Archive for December, 2017

“We the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, with so little, for so long, we are now qualified to do anything, with nothing”

Prepared by the Editorial Team

PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB): The Best Articles, Writers, of the Year 2016

December 31, 2017 (SSB) — Last year 2016, we highlighted and celebrated our writers by showcasing their writings for the year 2016. As part of that tradition, we bring to your desk/screen the best of 2017 as featured on PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese bloggers (SSB) website.

The year 2017, in some hours, will dwindle into the past, and the people of South Sudan, along with the rest of the world, will welcome 2018. Every New Year is a joyful festival, a celebration of the last year achievements, accomplishments that include being alive and healthy, recognizing the selfless young leaders, whether in journalism, governance, or other important issues such as women’s rights issues, economic growth, conflicts and peace.

This year, our country, with its suffering population, has been featured hundreds over hundreds of websites all over the world, mostly in a bad light. However, PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese bloggers (SSB), our own website, occupies the central stage in publishing opinion articles and analysis featuring ordinary South Sudanese, which make sense of the dire situations in our beloved country.

It is also an instrumental informant to South Sudanese worldwide because it publishes writings from South Sudanese, both within and outside the country. These opinions explain the general and specific lives and situations of South Sudanese in countries such as Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand, USA, UK, EU and many other places where South Sudanese are taking refuge.

Instead of being constrained by the ritual of the “top 10” best opinion articles and writers, we have elected to showcase the rich compilations of the best writings from the best opinion writers and sociopolitical and economic analysts. By “best” we simply have in mind a piece of writing that best highlight the horrors of the civil war and economic crisis that our people are enduring in dignified humiliation; a piece of writing that best capture and present not just a constructive criticism of our leaders from all sides of the political, economic and conflict divides, but also a feasible resolution of the ills that has been ailing our country since the advent of the CPA and into independence.

Today, PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese bloggers (SSB) is celebrating the diverse and excellent articles and news analysis of our best writers and acknowledging the work of other hundred contributors, columnists and opinion-writers whose names or works won’t appear in this article. We got lots of writers on our website, and it is imperative to motivate and encourage them with something unique to mark the end of the year 2017 and the commencement of a happy – prosperous and peaceful – New Year 2018:

Here is the 2017 review:


My response to my critic of my last article (the quest to know our place in human history – part two). This piece of writing is written in jest (humour))

By Thiik Mou Giir, Melbourne, Australia

African heritage

December 31, 2017 (SSB) — Mr Vigilio M, I like your argument because it may represent the argument of some South Sudanese.  You have given me a chance to respond to you and to them.  Below is my response to what you wrote.

  1. You wrote that “Colonials came and left but our cultures remained unchanged and there’s a good reason why colonials have chosen not to interfere with local cultures because it is a red line on the sand”. I have no desire to say anything against or to rebut your assertion.  Our African people did the right thing to the invaders.  You also asserted that “…the colonials chose not to interfere with local cultures…”  In my opinion, the reason they did so is because they did not want to mess up or to destroy the cultures of the people who taught them Philosophy, Religion, Medicines, Chemistry, Architecture and so on.  Later on, the foreigners came in and stole works of art from people who help them jump-start their own civilization.  They decided to leave African cultures unchanged because they wanted to keep them as reference points.


Zack Mayul, Kampala, Uganda

December 30, 2017 (SSB) — This year has been accompanied by daunts of stories that would leave anyone with nothing but shame, fear and tears. The year has been a year of shame, disgrace and worries unlike other years in the history.

Right from January, these are some of the things that I would wish; from the social perspectives, religious, political and the economic perspective respectively. The following deadly sin top my list of five things that should be buried as late as 31st December 2017, night:

Killing of Youth

We live in a myopic society that cares less about tomorrow but care about a clean spoon that feeds her today. The saying that goes ‘youths are the future of tomorrow: – ‘in our dictionary as South Sudanese, this saying has backfired and in fact, has washed away completely.


By Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda

African heritage

December 30, 2017 (SSB) — The establishment of modern states is not something easier. What complicates the whole matter are their settings. They have been forged through bringing different communities with varied interests that were thrashed into one people historically during the colonial period. Consequently, to form one nation-state out of these various but tribal communities with contrasting interests is not something easier and in most cases requiring tough but fair approach.

Why I have stated above that forming state that different communities with contrasting interests co-exist together peacefully requires fair but tough approach is because sometime the leaders may use tough but unfair approach in attempting to forge a modern state but the consequences of such approach are always disastrous as it can trigger war of succession as was seen in Nigeria, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as well as unending civil wars as seen in different parts of the world.


By Samuel Reech Mayen, Juba, South Sudan

street kids

The number of homeless children in the South Sudanese capital has more than doubled since 2009

December 29, 2017 (SSB) — Kids are the flowers which beautify a community. They are the source of happiness which lights human souls. Above all, kids are the definition of a brighter future for every society. In short, they are the most valuable assets of every nation. The children across South Sudan are not exceptional. They mean what this country will look like after hundred years from now.

It’s this irrefutable belief which urged the international community to encode the principles of child protection in the variety of instruments. Echoed by every nation, the Transitional Constitution, 2011 of the Republic of South Sudan article (17) (1 – 4) inclusive provides for the Rights of the Child. In summary, it stipulates the protection and development of a child in all aspects of life.

The Child Act, 2008 put the preceding constitutional rights in nutshell. Section six (6) of the very Act literally states all decision regarding kid ought to be in their best interest. Sadly, these provisions appear to be mere ornaments which decorate our legal instruments for there are no legal modalities to enforce them.


Death penalty should not be abolished in South Sudan: a response to the minister of justice and constitutional affairs, Paulino Wanawila Unango

By Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda

African heritage

December 29, 2017 (SSB) — In the article that was published on the front page of Juba Monitor on Tuesday, December 05, 2017, entitled: DEATH PENALTY: To be abolished. In that Article the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Hon. Paulino Wanawila Unango was reported to have revealed that the application of death penalty in South Sudan would soon be abolished and compensation shall be used as a means of solving disputes involving murder cases.

The reasons for the Minister wanted the death penalty abolished as were given by the reporter were: that it was not priority of the government of South Sudan to use death penalty; that death penalty was something that was not in the culture of South Sudanese; that though death penalty was to be abolished there would be other penalties. The Minister as the reporter pointed out tried to justify his assertion on the abolition of the death penalty on the ground that “in South Sudan, every case of legal dispute including causing the death of somebody was being resolved through compensatory procedure “which should be maintained.


For Immediate Release: Organized forces conducted unwarranted search in Gen. Paul Malong Awan House in Malualkon

Malong in exile1

Gen. Paul Malong arriving in Nairobi, Kenya

December 29, 2017 (SSB) — On the afternoon of December 28, 2017, a contingent of organized forces, composed of elements from the SPLA and National Security Services raided our compound in Malualkon and conducted the unwarranted search.

From the eye-witnesses account, these troops arrived in three pick-up trucks. Upon disembarking, the troops cordon off the perimeter of the property and proceed to order every out of the houses except one of our brothers whom they asked to accompany them as they search the premises. After the search, the left the premises without taking anything!


By Cde. Deng Gai Gatluak, Juba, South Sudan

Deng Gai Gatluak

Molana Deng Gai Gatluak

December 28, 2017 (SSB) — It’s incontrovertible that, a substantial number of South Sudanese have been persistently interpreting the Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS) in a manner that suits their political, communal and individual interests. Consequently, for the sake of public consumption, I saw it wise to drop a few lines with regards to the legal interpretations of the ARCISS.

According to article 1.3 of the ARCSS, it is clearly stipulated that “the seat of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGONU) shall be in Juba, the capital city of South Sudan.”

On that note, it is indisputable that, the genesis of Dr. Riek Machar Teny (RMT)’s exit from Juba, was the fact that, he staged a coup in the presidential palace (J1) on 8th July 2016 and subsequently left Juba when he was defeated, dislodged and humiliated by SPLA forces all the way to Congo and afterwards ended up on a political detention in Pretoria, South Africa.



