Archive for the ‘Columnists’ Category


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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By Longar Mathiec Wol, Juba, South Sudan

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 (PW) — As Junubin culture of copy pasting has reached it climax, it emerged the Red Card Movement (RCM) the copy paste of Sudan revolution. Based on the whatsApp leaks documents in hot of Juba website the WhatsApp group was created by someone in Sudan, that confirmed the origin of the movement.

In the next few days, that is the 16 May which collide with the SPLM/A revolution of 1983; people of Juba are anticipating the unlikely mockery protest. What is so funny about this protest is that, there has never been a clear leader (s) spearheading it. Compare to Sudan the Sudan protest was led by Sudanese Professional Association. That itself shows the level of disorganization within the red card movement.

However, the question many people have been contemplating or lingering in people’s minds is; who is behind the red card movement and what is it trying to achieve. In my opinion, the perceived movement is being pampered by disgruntle international community and the disoriented opposition leaders. So pathetic.

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By Majok Arol Dhieu, Juba, South Sudan

Governor Augustino Jadalla Wani of Jubek State.jpg
Governor Augustino Jadalla Wani of Jubek State.jpg

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 (PW) — As the number of political critics soared on the social media, however, this has pushed the governor of Jubek State to banned night’s clubs without considering the disastrous effect it will cause on both economics and political activities.

The government seem to have panicky feeling by clinging to every word from opposition groups but the importance of these strategic outsourcing by political outcasts through their political kinship members in the social media has already begun to wane because of the distance and other circumstances. These radical thinkers look at many ways they’ll attract the attention of more supporters to effect the change that they’ve been longing for.

There’s a tremendous sense of camaraderie when I realized from my admired writers that the Red Card Movement—-a socio-economic groupings against vagaries of civil war—is only the group of scaremongers whose ideas are a hodgepodge of overthrowing Dinka, overthrowing president Salva Kiir and many confused strategies seeking to make political capital out of the situation by peddling such malicious and unjustified rumours. 

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The Formation of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGONU): Why South Sudan is better off with Riek Machar’s SPLM-IO in Juba than in the political wilderness

By PaanLuel Wël, Juba, South Sudan

Riek Machar
Riek Machar

Sunday, May 12, 2019 (PW) — Today, 12 May 2019, was earmarked for the establishment of the long-awaited Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU) after the expiration of the 8-month pre-transitional period in which the warring parties and peace partners were supposed to have cantoned and integrated their respective armed forces into a unified national army; determined the appropriate number and demarcated the exact boundaries of states; demilitarized Juba and other major urban centers for safe return of the civil population; facilitated the deployment of the UN-mandated regional protection forces (RPF) in Juba and other major towns to allow the safe return of senior opposition leaders; tabled and ratified the constitutional amendment bill enshrining the revitalized peace agreement into the current Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan (2011), without which there would be no legal basis to form and run the revitalized transitional government (R-TGONU), and more importantly, provided sufficient funding for the timely and full implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS), 12 September 2018.

Instead, on 3 May 2019, the summit of the parties to the 2018 R-ARCSS, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 2 to 3 May 2019, unanimously decided to extend the pre-interim period by an additional six (6) months, from 12 May to 12 November, 2019, purportedly to allow more time for the implementation of the critical and consequential outstanding issues – primarily the failed unification and deployment of armed forces and the pending determination of the number and boundaries of states. During the summit, the representatives of the parties to the 2018 R-ARCSS, having taken “stock of the status of the implementation of the R-ARCSS, identified progress made, challenges encountered and deliberated on the way forward and agreed on a roadmap,” concluded that the timely and full implementation process of the revitalized peace agreement was shackled and doomed by financial constraints, trust deficit and dearth of political will among the warring parties and peace partners, as well as by inadequate support from the peace guarantors and the international community, among others.

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One-Year Anniversary of the Arrest of Kerbino Wol: The piece describes the ongoing case of Kerbino Wol, who stands on trial in Juba, alongside Peter Biar Ajak and 5 other defendants, for the 7 October protest at the Blue House. Tomorrow, 27 April, marks exactly one year since the unlawful arrest of Kerbino Wol. 

