Archive for January 8, 2012

January 8, 2012 (BOR) – Conflict between the Murle and Luo Nuer tribes in South Sudan’s Jonglei State continued on Sunday with the Murle accused of carrying out a revenge attack on Akobo County.

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Nuer raiders set fire to houses and took cattle during the attack. (BBC)

Heavy fighting has killed as many as 60 people sources in the area, including the, Akobo commissioner Goi Joyol, told Sudan Tribune.

The attack on Luo Nuer territory appears to be response to a Luo Nuer offensive into Murle territory in Pibor County that displaced up to 100,000 and killed many.

The Pibor County Commissioner, Joshua Konyi, estimates that over 3,000 people were killed in the assault which lasted for two weeks from 23 December until early January, when the army deployed thousands of extra troops to the area.

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Murle displaced people sit under a tree guarded by the SPLA in Pibor County, Jonglei, South Sudan. Jan. 6, 2012 (ST)

From June 2011 until the December violent counter attacks and cattle raids between the two groups had killed 1,000. The Pibor Commissioner says over 80,000 cattle were stolen in the latest raid. Cattle are a sign of status and used to pay bride price in South Sudan.

South Sudanese citizens are still highly armed as a hangover from decades of conflict and various rebellions in the region.

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A Murle woman with two of her children on her back returns to Pibor after fleeing the town. Pibor County, Jonglei, South Sudan. Jan. 6, 2012 (ST)

Disarming civilians and resolving local conflicts over resources are among the many challenges that South Sudan faces after it seceded from north Sudan in July 2011 as part of 2005 peace deal.

A resident of Akobo town toldSudan Tribune by phone that the attackers are advancing toward the county headquarters and are setting houses on fire.

South Sudan Red Cross director in Jonglei state, David Gai, said his volunteers are helping the wounded people.


Humanitarian agencies are mounting a major emergency operation in Jonglei state with the South Sudanese government declaring it a disaster zone.

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Displaced Murle citizens return to Pibor town after the Luo Nuer offensive. Pibor County, Jonglei, South Sudan. Jan. 6, 2012 (ST)

Humanitarian agencies estimate that up to 100,000 people have been displaced by the violence. Most of those who need assistance have been hiding in the bush for up to two weeks, in many cases without food, clean water or shelter.

Preliminary results of assessments in hard-hit areas indicate that the most urgent needs include high-nutritional food, clean water, health care and shelter.

The United Nations (UN) Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, Lise Grande, said in a statement on Saturday that the “emergency operation is going to be one of the most complex and expensive in South Sudan since the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed in 2005. With the exception of Boma, the areas we need to access are extremely remote and can only be reached by air”.

The most recent spike in inter-communal violence has compounded an already difficult humanitarian situation in South Sudan. In 2011 more than 350,000 people had been displaced by rebellions against the government, cattle raids and revenge attacks, according to reports by local authorities and assessment teams.

On Tuesday Grande said the death toll could be anywhere from dozens to hundreds.

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Thousands have been displaced in fighting between the Nuer and Murle (BBC)

The UN’s World Food Program says it has delivered emergency rations to feed 1,000 people in Pibor for two weeks, and expects to reach 7,000 more people in the coming days. It has also distributed food packages for 2,000 internally displaced people at Boma.

On Thursday, Herve Ladsous, the undersecretary-general for peacekeeping operations, called the situation in Jonglei “a very serious crisis”.

“I think the problem we face in this particular region of Jonglei state is one of access, because there are no roads and we have insufficient helicopters,” he told reporters following his address to the Security Council. He said the UN had reinforced its staff in the area and that the South Sudanese government should try to do the same.


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Data on Jonglei clashes provided by Pibor County commissioner clashes on Jan 6. 2012 (ST),41226

US Lifting of Restriction on Arms Sales to South Sudan Unfortunate, Official
Sudan Vision
Khartoum – Ruling National Congress Party (NCP) described Sunday the US Administration decision to lift US restrictions on defense sales to the newly-born state in South Sudan as unfortunate and improper. NCP Political Sector Chairman, 

South Sudan MP family fight in-laws injuring four
Sudan Tribune
January 8, 2012 (RUMBEK) – A gunfight between the family of a South Sudanese MP and another family in Rumbek on Sunday wounded four people, which was halted when Lakes State’s military police intervened. The sons of Daniel Deng Monydit, 
US Eyes Arms Sales to South Sudan
 2012 The long-time paramilitary group the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) is excited this weekend at the prospect of acquiring massive amounts of new weapons amid the news that President Obama has decided to sell US arms to South Sudan

UN refugee chief: ‘Stand by South Sudan
CNN International
By the CNN Wire Staff (CNN) — South Sudan is facing a “huge humanitarian crisis” that requires support from the international community, the United Nations’ refugee chief said Sunday. Nearly 80000 refugees have entered the nation from neighboring 

Trinity Lutheran members to travel to Sudan
Marshalltown Times Republican
By MIKE DONAHEY – Staff Writer ( , Times-Republican The decision was whether to proceed with a two week mission trip in February to Old Fangkak, a village in South Sudan. The members voted affirmatively “and the trip is on 

In a Fledgling Country, Perils for the Press
New York Times
In a thatched hut in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, about 10 young men and women sat on lawn chairs made of brown plastic. They loudly typed on the computer keyboards on the tables in front of them. Two fans were blowing heavily. 

