Archive for April 2, 2012

African, US Evangelicals Search for Solutions to South Sudanese Tribal Conflicts During 3-Day Conference

jonglei peace conference

(Photo: WEA via The Christian Post)
Local participants listen to speeches during Peace Conference in South Sudan’s Yei River County, Jonglei state on April 1, 2012.
By Luiza Oleszczuk , Christian Post Reporter
April 2, 2012|8:07 pm
Local South Sudanese government officials and tribal elders have gathered in Yei River County in Jonglei state Sunday for a three-day Peace Conference under the sponsorship of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) and the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC), to discuss the role of the church in helping end tribal violence and prevent future conflict.
  • jonglei peace conference
    (Photo: WEA via The Christian Post)
    Participants of Peace Conference in South Sudan’s Yei River County, Jonglei state, featuring Secretary General of World Evangelical Alliance, the Rev. Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, on April 1, 2012.

The unprecedented meeting, which lasts until Tuesday, united local officials, U.S. and African Evangelicals and members of four tribes, Murle, Dinka, Nuer and Anyuak, in the Eastern region of the country, which has suffered from tribal violence sparked by disputes over pastoral grounds for cattle, the main local source of income. Fighting between these tribes has resulted in the loss of thousands of lives and thousands of injuries in the past six months, it has been estimated.

Among the conference’s participants were the Rev. Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, WEA’s CEO and Secretary General; Dr. Brian C. Stiller, WEA Global Ambassador; Stephen Tollestrup, WEA Director of Peace and Reconciliation Initiative; and the Rev. Aiah Foday-Khabenje, General Secretary of the Association of Evangelicals in Africa (AEA). Also in attendance were local church leaders, including Bishop John Machar Thou of the Anglican Diocese of Duk and Bishop James Par Tap, Moderator at the Sudan Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Khartoum, part of the Church of Sudan.

Participants mostly agreed on what some reports have already been suggesting — that ending tribal violence in the region would require improving socio-economic conditions, especially ending poverty and bettering education of the local tribal population. The role of the international Christian community in supporting meeting these goals was also discussed.

“Our intention is to find out what do we do together to overcome our past. All the wrong things that have happened, what can we do together as the sons of South Sudan and the children of God to make a difference,” Bishop Elias Taban of the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan said Sunday in a sermon, addressing the conference on its first day.

Taban named poverty, lack of education and illiteracy, and lacking health services, as well as depending only on cattle for income, as the main problems in the region, leading consequently to violence between tribes. The bishop called to participants for support in aiding the tribes to become more settled and less nomadic. Others later joined in suggesting that the tribes must learn techniques for growing cattle grass rather than relying on natural pastures, and that the tribes must develop the ability to find other sources of income.

“We were very moved by and challenged by the sermon message this morning by Bishop Elias Taban. It reminded me of what we have gone through since the 1950s. The most difficult task has taken us over 50 years to achieve but there are still challenges that we face,” said later that day Jonglei State Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Babriel Gai Riem, referring to the fact that South Sudan only became an independent state in 2010.

General Secretary of WEA, the Rev. Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, emphasized in his speech later that the U.S. Evangelical church has been supporting the newly established and mostly Christian country for years. “We know the story of Sudan and the birth of South Sudan has been a story of pain,” he said. “I want to remind you that the church around the world loves the people of South Sudan. God loves the people of South Sudan.”

“We know there has been serious violence and loss of life but because we believe in the gospel we are a people of hope,” Tunnicliffe added. “The gospel is about reconciliation because it is the gospel that reconciles us to God. And we also believe that we can be reconciled to one another because we are all connected.”

Foday-Khabenje, AEA’s General Secretary, also expressed the organization’s support for the people of South Sudan, emphasizing the unity of African churches. “If I am here, then 35 countries in Africa and around 1 million evangelical Christians are here with you and indeed the global Christian Church is here,” he said.

“If one Christian is hurting, if one denomination is hurting, it is reason enough for the whole church to rise up. So this concern of EPC for Jonglei State is enough to bring the whole evangelical church to stand with you,” he added. “Our prayer is that a process of peace and a journey towards peace will begin over these few days and will join together the Government, the church, the tribal leaders and the people.”

Ethnic tensions in the region have flared after the country gained independence from the overwhelmingly Muslim Sudan in July 2010, as tribes fight over grazing lands and water rights, reportedly leading to cattle raids and the abduction of women and children. In addition, the conflict between the Lou Nuer and Murle ethnic groups is reportedly taking on a dynamic of repeated revenge attacks. Thousands are believed to have been at least temporarily displaced in the recent six months, including children, while government officials and aid groups have often been unable to gain sufficient access into the embattled region.

In resource-scarce East Africa, minority groups face major challenges over the control of and access to land and other natural resources.

Some international Christian think tanks suggested that in the long term, the government must address the root causes of violence among minority communities, and those are political representation, disarmament and equitable distribution of natural resources.

Kuol Manyang Juuk, the governor of Jonglei State said Sunday, during the conference, that the president of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit, has taken some significant steps toward preventing violence. Among those were issuing a presidential decree ordering disarmament of the civil population in the state and forming a National Peace Committee headed by Archbishop of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan, the Rev. Bishop Daniel Deng Bul, to supplement state initiatives on peace building.

Obama calls for restraint as violence grows along Sudan’s border

African nations feared headed for all-out war

By Ashish Kumar Sen

The Washington Times

Monday, April 2, 2012

President Obama on Monday attempted to defuse tensions between Sudan and South Sudan that have ignited international concern that the African neighbors are teetering on the brink of an all-out war.

In a phone conversation with South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Mayardit, Mr. Obama said the fledgling nation’s military must exercise maximum restraint.

Mr. Obama “expressed concern about the growing tensions between South Sudan and Sudan, especially the violent clashes along their shared border and renewed fighting in Southern Kordofan state,” the White House said.

The president also emphasized the importance of avoiding unilateral actions and asked Mr. Mayardit to ensure that South Sudan’s military is not involved in the fighting along the border or supporting rebels in Southern Kordofan.

Fighting has escalated in the past week between Sudanese and South Sudanese forces in Unity state along the disputed border. Sudan’s armed forces also are fighting southern rebels in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states north of the border.

The conflict in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, which has created 140,000 refugees, also threatens to drag the two nations to war.

Sudan accuses South Sudan of supporting southern rebels in these states in the Nuba Mountains. South Sudan denies the accusations.

Meanwhile, Princeton Lyman, the U.S. special envoy for Sudan, warned that any attack on oil facilities near the border could exacerbate the conflict.

“It’s very important that both sides be extremely careful under the current tensions and fighting at the border, that neither crosses the line of attacking oil installations, because I think that would deepen the conflict very much,” Mr. Lyman said in a conference call with reporters.

A spokesman for South Sudan’s army said Sudanese troops already were targeting oil fields and installations in the oil-rich Heglig region.

“There is no more evidence [of the north’s plans to attack the oil installations] than the fighting itself,”Col. Philip Aguer said in a phone interview.

“We have been abiding by the cease-fire. … It is the government in Khartoum that has declared war.”

An official in Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, said his government has no intention of going to war.

“War is not our strategy,” Al-Obeid Murawih, a spokesman for the Sudanese Foreign Ministry, said in a phone interview. “But we will retaliate if there is any force from the outside.

“There is bombardment from both sides – politically and militarily,” he added.

Earlier Monday, Pagan Amum, South Sudan’s top negotiator in the talks with Sudan, accused “enemies of peace” in Khartoum of attacking South Sudan and undermining the negotiations.

