murdered by the British, but the fellow who shot the bullets which killed him was a Sudanese national serving in the colonial army as a sergeant and who happened to be the grandfather of Ali Osman Mohammed Taha. Comrade Bolad was betrayed and offered by a traitor, Ja’far Abdel-Hakam his maternal uncle to Atheyib Mohamed Kheir ‘Siekha’ who murdered him and burnt him as an apostate, as he believes, in order not to let him to be buried in his motherland. And here today comes the news of the assassination of Dr Khalil Ibrahim in the same sad sequence. I strongly believe this should remain a lesson to every son and daughter of Dar-Fur in the leadership of his or her people. It is either one becomes like Kibir to live lavishly beyond your means in the slave market selling your people or live with your people like Dr Khalil or Bolad in the battlefield.
Big shame on every daughter and son of Dar-Fur, if they happened to turn their backs against the words of Comrade Daud Bolad to Dr John Garang in Nzara in 1990; when he was asked by Dr Garang as to why he wanted to join the SPLM-SPLA being a well known Islamic fundamentalist leader. Comrade Yahya Bolad replied him that in the end of the day he discovered that “blood was thicker than religion”! And immediately all what he said was accepted and he was welcomed into the Movement. I appeal to those who are fond of splitting unity of our people in Dar-Fur to stop that nasty game. Time has come for any one of you to keep united to fulfil the will of your martyrs and peace-loving people of Dar-Fur. However, sometimes the fall of such a calamity would bacon us to return to our roots to resolve all the problems.
May the Almighty God bless Dr Khalil and rest his justice and equality seeking soul right in Heaven. I sincerely send my condolences to all his colleagues in the field and hail them to continue the march. My heart-felt sympathies to every member of his small and large families and to those who were dispersed by the police with live bullets wherever his funeral. Dr Khalil Ibrahim led a life of a formidable and determined freedom fighter and so shall his memory live in the annals of history, for the great do not die the way we simply die, unless with the withering of their revolutionary ideas and deeds. Dr Khalil Oyeee!! Dar-Fur Oyeee!! New Sudan Oyeeee!!!

U.N. deploys peacekeepers to protect South Sudan town facing attack

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

A worker lays out bags of grain at the Doro refugee camp about 26 miles from the border in South Sudan's Upper Nile state.

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 1:15 AM EST, Sat December 31, 2011
A worker lays out bags of grain at the Doro refugee camp about 26 miles from the border in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state.
  • Tensions in South Sudan’s Jonglei state are inflamed by tribal fights over grazing lands
  • About 6,000 armed tribesmen are marching on the town of Pibor, a U.N. official says
  • The U.N. has deployed a battalion of peacekeepers to the town, the official says

(CNN) — The United Nations is deploying peacekeeping troops to the remote town of Pibor in South Sudan, saying it faces an imminent attack by thousands of fighters engaged in ethnic clashes in the war-torn region.

Ethnic tensions in the South Sudan state of Jonglei have been inflamed by tribes fighting over grazing lands and water rights — disagreements that have dissolved into a number of cattle raids during which women and children were abducted.

About 6,000 members of the Lou Nuer tribe are marching on Pibor, home to the Murle tribe, said Lise Grande, the U.N. deputy humanitarian coordinator for South Sudan. An advance group of about 500 fighters have taken up positions outside the town, she said Friday.

“We deemed that there was a very serious risk to civilians (and) in support of the government of South Sudan’s primary responsibility to protect civilians, we have gone ahead and deployed a battalion-size force in Pibor with the aim of deterring violence and helping the government to protect its own people,” she said.

The deployment of peacekeeping troops follows reports earlier this week that Lou Nuer fighters raided the town of Lukangol, burning it to the ground and forcing thousands to flee toward Pibor.

“We are so alarmed by the situation that during the course of the afternoon we have reinforced our positions in Pibor,” Grande said.

She said the deployment of peacekeepers was to support Sudan’s army, which has also taken up in the town.

South Sudan’s vice president, Riek Machar, is leading an initiative to bridge the differences between the Lou Nuer and Murle tribes, including encouraging the armed groups to disband and go home, Grande said.

The violence in Jonglei state is the latest to rock South Sudan, which officially gained its statehood in July after separating from the north.

Fighting erupted between Sudan’s army and South Sudan rebels in Southern Kordofan even before independence was formalized. The violence has since spread to other areas.

