Archive for the ‘Commentary’ Category


By Athian Aduol Yel, Aweil East, South Sudan

The baby of the baby nation

Friday, June 14, 2019 (PW) —- My writing begins by defining lowland and highland. Lowland is an area near the sea, river and no mountains or hills and it usually flooding meaning more water either by raining or flood. Elongated lowland between ranges of mountains, hills, or other uplands, often having a river or stream running along the bottom. An extensive area of land drained or irrigated by a river system. A depression or hollow resembling or suggesting a valley, as the point at which the two slopes of a roof meet highlands or uplands are any mountainous region or elevated mountainous plateau.

Generally speaking, upland or uplands refers to ranges of hills, typically up to 500–600 m. Highland (or highlands) is usually reserved for ranges of low mountains. In related to our cultures we refer our Northern site of Abiem who doesn’t experiences more water or flood during the rainy season or flood seasons as highland or upland though there is no mountains or hills. Our home village Dhiak Yai Weeth is situated in the South East from Wanyjok main capital of Aweil East state especially in lowland site and it is distance of 9 miles, which can take nearly 2 hours footing approximately.

This year alone we have more than 8 children who are going to join secondary school this year 2019 after winning the primary examination with flying color and they move with their humility face hoping that they will overcome next stage to other site of University. The details of candidates who passed primary leaving examination are as follow:

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Truth be told, What is happening to my Brother Kerbino Wol is a Tonj issue; it has nothing to do with President Kiir or the whole government.

By Anyar Agok Wol, Juba, South Sudan

Wednesday, June 12, 2019 (PW) —- Our community has failed us, cowards. For almost 13 months, my family has gone through untold sufferings from emotional and physical torture, harassment, and intimidation from the National Security Service without simple Sympathy from our community, Konggor In Toni.

Last night we stayed up until morning, thinking that our brother was going well to be released but sadly, the government again dashed away the little hope we had after the judges in Juba sentenced my Kerbino Wol Agok, Peter Biar Ajak and others for years in prison because some people are scared to let them go free.

Peter Biar with his wife
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By Dut Deng Kok, Juba, South Sudan

President Kiir with his look-alike, Hon Mayen Wol
President Kiir with his look-alike, Hon Mayen Wol

Friday, 07 June 2019 (PW) — Dear Mr President, I am writing to offer you best wishes, following your recent mandate for a new term, as a result of your commitment to peace and open a national dialogue to the people of South Sudan. I congratulate you on the unbelievable and critical role you have played during signing of Realized peace agreement in this wonderful nation (South Sudan) and I firmly believe that you will continue to do so.

I congratulating you on leading your Party’s success at this critical time of war, I should note that we support your government in public commitment to address any and all corruption within your Government. I want South Sudan to be a beacon’ for not only the continent of Africa, but globally.

The legacy of the founding leadership the new South Sudan provided an important example; we wish you well in ensuring that your generation can build on that foundation in the new challenges of these times. In the same line, I would like to thank you for what you have done for South Sudanese people previously during struggle till independent time, but it is time to move into greener pastures.

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By Manyuon Dhieu Chol, Kongor, Jonglei State

The body of the late Maj. Gen. Atem Aguang Atem being received at Juba airport by the national army; he passed away in kampala on 27 May 2019 after a short illness

Friday, May 31, 2019 (PW) — It is the saddest and huge blow to our beloved country South Sudan, our national army, South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF), Jonglei State and the Greater Bor Dinka community to lose an icon of liberty, a powerful pillar of freedom, a revolutionist, a bold protector for the marginalized people from the hands of successive oppressive regimes in Khartoum, Maj. Gen. Atem Aguang Atem Deng who fall on Monday, 27/05/2019 in Kampala.

Gen. Atem was a significant commander and a fierce fighter who was cherished by his troops and comrades in arm. The unfortunate demised of Gen. Atem at this critical juncture where our country is at a cross-road in need of peaceful settlement of conflict leading to national stability is a tragedy. Our borders are still being encroached in by neighboring countries, the socio-political and economical institutions still need strengthening and presence of skilled human resources personnel like Gen. Atem.

Maj. Gen. Atem Aguang Atem
Maj. Gen. Atem Aguang Atem

The greatest part of his contribution is that he wholeheartedly achieved the missions entrusted upon him. Gen. Atem won many battles against the enemy and most importantly during deadly battles of Pagei, Ashwa Bridge, Parajok, Raja, Kurmuk and Maban.