Youth Empowering Societies through Service (YESS): Happy New Year from YESS

Posted: January 8, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan


January 4, 2012

Dear Friends,

Youth Empowering Societies through Service are overjoyed about all the great works which have taken place this past year, especially the formation of our new nation the Republic of South Sudan (RSS). In 2011 we carved out our mission to encourage, foster, and sponsor the Southern Sudanese youth in the United States to empower our communities, while upholding our presence in South Sudan nation building. YESS aspires for Southern Sudanese youth to be committed to volunteerism that is grounded on service.

We are proud to announce the many platforms in which we have had the privilege of impacting our community in 2011. YESS youth have participated in numerous rallies: Hope for Abyei Rally, in Washington, DC at Capitol Hill, Demonstration in front of the Sudan Embassy presented by Abyei Solidarity, and Republic of South Sudan Rally in Austin, Texas. Along with Southern Sudan Project, we hosted a Sudanese Marginalized Conference and a Youth Leadership workshop at Virginia Commonwealth University. At the end of 2011 we were honored to be present in welcoming our President H. E. Gen. Silva Kiir Mayardit to the United States of America prior to the International Engagement Conference for South Sudan. The G-Dinkas of the Lost Boys and Lost Girls Production; petitioned during their special presentation on behalf of YESS for the South Sudanese Youth in the United States


In 2012 we are looking forward to developing our organization by strengthening our efforts in serving our communities. YESS is committed to inspire and foster the growth of our youth, while also challenging our government to provision South Sudanese youth’s presence in nation building. At this time, South Sudan is experiencing countless acts of mayhem, which has displaced as many as 400,000 thousand and threatens many more lives. An eminent food shortage is looming over the nation and the call for help must be answered for the sake of humanity. In this New Year, help us plant the seeds of prosperity as we commit to save lives in our beloved South Sudan.

We are continually forging new relationships with other non-profit organizations, NGOs, humanitarian organizations, businesses, corporations, as well as devoted individuals who are passionate in giving back to the world community. Thank you for the immeasurable ways in which you have supported us this past year. We are grateful for our relationship and will continue to nurture it. We grow and prosper only because we found some great friends like you who give us loyal support along the way; remember that supporting one another is like ‘a gift that keeps on giving’.

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”

Harriet Tubman


Youth Empowering Societies through Service Team

How Well Did South Sudan Prepare for Independence from Khartoum?

Posted: January 8, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

How well did South Sudan prepare for independence from Khartoum?

East African
By RICHARD DOWDEN (email the author) Although I had been to Southern Sudan many times during the civil war, I tried to come to the new state of South Sudan with an open mind and a simple question. Having become independent some 50 years after most 

South Sudan’s cattle war displaces thousands
JUBA — Aid groups are mounting a “major emergency operation” in rural South Sudan after tribe-on-tribe violence sent tens of thousands fleeing and killed an unknown number of people, the United Nations said. The UN’s humanitarian co-ordinator in South 

China’s role in North-South Sudan relations
Sudan Tribune
By Mariar Wuoi January 7, 2012 — The governments of South Sudan and Sudan have some unresolved issues left over from divorce that was finalised in July. From border demarcation to oil resources, one would expect South Sudan and Sudan to be at each 

South Sudan quieter, but human needs high
Disputes over who owns grazing land and accusations of cattle rustling resulted in armed conflict in Pibor, South Sudan in recent days. Casualties were few because people fled the community before the attacks, according to the United Nations, 

Cycle of ethnic violence in South Sudanese state must end, UN envoy says
UN News Centre
The “cycle of violence” between ethnic communities in Jonglei state in South Sudanmust end, the top United Nations official in the newly independent country has warned, calling on the Government, church leaders, civil society groups and the 

How an alleged gun drama between Deputy Chief Justice of Kenya, Nancy Baraza, and a female security guard, Rebecca Kerubo, is a classic case study of the proverbial wisdom of “Pride comes before the fall”.

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By PaanLuel Wël, Washington DC, USA.