Seventy-five Sudanese troops were killed in the fighting Sunday and more than 100 wounded, while two South Sudanese soldiers were killed and 19 wounded, Col. Aguer said.

South Sudan gained its independence from Sudan in July following a 2005 peace agreement that ended a two-decade civil war. The two nations have since had a tense relationship.

Meanwhile, in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, the defense ministers of Sudan and South Sudan met face to face for the first time since the start of the recent fighting in a bid to resolve the crisis.

The fighting derailed an April 3 presidential summit between Mr. Mayardit and Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in South Sudan’s capital, Juba.

In his phone conversation with Mr. Mayardit, Mr. Obama expressed hope that the two countries’ leaders would soon meet. He also emphasized the importance of an agreement on oil.

South Sudan cut off the flow of oil in January in a dispute with the north over transit fees. Oil is the chief source of income for both countries.

South Sudan: Jollywood – Move Over Hollywood, Bollywood and Nollywood!
By Ilona Eveleens, Juba, 2 April 2012 In the world’s youngest country, South Sudan, a film industry is slowly taking shape with the appearance of the first locally-produced film, Jamila. Welcome to Jollywood. “I am pregnant,” states a teary-eyed Jamila 
Humanitarian Situation in Sudan and South Sudan
US Department of State (press release)
With us we have Catherine Wiesner, who is a Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population, Refugees, and Migration; Ambassador Princeton Lyman, US Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan; and Christa Capozzola, who is from USAID, Deputy Assistant 
SudanSouth in crisis talks; Obama calls for restraint
Gulf Times
Senior officials from Sudan and South Sudan met yesterday for the first face-to-face talks since heavy fighting between their armies broke out last week in disputed oil-rich border regions. As senior envoys met in Ethiopia, US President Barack Obama 

World Evangelical Alliance, South Sudan and Tribes Discuss Ending Violence in 
Christian Post
By Luiza Oleszczuk , Christian Post Reporter Local South Sudanese government officials and tribal elders have gathered in Yei River County in Jonglei state Sunday for a three-day Peace Conference under the sponsorship of the World Evangelical Alliance