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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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The Tri-stage Cycle of Racism: The Self-brainwashing, Self-victimizing and Self-destructive nature of Racism on the People of Africa

By Thiik Mou Giir, Melbourne, Australia

Friday, April 26, 2019 (PW) — Being subjected to racism, studying racism, understanding racism, and struggling against racism often happen simultaneously. One approaches the subject thinking that racism is something normally carried out by the majority against the minority people. Although this is true at the preliminary stage of racism, it is not the case in a more advanced stage of racism.

In the more advanced stage of racism, the victims of racism; namely, the black people themselves, start to practice racism against themselves. They become self-brainwashing, self-victimizing and self-destructive people. In any place, in any region, and in any country, where racism exists, white supremacy enters into the popular consciousness of the oppressed, the black people.

For instance, you observe your daughter’s skin is getting lighter and lighter and you suspect right away that she is applying some whitening creams on her body. You get disappointed and no matter how much you try to dissuade her, she is determined not to give in. You tell yourself that she is only a girl; she is immature; she is weak; she wants to become a Kawajia.

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By Pal Chol Nyan, Juba, South Sudan


National Youth leaders – (From left to right) Dr. Albino Bol (NYU leader), Deng Bol Aruai (Red Army leader) and Abraham Awolich (Sudd institute), January 2017, Juba

Friday, April 26, 2019 (PW) — Hot on the heels of the dissolution of the NYU whose term has elapsed and the subsequent appointment of the steering committee led by Mr Bak Salva to prepare for the election of the new body (vide Ministerial Order); there have been some disgruntled and bigoted social media users who have been ranting to have their voices or grievances heard without a semblance of shame.

They consist of two groups mainly our cousins from Greater Bahr el Ghazal states; those in favour and against the former President of the NYU. These Youth are sharply divided as can be seen from the venom they have been spitting in the media against one another; they have taken it upon themselves to settle their scores using the position of the NYU as a Trojan horse by stirring up the situation and calling themselves names with some even questioning the legality of the Ministerial Order.

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By Makeer Kuol Koriom, Melbourne, Australia

President Kiir's Bahr el Ghazal tour, Feb 2019
President Kiir’s Bahr el Ghazal tour, Feb 2019

Friday, April 26, 2019 (PW) — Since December 2013, President Kiir Mayardit has confined his presidential roles to Juba. Hints of economic and political developments are limited to the capital town. The president is only seen in public during celebration of national events in Juba. His visits to regional towns and hinterlands are rare. Recently, however, President Kiir Mayardit had surprised South Sudanese with a visit, dubbed as ‘peace tour’, to Bahr el Ghazal. This tour was the second tour to the region since 2013 political upheaval.

When we divorced North Sudan, we didn’t expect our nascent political class to backslide the country to guns as means of settling political differences. We thought our amorphous elites would use dialogues or debates, as opposed to violence, to address all forms of political differences.

But, it seemed, the long struggle for national liberation from Khartoum successive regimes had corrupted our leaders with moral turpitudes. No doubts, the 21-year- war, had inveigled, if not glued to, them with war philosophy. For these leaders; negotiations and dialogues are hard endeavours for engineering political solutions. Had our leaders knew how to debate political issues; 2013 crisis would have been averted.

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By John Deng D’Duot, Seattle, USA

Friday, April 26, 2019 (PW) — With the recent revolution in Khartoum, many people within Khartoum are thinking about whether there will be a possibility to unite Sudan. “South Sudan and Sudan.” However; such thinking will first have to meet the litmus test of disunity, inequality, and development for all. It will also have to meet the litmus test of why the South Sudanese voted for the Separation for the first place. 

The issue of reunification of the two independent Sudan is being talked about everywhere in Khartoum but its reality remains as an option to be explored.  Adhieu Majok, a British-Dutch South Sudanese, an analyst, and a writer; who writes on the promotion of peace, girls and women rights and youth inclusivity in South Sudanese politics, wrote an article about this: Title: “willing Sudan’s uprising reunite North Sudan? In trying to answer this possibility of reunification of the two countries, she is content just like many other South Sudanese; who have suffered from the hand of the Khartoum regime spearheaded by the former Sudanese President: Omar Hassan Ahmed El Bashir.  

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By Garang Michael Mamingdit, Nairobi, Kenya

Monday, April 15, 2019 (PW) — In 1989, the young, charismatic and decorated Islamic army officer, Brigadier General. Omer Hassan Ahmed Al Bashir took power in a bloodless coup d’état against the then democratically elected government of Prime Minister Sadig Al Mahdi.

Yet again, 30 years later, on 11th April 2019, Al Bashir was ousted in a bloodless people’s revolution. To his credit, Omer Al Bashir’s bloodless entry and exit of power is quite a unique contrary to the violent tradition of post-colonial African leaders’ ascendant to power. But that’s just it, little credit in the ocean of Bashir’s 30 year dictatorship, corruption, censorship and blunt impunity.

Who could have thought mere bread prices and cost of living will solidify the collective grievances of the people, and turn it into a historic revolution that will de-throne one of the most brutal African military dictators of our time? The answer lies in the definition of people’s power. Thanks to the relentless protest of the Sudanese people, under various groups and associations determined to unchain freedom and liberty.

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The roles of teachers as vibrant agents of change and the enormous challenges besetting their teaching profession

By Abraham Mabior Rioc, Hong Kong, China      

Friday, April 5, 2019 (PW) — The teaching profession in some countries, especially the developing nations, has often been ignored in terms of allocation of enough educational resources to meet the societal goals of quality education. As a result, this renders the profession less desirable when it comes to national intake quota per se and also contributes to low morale among instructors at all levels of education.

In most cases, the position of a teacher is very important in the society for it disseminates important messages and vital information through learning and teaching domains which are pertinent to professional and intellectual development. For this reason, the teaching profession continues to lose its brilliant and qualified manpower to other sectors despite the vital roles they play in the nation building. 

In one of his lectures at St. Lawrence University in Uganda, Prof. J.C Sekamwa, a prominent professor of Education in Uganda had this to say: “Teacher is like a father who loves all his children irrespective of their behaviors and manners”. In a different context, in his teaching, he would always tell us (his students) that teaching, and learning is the opposite side of the same coin and each supplement one another. In this respect, it implies that a teacher is like a biological father or mother who does not discriminate against his or her own children–being the lame, weak, thief, mention them. 

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RE: An open letter to H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic: The Israeli Project of Learn and Earn to South Sudanese Youth is not a Scholarship but Rather a Modernized Slavery

Bek Dhuorjang Chol, Juba, South Sudan

Gen. David Uri Ben Uziel (AKA Tarzan or John), the Israeli soldier who fought with the Anyanya one freedom fighters in the 1960-70s under the leadership of Gen. Joseph Lagu

Thursday, April 4, 2019 (PW) — Your Excellency the president, gregarious greetings to you and best wishes. Mr. President, I wish to appreciate your tremendous efforts exerted to sign the revitalized peace agreement to ensure a peaceful resolution of the conflict in our country. The ongoing implementation process is applauded as a step towards sustainable peace and stability in our beloved country.

Your Excellency, I would like to contextualize on your speech addressed to the nation during the peace celebrations organized in Juba last October 31st, 2018 in which you call on the nation to revive the economy and lay the foundation for critical transport, communication, power, and agricultural infrastructure before the end of the transitional period. It would be better for young people to embark on agricultural activities by identifying farms and cultivate to supply our market at a cheaper rate as part of their contribution to nation building.

On the 27th September 2017, the first batch of 20 South Sudanese students were sent by the National Youth Union in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to the State of Israel particularly Tel Aviv the capital for what was known as the “Learn and Earn” program in Kinneret college initiated by H.E. Hanan Goder, the Israeli Ambassador to South Sudan, Mr. Oren David the director of Kinneret College in Galili and Mr. Nasim Hadad one of the staff of the college.

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The upcoming State and Opposition pilgrimage to the Vatican: The Case of the South Sudanese Peace Process

By Pal Chol Nyan, Juba, South Sudan

President Salva Kiir with Pope Francis, Vatican, March 2019

Tuesday, April 2, 2019 (PW) — Rumours had it that there would be a high profile political pilgrimage to the Vatican by the State and Opposition officials this month. It is said that the pilgrimage is meant to reconcile the warring factions of South Sudan especially the politicians, the protagonists of this deadly war, who have been on each other’s necks for nearly five years.

In the process, the divided SPLM political pilgrims would be required to observe two of the seven sacraments; that is repentance and then they would be prayed for as they seek for forgiveness. This is consistent with the Catholic and Anglican Communion norms and teachings.

It is a public knowledge that South Sudanese politicians have been branded by the region and the International community as corrupt, intransigent, self-seeking and uncaring for their downtrodden people they impoverished and subjected to untold suffering.

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