Archive for May 23, 2019


The politics of road building in South Sudan: There are more questions than answers in the oil for road deal between the Republic of South Sudan and the People’s Republic of China

By Mamer Deng Mamer, Bor, South Sudan

oil for road in South Sudan

Thursday, May 23, 2019 (PW) — At the end of March, President Salva Kiir Mayardit witnessed the signing of a contract for construction of roads from Juba to Terekeka and onwards to the Bahr Ghazal region. The contract was signed by officials from the Ministry of Petroleum and Chinese firm, Shandong Hi-Speed Group Co. ltd (SDHS).[1]  Given that similar ceremonies did not progress beyond the signing of documents or pronouncements in front of the media, I am doubtful that this latest event for the “oil infrastructure” project will make any difference.

How did we arrive at “oil for infrastructure” project?

The March 25, 2019 ceremony was a culmination of a new strategy adapted by President Kiir’s administration to use oil revenues for road construction, which he announced in 2018 during a trip to the Forum on China-Africa Corporation (FOCAC) in Beijing.  Chinese President Xi Jinping told Kiir that China was “ready to strengthen cooperation with South Sudan in areas such as infrastructure and to encourage more Chinese enterprises to participate in the country’s economic and social development.”[2]  President Kiir also told his Chinese counterpart that infrastructural development was his priority. 

President Kiir expanded on reasons behind his strategy when he told a Catholic congregation that “I decided that the infrastructure or whatever that we want to be done by foreign companies has to be done in exchange for crude oil because our people don’t want to see money.  If they see money, their hands start shaking,”[3] implying that corrupt officials were likely to siphon off money earmarked for projects.

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How many South Sudanese “read?” This is the “Bridge” generation’s responsibility

By Francis Mabior Deng, Melbourne, Australia

Francis Mabioor Deng Mabioor, Former Lost, South Sudanese Australian and Author of "A Child Escape."
Francis Mabioor Deng Mabioor, Former Lost boy, South Sudanese Australian and Author of “A Child Escape.”

Thursday, May 23, 2019 (PW) —- Arguably and perhaps controversially to some, the “Red Army Generation,” which is also referred to as the “Lost Boys and Girls” of Sudan Generation is the “Bridge” between the “Old” and “New” Sudan. They are the generation who from their childhoods witnessed and experienced the devastating protracting Sudanese civil war from its onset in May 1983 to its major end, the birth of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, CPA, in January 2005. They are the generation in the history of South Sudan to begin schooling (although under trees in camps and warzone locations) in considerably great numbers!

In late 80s and early 90s, thousands of this generation were robbed of their childhoods in the name of the Liberation Struggle. They were denied their carefree spirit and playfulness. They were too young to be separated from their families. After about five years living in rebel-controlled camps in both Southern Ethiopia and South Sudan, and often escaping enemy’s jaws, thousands of them fortunately crossed the border and later in August 1992 established Kakuma refugee camp in northwestern Kenya. Half of them had joined SPLA rank and file. In contrast to the mediocre schools they had in South Sudan, UN constructed better schools and their humble schooling resumed. Majority focused on their learning and did well against all odds and despite terrible health conditions at the time.

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By Nyawech G. G. Riak, Nairobi, Kenya

Augustino Jadalla Wani, Governor of Jubek State, South Sudan
Augustino Jadalla Wani, Governor of Jubek State, South Sudan

Thursday, May 23, 2019 (PW) — The Governor of Jubek State recently regaled the public with new morality laws. First of all, there is simply no way to fully regulate morality fit for a society that is rapidly getting exposed and adjusting to western secularism as opposed to maintaining the statically traditional it had in the past decades. Culture and society evolve.. These laws may fail to achieve their purpose because they are the same laws that were part of our motivations to fight the jallaba for 22 years when Nimeiri introduced them in September 1983.

The laws revolved around Islam as the source of moral conduct and law. Imposing such a strict form of sharia law contributed to our struggle, which insisted upon secularism. Looking back on those 22 years that we fought a war of liberation it is ironical to prohibit simple things like discos and nightclubs. Therefore this sort of shows an element of confusion as to why we fought for liberation in the first place. It is important to remember what the late Dr John Garang used to teach us. Dr John used to tell our northern allies that we were not fighting a war of liberation from “who” but from “what”.

We never fought against the northerners as a people; we fought against the conditions they imposed. Dr John said we fought against conditions that wanted to make all of us Arabs. In fact he added that “God in his infinite wisdom created Dinka, Nuer, Nuba, and Arabs. We cannot all be Arabs.” He also said, “if you reduce the distance from which a woman in rural Southern Sudan fetches water from 2kms to 2 metres then you have liberated her.” That is what we fought against. We fought against the same conditions our leadership wants to replicate.

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By Dut Kuot Akok, Aweil, South Sudan

Salva Kiir Mayaardit: The Joshua of South Sudan. Grab your copy at Amazon.com

Thursday, May 23, 2019 (PW) —- South Sudan is being inhabited by more than 64 tribes with outstanding sense of valor. They fought for more than fifty years collectively to liberate themselves from persecution, prosecution, oppression, servitude and inhuman marginalization under the successive regimes in the former Sudan. And after the hoisting of the flag in July 2011 with countless applauses and ululation, they thought like to have put an end to unbearable suffering they were enduring and acts this time as masters of their own affair in their blessed nation.

Their expectations by then were very high after they were free at last, their expectations ranged from smooth transformation of their living standards, infrastructural development, establishment of standards schools and health facilities and provision of clean drinking water just mention few. But to their dismay including the friends of south Sudan, their above mentioned expectations were made impossible to be achieves after their trusted leaders did selfishly turned against them.

Currently, majority of our people have deserted the country while others have camped in protection of civilian site (POC) for their safety. They are there not because of their willingness to be but they have no option since the company have unknowing or selfishly defiled all the promises they used to preach during liberation days.  They are antagonizing any opposite views and treat the engineers of these views with cruelty as if we are still under the diabolic regime of Omar basher.

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