Archive for the ‘Malith Alier’ Category


“If you have nothing to do, don’t do it here” unknown

By Malith Alier, Sydney, Australia

Monday, 29 July, 2019 (PW) —   I am aware in South Sudan that you can be put behind bars arbitrarily if you say something that touches the raw nerves of the “big men.” Dr. Biar Ajak is behind bars in Juba. Michael Christopher of Al Watan Newspaper is behind bars in Blue House for merely writing about Sudan under cruel Bashir.

Nobody is immune from illegal actions of the few who have arrogated it to themselves to be the accuser, the judge and the executioner. The unlimited power they have made them to have four eyes projected at four directions of the universe. What they think or perceive is the total reality, no second opinion or third may make a difference.

Currently, we have the debate over who must exclusively take control of the three national symbols of Anthem, coat of arms and the national flag. It is absurd that the issue of the symbols is politicised instead of being viewed by legal and cultural perspectives. It’s either you are supporting it or opposing it depending on what is said or unsaid in the political discourse. A third category of people thinks that the apparent usurpation of the national anthem can cause no harm to individuals or the ordinary citizenry. Therefore, it’s okay for it to be appropriated by those who will not “abuse it.”

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By Malith Alier, Sydney, Australia

Sunday, 21 July, 2019 (PW) — Nothing generates energy and passion among the above communities than traditional contact wrestling. Wrestling among these communities is the number one sport that may defy the onslaught of western games like football or tennis. It’s even continued to be imitated by people who migrated to the western hemisphere decades ago. It’s supposedly one way of keeping attached to the motherland.

In this review, I will focus on the good, the bad and the ugly aspects of traditional wrestling not only the one of yesterday between Bor and Aliap but also what has been going on in the game since time immemorial.

This undying traditional wrestling is a game with minimal rules and regulations at best. It’s a game whereby no elaborate body sets the minimum standards and this is where it’s pervasive to participate in it with confidence. The concept of time is nonexistent in the sport.

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By Malith Alier, Sydney, Australia

Saturday, 20 July, 2019 (PW) — “Traumatised” was the description used by former South Sudan ambassador to the UN, Mr. Francis Mading Deng, to described South Sudanese behaviour post CPA and resultant independence. Many people including this author protested this depiction. We thought that even if that was the case, it shouldn’t have come from the highest voice of the country to the body of all nations.

There is a saying in  Jieng that “nobody allows their camp to be infiltrated” at any time – day or night. Francis Deng should have not, so we thought, allowed foreign nations picked into South Sudan affairs so easily by saying something like that.

For sure, some of us might have revised their thoughts in regard to the issue of trauma and the past long war between the north and the south. The unmitigated violence since 2013, armed or otherwise may be a result of trauma or paranoia. It may have inadvertently become a culture of settling disputes; big or small.

A week or so ago, the minister of information from Jonglei state released information about an incident that happened at the only university in the state. That a student was assaulted by unknown assailant in Bor. The chain reaction grew into its own magnitude only normal in the nascent state of South Sudan.

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By Malith Alier, Sydney, Australia

The Genius of Dr. John Garang: Speeches on the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) Paperback – November 26, 2015 by Dr. John Garang (Author), PaanLuel Wël (Editor)

Tuesday, June 18, 2019 (PW) — I wanted to have a different title for this piece but because I found another piece on wordpress.com authored in remembrance of another person of the same name as our John, I had no choice but to follow the lead. The similarities may not be striking but the first names and the titles have a perfect symmetry one can’t ignore. Well, Dr. John Garang is a character many will cite in political discourse maybe until the end of the earth/world.

We’re right now in June and July the month Dr. John perished on the fateful chopper crash on the mountains close to Uganda. John was heading to his beloved Newsite between Narus and Ngatinga in what is now known as Kapoeta State. When the news broke that evening of the 29 July 2005, I was putting final touches to my studies at Murdoch University in Western Australia.

I didn’t, as an individual believed that what was unfolding before the world was going to have a long lasting impact for another generation in South Sudan. The news was mildly headlined as ” A helicopter Carrying Sudan’s First Vice President has Disappeared.” Has disappeared, what a joke?” Many rhetorical questions came forth chief among them was why did the chopper leave Entebbe Airport for the bushes of Southern Sudan late in the evening?

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By Malith Alier, Perth, Australia

Bona Malwal with Bashir.jpg

Thursday, June 6, 2019 (PW) — A dictatorship or autocracy shrouded by instruments of democracy such as elections, parliament, judiciary and other institutions will eventually always come out in its true colour at the end. Any government led by individual over 20 years and counting is a true dictatorship by the standards of democratic world. Stories of dictatorships are not hard to cite and enumerate.

We had seen the one in Zaire, now Democratic Republic of Congo. We have seen it in Libya under Muamar Gadafi. We saw it in Egypt under Hosni Mubarak. We witnessed it in Burkina Faso under Blaise Campaore. We found it in Zimbabwe under Robert Gabriel Mugabe.

The Algerians are to be congratulated for peacefully and bloodlessly removing Abdulaziz Buteflika dictatorship before it could get out of hand. The countries above that went through dictatorships most of them always solicit warfare politely referred to as “civil war.” The oppressed citizens are always seething with anger and vengeance to free themselves from the fangs of the agonizing dictatorship.