Deng Mabior Deng, Bor-South County commissioner

December 28, 2017 (SSB) — Greetings to all members. We, the Bor – Gok’s leadership team, would like to share our heartfelt appreciations to all Gok’s members who took times to attend to Gok community meeting on 24/12/2017. With such spirits, our Gok community and entire Bor community will surmount the highest mountain of success.

We thank you for heeding the call. To all other members who did not manage to attend the meeting, we are pleased to inform you that Bor – Gok Community is officially formed and launched. We, therefore, congratulate all members who have contributed to the actualization of this fruitful idea.

The Genesis of the idea.

For the benefit of those who had not heard about Gok community association, the leadership would like to inform concerned readers, particularly the esteemed members of Bor – Gok community that we (members of Gok community) arrived at this idea at our first meeting which was held in Melbourne, Australia on 25, February 2017. In this meeting, it was unanimously agreed that Gok’s association should be formed.


By Thiik Mou Giir, Melbourne, Australia

African heritage

December 28, 2017 (SSB) — We will be well off if we could first find out who we were in history.  We will then be able to move on with the vision Construct Our New Identity (CONI) or with any other vision.  Most among us who have learned something about our history either have learned it from the point of view of an Arab or a European, or both.  We should know that they wrote history that way in order to serve their own interests and in so doing they did not write down everything that was supposed to have been written down.

They left out things that they deemed as not serving their interests but which could have had uplifted us and made us advance.  In the light of what they have done to our people, the enslavement and the colonization of our people, we have reasons to believe that they might have inserted a Lie in what we thought is true history.  Because we did not know better we have absorbed the Lie and we even have passed it on to our own people.  The result? Confusion.  That is what a Lie always does.  It is dangerous.

This is what Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – the Nigerian Novelist – had in mind when she entitled her talk at TED Talk, “The danger of a single story.”  We, the South Sudanese, have only heard a single story presented to us by other people who treated and are still treating our African people in the system of racism as if they are sub-humans.  We still hang on every word of ‘history’ that comes down from the mouth or the pen of an Arab or a European historian.


By Peter Wal Athiu Madol Anyar, Kampala, Uganda

Customary book, final cover July 2017

December 28, 2017 (SSB) — Today, the 28th of December 2017, marks the 50th year of the death of our father, Chief Athiu Madol Anyar (1910-1966) and his cousin, Chief Malual Khang Makuei, both were from Koch subsection of Jourkoch people of Bor country.

In that doomed day of December 1966, government truck full of soldiers arrived at Makuach court centre purposely to arrest the chiefs who were accused by the government agents of being supporters of the Anyanya One Movement

According to an eyewitness who was present at the time in Makuach court centre, the government soldiers called out for the chiefs and started questioning them about the rebels, accusing the chiefs of collaborating with the rebels.


By Longar Mathiec Wol, Juba, South Sudan

peace message2

one nation, one country, one people

December 27, 2017 (SSB) — As we approach the end of 2017, let me take this opportunity to wish all the Christians in general and people of South Sudan, in particular, a merry Christmas and all the people across the globe a happy and prosperous new year 2018.

As the quest for the peace in the youngest nation has been a painful experience as the country goes through the rough route two years after it the independence declaration. Since the war broke out the efforts to stabilize the country has been on top gear but most proof futile.

But with all this uncertainty since the war broke out almost five years ago the people continue to keep the hope alive, that one day the scarce commodity call peace will one day avail itself. It has been a hope to every single South Sudanese that peace is attainable, though it’s taking longer then it is better late than never. Regardless of the exacerbating suffering the unyielding hope for peace South Sudan continue to ring in the ear of every South Sudanese.


The traumatic shift from our society formations to military formations. This is a story about how we were mixed up – separated from our lineages- and village-mates and sorted out in groups of kids from different sections and villages – for the first time upon arrival in Ethiopia.

By Deng Diar Diing, Mombasa, Kenya

December 27, 2017 (SSB) — We were to be mixed with kids of various diversities in early 1988. This was the first move away from social formations where we were organized into lineages, clans and sections during our journey to Ethiopia from our various villages.