Within a few months, refugee camps filled as fighting in the border states of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile intensified, displacing an estimated 400,000 people, according to the United Nations and aid agencies, such as Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF) or Doctors Without Borders.

Read more about fleeing Sudanese filling refugee camps

That, in addition to the crisis in the Darfur region — where war broke out in 2003 — qualifies Sudan as one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises, according to the United Nations.

Nelson Mandela
Former President Mandela was in Qunu, the village where he grew up, when the false story spread

A South African newspaper has apologised after tweeting an inaccurate report that former President Nelson Mandela had been hospitalised.

The Times had sourced the story from another account which appears to belong to a Johannesburg-based radio DJ. The paper has 30,000 Twitter followers.

The news was later denied by the Presidency.

Experts say the affair highlights the dangers of journalists tweeting about unsubstantiated stories.

Mr Mandela was elected South Africa’s first black president in 1994. He stepped down five years later. He was treated for a respiratory infection earlier this year.

Tweet trail

The Times’s original tweet said: “Former president Nelson Mandela is in hospital, according to reports. Watch this space for more information.”

The news was rapidly retweeted by other members of the social network. However one wrote: “Wow @TimesLIVE how can you tweet that Mandela snippet when the info is NOT verified?? Irresponsible!!”

The newspaper replied: “A reporter has received a call and we are in the process of confirming.”

Shortly after it added: “Mandela is not in hospital. We apologise for following up an incorrect lead.”

It went on to tweet that the former President was “fine and resting in Qunu”.

After the BBC called the Times’ offices, the newspaper deleted the original tweet.

Old footage

The paper apparently picked up on the story from another account, which it believed belonged to Kaya FM breakfast show host Bob Mabena.

@bob959 had tweeted, “Breaking news – Nelson Mandela is in hospital” earlier that morning.

He later corrected himself writing: “Was called in studio 2 watch eNews. Saw live visuals & tweeted. Stupid mistake. Shud’ve confirmed. Apologies.”

The message referred to an end-of-year review shown on the channel Eyewitness News which contained footage of Mr Mandela being taken to hospital in January.

A later message posted to the account said: “Learned a very hard & heart stopping lesson.”

Mr Mabena could not be reached to confirm that he had sent the messages. Kaya FM’s news team said it had been unable to contact Mr Mabena following the report.

After several journalists called President Zuma’s office a spokesman released a statement.

“The presidency has received calls from the media enquiring about Madiba’s health,” it said. In South Africa, Mr Mandela is often referred to by his clan’s name, Madiba.

“It appears that an end of year review done by a media house may have unfortunately triggered a rumour of ill-health.”

Death hoaxes

This is not the first untrue story about the former president’s health to spread through the internet.

In January one user tweeted “RIP Nelson Mandela” which was forwarded by others, causing the phrase to trend worldwide. A second set of rumours was denied in September.

Over recent weeks the singers Lady Gaga, Lil Wayne and Jon Bon Jovi have all suffered similar hoaxes. Mr Bon Jovi even posted a picture to prove he was still alive.

News organisations have also become embroiled in hoaxes. A tweet from Fox’s foxnewspolitics account claimed President Obama had been assassinated on 4 July. The organisation said the account had been hacked.

Last year CNN was forced to deny that Morgan Freeman was dead after a Twitter member created a fake retweet that went viral which had said: “RT @CNN: Breaking News: actor Morgan has passed away in his Burbank home.”

Accuracy versus speed

Jon Bon Jovi Jon Bon Jovi uploaded a photo to prove reports of his death were false

However, there have been several cases where journalists have been criticised for giving unverified reports credibility by tweeting them themselves.

In November a series of tweets appeared claiming that “Tiger” Tim Stevens, a DJ at the Glasgow-based station Radio Clyde had died. The messages were spread by journalists and friends who believed them to be true. Several stated that the story had not been confirmed.

The event led to a debate in the local media about whether members of the media industry should be more careful about passing on unchecked stories.

“Twitter reminds us of the difference between professional journalism and the thing that people call citizen journalism,” said Tim Luckhurst, professor of journalism at the university of Kent and the former editor of the Scotsman newspaper.

“A professional journalist is a reporter who checks facts accurately and reports only what he or she knows to be true.

“Journalists have been tempted to use social media to break stories quickly, but journalists should always remember that accuracy is at least as important, if not more important, than speed.

“The reason that people turn to professional journalists for information on which they can rely is because they believe that professional journalists check that the information they are reporting is accurate.”