Dear Members of the SPLA and all Compatriots,
First and foremost we would like to take a moment of silence in memory of all our SPLA heroes who have fallen along the way in our march towards freedom and liberty. But more specifically we ask each of you to observe a moment of silence in memory of those who have just lost their livesago in an ultimate act of patriotism and full measure of devotion and in defence of our Motherland, South Sudan (please pause) during the recent military operations. Second, it is with big heart, sincere gratitude and above all, heartfelt congratulations to you all, our veteran soldiers of the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army (SPLA), that we write this message of gratefulness and thank you for once again having taught the Jihadists in Khartoum that capriciousness for short term goals are short-lived.
The fall of Aliiny at 5:00PM, South Sudan local time on March 26 2012 is a shrewd act of courage, bravery, loyalty and allegiance not only to our great land of South Sudan. It is also an unequivocal tribute to the blood of those who have fallen since 1955, including our leader of all time: the SPLM leader and SPLA C-in-C, Dr. John Garang de Mabior d’ Atem. Furthermore, we also take this golden opportunity to congratulate the SPLA frontline commanders and all the army generals for a job well done.
But this unique and special moment is dedicated to you all, our ever-living heroes! We humbly congratulate each and every single one of you our SPLA soldiers, alive or departed, who took part in these successful military operations against the illegal occupation and invasion of our land and territorial integrity. We condemn in the strongest of terms the barbaric aerial bombardments project by Khartoum Airforce and the subsequent ill-advised attempts to invade our land and the territorial integrity of South Sudan. We thank you all from the abundance of our hearts.
Aliiny: Its Illegal Name and Where It Belongs:
The native name of the area, mistakenly referred to as “Heglig” (nomadic Arab name), is Tor Aliiny by the Ruweng Dinka. “Tor” is a Dinka word for “savannah area” with scattered trees whereas Aliiny is a name of a particular legendary individual who died of thirst in that area. Therefore, the official name of the area is Aliiny, not “Heglig” as the North would want the world to believe. It is a vast savannah land that connects our two sisterly counties of Biemnhom and Panrieng. Aliiny is also known as Panthou because the specific erstwhile village spot where the town is currently located had a landmarked of Thaautrees. It was renamed Heglig by Khartoum after the discovery of oil in 1978, but it is an undisputed region of South Sudan. Other areas that have been given arabised names after they were illegally occupied are Gong Yak (Karsana), Roorlou (Bamboo) and Kerlek (Kelek). Aliiny is part and parcel of Aliiny Payam of Kuok Section, in the north western part of Panrieng County.
The area has been illegally occupied by SAF since 2005. But with hope that Khartoum would abide by the territorial borderlines of 1956, the Government of South Sudan did not see the need to pressure Khartoum too much because it was thought that matter would be settled peacefully as agreed in Naivasha in 2005. The Naivasha Protocols stipulated that the boundaries between the North and the South would stand as they did stood in1956, when Great Britain left. Khartoum has instead adamantly refused to evacuate this land and continues to enjoy oil revenues generated from this land with such ungratefulness. But their clever ploy to claim our land has been based on their manipulation of the border lines since 1978, following the discovery of oil in the region. Since then, Khartoum has significantly moved its southern borderlines southwards and has, as a result, the audacity to claim much of our land.
Khartoum itself knew all along that the area belongs to the South. But when oil drilling commenced in 1999, they began to refer to Heglig as a “no-man’s land” before suddenly claiming that it is part of Southern Kordofan. The evidence that they referred to Aliiny as a `no man’s land’ can be found in the statements of the 2002 Sudan’s Ambassador to Kenya. After Raila Oding visited the oilfield in Panrieng and went back to Kenya, the issue of whether Kenya should buy “blood oil” received much media coverage in Kenya. In the process, the Sudanese Ambassador was prompted to remark to the Nation’s Reporter that “`Heglig’ is a “No-Man’s Land.”
We repeat that, as a matter of fact, the area belongs to South Sudan and must be returned by all measures necessary. But at this point, we thank each and every one of you, our gallant fighters of the SPLA, for doing, with such valour, exactly what you have pledged to do: defend our land with your ultimate sacrifices. We cannot thank you enough. We know that long days are still ahead but we believe our spirits, the love of our land and the defence of our human dignity as well as our common dream to make a better future for our next generations will ultimately prevail and propel us to the final victory over the reign of terror and extremism in Khartoum.
The Historical Background of Panaruu settlement in Tor Aliiny (Panthou):
Tor Aliiny (Panthou) became the settlement of Ruweng Dinka around 14thCentury. This came as a result of the Dinka migration to the West Bank of the Nile. With the fall of the Nubian Christian Kingdoms in the 13th century and the beginning of the Great Dinka Migrations Southwards, many Dinka groups arrived and began to occupy much of the present day South Sudan, after most of the Dinka groups including the Ruweng Dinka had moved westwards across the Nile to the lands south of the Nuba Mountains, although a sizeable number of Dinka remained in the eastern part of the Nile River.
When the Dinka crossed the Nile to the western banks they found a territory with such rich soil and abundant pastures. The land was fertile to grow Dhurra known to Dinka as Rap. The region west of the Nile which is currently known as Bhar El Ghazal was inhabited by Luo, Luel, and Yibel. The oral history of Dinka attested that the Dinka Chief, Juet, fought a people whom they believed to be Luo. After the Dinka expansion to the west, the most of the Luo groups moved southwards, some into the present day Republics of Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. This is how the Ruweng Dinka came to be the owners of much of the area north of River Bhar el Ghazal (Kiir) in the northern most part of Unity State, including Aliiny.
The Status of “Heglig” from Anglo-Egyptian Condominium to 1983:
Since the independence of Sudan in 1956, the areas of Panaruu Dinka which border Southern Kordofan were administered as part of Upper Nile Province although the present day Panrieng and Biemnom counties were initially part of Bhar el Ghazel before they were transferred to Kordofan in 1905 and back again to the South in 1928. The reason for transferring them back to the South is that, generally, the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium considered these areas as part of South Sudan. The policy of Closed District Ordinance adopted by Condominium administration was to cut off the South from the North through the promulgation of the Passports and Permit Ordinance in October 1922. The new policy of Closed District Ordinance in the South required the elimination of all the administrative officers who spoke Arabic in favour of local recruits from the missionary schools. Accordingly, Southern Sudan became a closed door region that outsiders from other parts of Sudan were not allowed to enter without permission.
The boundary between the North and the South that was inherited during the independence of Sudan was the same boundary the British employed during the policy of Closed District Ordinance. The only Dinka area that was administratively transferred to the North in 1905 but remained there after 1928 was Abyei. March SIR points out that the three different Dinka groups that were administered by Kordofan at different times are: the Jok, the Twic and the Ruweng. But after 1928, the Jok/Ngok Dinka was an anomaly which remained outside the boundaries of the southern provinces.
When the British decided to transfer Abyei to the North in 1905, the Condominium officials generally avoided dividing single Dinka clan between two or more provinces, and treated a clan territory as a whole. The Jok appeared to have remained in the North and no Condominium record was found documenting any significant or permanent alteration of a specific part of the Jok/Ngok territory.
NCP Erroneous Claims that Aliiny is part of South Kordofan/Abyei are Unfounded
The important point here is that, Aliiny has been a homeland of the Panaruu Dinka. The only time when its ownership became an issue was in the 1970s. When oil was discovered in the South in the 1978, a dispute arose between the Government of Sudan under former President Jaafar Nimeiri and the Autonomous Government of the South. At that time, officials in Khartoum had attempted to transfer the rich oil, agricultural and grazing lands of Upper Nile and Bhar El Ghazal to Northern provinces by redrawing the map.
In response to representations from both the Southern government and the Regional Assembly, Jaafar Nimeiri appointed a committee under the Chief Justice Khalifallah Rasheed to investigate and review the relevant legal corpus and advice. The committee also was composed of a number of prominent Southern Regional officials. The committee recommended the retention of boundaries fixed on 1st January 1956 as stipulated by the Addis Ababa Agreement. This Committee also recommended that all oilfields, including `Heglig’, were part of Southern Sudan. These recommendations had laid to rest the contention as to the status of Aliiny and Jaafar Nimeiri accepted the recommendations of the Committee. Former Sudanese Vice President of the Republic of the Sudan and President of the High Executive Committee, Abel Alier Kuai, in his candid book, “Too Many Agreements Dishonoured” has equally confirmed in that book that `Heglig’ was part of South Sudan.
This followed the argument of the North that Heglig was part of South Kordofan was vehemently rejected. The Committee had ultimately concluded that Aliiny was within Bentiu Area Council, a two-hour drive away from Bentiu town, about 45 minute-away from Panrieng Town and a five-hour drive away from Kadugali. Everybody in the locality knows that it is a part of Bentiu Area Council.
The claims by the North that Aliiny (Panthou) was part of its territory were once again resurrected after the collapse of Addis Ababa Agreement in 1983 despite the fact that prior to that, the North under Jaafar Nimeiri had conceded in 1974 that Aliiny was part of the South. The recent northern claim that incorporated these areas as part of Southern Kordofan, contrary to 1974 Presidential Decree, was effected through brute military force from 1983—86 when the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) cleared civilians from the oilfields. However, some of the civilians who inhabited the areas returned to the area in 1988 under the protection of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). Kuok and Miorcigiu Sections of Panrieng County, the original inhabitants of the land were living there thus living in the areas in 1988, just before they were once again brutally uprooted from Aliiny by Khartoum with such violence and destruction which would, by the today’s standard, be considered as crimes against humanity, war crimes and ethnic cleansing. Yet because of the richness of the land, the same communities returned into the area in 1989 before al-Bashir swept to power in a coup.
It follows that the Northern attempt to change the boundaries between the South and the North they stood in 1956 was intentionally to incorporate oil fields of the Unity State (part of the former Upper Nile Province) to Kordofan region. This policy was elevated to the extreme by the National Islamic Front (NIF) beginning from 1990 through the scorch-earth policy of depopulating the region and with the manifest intent to settle Arab tribes of Miserya Nomads. During this time, the Kuok and Miorcigiu communities were chased Southward by northern military machines for good. However, the 1974 Presidential Decree of Jaafar Nimeiri laid to rest the status of Heglig when the Committee under the then Chief Justice of Sudan concluded that the areas being claimed now by the NCP are part and parcel of Southern Sudan as known in 1956.The current maps only shows what Khartoum wants the world to see, contrary to the 1956 borders.
Importance of Aliiny/Heglig and areas:
Much of the oil being produced in North Sudan actually comes from Aliiny. But besides oil, Aliiny is a rich arable land and can be used for large scale crop production among other purposes. If put to good used, it can significantly contribute to great economic development of our nation. We must not only defend it but also encourage development of the area to generate much needed development for the local population and the nation as a whole.
The Need to Incorporate the Locals in the Upcoming North-South Border Demarcation:
The 1956 borderline between South Sudan and Sudan lies on Lake Kerlek. We hope that the NCP will accept to settle matters as per the 1956. If not, then the liberation process should continue till we reach the borderlines. We agree with our President who has emphasized that, we can compromise on other issues such as oil and other things, but will not compromise on border issue by leaving out an inch of our land.” That is the position that we members of South Sudanese community in Diaspora in general but Panaruu community in particular support. We also hope that during the border demarcation, local experts from Panrieng County will be included on the National Team. We also recommend that that SPLA should establish permanent bases in the border areas with strong logistics to ensure adequate protection of civilians and to secure peace so that we can move on with the development agenda of our newly born nation.
Immediate Assistance needed from National Parliament in Juba:
We all know that the ongoing military operations in Panrieng County, Unity State and other border areas will persist for quite a while unless the border demarcation issue is permanently settled. The consequences are that aerial bombardments and ground operations by SAF will have long term consequences on the ground, and will significantly affect especially the civilian populations. It also means that civilians will certainly have no incentives to engage in permanent economic activities and other long term economic plans. We appeal to our National Parliament in Juba to earmark and advance financial assistance towards the victims and to help renovate and equip Panrieng Hospital so as to not only address the dire needs of medical care in the County but also for immediate medical treatment attention for our troops and heroes who are wounded in their encounter with the SAF.
We expect our National Parliament Speaker, Hon. James Wani Igga on behalf of the National Government to introduce and spearhead such an issue as a matter of pressing urgency. If special assistance is approved by our National Parliament, a special ad hoc committee may need to be set up for the purpose of overseeing the implementation of the needed services in the area. This may also address the logistical challenges faced by our gallant troops in the areas, including the need for addressing shortages as regards to medications and medical personnel and clean drinking water.
Panaruu Community, like all patriotic South Sudanese, in Canada fully support the ongoing operation to secure and end the illegal occupation of Aliiny/Heglig by SAF since 2005. We also want to remind the international community that Aliiny/Heglig is not part of South Kordofan State in Sudan as those in Khartoum would want the whole world to believe.
Equally important, Lake Jau Payam is not a disputed area as it has been propagandized in the media by those liars in Khartoum and some quarters who are ignorant about these areas. These two areas are part and parcel of Panrieng County in Unity State. Those in Khartoum are claiming these areas and want to occupy them for oil purpose, not because they are part of North Sudan. These areas have been part of the modern day South Sudan’s territory since the 13thCentury when Greater Ruweng settled the region and long before oil discoveryin 1978. We also urge the National Government in Juba to approve special budget for humanitarian crises such as health issue and water shortages as a result of the ongoing military confrontations in the region. There is no question that our men and women in uniform at this hour, need to be well equipped: mentally, psychologically, logistically and physically.
With that said, we would like to emphasize that the Republic of South Sudan would not be fully independent and free if all its border areas, which are illegally occupied by SAF are not fully liberated. Finally, President Kiir and SPLA leadership have enormous support from South Sudanese of all walks of life. Struggle continues. Victory is certain!!!
Representatives of Panrieng Community in Canada:
1. Santino Miagak Dau, Chairman, contact, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , (403) 968-5490
2. Peter Kur Mijak Tor Diran, Deputy Chair
3. Monyluak Mijak Arop, Secretary General
4. Yiik Monychol Deng, information and culture Secretary
5. Wuor Kuol Theithei, Finance and Administration Secretary

Egyptian’s Muslim Brotherhood Declares War on African Despots

Posted: April 2, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Commentary

By PaanLuel Wel,

Are these the Faces of African Democracy or African Islamocracy?

Salafi members of parliament are seen during the first Egyptian parliament session, after a revolution ousted former President Hosni Mubarak, in Cairo January 23, 2012

So Egyptian’s Muslim Brotherhood–whose offshoot is the Sudan ruling party of NCP, formerly known as National Islamic Front–has become an advocate of African Democracy? I don’t know what to make of it but I am very skeptical, if not alarmed, by any talk of regime change engineered by Islamists whose ideology does not go beyond the pale shadow of Islamism and Arabism.

In fact, it is premature of Muslim Brotherhood to embark on ‘Africa democratization’ when there is no internal democracy within its ranks. Like the Iranian Islamists where the cleric reign high and call all the shots, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Shura Council, the highest decision-making organ within the organization, has the final say on anything and everything, second only to god.

The elected members of the national assembly of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP)–the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood–are answerable to, and abide by decisions made by, the Shura Council. This was why Dr. Abdel Abuol fotouh, currently a presidential candidate, was expelled from Muslim Brotherhood for going against the decision of the Shura Council by daring to follow his heart and right to seek the office of the presidency.

Yet, the same Shura Council that expelled Dr. Abdel Fotouh for offering himself for the office of the presidency has this week rescinded their earlier decisions and reverse course: they have nominated their own member–the financial godfather of the Muslim Brothers, Mr. Khairat Al-Shater–to contest for the office of the presidency, thus committing the very sin that Dr. Abdel Fotouh was condemned of and crucified for.

If Muslim Brotherhood can’t tolerate internal dissent and is too quick and ready to use force–like the Chinese Communist Party– to expel anyone oppose to their ideas, how can they pretend to be the paragon and champion of democracy across Africa? Most importantly, how are they different from Mubarak’s regime that oppressed them for having different opinion on governance?

I am also curious on a number of things: What is Muslim Brotherhood position  on the suffering Muslims of Darfur, Nuba mountain and Blue Nile at the hand of their fellow Muslim Brotherhood of the Sudan? While their position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one-sidedly well-known, what is their position on the suffering Muslims of Kurdistan at the hands of the combined forces of Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Syria?

Are Palestinians entitled to more justice and nationhood than the Kurds; has it anything to do with who the “enemy” is? Are Kurds entitled to the same kind of universal justice and nationhood as champion by the supporters of Palestinian Arabs? Does the suffering of Palestinian Arabs engender the same kind of outrage in the Arab-Islamic world of the Muslim Brotherhood as the immense suffering of the Sudanese Muslims in Darfur, Nuba Mountain, and Blue Nile? How about Chinese Muslims–are they victims or perpetrators of state aggression? Is China too hot a fire to play around with unlike the West that you can vilify or call upon to intervene as time and occasion demand?

In short, is there a double standard in play here–Muslims in the Sudan suffering at the hand of NCP, Palestinians and Kurds plus democratic call by the Muslim Brothers–one that the West is accused of? What is democracy? What is justice? And who is a despot? How about Arab despots in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait etc, will Muslim Brotherhood declare war on them too? Or is the Muslim Brotherhood following in the footstep of the ICC–focusing only on and in Africa notwithstanding the raging atrocities in other part of the world?

While Muslim Brotherhood’s declaration of war on African despots would pass for a perfect April 1 Fool Day’s Joke, the supposedly African despots must rather take the threat/challenge on face value because it is better to be wrong than sorry when it come to issues touching on heavenly-inspired groups such as the Muslim Brothers where even a bad dream springing from a long daydreaming about the urge to ‘declare war on despots’ could be interpreted as a holy instruction from god–one that must be carried out, least the good lord is provoked to unleash his furor.


Egypt declares war on African despots

Uganda Media Center Executive Director Fred Opolot talks to Mr. Essam El-Arian the Chairperson of the Foreign Relations Committee and representative of the Muslim brotherhood and Party of Freedom and Equality as he addressed the press on Monday.

Uganda Media Center Executive Director Fred Opolot talks to Mr. Essam El-Arian the Chairperson of the Foreign Relations Committee and representative of the Muslim brotherhood and Party of Freedom and Equality as he addressed the press on Monday. PHOTO BY STEPHEN OTAGE

By Stephen Otage
Monday, April 2  2012

Egyptians are ready to support any political pressure group using democratic means within Africa, to push for regime change of dictators.

The comments were made by the Mr Essam El-Arian, the chairperson of the Foreign Relations Committee representing the Muslim Brotherhood and Party of Freedom and Equality in the newly formed Egyptian Parliament at a press conference in Kampala on Monday. He is in the country together with a delegation of Egyptian legislators currently attending the Inter-Parliamentary Union conference in Kampala.

“To us we will support transitions for democracies through democratic means because a democratic world means a lot to us,” Mr El-Arian said. “We are building a new model of democracy and we are concerned about African democracies. We are concerned about the bi-lateral cooperation between Uganda and Egypt and our meeting with the Speaker of Parliament is because we are keen on our joint cooperation between Egypt and Uganda,” he said.

According to Mr El-Arian, today, Egyptians have the right to protest on any street, have freedom of assembly, expression and speech.

“Nobody can ever suppress Egyptians again because they now see themselves as equals. Future leaders of Egypt must learn from ex-president Hosni Mubarak’s mistakes,” he said.

Asked about his thoughts on the activities of Action for Change (A4C) a local pressure group, Mr El-Arian said it is an internal problem within Uganda he could not comment about. But overall, were ready to support removal of dictators.

“We have experience we can share with the people of Uganda. Egypt as a democracy, will support transitions for democracies,” he said.

He said Egyptians have elected a constituent assembly which is representing the interests of all Egyptians, adding that Egyptians have learnt that the quarrels and mistrust which previously existed before, was a creation of the past regime to keep the country divided.

So far 10 presidential hopefuls have registered for the presidential elections to be conducted in May this year.