By Dr. Robert A. Portada III, Pennsylvania, USA

South Sudanese businessman, Kerbino Wol Agok, and South Sudanese PhD student, Peter Biar Ajak

Friday, April 26, 2019 (PW) — One year ago, on 27 April 2018, Kerbino Wol, the young, South Sudanese entrepreneur and philanthropist, was arrested without charge and incarcerated at the Blue House, the headquarters of the National Security Service (NSS).

Following his unlawful arrest, Kerbino was subjected to torturous conditions.  He has been accosted in his cell in the dead of night by masked agents threatening his disappearance.  Injuries to his kidneys from these struggles left him urinating blood for several weeks.  He would spend months in solitary confinement, nursing his wounds on his own without access to medical care.  Kerbino’s requests to meet with his family and lawyers were repeatedly denied. 

Kerbino Wol

He frequently went days (often consecutively) without receiving any food, only to learn later on that his relatives had been bringing food to the facility for him, which was instead eaten by officers of the NSS.  Kerbino has suffered from typhoid, ulcers, and malnutrition, leaving him in a frail condition that was only alleviated by an emergency visit to a clinic in February.  

Through all of this, he has lived in fear of being abused and abducted by agents of the NSS.

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By Peter Wek Mabiordit, Juba, South Sudan

Tuesday, March 19, 2019 (PW) —- Peace is an important thing in human life. It is demonstrated by our daily actions toward others. The noble choice of doing right things depends on individual’s attitude and behaviors. When we behave in the right manner, our behaviors immediately translate into peace. For the last 3 years there had been a search for a lasting peace in South Sudan. Many agreements had been signed but dishonored.

The Khartoum peace agreement signed in 2018 is another step towards lasting peace. Although critics argue that it will not hold because it does not address the root causes of conflict, I’m optimistic that there are chances of achieving peace because our leaders have expressed their full commitment to implement it.

But how do we achieve lasting peace in South Sudan? Well, in my opinion, real peace starts from within ourselves and extends to others. For us to achieve happiness in life, we must allow the strings of love and unity to bind us together. When we understand the meaning of life, we learn to appreciate the very reason of our existence. True freedom and the right to life are only exercised when we own the spirit of nation building and avoid illegal activities like corruption, gambling, robbery, rebellion and revenge killings.

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Tribute to late Journalist Albino Deng Juach

Posted: February 26, 2019 by Awuol Gabriel Arok in Awuol Gabriel Arok, Columnists, Junub Sudan

By Awuol Gabriel Arok, Juba, South Sudan

IMG_20190226_162123

Tuesday, February 26, 2017 (PW) —Another powerful intellect has gone!

The world has become so mean to the extent of swallowing human alive?

26th February 2019 will remain one of the days where my heart was choked by thorns of disbelief and acceptance.

I came to know Albino Deng Juach through his commentary writings in the Citizen Newspaper/This Day Newspaper, The Star-Tribune Newspaper and the Dawn Newspaper where we both contributed as column writers.

When I got the news of his death through the Dawn Newspaper issue 880 I was devastated and could not belief it had happened and for sure it has happened. (more…)


By Roger Alfred Yoron Modi, Kampala, Uganda

img_1821

Monday, January 28, 2019 (PW) — The latest South Sudan peace deal signed between the government of President Salva Kiir, various armed and unarmed opposition groups and other parties, including the SPLM/A-IO led by the former First Vice President Dr Riek Machar is facing implementation challenges and at the centre of it, according to officials, is lack of funds.

The pact dubbed Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) was signed in September last year through the Igad-led revitalisation process of the 2015 Peace Agreement (known as ARCSS) which remains largely unimplemented due to the resumption of armed conflict in July 2016, barely three months after a unity government was formed then.

Now the R-ARCSS provides for the establishment of a “Revitalised Government of National Unity (RTGoNU)” whose term of office shall be thirty-six (36) months, commencing eight (8) months after signing of the R-ARCSS (as of September 12) or on completion of redeployment of “necessary unified forces.”