I was born in South Sudan, raised in Kenya, and currently schooling in the US. Naturally, anything of interest happening in these three countries does arouse my curiosity and pique my imagination. One such typical incident occurred about a week ago in Nairobi, Kenya, as Lady Nancy Baraza, the newly appointed Deputy Chief Justice (DCJ) of Kenya, was fetching some drug from the Village Market shopping mall — in the upmarket Gigiri area in Nairobi.

But as fate would have it, that decision by DCJ Nancy Baraza to procure some drug from that particular store on that particular day at that particular time has become the first sensational landmark events of the year 2012 in Kenya. The “patient” seeking the succor of the medication at the mall ended up in an ugly drama in which she is alleged to have publicly drawn a gun, ready to “finish” the female security guard who had asked her to undergo security check—frisking, just like everybody else entering the mall. The security measures were duly instituted in the wake of terrorism challenge pose by Somali Al-shabaab militants who have recently carried out bombing activities in Kenya.

The reported altercation between Nancy Baraza—the Deputy Chief Justice of Kenya, and Rebecca Kerubo—the female security guard at the mall, has Kenyans glued unto their TV sets every evening. Writing for the, Alex Kiprotich and Kenfrey Kiberenge, in an article entitled Kerubo: My Encpounter with Baraza”report thus:

The saga surrounding an alleged gun drama between Deputy Chief Justice (DCJ) Nancy Baraza and a security guard, Rebecca Kerubo, is shaping up to be a duel of the biblical David versus Goliath.
Justice Baraza has been put in the dock by Ms Kerubo in an incident that has captured the imagination of the nation.
Already, calls for the resignation of Baraza are getting louder by the day, ahead of a crucial emergency meeting convened tomorrow by Chief Justice Dr Willy Mutunga to discuss the matter.
For Kerubo, December 31 is a day she will now never forget.
It all started like a normal day with no notable events but what happened later that day would snowball into one of the most intriguing stories so far this year.
Kerubo left her Sh4,000-a-month, two-roomed house in the peri-urban Gachie after bidding goodbye to her three children and unemployed husband, Morara Ogweche.
In an interview with The Standard On Sunday, under cover of darkness for fear of being monitored, Kerubo said she arrived at work at 8am and took her position at the security desk outside the Nakumatt supermarket at the Village Market shopping mall — in the upmarket Gigiri area in Nairobi. She assumed the day would go as planned – extend up to 1am because of the many people coming for New Year’s shopping – and later join her family before merry-making at dawn.
During the interview heavily punctuated by phrases of mnyonge hana haki (the weak have no rights) and sobs, she says trouble started at around 6pm when “an ordinary shopper” came and insisted on passing without being frisked.
“In such instances, you have your supervisor scolding you for not doing your work. So I stood my grounds,” recalled Kerubo.
At this moment, she claims the shopper pinched her nose telling her “you need to “know people.”
For a moment, Kerubo was shaken but says she did not put up a fight as she did not know who the shopper was. “After she pinched my nose at the security desk, she proceeded to the pharmacy and beckoned me,” she recalled with tears flowing down her cheeks.
Learn to respect people
Kerubo says by then, she assumed the DCJ had calmed down but on reaching where she was, she told her to learn to respect people.
“I told her respect is two way and left the chemist for the security desk where I continued screening customers,” she said.
But this seems to have rubbed Baraza the wrong way. Kerubo alleges on her way out, the DCJ came to her desk and ordered her security detail to shoot her.
“I did not know she had a bodyguard and only realised when she told a man following her closely to shoot me,” she said.
By then, Kerubo said she did not take it seriously and went on with screening clients only to see the lady reappear pointing a pistol at her.
“I knelt down begging her to spare my life. I could not hear what she was saying but as soon as she lowered the gun, I fled to the security office up stairs where I found one of the senior security officers,” she said.
After reporting the incident to her supervisor, Kerubo, whose father was shot dead by unknown assailants as he guarded a Karen home in 2000, requested to be allowed time off as she could not continue with her work.
Recollecting the events of the day, Ogweche said on the evening of December 31, Kerubo returned home earlier than expected.
“Unlike the normal days, she came and did not even greet me and I knew there was a problem as she began to cry,” he said.
He said the following day, after disclosing her tribulations, she refused to go to work but convinced her for the sake of the family.
Since then, the events ensuing events have been intriguing. Kerubo has been shuttling from one Gigiri police station office to another recording statements.
She and her family have also been lured into a reconciliatory meeting with Baraza, which was set for Thursday at their home.
Ogweche says he received a call from a person speaking in Kisii dialect telling him to convene his relatives and wait for Baraza, who was to apologise on Thursday at 9am.
“We waited up to the evening and a woman claiming to be Baraza’s relative appeared,” said Ogweche.
As it seems, the frantic efforts to reconcile the two women – already far apart in the social standing – has only raised temperatures and widened the rift further.
The emissary allegedly sent by the DCJ failed to convince the family after they insisted Baraza herself meets them to apologise.
He added the woman, who did not even provide her name, rang someone whom she said was Baraza and told her not to proceed with the meeting because journalists were in the vicinity.
He said the woman brought them two loaves of bread, three packets of milk, two kilos of sugar, two kilos of rice, three packets of maize flour and four litres of soda.
Kerubo is a casual labourer earning Sh2,400 per week while Baraza enjoys a security of tenure and takes home monthly emoluments of over Sh1 million, all paid by taxpayers.
On the other hand, Kerubo rents a Sh4,000 two-roomed house where she shares with her family of five.
“We just moved from a Sh1,800-a-month one-roomed iron sheet shanty because our family is now big,” said Ogweche.
She said after the incident, she is no longer sure of the future of her job because of fear.
“My husband is a mason and when there is no construction work we all depend on my meagre earnings,” she said.
Ogweche, 38, said he has not known Kerubo to be combative or argumentative in their relationship spanning 17 years – 12 of them as a married couple.
“Everyone needs to be respected in his or her work and it is unfortunate that some people look down upon others. It is even worse when it comes from the custodian of our justice system,” he said.
The family says they are willing to forgive Baraza unconditionally if she offers a genuine apology.
“I am willing to forgive her if she apologises. But if she cannot, she told me we meet in court which is still okay for me,” said Kerubo.