Posted  Monday, April 2  2012 at  22:30


  • Top-level southern delegation meets Kenyan leaders and asks for help to prevent an outbreak of fighting

Southern Sudan minister for information and Broadcasting and government spokesman Barnaba Marial Benjamin addresses the press on April 2, 2012 at Serena. He said that his country cannot go to war but there is need to protect their territory. Photo/JENNIFER MUIRURI

Southern Sudan minister for information and Broadcasting and government spokesman Barnaba Marial Benjamin addresses the press on April 2, 2012 at Serena. He said that his country cannot go to war but there is need to protect their territory. Photo/JENNIFER MUIRURI

South Sudan on Monday turned to President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga for support as its relations with Sudan threatened to degenerate into a full-scale war.

South Sudan sent a high-level delegation to Nairobi led by Office of the President minister Emmanuel Lowilla and the Information minister, Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin, to ask the two principals to help avert an outbreak of full-scale war between Juba and Khartoum.

“Our president, General Salva Kiir Mayardit, has made it very clear that he will never take the people of South Sudan into war again but we will defend our territorial integrity to the last man,” Dr Benjamin told a press conference in Nairobi after meeting the two principals.

He accused Khartoum of conducting sustained aerial and ground bombings of villages and oil fields in South Sudan territory over the last four days.

“At 2am yesterday (Monday), the Sudan army bombed a small village 120 kilometres inside South Sudan. It is where the oil fields are located. Their aim is to scare away investors who want to help us set up oil refineries in the area. Sudan is not interested in peace,” he said.

He added that the bombing was aimed at scuttling Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir’s planned visit to Juba today to sign two framework agreements on nationality and borders.

But the Sudan media reported that Mr Bashir had called off the trip after South Sudan forces launched attacks inside Sudan’s border state of South Kordofan in Teludi and the oil-rich town of Heglig.

The reports quoted security sources who claimed that bloody clashes had erupted six kilometres from Heglig, which led to “significant injuries” among Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) soldiers.

The SAF spokesperson, Colonel Sawarmi Khalid Sa’ad, accused South Sudan’s People Liberation Army (SPLA) of carrying out a fresh incursion in the Teshwin area of Heglig, according to the Sudan Tribune. Col Sa’ad said SAF dealt swiftly with the “aggressors”.

Khartoum accuses SPLA of collaborating with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – North (SPLM-N) and rebels from the Darfur Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) to attack the two towns in a bid to control it.

A statement from Mr Odinga’s office said the PM had assured the South Sudanese delegation of Kenya’s willingness to broker peace between the two nations.

Mr Odinga is said to have told the delegation that Kenya was deeply concerned about the escalating hostilities between the two nations and would do whatever it takes to ensure the contentious issues between them are resolved without resorting to war again.

“The PM said Kenya is concerned that another full-scale war between Juba and Khartoum would pose immense security and humanitarian challenges to the region which is struggling to contain insurgents from Somalia and is yet to overcome the drought and refugee problems in the Horn of Africa,” says the statement.

Despite clashes, oil shutdown is bad for South Sudan

Posted: April 2, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Ahmed Kodouda, 1 April 2012
About the author
Ahmed Kodouda is Senior Program Associate for the East and Horn of Africa Program at Freedom House.

The South Sudanese government recently decided to stop oil production in retaliation against actions taken by the Sudanese government in Khartoum. While on the surface it seems a wise decision, upon closer examination it has resulted in serious and harmful effects on the government and the South Sudanese people.

Recent reports of clashes between the armies of Sudan and South Sudan have reignited simmering tensions between the two countries. These skirmishes are manifestations of the broader post-independence issues between Khartoum and Juba.

In January, South Sudan shut down its oil production after months of stalled negotiations on an oil-sharing arrangement between the two nations and in retaliation against reports that Khartoum had begun to siphon off a portion of Juba’s oil to compensate for what it labeled “transit fees.” South Sudan’s oil is transported through Sudan to the northeastern city of Port Sudan where it is exported to international buyers such as China and Japan.

On the surface, the decision seems to have achieved several objectives for Juba. Stopping the oil production reframed the political discourse away from the South Sudanese government’s own mismanagement of the country’s resources and the rampant corruption back towards Khartoum. Ostensibly, it has united the South Sudanese against their common, foreign enemy and has allowed politicians in Juba, who have called for severe austerity measures and major cuts in government spending, to capitalize on the “rally ‘round the flag” effect.  Furthermore, cutting the oil revenue hits Khartoum where it hurts most, intensifying the economic malaise that has plagued Sudan since losing over 75% of its revenue.

However, beyond the surface, the decision to shut down oil production has serious and very harmful effects on the government and the South Sudanese people. The shutdown is effectively bankrupting the country, as oil production makes up 98% of South Sudan’s annual revenue. With no money coming into its coffers, the government has been forced to dip into its hard currency reserves. Officials in Juba have claimed they have currency reserves to cover 18 months of expenses, but because of corruption, informed sources put the estimates at no more than six months. With reserves running out rapidly, inflation will severely impact the country’s economic wellbeing.

In early March, the governments of South Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya jointly launched a project to build a port in Lamu  on the Kenyan coast. The project was heralded as South Sudan’s final path in its divorce from Khartoum. 
Although a pipeline through Kenya is strategically more important to Juba’s goal of further integrating its economy into the East African Community, it is not a viable alternative to the pipelines going through Port Sudan on the Red Sea for the foreseeable future.

According to Vice President Riek Machar, Juba plans to keep its pipelines shut off for 30 months  . However, there are several factors that could ultimately delay the construction of any pipeline by several more years. First, to construct such a massive pipeline roads with particular load specifications are needed to transport the pipes to their destination. These massive trucks carrying the pipes would otherwise sink into roads constructed to handle normal traffic. Secondly, geologically if the oil wells remain untapped for much longer the oil will begin to recede back into the earth and dry up the oil wells. The wells will then take up to an entire year to return to their original, full capacity. Finally, the construction of the pipeline itself could take much longer than anticipated if rampant corruption persists.

Ultimately, South Sudan remains tied to Khartoum because it cannot survive much longer without any oil revenues. This has become more apparent in the past weeks as the South Sudanese pound is begining to lose its value  on the black market and dollars are growing scarce.

The best path forward for Juba is to continue negotiating and come to an agreement with Khartoum until the pipeline is completed. If Khartoum continues to steal its oil during that time, Juba should remain steadfast in its agreement and seek international arbitration after the Lamu pipelines are completed.

Politicians in Juba need to refuse the urge to make unilateral decisions because, as much as they would like to deny it, they need Khartoum as much as Khartoum needs Juba’s oil. The blame for this standoff lies primarily with Khartoum, however it is in Juba’s interest to resume oil production until it has another alternative. Although a popular decision, shutting off its oil wells is not a strategic or viable long term option for South Sudan, especially at such a critical time in its infancy.

Obama urges South Sudan restraint

(AFP) – 

WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama on Monday urged South Sudan in a telephone call with the young nation’s leader to show restraint following heavy border fighting with Khartoum’s forces.

In a call to US-backed South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir, Obama “expressed concern about the growing tensions” between the two nations including border clashes and bloodshed in Sudan’s Southern Kordofan state.

“President Obama underscored the importance of avoiding unilateral actions, and asked President Kiir to ensure that South Sudan’s military exercises maximum restraint and is not involved in or supporting fighting along the border, particularly in Southern Kordofan,” a White House statement said.

Obama pressed the two nations to reach an agreement on oil production. South Sudan took the drastic decision to halt its production in January after Sudan started to seize crude due to a payment dispute.

Obama also voiced hope that Kiir would soon meet with Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir after last week’s clashes prompted Khartoum to call off a summit.

“President Obama welcomed President Kiir’s commitment to moving forward with a summit and to finding peaceful solutions for Sudan and South Sudan,” the White House said.

Bloody clashes including airstrikes, tanks and heavy artillery — the worst violence since South Sudan’s independence in July — had raised international concerns the former civil war foes could return to all-out war.

Fears are also growing about food shortages in Southern Kordofan, where humanitarian groups say a relentless bombing campaign by Khartoum has severely hampered agriculture.

Sudan has pinned the blame for the crisis on South Sudan, saying that it is arming ethnic insurgents in Southern Kordofan who are affiliated to what is now Juba’s leadership.

South Sudan: Sudan’s bombing of South Sudan scares away US, Chinese oil investors

 By Associated Press, Monday, April 2
NAIROBI, Kenya— A South Sudan official said Monday that Sudan is bombing oil-rich regions of South Sudan in order to scare away American and Chinese investors.South Sudan government spokesman Barnaba Marial Benjamin said Sudan is bombarding disputed areas in South Sudan despite a Feb. 10 nonaggression and cooperation pact signed by both countries in African Union-led negotiations in Ethiopia.
“As we speak today they are continuing bombing villages,” Benjamin said.Benjamin linked the bombings in the Upper Nile, Unity and Western Bahr Al Ghazal states to South Sudan’s shutting down of its oil sector earlier this year. Landlocked South Sudan shut down oil production in January saying that its northern neighbor had stolen its oil which was meant to be exported through Sudan.Benjamin said since South Sudan stopped production, Sudan increased aerial bombardment of the disputed areas and organized ground attacks in late March which were repulsed by the South Sudanese troops.Sudan and South Sudan have previously blamed each other for starting the conflict in the disputed regions.Benjamin accused Sudan of trying scare away investors, including American and Chinese companies, in the oil-rich regions where there are plans to build oil refineries which he said will be operational in six to seven months. The oil refineries will help South Sudan process some oil to help meet local demand for the commodity, he said.Echoing the words of South Sudan’s president, Benjamin said South Sudan remains committed to peace and would fight back only to defend its territorial integrity.

“We will not be dragged into a senseless war,” he said.

Benjamin also complained that the African Union is not doing a satisfactory job mediating talks with Sudan. South Sudan is disappointed by an AU report to the U.N. Security Council that Benjamin said portrayed his country as the aggressor in hostilities between the two countries. He suggested that a regional bloc known as IGAD take over.

The seven-nation IGAD — the Inter Governmental Authority for Development — negotiated the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended a decades-long civil war between Sudan and South Sudan. That deal led to South Sudan’s secession from Sudan last year.

Among the unresolved issues from the split is the demarcation of the border and an agreement to share oil revenue.

Benjamin said South Sudan shutdown its oil production because Sudan had stolen million barrels of oil and increased oil transit fee through its pipeline to $36 a barrel. Benjamin said it was better that South Sudan’s oil stay in the ground.

Benjamin said that South Sudan will construct two pipelines — one to Kenya and one across Ethiopia into Djibouti. Benjamin said the South Sudan is also seeking international loans in order to fill in the budget deficit caused by the shutdown in oil production.

He said the despite the bombings South Sudan still would welcome Sudan President Omar al-Bashir to meet with South Sudan President Salva Kiir. A meeting scheduled between the two for Tuesday was canceled by Sudan.

Sudan, South Sudan Agree to Overcome Tension
Sudan and South Sudan negotiators agreed in Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa to overcome the standing tension between the two countries and calm the situation militarily and politically, Sudanese media reported Monday. Khartoum’s Al Ray Al Am daily 
Sudan and South Sudan accuse each other of attacks
Radio Netherlands
Sudan and South Sudan on Sunday accused each other of launching attacks in the oil-producing area straddling their border after talks aimed at ending the worst hostilities since Juba declared its independence were delayed. The United Nations and the 
South Sudan: We are not satisfied with the African Union mediation of disputes 
Washington Post
NAIROBI, Kenya — The government of South Sudan says it is not satisfied with the mediation role of the African Union in resolving its disputes with Sudan. South Sudan government spokesman Barnaba Marial Benjamin said Monday that South Sudan is 

Sudan Proposes AU Monitors On Borders With South As Battles Continue
Khartoum — The military tensions on the borders of north and south Sudan clearly reflected in a failed attempt made today in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to bring delegations from the countries at the negotiating table.

South Sudan rebels kill SPLA general and two colonels
Sudan Tribune
Gatwec Gai because he was a colleague of SSLA operation commanders when they were part ofSouth Sudan Defense Force (SSDF) from 1997 to 2006. Brig. Gen. Gatwec joined the SPLA after Paulino Matip signed Juba Declaration on January, 9, 2006.

S. Sudan says Sudan still bombing, won’t be dragged to war
By Yara Bayoumy | NAIROBI, April 2 (Reuters) – South Sudan said on Monday Sudanese forces were still bombing regions in the oil-producing area straddling their border, but insisted it would not be dragged into war. South Sudan’s Information Minister 

Sudan, South Sudan accuse each other of attacks, talks delayed
Chicago Tribune
ADDIS ABABA/KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Sudan and South Sudan on Sunday accused each other of launching attacks in the oil-producing area straddling their border after talks aimed at ending the worst hostilities since Juba declared its independence were 

Obama urges South Sudan restraint
WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama on Monday urged South Sudan in a telephone call with the young nation’s leader to show restraint following heavy border fighting with Khartoum’s forces. In a call to US-backed South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir, 

South Sudan, Sudan trade new accusations as talks start
Malaysia Star
By Yara Bayoumy and Aaron Maasho NAIROBI/ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – South Sudan and Sudan began talks on Monday aimed at easing military tensions, but both sides’ continued accusations of attacks by the other left little hope for a peaceful outcome.

On refugees and settlers
In the framework of its Passover preparations, the government decided to expel 1000 asylum seekers to South Sudan later this week. The decision was made after the Foreign Ministry ruled that South Sudan is a safe place where the expelled refugees would 

Security Apologies to Newspaper Journalists Expelled From SPLM Meeting
Juba — A senior security officer on Sunday said the expulsion of Sudan Tribune journalist, Ngor Garang, from covering the last day of National Liberation Council (NLC) of South Sudan’s ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) was unintentional 

Sudan army claims new S. Sudan push into Heglig

Posted: April 2, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Sudan’s army late Sunday claimed South Sudanese forces launched another push into the Heglig oil region, adding to mutual accusations surrounding stalled crisis talks in the Ethiopian capital.

“In South Kordofan state today the South Sudanese army crossed the Sudanese international border and went three kilometres (two miles) into the Heglig area,” army spokesman Sawarmi Khaled Saadwas quoted by the official SUNA news agency as saying.

The disputed border between the two countries is undemarcated, and tensions along the frontier have mounted since South Sudan separated in July last year after an overwhelming vote following Africa’s longest war.

Talks in Addis Ababa were called after clashes between north and South on Monday and Tuesday in the Heglig border area sparked global alarm and fears of a wider war.

On the eve of those talks late Friday, Sudan’s army alleged the South sent cannons and tanks to back a rebel attack on Talodi, about 100 kilometres (60 miles) northeast of Heglig.