It was around April 1988 (not specifically sure of the time) when Capt. Pieng Deng-majok announced that we should be sorted out in military formations to allow for integration of kids from various backgrounds of South Sudan. This was meant to initiate us into National Agenda of Liberation that was transcendent of any social association.

It was also meant to rid us of social ignorance and stigmas that were stereotypically bound into us by various social bigotries. There were stories of this community eats people and others are this and that, causing unnecessary suspicions.


The ARCSS is not a subject of personality (Dr. Riek Machar Teny)

By Cde. Deng Gai Gatluak, Juba, South Sudan

Deng Gai Gatluak

Molana Deng Gai Gatluak


December 27, 2017 (SSB) — I have been merely a keen observer on how intellectuals debate opinions about the complexities of the ARCSS, HLRF and the disintegration within SPLM/A-IO, but opted to zip my mouth, watch behind the scenes and persistently kept my fingers on the pulse.

Nonetheless, I saw it wise to drop some lines on the subject matter. Martin Luther King Jr. once reiterated that “our lives begin to end the day we keep silent about things that matter.” On that note, It has come to my heed that, a substantial number of South Sudanese, predominantly the intellectuals, have exceedingly failed to comprehend the distinction between personalities and the agreement on the resolution of the conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS).

The ARCSS was signed between SPLM/A-IG and SPLM/A-IO plus other political stakeholders. Consequently, the agreement wasn’t a subject of Dr. Riek Machar Teny and H.E. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardiit, notwithstanding the fact that they were the main signatories, we shouldn’t turn a blind eye on the fact that, SPLM/A-IO and SPLM/A-IG are legal entities that are separate from whoever spearheads them.


My Christmas events since 1990

Posted: December 27, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers, Philip Thon Aleu

By Philip Thon Aleu, Entebbe, Uganda

17 years ago during the Easter of 2000 in Mangalatoria DC

17 years ago during the Easter of 2000 in Mangalatoria DC! with Thon Anyang Anyieth Nhial, Ngor Jok Deel, Maluak Ayuen Chol, Alier Cier Mading…

December 27, 2017 (SSB) — This is a record of all my Christmas events since I was baptized in Makuach, Bor, Jonglei state, in 1990.

Part 1: Makuach, Bor, 1990-1994
1. 1990: Makuach, Bor: After being baptized as a Christian, I was obliged to celebrate Christmas for the first time in 1990 in Makuach, east of Bor town. I did not know what exactly it meant at the time and just enjoyed the women and men throwing their arms back and forth and singing some songs that did not make sense to me at all.
2. 1991: Makuach, Bor: This was a full-time event after the SPLM split and subsequent Bor massacre and cattle disappeared in my life for the first time. I watched Church Choir marching on the road and amongst the bones from unburied dead. I followed the marchers throughout until I was tired and retired home.
3. 1992: Yuddu IDP camp, Kaya (at South Sudan Uganda border). This was my first Christmas season in our new home at Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp. I remember this event vividly for two reasons: a). Our family arrived from Bor after a journey of 43 days; and a day before the church marches which I later discovered to be on every December 24th. b). for the first time, I saw women and children well dressed. In Bor, few people were clothed in 1991. I was exhausted from the one and half months walking (from Bor to Kaya) and simply watched the parade from one spot with folded arms.


This serialized article is a remembrance dedication to those former lost boys whom we lost on our journey to Ethiopia and beyond…narrated from my personal experience when I left Pawel, Kongor, to Ethiopia in 1987.

By Garang Yong Deng (Kede Miakduur), Alberta, Canada


December 25, 2017 (SSB) — Before leaving Pawel, Kongor, we had to go for the traditional blessing at Luangde Loor (Mayom Shrine) in Pakuor. In case you all don’t or didn’t know that MAYOM WAS JUST A DRUM idolized to a shrine, then know it that wasn’t for entire Kongor but Mïthke Ajääng! It didn’t include the entire Apiölöc. The rest of Környin and Palek ë Leek were excluded in this matter.

Those of Tungke Padool has their own like Dhiën Padool has Werawiër; Këbaar with Pathiong; Pawïïr with Amot/Pamor and Pareng with Werakiir or Akeknhiaan. Biöö’dït section: Anyang and Payaath have Atëdal and Wun ë Yong respectively. To cut it short, most of the other sections of Kongor had no chances of seeing Loor-e-Mayom. This was because everyone was busy with their own kinds of stuff and not everyone believed what others believed.

Fast forward: during our departure from Pawel for Paliau at around 3 pm, we ran on Pawel-Wangulei road and before reaching to Luangde Loor (Mayom Shrine), we were told to stop and visit Mayom to bless us. We were all jubilant but those who were baptized by then were instructed not to think about going there!


December 20th, 2017

H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit President

Commander-in-Chief of Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA)

Republic of South Sudan Juba, South Sudan 

Re: Your Excellency – Letter of Petition to President Kiir for the Release of My Brother, Agou John Wuoi, from Juba Prison 

By Elizabeth Yom John Wuoi, Toronto, Canada

President Decree on the rimmittance of prison sentence1President Decree on the rimmittance of prison sentence2

December 25, 2017 (SSB) — Kindly please permit me to take this rare opportunity to appreciate you for every effort you have made toward making South Sudan a better country, notwithstanding many challenges. I know you face many daunting difficulties, both at domestic and international levels. It is not easy to build a nation from scratch.

That is why, despite these challenges, those of us who know the difficulty of building a new nation do appreciate your efforts and determination, especially as regards the search for peace and national unity. These efforts will ultimately bring a sense of national political renewal, in tandem with the spirit of our liberation struggle to which you had dedicated the prime of your life. You are, indisputably, an eternal national hero.

The principal intent for writing this petition letter to you is, however, to bring to Your Excellency’s attention the situation facing my brother, Agou John Wuoi. Your recent decision to pardon 9 prisoners who were accused and convicted of an alleged offense of fraud and money laundering from your office, in June of 2016, is truly laudable. In my view, this pardon is part of your efforts towards national political renewal for which I personally, just like many others, applaud you.


By Samuel Reech Mayen, Juba – South Sudan

kiir and garang

Commander John Garang and Commander Salva Kiir in Rumbek, during the war of liberation struggle

December 25, 2017 (SSB) — The autumn wind was blowing harshly from the North. The lips of the boys cracked deeply because of dryness. Dust from the dung ashes filled the air to an extent a short-sighted would not even see a sun. Their eyes voluntarily dripped with dirty tears. These were the climatic features of the sacrificial season. It was already time for sacrifice in Ngoth-goon totemic cattle camp.

Atem-yath, the totemic Puff Adder was widely worshipped by almost the whole section. This principal religious function was performed by slaughtering numerous oxen. For time immemorial, it had been an annual totemic feast. However, in the preceding past, the totemic festival had turned biennial purposely to make it more remarkable and less extravagant. That year was no different. The elders of Lian section met to listen to the clairvoyant advice on matters regarding this periodical ritual which appeased the deity to protect and provide good health to the people and their cattle.


By David Matiop Gai, Juba, South Sudan

Bishop Garang Anyieth Jakdit

Bishop Nathaniel Garang Anyieth: The Spiritual Leader of our Time

December 25, 2017 (SSB) — The birth of Jesus Christ was narrated in (Mt 1:18-25; Lk 2: 1-20) and has become the well-known religious story of Christian history as Christmas story birth of Jesus Christ.  The story birth of Jesus Christ our Lord is a spiritual celebration; it is a spiritual living and a true meditation on Christian’s faith. There is the number of importance essences of Christmas celebrations.

  1. The Purpose of Christmas preparation and celebration.

Preparation for Christmas in few days ahead of us in South Sudan can be a lot of works, but as true Christmas, we get our hearts open to God. The first purpose of Christmas is pure celebrations compare to what we learnt from the angel’s opening statement to the shepherds of Bethlem or Bethlehem. God had wonderful news for us to rejoice, celebrate, and this is an opening statement of the angel to us that, “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people”, (Lk 2:10). And the centre of Christmas is the entire reason for the love of God.