According to the R-ARCSS, Kiir shall continue as President of the Republic of South Sudan, and Dr Machar shall assume the position of the First Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan respectively. (more…)


By Ariik Atekdit, Tonj, South Sudan

President Kiir honors Gen Kuol Manyang Juuk, Gen Dr James Wani Igga, Gen Daniel Awet Akot and Gen John Koang Nyuon with the highest SPLA military honor for their longest service in the army, SPLA Headquarters at Bilpam, Juba, South Sudan, 24 January 2019

 

Thursday, January 24, 2019 (PW) — You must hunt hard for your good luck, in order to aspire your dreams. Sitting under that tea-maker’s Rakuba (shelter) with your thousand dreams in the mind won’t bear fruits. Claiming that you are a graduate won’t help you out, I swear. 2019 won’t make any change in your lives unless you choose to change some of the attitudes that you and I know they cannot allow any progress in our personal lives.

It is now many years down your graduation and you can’t get a job to afford your life or get married either at least to begin the progress of renaming your ancestors as African culture requires of you. Without lying, most of our youths are graduated directly to poverty and hopelessness because we so much depend on the nation and the government for employment.

Today I have chosen to talk directly to youths not to the government. I am attacking youths of which I am a member and I carry some blames too for having not done enough to establish my life.  If you have been viewing posts on the new year eve on social media, you should have seen a lot of littering congratulatory messages for having arrived to the new year.

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By Malith Alier, Perth, Australia

democracy

Demo-cracy or Demo-crazy?

Wednesday, January 23, 2019 (PW) — According to “Hot in Juba” news, we read that the governors of Western Lakes and Tonj States, Hon. Matur Chut and Anthony Bol Madut have been relieved, at least for now from their gubernatorial positions by Kiir for undisclosed reasons. The veteran governors are old time generals in the Sudan People’s liberation Army (SPLA) which is also the predecessor of the South Sudan Defence Forces (SSDF).

Anthony Bol Madut was rumoured to be a commander in Anyanya II which joined the SPLA in 1983. During our days in Dima, Ethiopia, Anthony headed Buma (Boma) up to the time of signing peace in 2005 after which he became the first governor of former Warrap State. Matur Chut on the other hand, was in the army until they were retired after independence. He became the governor of Lakes State replacing Daniel Aweet Akot. This is his second stint after the division of former Lakes in to Gok State, Western and Eastern Lakes States.

There are only two enduring governors after the 2010 elections. They make up the 20% of the former 10 states replicated in December 2015. Louise Lobong Lojore of former Eastern Equartoria and Rizik Zakaria Hassan of former Western Bar el Ghazal are the two right hand men that Kiir’s perennial decrees never touched. Despite the redivivision of the ten states, they got appointments to the new states of Kapoeta and Raja. (more…)


By Atem Yaak Atem, Sydney, Australia

shisha smoking

Sunday, January 13, 2019 (PW) — Smoking shisha, * the pastime that is common in some middle Eastern and African countries, is known by several names. In its weekend edition the Australian daily newspaper, Sydney Morning Herald reported two bodies working for local communities, the Australian Lebanese Muslim Association and South East Sydney Local Health District, had come together in their concern over the effect of shisha on the users within the community. In their campaign to enlighten the public on the dangers smoking shisha posed to people, the state government of New South Wales (NSW) has contributed Australian $ 386, 000 (US $274, 368.80 at the time the article was being written) to support the campaign that aims at advising smokers to quit the habit.

Well-founded fear

The concern expressed over harm inherent in smoking shisha may appear to be the work of fear mongers. It is not alarmist; the campaigners have reputable source of information on which they base concerns. Claims that smoking shisha could be harmful to people’s health the way smoking tobacco has been identified as a culprit, is slowly but surely gaining grounds among scientists and health workers in the developed world. Australia is one of these countries. The Herald’s report has quoted NSW health minister, Brad Hazzard: “Smoking shisha for an hour is equivalent to inhaling the volume of smoke from 100 to 200 cigarettes”. Such frightening statements, similar to this one, do not come from a politician’s guesswork or imagination. The minister has a credible authority to back his claim. World Health Organisation (WHO), the United Nations’ body responsible for global governance of health and disease is the source. According to the 2005 advisory note from WHO’s research arm, TobReg or tobacco study group, the smoke that comes from water in the shisha “contains toxicants known to cause lung cancer, heart disease and other disease”.

The report adds that the campaigners aim at educating members of their community as well as the general public to rethink about the perception of shisha smoking as a pastime. In their drive to educate the public, the organisers are not alone. The head of NSW Cancer Institute, Professor David Currow, backs the campaign against smoking, when he told the paper that “shisha smokers were unknowingly putting themselves at risk of the same deadly diseases that kill cigarette and second-hand smokers”. (more…)


H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit,

President of the Republic of South Sudan,

J1, Juba, South Sudan

By Wol Deng Atak, Nairobi, Kenya

Subject: Open Letter to President Salva Kiir – Let Senior Government Officials Account for the Disappearance of USD 50 Million

salva kiir and taban deng

a jovial President Salva Kiir and SPLM-Io Chief Negotiator Taban Deng

Friday, January 11, 2019 (PW) —- Your Excellency, I hope this letter finds you well. While submitting this appeal to you, Mr. President, I am not in any way claiming superior abilities and wisdom than you might have acquired. But want to state that the entire country depends on you for a right decision against promoters of the graft. Continual inaction is worsening already awful situation your fellow citizens face and may only end in more pains, regrets, and wishes, which cannot help remedy consequential evil that marring our history or losses likely to result.

Mr. President, the Government of South Sudan secured over USD 130 million loan from a company (name withheld).  According to a report on your Desk,  USD 50 million has been stolen and shared by senior government officials.  Up to now, you are yet to act on the report and this is worrying. I am alarmed, I guess you are, to learn of the disappearance of USD 50 million in the hands of officials in your administration – whom I least expected to help themselves with public funds without any lawful authorisations.

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Meet Ms. Aluel Manyok Barach: A proud feminist and social activist whose work is shaping lives of women and youth in South Sudan

 By Ms. Amer Mayen Dhieu, Brisbane, Australia

Meet Ms. Aluel Manyok Barach: A Proud South Sudanese Feminist and Social Activist

Meet Ms. Aluel Manyok Barach: A Proud South Sudanese Feminist and Social Activist

Wednesday, January 09, 2019 (PW) — Meet Ms. Aluel Manyok Barach, a fierce feminist whose work for gender equality, women empowerment and peaceful coexistence between men and women, tribes and political parties shine bright like snow. I first came across Ms. Aluel Manyok, popularly known as Aluel Naomi, via her social media updates in regards to gender equality and peace process in the newest nation of South Sudan.

Clicking on her profile page one afternoon, I stumbled upon some of her personal information that was intriguing enough to share. Ms. Aluel Manyok describes herself as fierce South Sudanese social activist and feminist who is strongly passionate about gender equality and peaceful co-existence. As a true champion of her own persona and an agent of change to many, Ms. Aluel Manyok graduated from Makerere University with Bachelor of Economic Development (Hons) and have participated in number of international programs of which she is current generation Change Fellow as well as YALI program Alumni.

Feminism is one of the major disciplines in academia that advocates for the rights and freedom of women in education, employment, equal opportunities, political representation and involvement of women in decision-making as well as social related actions that aim at bettering women’s lives to the standard similar to that of men. Having received much opposition from the male-dominated society due to misconceptions and changes brought upon by globalization and ancient culture transition, feminism has multiplied into different factions striving to tackle different types of social, political and economic inequalities and social injustice facing women across the globe.

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By Mabil Manyok Nhial, Gweru, Zimbabwe

Corruption genesis

Sunday, December 30, 2018 (PW) — I have, with an iota of audacity and unflinching certitude, been telling a plethora of my cronies that this world is sadly standing in between a black devil and a deep blue sea of aversion. It has always been my strong conviction that there is no shortcut to modernity as our young people hurriedly take a dim lit path to what they wantonly call ‘civilisation.’ I am not always ashamed of vetoing anything that touches morality, which is supposedly a fulcrum of secular values. Being a strict defender of morality has given me a laudatory epithet ‘RIGID MORALIST’ as my colleagues oftentimes dub me.

Human life militates against three pillars namely culture, religion and most importantly, the law. These three pilasters on which every society leans, must, as a matter of  living truth, be jealously observed with a hefty amount of reverence. A society, which doesn’t live up to these three stanchions has indubitably triturated itself with a kamikaze effrontery. It is trite that our own world is getting mad every day in every way as a society so chooses to bend or even jettison one or all its standing stones; the societal values. Hasn’t it opted to be in a devilmaycare state?

The definition of marriage has traditionally been silhouetted. Marriage has since time immemorial been defined as a legally or socially recognised union between a man and a woman, which establishes rights and obligations between those spouses. This means that any definition that falls outside the ambit of this classical definition is as good as anything placed on nothing! (more…)


By Malith Alier, Perth, Australia

img_1974img_1964

Friday, 28 December, 2018 (PW) — Not very many days of 2018 are left to write or at least say something economic, religious, or somehow political to the people of South Sudan, Africa or the wider world at large.

These are indeed turbulent times. Omar El Bashir is struggling with the bread and butter price rises all over his country that has been in the grip of NCP since 1989. Yoweri Museveni is fighting young people who are tired of his long rule since 1986. The new generation he often referred to as “bazukulu” or grandchildren have had a voice through Bobi Wine, the musician turned politician who combines music and politics to combat dictatorship in Uganda.

Better things are right now happening in Ethiopia, a country that had peacefully witnessed transfer of power to young people in the person of Abiy Ahmed. Ahmed has made it a priority to make peace within and without specifically Eritrea. Political prisoners are freed, political parties are allowed to join the legitimate political activities at the same level as the ruling party and above all women groups have began to have their fair share and presidents of the country and high court appointed. These measures maybe are what a country like Ethiopia needed to have total peace. (more…)


By Lucy Ayak Malek, Nairobi, Kenya

Madam Rebecca Nyandeng, speaking to the media after her arrival with SPLM_leaders team in Juba, 22 December 2018, to join President Kiir in the revitalization process of the 2015 peace agreement. 

Madam Angelina Teny, speaking to the media after her arrival with SPLM-IO team in Juba, 20 December 2018, to join President Kiir in the revitalization process of the 2015 peace agreement. 

Sunday, December 23, 2018 (PW) — I salute all of you the gallant and brave people of South Sudan all over the world. I call us brave because over the decades we have faced all sorts of unimaginable challenges, lost so much in life and property, sacrificed more than we possibly could, but we have not allowed our spirits to be broken down. Despite all that we have gone through as a nation before and after independence, we remain a strong spirited people, and for that I couldn’t be more proud to call myself a South Sudanese. And so I once again, salute our strong resolve and pray that the spirit of resilience continues to endure among us.

We have fought many wars, some of them forced on us (the SAF-SPLA wars of 1856-1972 and 1983-2005), and some of them self-afflicted (December 2013-todate). Many foreign actors have jumped into our wars, all for their respective reasons and interests and sometimes (quite correctly I must add), we have blamed them for everything we have had to go through as a country. But I want to believe that we, the people of South Sudan, still have the choice to either continue to perpetuate war or to make peace, I believe we still possess the power to decide our destiny.

We do have many brave warriors who have fought gallantly whenever there has been a call to arms, but I also believe a warrior’s worth is not only determined by his abilities at war, but also by his capacity to make peace. As the bible says, “there is time for everything …..a time to sow and a time to harvest, …..a time to be born and a time to die, ……a time to wage war and a time to make peace”. And so it’s my humble call as we go through the festive season and towards the end of year, that let this be the time for us to make peace.

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By Tong Kot Kuocnin, Juba, South Sudan

Burnt oil tanker along the Nimule-Juba road, Sept 2016.jpg

Burnt oil tanker along the Nimule-Juba road, Sept 2016.jpg

  1. Introduction

Thursday, December 18, 2018 (PW) — On World Environment Day celebrated on the 5th day of the Month of May 2018, First Vice-President Taban Deng Gai presided over the launch of the country’s State of Environment and Outlook Report, a first for the country. The publication is the result of a joint study by UN Environment and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.

The report acknowledges that the ongoing strife in the country “is the major impediment to good governance, the productive use of natural resources and the protection of the country’s environmental assets”. It highlights the lack of effective institutions to resolve disputes over ownership of natural resources peacefully and the challenges of millions of refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons. It also notes that climate change and natural hazards have further complicated the environmental situation facing the country.

The report further highlights how climate change could exacerbate access to safe water, lead to poor sanitation and food insecurity. It adds that “a flourishing agriculture sector, which depends on the viability of land and water resources, is crucial to long-term peace and development”. It also recommends that “disaster risk reduction and climate adaptation measures need to be implemented to build a climate resilient society”. (more…)