It said the rebels were defeated, suffering heavy losses.

The insurgents, from the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), denied receiving Southern support and said the battle for Talodi was continuing for a third day on Sunday.

Late Saturday the Sudanese army spokesman alleged a battalion of South Sudanese troops had crossed the contested border and was moving towards Talodi.

Juba’s chief negotiator Pagan Amum dismissed the accusation as “categorically untrue” and instead said the north was planning further attacks along the disputed frontier.

“We are here … to attempt to make peace; the government of Sudan is waging war on South Sudan,” Amum said in Addis Ababa.

“The government of Sudan is bombing us as we speak,” said Amum, reporting fresh battles in the towns of Manga and Panakuach in Unity state.

A member of the Khartoum delegation, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Sudan “did not declare war and we have no intention to declare war”.

Teams from both countries have been in the Ethiopian capital for the African Union-led negotiations since Saturday, but so far there have been no Khartoum-Juba talks.

Amum said the north’s failure to send the head of its security delegation has delayed the proceedings but Khartoum’s foreign ministry spokesman, Al-Obeid Meruh, said the defence minister would join the delegation after attending to prior appointments Sunday and Monday.

Sudan’s delegation, in a statement issued by SUNA late on Sunday, repeated various accusations against South Sudan including the most recent alleged incursion into Heglig.

But it said Sudan still favours dialogue.

“We will make our best effort to cooperate with the government of South Sudan… in spite of all difficulties,” the statement said.

Last week’s clashes prompted Khartoum to call off an April 3 summit in Juba between President Omar al-Bashir and the South’s Salva Kiir.

Analysts said there were elements in Khartoum, as well as the South, opposed to recent moves towards warmer relations between the two countries and suggested last week’s flare-up over Heglig was an effort to sabotage a rapprochement.

S.Sudan accuses Sudan of new attacks, Khartoum denies it

ReutersBy Aaron Maasho | Reuters 

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – South Sudan on Sunday accused Sudan of bombing the oil-producing area straddling the two countries’ borders as talks aimed at ending the worst hostilities since Juba declared its independence were delayed.

Sudan’s army denied the accusations, however, saying no military operation had been conducted on Sunday following a series of clashes between the two armies in the contested border region in recent days.

“The government of Sudan attacked Manga today at two in the morning,” Pagan Amum, head of South Sudan’s negotiating team, told reporters in Addis Ababa where the African Union is trying to restart talks between the neighbours.

“Panakuach, also in Unity State, has been subjected to aerial bombardment today, including attacks by helicopter gunship,” he said. “As we speak, Sudan is bombing South Sudan.”

Sudanese army spokesman Sawarmi Khalid Saad denied the allegation. “There is no military operation today,” he said.

The United Nations and the United States fear the clashes could escalate and re-ignite a civil war between the mainly Muslim north and the South where most adhere to Christian and animist beliefs.

South Sudan became independent from Khartoum under a 2005 peace agreement that ended decades of civil war that killed two million people.

Both sides were supposed to resume talks this weekend but African Union officials said key members of Sudan’s delegation such as its defence minister and the chief-of-staff of its army had not yet arrived.

The two officials were expected in Addis Ababa “tonight or tomorrow morning,” a member of Sudan’s delegation told Reuters.

“The government of Sudan did not send the leader of their team. It is now clear that they have different intentions,” said Amum, the head of Juba’s delegation.

As well as agreeing a halt to further hostilities, the two sides need to decide how much the landlocked South must pay to export its crude oil through Sudan. Juba has shut down its entire oil production to stop Khartoum taking oil as compensation for what it calls unpaid transit fees.

Both countries have yet to mark the 1,800 km (1,200 mile) long border, much of which is disputed, or found a solution to the disputed border region of Abyei. Both sides also continue to accuse one another of supporting rebels on each other’s territory.


Posted: April 2, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan
Tags: ,


                                                               By Tears Ayuen

English people proverbially say “one thing leads to another”, an idiom that means an event or activity results in another that you have usually not planned. Well, a story which was ran by Sudan Tribune website featuring a photo of a Bor child wearing an innocent face, intentionally stained with ash to keep off flies, published on March 26 under the name of “Jonglei citizens critical of lack of basic services” caused me to write out this article, not because it is the first story that reveals the political barrenness and questionability of the way the affairs of Bor people are being executed by those they elected to power, but because the photo, just the photo, touched the humanitarian me.
Yes I always speak my mind through writing but never before had I ever thought of publicizing what I feel about Bor and its leaders until I saw that face that seems to ask a million dollar question. The child’s face poses unspoken question, “do you really represent me, Honorable?” The question goes out to you, Bor Commissioner, Honorable Maker Lual, and all the members of parliament from Bor; Honorable Thon Nyok, Honorable June Maler, Honorable Makuei Lueth, Honorable Benjamin Malek Alier and Honorable Dengtiel Ayuen Kur. I’m going to leave Governor Kuol alone because he represents all of the six counties of Jonglei. All the incompetence and inefficiencies and failures witnessed by his commissioners and many other government officials knock at his door though. My targets are those directly managing Bor issues.
Before I register my protest fully, I would love you to know that there’s nothing personal about this opinion. I respect you as my parliamentarian and Bor political leader in general. You are a great man with amazing historical background. You have great children, some with whom I studied with in high school. Besides, I currently have no one on my mind; someone that can do better than you do.
I have been to Bor a couple of times and I managed to study it just by looking at the people and things. However, the following issues manifested through each age set are based on my observations and daily happenings. They point toward the road Bor as a society is headed…….a road leading to nowhere, I guess.
A Bor old man no longer stays in his Luak because a Luak that doesn’t house a few heads of cattle is useless; it’s like a body without soul. It’s worth vacating. His animals have been driven away by unidentified gunmen that he believes came from Pibor. He fears keeping the remaining three cows in his Luak for fear of being re-attacked and slaughtered by the unknown gunmen. So, where is he? He moved to his half-literate brother’s place in Bor town. The brother is a businessman. Life is still hard here. The old man eats once a day. A meal that does not comprise milk and meat weakens his bones.

It fast-forwards his life span. He looks physically weak, with wasted muscles. He wears tattered clothes. He walks barefoot, with support of a staff. He can’t wear the boots his nephew abroad bought him in 2007 because they are not his size. Actually, they are his size but they just can’t fit him. Thanks to his toes. For some physiological conditions, the toes have grown apart, with the second toe pointing the sky and the fifth, freely relaxing at an angle of 180 degrees. He tries to keep himself happy and cheerful by drinking the infamous locally distilled alcohol known as “arege.” This helps him drink away all the worries of the new life, as he awaits the day he will exit to the new world.
The same with a grandmother; gone are days she used to grow groundnuts, sesame and tobacco at the backyard. Her old empty granaries are leaning. There’s nothing to store in it anyway. She can’t remember the last time she brewed beer for village men who helped cultivate her sorghum and maize plantations. Her only cows, the source of livelihood got attacked by Yellow Coast Fever and died. She doesn’t know what happened to her goats and sheep but something tells her that her goats got stolen by rogue villagers who capitalized on her conditions. They must have been butchered and sold to Bor city residents. As a result, she now stays in a small hut at her daughter’s home in Bor town.
An educated Bor gentleman lives and works in Bor. He is a teacher, married with three children. In addition to his immediate family members, his relatives; aunt, uncle, nieces, nephews and grandparents depend on him. Worst of all, the salary is such a joke, about a hundred dollars. It comes irregularly. It takes months, about three or so. One of the agendas he presents to God in his daily prayer is the salary, “God please let them pay us today”. When it finally comes, he does the Maths, long division to be specific. No savings; the salary goes from hand to mouth. He can’t think of furthering his studies because he is too pre-occupied with the lives of his dependents. Sadly, the dude is starving. His behind is so flat. You can’t locate where the buttocks used to be when he was a teenager!
A Bor boy of primary school-going age spends his day at the bus park in the city. He is a boda-boda. The motor cycle business he runs belongs to someone else, just a friend. He transports commuters within bor. In a successful business day, he makes about a hundred pounds. Out of that amount, the owner hands him twenty pounds which he takes home to his helpless ill mother. His younger brother is in the streets too, hustling. He sells newspapers that earn him a few pounds. Their friends are spoiled kids. They spend their day’s earnings on alcohol. I’m afraid, as time goes by and without any intervention, these little brothers will join their friends.
A Bor boy overseas, the one you believe undoubtedly emigrated with the sole aim of acquiring better education in foreign land has turned out to be something else. He is locally referred to as “niga”. He is chasing untold goals. One of the goals is called “swag”. I don’t know what it means but that’s what he daydreams about. He wears skinny jeans as if he is going to sing Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean track. He is in love with girls and clothes, expensive wears. He dresses to impress. He drinks too. If you, by whatever means, open up is head, you would find three words embedded in his brain, only three words. They are; girls, swag and alcohol. Nothing more! And his cousin seems to be on campus forever. He joined university six years ago but he still shows no sign of graduating. I can’t tell what exactly is going on.
A Bor girl abroad is the worst. She is in love with her body. She changes her tops more than she changes her underwear. Guess why? Just to spend hours in the toilet, taking pictures of herself! That’s what she does both at home and school, all day all night. The photos are usually pornographic, as her big balloon-like ass sticks out. Some images show her teats. At times, she cheats herself by pretending to be a super model. You should watch her walk. She goes to school to show off her beauty, just beauty. I hacked into her school account the other day. She performs poorly at school. In fact, she doesn’t go to school. She also drinks that poisonous European whiskey called Johnny Walker. What a missy!
And to be fair and true to myself and Bor society, I Tears Ayuen, the author of this piece, have to say one or two things about me. I am an alcoholic. You can just call me bar fly. I drink like a fish, every day. I am typing this sentence with difficulty. Alcohol has taken control over my fingers. They tremble. Never count on me!
The above descriptions paint a picture of what contemporary Bor society looks like. They also indicate what Bor will be like in few years to come should you, an MP, refuse to be guided by the oath you took during your swearing-in ceremony.
So, seven years after a strong government system was established, and a Bor baby is still smeared with cow dung to protect it from being bullyingly celebrated by houseflies, tsetse flies? OMG!
As you lie in your bed sometimes alone, do you cerebrate?
Does the word Bor ever cross your mind?
Considering life challenges each and every Bor is currently facing, in whose eyes do you see the future of Bor as a people? Ain’t it that baby’s? So, what’s up? What must you do to protect it? Do you need to google how to better his life?
For how long will Bor people drink water straight from frog ponds? Even when the other South Sudanese middle-aged men are proudly developing pot-bellies as a result of Comprehensive Peace Agreement, Bor men still have flat stomachs. In case you spot a Bor male adult with a big belly in Bor town, he must be suffering from bilharzia or tapeworm. The dude still drinks dirty water!!!
And by the way, why is Bor society being uprooted under your watch? Bor people are ever insecure. They are hunted by their neighbors for their livestock and you just watch, hoping that everything will be okay. Now that Bor is under attack; it’s being indirectly uprooted – the elderly folks are abandoning their villages due to preventable and avoidable insecurities, no one farms anymore and all the Luaks and huts have collapsed and no new huts are seen,  isn’t it the beginning of the complete uprooting of the whole Bor civilization? No one sings or dances any more. Celebratory drum beats are rarely heard today because there is nothing to celebrate about. Cows are gone. A Bor dies in cold blood every day; either while traveling on Bor-Juba road or at his Luak. If women are not ululating with sorrow in Kolnyang or Anyidi today, others are ululating in Baidit or Makuach. Now that the culture is gone, do you now have the privileges to reprimand me for wearing my pants below the waist? What culture would you cite?
Why is it that only mere individuals like Mathiang Kuc and Kok Alat plus many more others I haven’t heard of, have Bor at heart? I guess you know what I am talking about. These dudes dig deep into their pockets and spend their hard-earned cash on things that they believe will elevate Bor community. Why only them?
I am not suggesting that you are not doing anything at all but the current Bor situation tells it all. The general situation is so pathetic. It nullifies any little effort that you make or might have made.
I will leave it there. My fingers are uncontrollably shaking now. They are indirectly telling me to take another dose of alcohol. And remember, he who rebukes you loves you. I am off to drink.

Sudan’s Aerial Bombing Aims at Churches in Nuba Mountains

Posted: April 2, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Zuma Condemns Fighting in Sudan, South Sudan
The military confrontation took place in the disputed border region between Sudan and South Sudan. This recent military confrontation has the potential to worsen the humanitarian crisis in the affected region, leading to further civilian casualties, 
Local media under pressure in South Sudan
Bikya Masr
CAIRO: The recent fines slapped on two South Sudanese newspapers for allegedly defaming a senior member of the country’s ruling party cited in a $30 scam will deter journalists from further investigating corruption-related cases in the country, 
South Sudan: Sudan Is Waging War, Thwarting Peace Talks
Voice of America (blog)
South Sudan is accusing Sudan of waging war and thwarting African Union peace talks aimed at stopping rising border clashes. During talks in Addis Ababa Sunday, South Sudan’s chief negotiator Pagan Amum accused Khartoum of conducting air strikes for a 

Jerusalem: South Sudanese refugees protest deportation
Jerusalem Post
COM STAFF Dozens of South Sudanese refugees protested outside Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s house in Jerusalem on Sunday, in response to a recent state decision to deport them toSouth Sudan if they did not leave the country by April 1, 2012.

Sudan’s Aerial Bombing Aims at Churches in Nuba Mountains
JUBA, South Sudan – After Khartoum denied that it had bombed civilians earlier this month, Sudanese aerial strikes last week were aimed at church buildings and schools in Kauda, South Kordofan state, a humanitarian aid worker said.

South Sudan accuses Sudan of fresh attacks
Oman Tribune
ADDIS ABABA South Sudan on Sunday accused Khartoum of launching fresh attacks along their disputed border, stalling peace talks in Addis Ababa, a senior South Sudanese official said. “We are here to attempt to make peace; the Government of Sudan is 

Push to bring Sudan, South Sudan into crisis talks
Capital FM Kenya
ADDIS ABABA, Apr 1 – Crisis talks between Sudan and South Sudan were stalled on Sunday as the two nations traded accusations over responsibility for recent clashes. “We are here … to attempt to make peace; the Government of Sudan is waging war on

No simple answers in South Sudan, refugees flood the region
Mission Network NEws (press release)
Food for the Hungry is helping the refugee crisis in South Sudan. You can help FH help the local church do the work. South Sudan (MNN) ― The rumors of war continue to make their way across Sudan and South Sudan as conflict continues.

With help from Manchester, Sudanese towns have water
The Union Leader
Kenyang Nhomot and James Abiem are celebrating news that both their hometowns in the Republic of South Sudan have access to clean water. The wells were built this winter by the International Aid Service, a faith-based European organization that helps