Besides being an archetypal instance of a pride coming before the fall, this alleged gun drama happenstance also touches on the question of (1) the rule of law, especially when it comes to top government officials, (2) the empowerment of women in Africa, and (3) the relationship between the haves and the haves-not, in as far as the former should expect to be treated by the latter in situation in which their roles are reversed.

First and foremost, Lady Nancy Baraza was appointed last year to be the deputy chief justice of Kenya as well as the vice president of the supreme court of Kenya. Her appointment stemmed from two main factors: her reformist credentials that had convinced majority of Kenyans that she would strictly adhere to the rule of law and uphold the constitution plus her being a female to fulfill the constitutional requirement that a third of public appointment must be filled by women. Her selection by the Judicial Services Commission, appointment by President Kibaki and PM Odinga and confirmation by the National Assembly made her the most top ranking woman in Kenya.

But if Baraza’s appointment was to safeguard the constitution, instill the rule of law and to showcase the empowerment of women in a patriarchical society, then her alleged public bearing have fallen short of the mark. Her refusal to have her frisked, her pinching of the security guard’s nose and her drawing of the gun, threating the life of the security guard place there purposely to protect people like her from danger, all smack in the face of the rule of law. As the guardian of the justice system in Kenya, she has set bad example to the nation.

Moreover, she has let down her womenfolk who have long maintain that a society manage by women would be a law-abiding and peaceful one. The sight of a female deputy chief justice of the nation, drawing a gun on unarmed and innocent security guard, is a godsend opportunity for male chauvinists who have been arguing that women are too arrogant to be bestowed with power and trusted with weighty matters touching the nation. In a society deep in ancient myth of women riding on the back of men when they were given leadership position in antiquity, Baraza’s conducts would only confirm the pre-conceived fear of the male chauvinists.

This is principally too bad considering that the root cause of the drama is not necessarily the fact that the security guard ask her to undergo security check, rather, Baraza was incensed by the fact that the security guard failed to recognize her as the Deputy Chief Justice of Kenya to the extent that she subjected her to frisking like a commoner. The security guard sin is her apparent failure to “know people.”

And of course, there is the other side of the haves and the haves-not. While the female security guard is reported to be earning Ksh 2,400 per week, DCJ Baraza earn upto Ksh one million per month. The female security guard live in a two-bed room house with other five members of the family, a rent of Ksh 4,000 per month, while DCJ Baraza live in a mansion, probably all by herself. The stark differences couldn’t be higher. For the Baraza, the idea of submitting to such “wretched” clouded her thinking to pull out a gun, forgetting the consequences of her action.

But as the call for her to resign, paving way to an investigation of her conduct, becoming louder and clearer, her chicken have come home to roost pending clearance by the investigation. Whatever the verdict would be, the milk has been spilt and nothing will ever remain the same. Though the incident has traumatize the security guard, given the fact that she lost her father to unknown assassin, there is a hope that the “unfortunate” incident would be a blessing in disguise for the rule of law and constitutionalism in Kenya if handle well.

You can reach PaanLuel Wël at, Facebook Page, Twitter account OR at his blog: