Archive for March 23, 2015


By Kur Wel Kur, Australia

Kuol Manyang Juuk, current South Sudan Minister for Defense and former governor of Jonglei state

Kuol Manyang Juuk, current South Sudan Minister for Defense and former governor of Jonglei state

Dear Hon. Kuol Manyang,

March 23, 2015 (SSB)  –   I know your diary is jammed with much needed services for our beloved country.  I know you spend countless sleepless nights, worrying about our country safety. I know we, as a country are in problems bigger than to relocate an army barrack. However, the heaviest problems are solved by nicking at them with tiny solutions.

Soldiers at Panpandiar harm the very civilians they think,  they protect.

Only in South Sudan, soldiers want to dig trenches along the river (Nile). By so doing, they intend to block the civilians from accessing water from the river. By so doing, they intend to use civilians as shields. In so doing, they disrespect the ancestral land rights.

My minister, Honourable Kuol Manyang,  in every country or continent,  natives own the lands and they have rights to question any act on their land, whether the president or the whole parliament passed the bill   for that act.

Our country will be safe when civilians,  mostly women and children are safe and protected.  Our government and army must record in their best minds that the government and the army protect the citizens, not in other way round.

Unemployment, disorganised and drunkard soldiers and the  closed  market at Panpandiar

Government and journalists hardly talk about unemployment rates; however, almost 75 % of the population, especially the Jonglei’s population, among which tribal wars have demoralised their creativity is unemployed. So married women and young women look upvto those in the  army as their bread winners.

Adultery, rape, divorce and incurable diseases cases have increased since the army stationed a barrack at Panpadiar. The locals complained to the government through their local MP but the government turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to their complaint.

Again, the disorganised soldiers at Panpandiar always crawl out of the barrack to the nearby villages to gurgle down  the locals’  beer. And when they disagree with either among themselves or with the locals, they use firearms.

For example, before the incident of December 15, 2013,  a five years old daughter of a local,  lost her life due to a drunk soldier, firing at another drunkard. The locals reported the incident to the local  authority and the authority handed it to the State government.

But no apology or compensation given, a young life lost  just like that. A government that doesn’t accept or give apologies is a half dead government.

Lastly, 10 days now, since the army ordered Panpandiar’s market closure. Our country is in the worst state economically because we observe not the principles that build the best economies.

We worry a lot about power but forget about important and first resources.  Citizens are the number one and essential resources of a country.

Why does our government (army) discourages the hard working citizens who earn every pound through every drop of their sweat and encourages the looters who earn millions in days without doing any work?

To remind you, the market at Panpandiar is not for profit.  The market sustains the already dying citizens whose government’s services don’t reach.  They spend a few pounds,  they earn, on buying milk, sugar and medications for their malnourished and sick children.

In addition, the looters at local government tear in half every pound the locals earn. So why closing it and it feeds the ruthless government’ s employees?

Relocating the army’s barrack to Ajah-ageer is a good security idea

Citizens(tribes)  at Jonglei State experience thorny relationships among themselves.  To pacify this hostility,  the government must deploy military police in the mid-ways of tribes’  borders.  If more than 10,000 soldiers patrol and train in Jonglei’s jungles,  then criminals and aggressors will find it hard to offend.

The barrack will attract developments especially highways construction and drilling of water wells. The availability of the Army at Ajah-ageer will encourage legitimate businesses especially cattle businesses.  This will curb the cattle rustling.

So my Defence minister, can you look into this issue.

May God bless you.

Yours, Kur Wel Kur, Adelaide, Australia

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made are the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing from.

PaanLuel Wel and Ajak Deng Chiengkou Are Spreading Rebel Propaganda

Posted: March 23, 2015 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

One Year Annniversary of SBS DINKA Radio:

One Year Annniversary of SBS DINKA Radio:

March 23, 2015 (SSB)  –   Allow me to kiss my teeth in disrespect to my dear friend PaanLuel Wel a man I truly respect yet I am very disappointed with him because of many things that have been published on his amazing blog during this senseless war. Useless articles of Propaganda should not come from one of South Sudan’s most historical man with a double major degree in Economics and Philosophy from The George Washington University, Washington D.C, USA.

Please review your page and do not let rebels misuse your respected blog with thanks from Dinka Chick.

SBS radio had got the nerve to call massacres of the citizens of Bor, since ’91 “Dr Riek Machar the Chairman of the SPLM/A in Opposition and Commander in Chief.” So again I kissing my teeth in disappointment to Ajak Deng Chiengkou a journalist of SBS radio who holds a degree in journalism.

The chairman/commander in chief, a job title regarding the of deaths of your people is what Riek is, how can you call Machar a chairman, it is well indeed amazing how one can be paid to say anything and write nonsense without thinking. Make a quick phone call to Bor tomorrow and ask for the title of Riek and they will tell you free of charge. So you think that you are been paid to write fair to both side yet your side should be about not encouraging Riek.

Riek tells you that he wants peace yet he is killing your people which makes you partly, a partner-in-crime, a sell out who is half responsible for recent deaths. I am shocked because of all the atrocities that Machar committed in Bor, and some of the children in Bor are still being lured in Riek’s political and hatred filled net.

‘What is it about Riek Machar’s voice that makes Ajak Deng Chiengkou giggle when he is interviewing one who has ended so many lives?’ In the radio broadcast aired by SBS Radio and hosted by Ajak Deng Chiengkou, Ajak continuously at several points during the broadcast giggles as Riek is speaking and hints during the broadcast to supporting Machar as I quote “you are telling me the truth which is why we came to you.” It is such a shame that during this war we have not only lost lives but even more so intelligence.

Ajak is highly intelligent and holds a degree in journalism but over the time of this conflict himself and many have lost their common sense and intelligence. Ajak was throughout the radio broadcast giving a bias opinion and almost siding with Machar. How can someone laugh, giggle even, at someone who has cost everyone so much including his family. During this conflict many have said lives have been lost, it’s not just that, it has changed how almost everyone thinks.

It is amazing how the massacres of Bor can be talked about casually and even laughed at just to have forty minutes with Dr. Death, it is truly remarkable how many of Satan’s slaves walk among us. A warlord is what Riek is and how he massacres the people of the Republic is somehow amusing for Ajak is not known to myself. I was once asked to be interviewed by SBS Radio but I refused as I was never clear of their true intention to the point that I took a rain-cheque.

However next time he interviews Machar I request I am notified and am involved in the talk with the Bin Laden of South Sudan. I am annoyed that elderlies, women and the disabled were massacred in a hospital in Bor including the relatives of Garang. The analysis: Riek’s army are cowards, per school kids, what are they expecting from people in hospital, armies are made to fight other armies not to kill people who have absolutely no input on the conflict.

What were they trying to show, strength, power? The only thing that it shows is that they are touring the country looking for citizens to kill so that if Riek ever comes into power they can have a country with no people in it to rule. Honestly what did they expect from hospital staff and patients they’re not exactly going to stand up and batter Machar’s army with their walking sticks and ram them down with hospital beds.

Guys have you ever heard a popular expression among you twats, ‘Don’t move and nobody gets hurt’, obviously not what is their excuse for firing, an old lady about 80 was slowly going to the bathroom, she might of come out with a shotgun.

+P.S. After last nights I got an inbox from someone saying that I quote “dear sister, Ajak Deng Ciengkou is not really journalist, he does not have degree in journalism, he got degree in IT which he just completed last yr. he is rebel main representative”

Love ‘n’ Peace Dinka/South Sudan Chick Good night again brother

 —-

Dear Daniella Valentino Wol, By Ajak Deng Chiengkou, Australia

You need to keep your anger cool on this sister. There is no reason on this earth that will ever make you to be more angry than me. We are angry for different reasons but we must manage our anger differently. Your affiliation/association to the Government is very visible but you need not to use that as way to silence those doing their jobs. You did to PaanLuel Wël and now Ajak Deng Chiengkou but these people are doing their jobs well as journalists.

You need to know that your anger toward Riek Machar is about his quest for Kiir ‘s leadership but not what you used as trigger to amplifier your anger. Not at any point are you sympathetic or share a real grieve that those affected share but rather a crocodiles tears just to keep the fire of hate burning. That is not the case for others who are able to swallow their pain but put a smile on their faces just to let people know about what caused what and who said what?

Many people seems to have gavanised their main reasons of anger which is about leadership with 1991 but mind you that those whom you are accusing know more than you when its comes to death of civilians. Hiding behind the curtains of 1991 in order to push your agenda or any other person should stop. If the court and call for justice was to be conducted today; i will be the first to demand for the justice to my relatives but you will be sitting laughing.

Riek Machar was a Vice President to Kiir Mayardit for 8 years; when was the last time before 2013 that you called for his prosecution because of his role?

Both 91 and 2013 left a serious pain in the hearts of those who were affected of which iam included but that will never drive a journalist away from the real debates. I still consider alleged accusations on both sides as legal issues but jam not a judge or court either. As i said; you will need to write the same letter to BBC for their interview with Riek and Kiir because you seems to be British but mind less about why and how such stories were aired here.

We broadcasted President Kiir’s speech but you and some of your likes kept silence on what he was saying. We are a news network and our role is to help people know and understand every side of the story that we broadcast and we are good at that unless you need us to be liars by not bring genuine stories from the stakeholders.

What are the reasons available for you that will let us broadcast Kiir’s message but not do the same thing for the man they share table when negotiating peace? I interviewed your brother here who happened to be an ambassador but you were not quick at condemning the allegations that he put forward as government. Don’t you know that your conflict of interest is widely open and known but you chose to use Bor as way of pushing your anger.

That will not sway me and i hope someone tells you that my home village was the epic centre of the 18/12/2013 but i will never be angry at President Kiir or former vice President Riek yet my judgement on who did what is reserved. You need to understand that we are not interested at people but we are interested in stories that we need to relay to our audiences.

Hence; don’t be hypocritical about your assumed anger or sympathy toward the victims. I have the videos of the horrific scenes of what happened in Bor and i have lost people that i love but my instinct tells that you are angry for Riek’ s quest for leadership.

I see nothing in being a stooge of anyone but rather do my job sister Daniella Awut Valentino Akol Wol. Your feedback will be taken into account but remember to separate your anger or be genuine about it too. Wish you well


By Chiengkuach Mabil Majok

Governor Kornelio Koryom with Strauss-kahn, former head of the IMF, in Juba.

Governor Kornelio Koryom with Strauss-kahn, former head of the IMF, in Juba.

Brief Background

March 23, 2015 (SSB)  –   The South Sudanese Pound (SSP) came into being in July 2011 when the country attained her independence from Sudan. When the SSP was introduced by the first governor of the Central Bank of South Sudan, Elijah Malok Aleng (May he rest in peace), he made it clear that the country was adopting a “managed Float” as opposed to pure float or fixed exchange rate regimes.

Managed Float regime is when exchange rates fluctuate, but a central bank can influence the exchange rates by buying and selling currencies. The official bank rate against U.S dollar at the time was set at SSPs 2.96/$. More than 3 years later, the official rate has remained the same although the parallel rates in black markets have fluctuated between 3.5 to 7.2 SSP per dollar.

In a nutshell, 2.96 has been our official bank rate even when the country almost went into a full scale war with Sudan over Panthou in April 2012. It has been the same when the country accused Sudan of thefts of her oil, forcing South Sudan to shut down pipe lines for more than a year. And 2.96 has been the same when the country found herself in a civil war more than a year ago.

With the three major economic shocks highlighted with no policy changes to support our currency, does that really look like a managed float? How come we didn’t use the “buying and selling of SSPs or other currencies” which was the basis of the country adopting a managed float?

An exchange rate regime that ignored those major shocks to the economy doesn’t fit the bill and it looked more like a fixed exchange rate regime more than anything else.

What is wrong with our currency?

With that said, this piece is not about filing a blame on who and what should have been done when and how, but rather on what needs to be done going forward. There is a saying that goes “use what you have to get what you want,” which to a certain degree has been hijacked by pimps and prostitutes because it fits their actions. We have the petrodollars albeit in a limited amount at this point which we can use to our advantage.

The main reason why our neighbors are reluctant to use our currency is mainly due to the fact that we have nothing to sell. Why would Kenya or Uganda traders need SSPs when there is nothing to buy in South Sudan? Most of South Sudan’s production; be it crops or animal production is pretty much subsistence in scope and scale.

In a figurative sense, the South Sudanese Pound has been like a girl whose father thinks is beautiful enough to compete with other girls in the dancing arena but keeps coming home with no man running after her dance after dance. There are some few things a father can do to this ugly girl called South Sudanese Pound to make her desirable.

Buying and selling two East African currency reserves in Shillings

Of all the countries in the world that need foreign currencies, South Sudan should be better off due to her massive oil reserves underneath. Even with the limited supply in the oil producing states and the dwindling global prices because of decreased demand, we should still be better off.

For the sake of this argument, I will only focus on buying Kenyan and Ugandan shillings because the two countries have large South Sudanese populations.

Our central bank (BOSS) and the Ministry of Finance can do a few things to backup, preserve and validate the value of SSP with the goal of making it convertible in the region. This one bold step if rightly executed can go a long way. The two institutions have a very attractive case to make to their counterparts in Nairobi and Kampala about what they want to do that will greatly help South Sudan and the parties involved.

The Kenyan shilling is currently trading at about 92 shillings per dollar, while Uganda’s shilling is value at 2,880 per dollar. Knowing the dire need in which her economy is in, South Sudan needs to create foreign currency reserves in both UGX and KES by buying, stocking and selling shillings here in Juba. How do you go about that? Out of the oil money this country gets monthly, you can put aside $10 million monthly solely for this purpose.

I don’t really know the trade volume in terms of exact figures between South Sudan and the two countries, but I am going to assume that Uganda exports more goods to South Sudan than Kenya. Kenya need dollars and so is Uganda and South Sudan comes in trading dollars for their local currencies. Out of that $10 million, Uganda gets $7 million and Kenya gets the remaining amount.

The bank of South Sudan (BOSS) does her due diligence and wire $3 million to the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) at a discounted rate of 90 Kenyan shillings per dollar.

(a) South Sudan and Kenya

1) South Sudan gets $3,000,000*90) = 270,000,000 Kenyan Shillings. This amount is wired back to the Bank of South Sudan (BOSS) in Juba. The discount is $3,000,000*92 – $3,000,000*90 = 6,000,000 Kenyan shillings.

2) Kenya gets her $3,000,000 from BOSS, making a profit of 6,000,000 shillings. You have to make a little tradeoff here and this transaction took care of that.

(b) South Sudan and Uganda

1) South Sudan gets ($7,000,000*2,878) = 20,146,000,000 Uganda shillings.

2) Uganda gets her $7,000,000 from South Sudan making a profit of ($7,000,000*2,880 – $7,000,000*2,878) = 14,000,000) 14,000,000 shillings. The same appeal of give and take made to Kenya also holds here for Uganda.

In total, the bank of South Sudan gets to stock 270 million Kenyan shillings and 20.146 billion Ugandan shillings. Fair enough game right? As for how this policy can be executed, the governor and his team can design ways of making these currency reserves efficiently available to the public.

My suggestion would involve creation of public vendors around Juba primarily for dispensing shillings to the public. In the end, the goal is to create a market and competition for the SSP; and in the process relief our exchange wary traders and parents whose children are going to schools in Kenya and Uganda.

Using what we already know as an example. The commercials banks (KCB and Equity in particular) trade South Sudanese Pound for Kenyan shillings at KES 26/SSP and UGX at around 540/SSP. By creating this open window, a parent with 3,000 SSP go to the nearest vendor and gets 78,000 Kenyan shillings or 1.6 million Ugandan shillings.

A businessman who imports food items from Uganda comes to the bank with his 200,000 SSP and gets 108 million UGX. A car dealer who imports cars from Nairobi comes to the bank (Buffalo, Ivory, Eden, South Sudan Commercial Bank, FOREX’es etc) with 300,000 SSP and gets KES 7.8 million.

In the end, we all win. The government of South Sudan gets her $10 million investment back in form of SSPs turned into Ugandan and Kenyan shillings and back into SSPs from her citizens who need the East African currencies. The government of South Sudan pays her workforce in SSPs and there and then she gets it. The business people get shillings and buys goods from East Africa.

The parents and South Sudan renters get shillings and pay their rents/school fees on time. By doing so, you will somehow eliminate this crazy demand for dollar. This process has to be open to the public and competition has to be encouraged to eliminate the many inefficiencies of distribution. Who really needs dollars?

Before you know it, you will have a Kenyan currency trader somewhere in Nairobi taking his chances by exchanging shillings for SSPs at KES 24. You will most likely see the same trends of that mindset here in Juba and in Kampala. The government will have to register, monitor and tax all the vendors involved in this business to avoid production of counterfeit monies.

How does Uganda and Kenya Benefit from this venture?

They benefit in many ways as follows: First, they need dollars and South Sudan provide dollars by buying their currencies at discounted rates to their advantages. Secondly, imports to South Sudan will increase because the inconvertibility of SSPs has kept the volume of trade unreasonably low. That means more traders who can’t import from Kenya and Uganda at this point will easily do and both Kenya and Uganda benefit from huge trade surpluses as a result.

Thirdly, both Kenya and Uganda have high levels of inflation. South Sudan will reduce this problem by creating demands for their currencies which in turn decreases inflation (quantity of shillings demanded increase while supply of shillings remains constant), putting downward pressure on the so called “imported inflation”- increase in the price of imports or depreciation of a country’s exchange rate. Finally, by trading dollars for shillings, South Sudan improves the dollars supply for both countries.

How does South Sudan benefit?

The country benefits in five major ways. First, trading SSPs for shillings helps reduces long lines for dollars at the FOREX’es. Secondly, it will solve the issue of black market which has been a nightmare to stop for the last few years; this cut the demand for dollars because of majority of South Sudanese who need dollars want to exchange it for Kenya and Uganda shillings.

Thirdly, the country’s currency becomes acceptable without waiting for export to pick up. Fourth, commodity prices at Konyo-Konyo are dictated by the price of dollar in black market. The prices of goods and services will decrease because this policy execution cuts the long chain of having to look for scarce dollars in order to import from Kenya or Uganda.

Instead, the trader just exchanges her/his SSPs for UGX or KES right here in Juba. And finally, a parent with SSPs 3,000 won’t have to buy dollars in the black market at 7.2 SSPs/$ resulting in a mere $416. Instead, her 3,000 SSPs give her KES 78,000 (about $847) or UGX 1,620,000 (about $562).

Conclusion

Exchange rates are determined by demand and supply. The quantity of dollars demanded has always been high here in South Sudan but the quantity supplied has always gone the other way. What do you do when you have 50 customers scrambling for your only three bags of charcoal? You have two options: (1) selling the charcoals to your friends and relatives at that cheap price or, (2) increase the price to get the most out of them or risk selling them off cheaply only to see them resold next door at a price five times greater than what you charged.

The agents of our powerful black markets have perfectly capitalized on this logic and you can’t blame them. That is why I have always argued that the South Sudanese pound is unreasonably overvalued at the detrimental cost to the country. If your dollars supply can’t meet the market dollar demand at $5 per one SSP, what is the point of keeping 2.96 (bank rate) and 3.17 (commercial rate) exchange rates?

There is no policy proposal that can help sustain our bank rate being that low unless we miraculously get to the level of pumping 700,000 barrels of oil a day with each barrel going back to say $100. But this is wishful thinking at best and we can’t build an economy on wishes. What I have proposed has better chances of prevailing because it cuts into further decline of the SSPs by giving options to the people whose only gateway out of South Sudanese Pound is to buy dollars.

By creating alternatives for the dollar, the black market will lose most of her customers who buy at SSP 7/$ to Kenya and Uganda shillings and they will be forced to continually lower their prices until a certain equilibrium is reached or risk not selling dollars at all. Whether adopted or not, this macro policy opinion makes it clear that this country is better off having the dollar and at least two more tradable currencies as her reserves.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this piece are solely those of the author whose name appears above. He holds a BA in economics and MA in International Economics and Finance. He can be reached at; chiengky@gmail.com


By Philip Thon Aleu, Juba

March 23, 2015 — The year after 1991 was 1992. 1992, not 1991, was a year of death in Bor.

We were enjoying roasted fish one evening in 1991 when my step-brother, Chol Aleu, arrived to Majak cattle camp, a twenty minutes walk south of Makuach and about 20 km east of Bor town. Chol joined his brothers at the meal and ten minutes later, he broke news of marauding youth from Nuer Lou that has raided his maternal uncles’ cattle a month or so ago. In fact, Chol spent one month in Mading (Bor town) hospital nursing wounds he suffered as a result of snake bites. He and other people were being chased by the attackers from a cattle camp and ended up in a snakes ‘camp.’

Chol gave us the firsthand account of what was happening in Twic (now Twic East county) in the last few months. His conclusion remarks sent shivering waves through my nerves.

‘All these cattle will be taken,’ Chol declared after we listened carefully.

I asked him to repeat the last statement if he was serious. And he said it again in every word of it. I did not know the magnitude of the war in Twic and Duk despite the fact I had seen displaced persons increasingly coming to our villages. Women, children and elderly people from Duk, Twic and Jalle payam were fleeing since fighting started but I knew little of exactly what was forcing them away. Now, Chol has told me the reason.

It was not long. At about 4am that night, women, including my mum, came from our village to break the news that the attackers have overrun Baidit and were already in Werkok. My father, the head chief in the cattle camp, shouted alarm to wake up the people. He said the enemy was near and people should prepare to unrestraint the animals, take care of children and be leaving. It is important to note that all the young men, capable of defending the villages and cattle, were taken during the SPLA recruitment in Bor, popularly known ‘Kaaca de Jok Reng,’ or ‘forceful recruitment of Jok Reng’ in 1990. All the elder brothers we knew in our cattle were no more. There were elder men, boys and girls were left looking after cattle. So the villages were indeed vulnerable.

At about 6:30am, the last man left Majak cattle camp for a journey that took us fourteen days in the bush. At about 12 noon that date, we took a rest at another cattle camp east of Majak but it was not long before we fled and commenced a night journey that I will never forget.

My father was always the last man to leave the camp. That was his duty as the ‘beny de wut’ or the cattle camp chief. He made sure that everyone and every calf is accounted for. And so my mother, like other women, was the only person to attend to her kids. She took my younger brother on her neck and I walked. In fact, I took some bedding onto my head but lost the track of my goats – the animals I had love to rare since my childhood.

There were floods. Water was still over in the forest. We left that cattle camp at about 8pm. The animals, through their feet, mixed the water and earth and formed something like ‘thick porridge.’ We were moving on that sticky substance and it was not long before losing energy. Mum decided to move us away from the animals’ path to avoid that muddy earth. We could not sleep that night and walked the following day till 7pm in evening. Over that period, I had collected and dumped several fish. I thought it was a short journey and had hoped to roast that fis later but it turned out to be endless.

At about 8pm, my father reached the cattle where the animals and those of us who had reached were taking a rest. He called elders and broke news of people killed in his group. He narrated how he narrowly survived. Without being asked the next course of action, he added that it was time to leave the cattle alone and take care of the children. That was not accepted by the elders. He was adamant and within minutes, he had taken us, his extended family, out of the cattle camp. One of my brothers refused and my father left him in the cattle. My step-brother, Deng, could not come to terms with leaving those cattle. He never imagined a life without cattle and that is why he remains a cattle keeper and traditional singer to date. For those of us who were young it was futile to present your thought and we just followed dad and mum.

At dawn that night, our family was joined by many survivors – after the Nuer attackers encircled the cattle camp and slaughter people indiscriminately. My ste- brother, who had insisted on herding the cattle, survived and he joined the family.

A new life began. There were no cattle with their mild and nothing to eat in the forest. Every day in and out, dad and other elders would go looking for loose animals to bring to us for meat. He survived many ambushes and several people were killed. For fourteen days, we ate wild fruits and fish. We were in a new world. I thought the earth had turned upside-down. In my childhood, like many others in our village and the cattle camp, I had not slept in the forest at night though forest was not a stranger to us. I knew bushes were places to graze our goats and calves.

On the fourteenth day, our families reached Bor—Juba road at a section called Malith-thoor, a few kilometers from Jameeza. We, the kids, had survived thirst and hunger for several days and many of us were sick. I was not lucky. I became ill. My dad was carrying my step sister and my mum with my younger brother and so I had to battle it out on my own. I was occasionally staggering into bushes and became impossible to keep up the walking phase of others. For the last three days in the forest, I thought I would die but that did not deter me from trying.

After reaching Jameeza, many families continued the journey to Mogala but our families remained. Several of my age mates died of malnutrition and other related illnesses. For several weeks, I was on sick bed. I vividly remember my father soothing my mum that ‘nothing’ would happen to me. He was referring to death. Towards the end of 1991, I recovered and we returned to Bor.

All that happened in my village and surrounding villages in 1991 but 1992 was to come. Let me repeat, all the cattle raiding that occurred in 1991 and the death commenced in essence in 1992. I am saying this because politicians are stuck in 1991 when there was SPLM split but not bother about the aftermath of it. Of course that is what is important to them – the power, but not the lives of the citizens who suffered as a result.

We spent, not celebrated, the 1991 Christmas in Bor. There were few Christains and the rest worshipped local gods. The following year (1992), people died enormously. Many of the boys we herded goats together, including the one who inspired my Christian name, died. Philip Achuek Deng Garang was the first Philip I knew. When I was baptized, the pastor told me many names and I selected Philip because I would ask Achuek his Christian and he would helped me.

News of kids, elders and many more demise was happening less than 100 meters away from our home. We could not play anymore because there was no energy to waste. Things became extremely difficult and everywhere you go, rotting human being’s remains greet you. Elders instructed us to remains at home 24 hours a day. No more movements or else one may die in unknown location. I have no idea of how the earth was operating with life in a certain corner of the planet and death was eating villages under American, Chinese and Russian satellites surveillance in our villages. Or were there no satellites in 1992 over Southern Sudan? I am asking this because today, when I am asking because every time I use my BGAN in Juba, it shows me a satellite directly above South Sudan.

Maybe the devil of death had out-competed World Superpowers.

In April or May 1992, we were taken to Bor town – then under the control of Sudan Armed Forces (SAF). It was even worse. Our tulkul (a temporary tent-like structure), was erected near the current location of the Episcopal Church of Sudan (ECS) St. Andrew Cathedral in Bor, the capital of Jonglei state. A graveyard was opposite to our tulkul. (Often times I attend prayers in that Cathedral in Bor since 2007 to-date, the old memories cross my mind).

As the saying goes, ‘he who lives near the graveyard does not mourn every death,’ I became accustomed to seeing people being buried. Those were horrible scenes for me – at ten years of age then. Back in my village before 1992, when there was life and not death, I rarely pass near a home where there is a grave. Strangely now I was staying near graves all day and night. On one infamous day, a person was brought to the graveyard and I heard him complaining that he was not dead. He was wondering why these people were hurrying to bury him. He was told that it would be late in the night when he dies later and the Arab soldiers would punish the relatives for not burying him timely. I stood gaping at that drama. I still doubt if those were burials or something else? This because in the morning, you will see a grave torn open by decomposing bodies because the graves were swallow. People had no energy to dig deeper.

In 1992, there were no cattle in Bor, people died in thousands. There was no harvest the previous year because of floods. There was little or no humanitarian food aid provided by SAF soldiers. That compound now part the ECS St. Andrew Cathedral used to be the distribution site and I can recount how we struggled with elders over few drops of cereals. An Arab soldier would use his wooden stick to beat people to death and order others to burry.

We sneaked out of Bor town with other families to our village. I said sneak because the SAF soldiers did not want anyone to move between the villages and the town. Many women were raped to death and many people disappeared in mysterious circumstances. I was told August 1992 was the time we returned to our village. Women had continued to return to the villages to attend to farms and there was little harvest now. Before long, we crossed the Nile River westwards to Wunthoou, currently in Awerial county, into exile. From Wunthoou, we embarked on 43-day journey to Yundu, near Kaya at a Ugandan border with Central Equatoria state.

In our new homes, the IDPs camps, people continued to die because of poor nutrition. Many kids were classified extremely malnurourished and remained in feeding centers for months. Many were sent to early graves. That was 1992, not 1991. But politicians are interested in 1991 because that’s threatened their power seats.

In 2011 Dr. Riek Machar made an apology at the home of Dr. John Garang’s widow in Juba. Politicians agreed to have buried differences and start a new campaign that would remind the survivors of 1992 that it was not freedom from death yet. And so in December 2013, Bor witnessed a second massacre under the forces of Dr. Riek Machar. Since Nuer Lou villages have not witnessed a revenge attack yet, the circle could be far from over! God forbids.

Before December 2013, Bor Dinka and Nuer Lou lived side-by-side in Bor town and businesses flourished between the people. The 1992 starvation of thousands of people to death, known as ‘Capoth’ famine in Dinka Bor, was a vital history and not a blockage between the people. There was no political ‘apology’ that brought the people together. In fact, the politicians, starting with our Members of Parliament and senior executive leaders like governors, ministers in Bor and Juba forgot about the people of Dinka Bor and Nuer Lou.

I hold strong conviction that Jonglei state politicians failed the people, particularly Nuer Lou and Dinka Bor by mismanaging developmental funds and kept people illiterate and vulnerable to future political manipulation. The same mistake is repeated now because peace talks are only about accommodating politicians, sharing wealth and forgetting the victims.

“The challenge is now on our shoulders,” one young politician told me recently, “whether we want to finish ourselves in revenge killings or forgive and reconcile to live as a nation.”

“We cannot fight till the last man or woman,” he told me. I agree with him.


Art by Deng Forbes: Education Through Art

By Kur Wel Kur, Australia

deng forbes

“Uniqueness in fine art and music sells to us regardless of our ages, occupations or localities.”(Sunnyman, Sevena and A-mac Don: the faces of young South Sudanese’s music in Australia).

March 23, 2015 (SSB)  –   The most priceless and popular painting exists in Paris. The piece has become a national property. So the authority has sealed it with a bullet proof glass. Leonardo da Vinci, the artist of Mona Lisa painting, didn’t rise to his fame by chance but by ingenious of his thoughts in his craft (art). And people of his community or class came into an epiphany that he produced exceptional works.

deng11-7

Deng’s art can hold the same standard one day but we must support his art as early as today. Remember, every time we share his art or this article, shows our caring, not for him (Deng) but for our (South Sudanese’s) creativity. Sharing is caring. Remember, poor qualities pieces less transform into classics by promotion.

deng11-3

But I bet you, Deng’s art locks in and release a beauty with a value. More than any other support, we hone our skills in anything when we’re supported psychologically and socially. By this, I mean we should visit and like or share his Facebook page (Art by Deng). You can even place in an order for your piece because nothing equates to pointing to a work of art on your wall, a piece that originates from your country.

Art by Deng: The hub of mass communications.

His art communicates value (quality)

His art communicates value (quality)

Before, I explain this piece, I would like you to study it yourself. Can you observe the precision and beauty of this piece?

Deng captured the elegance and vulnerability of a glass and the wine in this drawing. Half-full broken wine glass, represents our precious country. A country is as fragile as a glassware and citizens are as vulnerable as liquids (wine, water or milk) in a glass.

deng9-5

The broken glass exposed liquids to all dangers such as wind; wind takes drops of them (liquids) before they touch the ground and the rests soak the soil. Broken land lures blood-sucking vampires, diseases, hunger and illiteracy (another killer). In broken land, women and their children flood the country with rivers of tears.

deng6-1 deng6-3

The elegance and vulnerability, balanced precisely, makes these drawings, works of values and art. The pieces succeeded in communicating their messages.

His art depicts information in 3D (symbolic communication)

His art depicts information in 3D (symbolic communication)

His art depicts information in 3D (symbolic communication)

A soldier on a lion, his eyes blindfolded with South Sudan’s flag. I believe this drawing means, SPLA fight or fought wars on war unconventional animal (lion). Remember, ancient people used horses as the conventional war animals. However, Deng depicted TRUTH in this piece by challenging our thoughts with a soldier blindfolded on a lion. The flag symbolises sovereignty. If other nation offenses our country in anyway, and the war becomes a last resort, then (soldiers) SPLA sees only the symbol (flag) of our country.

Symbolically, Deng used a lion to represent unconventional Truth we use to wage dignified wars (minus this current war). Remember, before the birth of ROSS (Republic of South Sudan), SPLA as a guerrilla army, saved 3,000 prisoners of war while the Khartoum government with all its abilities saved no single prisoner of war. That’s unconventional truth (lion) because most guerrillas are ruthless, but we fought on that truth.

___His interpretation ___Here’s what Deng had to say when I asked him about the meaning behind this piece:

“…one of my very first drawings, I did it in response to the Heglig conflict between South Sudanese government and Sudanese government. It’s a symbol of how united we are when under any attack”.

His art conveys originality and inspirations.

"The never ending tears of mother Africa" This was my only way of expressing how I felt about the suffering of the Nigerian girls kidnapped by boko haram, and the risk of potentially losing 50,000 S. Sudanese children to hunger and diseases this year due to the ongoing conflict if nothing positive is done. Africa we need a change!

“The never ending tears of mother Africa”
This was my only way of expressing how I felt about the suffering of the Nigerian girls kidnapped by boko haram, and the risk of potentially losing 50,000 S. Sudanese children to hunger and diseases this year due to the ongoing conflict if nothing positive is done. Africa we need a change!

When I surfed his page, the artistic adventure warmed my cold memories for my beloved country. The captions on his drawings are the glittering nuggets of the real patriotism.

deng6-2

From his empathy and sympathy for the victims of South Sudan’s war to his encapsulating feelings for whole Africans’ affairs, especially the kidnapped Nigerian girls, Deng’s creativity is packed with the true leadership roles that inspire the whole lots of generations.

He had this to say about intending to inspire:

“I know, there are many other South Sudanese artists out there who need to be inspired and exposed, and I really hope that my work inspires them to embrace their talents”.

The ability to observe and record details about situations or people, then reproduce them in precise manners, makes his art a discipline that requires not only an outstanding judgment but also a speed of light to capture the moment just as the artificial cameras do.

If you knew or had seen the photo of a legendary political, racial and social problems rapper, Tupac Amaru Shakur, then you won’t ask: ___even without captions___ whose portrait is this on Art by Deng’s page? That’s the true genius of his art

His art stores history
deng9-1 deng9-2 deng9-3

Before writing (invented in Mesopotamia, around 3200 BCE and in Mesoamerica around 600 BCE), video (in 1951) and camera (discovered in 1816) emerged, people used sculptures and drawings to communicate and store historical information.

deng9-4

Today, art holds the same functions it held 1500 years ago. The Mona Lisa’s painting, a 498 year’s old piece, explains the past every time experts (world acclaimed artists) observe it in a different angle. Art by Deng, captivates us with our historical information.

deng6-7 deng6-6

His art speaks louder than written and spoken words.

Remember our Fallen soldiers. R.E.D - Remember Everyone Dead

Remember our Fallen soldiers. R.E.D – Remember Everyone Dead

He articulated it this way: “When words fail, art speaks. And I want to use art as a tool to send out a message that everyone can relate”.

deng11-5 deng11-6 deng11-8 deng11-9 deng11-4 deng11-2 deng11-1

For sure, he nailed it right. When the war ignited, many opinions writers and press owners at home and abroad wrote gazillions of words to describe how destructive the war is; however, Deng dropped one drawing(the one above) to visually and psychologically show why war is a loss of lives.

Again anyone who visited his page must know that Deng is an economist of words. He uses words as rare as black diamond to describe a magnificent piece of art that worth 10,000 words. A clear and critical thinking. A literacy at its best.

So my people, that’s amazing and outstanding talent. May God of our country blesses you in sharing this talent and caring for our creativity.

deng-1

Art by Deng is an outstanding and amazing work. You can visit his page on Facebook (Art by Deng)!

Enjoy the work of our own, Deng Forbes. God blesses our country and you.

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made are the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing from.

By David Aoloch Bion

When I was in P3 in Ashwa in 1992 , we were given a dictation test by Ustaz  Kuol Malual . One of the difficult  word  we faced to spell  was  ‘’Thousand ‘’ . fortunately , I knew the word  but , my class mate late  Deng Garang Deng, who finished Statistic in Juba University  in 2012 and died in car accident on Nimule road did not know it  . Deng  sneaked a look on my paper , he copied the word thousand .

When the papers were  given and results were announced , Deng  was best in the class . One month later on , Deng confessed to me that  he copied the word ‘’thousand ‘’ from me. He told if he did not copy from me the word , he would have not been the  best in that test . he said , he was proud because his eye saw the word.

In South Sudan , there are some  political philosophy questions which are difficult for some politicians like our President Kiir to deal with them , therefore , in such situation , politicians have to sneak look in to neighbourhood and copy the correct answers for them .

It is time for President Kiir to stop political gambling on most difficult political philosophy questions and peeped into neighbourhood and copy correct answers from bright students.

The brightest students in neighborhood are Tanzania and Botswana. The correct answers to be copied are , presidential term limits , equitable distribution of resources , independent parliament that can’t be dissolved by President . Independent judiciary where judges are appointed by the president but can’t  be sacked by him . all in all , . check and balance , which is the ambition to encounter ambition .  among the three branches  of the government , no branch must be above another branch.

Because  half of South Sudanese want change in constitution , Parliament , judiciary and executive,

Mr Kiir must plagiarize in politics , if he want to be successful. it is not malpractice to steal  correct answers for difficult political philosophy questions .

Am not calling  for reforms that favour individuals like ‘’ showing or not showing of hands , 5% not 5% agenda like SPLM document ..

End note

The speech of President Kiir was bland because his no for  two armies was unsatisfactory because he did not justify, he has not explain it to his people why he did not want two armies although it is a leading question , yet  he need  to explains it. So many of his Nos were not justified .