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By Malith Alier, Perth, Australia

Saturday, 27 April, 2019 (PW) – The twelfth of May – the dateline for the formation of Transitional Government of National Unity (TGONU) is fast approaching. The Revitalised Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) gave the parties eight months pre-transitional period before forming the TGONU. This is unlikely. The parties during this period nurtured a wide chasm not even the Vatican can abridge. The government of South Sudan, SPLM/IO, SSOA, and OPP are the signatories to the power sharing accord. Things are rapidly evolving and positions unpredictably shifting, putting the whole agreement in jeopardy.

Peter Gatdet, which I will call “Peter the Great” has met his creator finally this month after sending William Nyuon and Karbino Kuanyin many years ahead of himself. Peter Gatdet was a military man not to hesitate to fire a bullet at any target during his time in the bush or out of it. A month or two ago, he fired the first political bullet at the head of SSOA or South Sudan Opposition Allaince, Mr. Changson Chang with the backing of Dr. Lam Akol. He then retreated to Khartoum to the tender care of Omar Al Bashir. Al Bashir, the guarantor of R-ARCSS fell on his political sword and the logical option to Peter ………

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By Malith Alier, Perth, Australia

salary

Saturday, 6 April 2019 (PW) – The Bank of South Sudan (BSS), originally a regional branch of the Bank of Sudan took over the responsibility of being the central Bank for the newly formed country in 2011. The 2011 Act, establishing the BSS, authorised it to regulate all the financial institutions in the country including the commercial banks.

The late Elijah Malok Aleng, was the first governor of the Bank of Southern Sudan up until shortly after independence. He stayed in the office for a few months after July 9, 2011 and was replaced by Cornelius Koriom Mayik, his former deputy.

Fact or fiction, Mr. Aleng was rumoured to have given a symbolic broom to the country’s ruler during handover. That was not the “new broom sweeps clean,” literally according to the rumour. It might have meant a licence for clearing whatever he built and sustained during the six-year interim period by the new and untested governor. The new governor-designate to take over had previously presided over the collapse of a private bank in the immediate past.

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By Malith Alier, Perth, Australia

Jump-starting the economy of South Sudan?

Wednesday, 3 April 2019 (PW) — Through the gates they come. All sorts of people! The two gates are for vehicles and people. Both gates punctured on the western part of the fortifying fence. It is one of the few gated ministries in the complex. The reasons for this are very clear to the layman.

The car gate solely belongs to the Very Important Persons (VIP). In the category of VIP are ministers, undersecretaries, Directors General and of course generals from the armed forces including SPLA, police, prisons, Wildlife and Fire Brigade.

“Please allow Gen. G to pass, give way, eh!” the security personal asked the female police door opener. “Your identity card please?” the security guy asked another visitor with searching eyes. “You’re Mr. Juba?” “Yes, visitor confirmed. “Where are you going?” “I am going to see the Director General of Finance.” “He’s not in today!” “But I was asked last week by the office manager to see him today!” “No, I told you he’s not there.” “You can go and come back next week, it is already Friday you know.”

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By Malith Alier, Perth, Australia

Cattle camp

Thursday, 14 February, 2019 (PW) –— While skimming opinion articles on this website (Paanluelwel) I was nonplussed to read a piece penned by one Peter Bullen (name shortened) for the sake of conciseness.

In the said article, Peter talked about what is currently occurring at Marol, the largest market in Bor (the locals informally called it Mading Bor in contrast to Mading Awiel). That opinion talks about dogs and pigs that are competing for scraps of food in the market. The article also talks about the hard work or patriotism of General Kuol Manyang who encouraged, to no results, the complicated Borans (my own invention to refer to the citizens of Bor) to produce their own food. Gen. Manyang was vehemently opposed until Kiir recalled him to Juba in 2013 where his hard work could be of use.

Interesting that some people in Bor named their pet dogs derogatorily as Kuol failed (Ce-Kuol-guut). Maybe this author will dedicate an article one day for that (Ce-Kuol-guut affair) because it’s a long story. “Guut” in Dinka, translates as “can’t go any further” for some reasons including failure.

Those pigs got introduced in Bor somewhere between 2008 and 2013 by the supposedly hard-working son of Bor, Gen. Kuol Manyang during his time as the second governor of Jonglei State after Comprehensive Peace agreement (CPA) of 2005. No wonder, the growing number of pigs adds to the number of mushrooming livestock in Bor today. (more…)


Malith Alier, Perth, Australia

Cattle camp

Friday, February 8, 2019 (PW) — This is a crazy Friday talk. The idea sprang up at the moment of news time and the back of the mind validated it for an essay. Before, one goes to the keyboard, there are many ideas that come to mind as to what themes, subjects and most importantly aims for a particular piece. I have visited a number of museums on a number of occasions: motor, maritime, tractor, Immigration and so on. I therefore, thought that the world has gone around as far as making absolutely everything for everything as museums are concerned.

I thought about  cattle or livestock museum for my birth country, Sudan. However, before, I pen something about it and cattle, I first had to google something like it. The nearest museum was found in Texas, USA in form of Cattle Raisers Museum. I saw a few photos of cattle, boots, straps and saddles as well as pieces of writing to describe what used to happen in relation to the cattle and their raisers.

This did not discourage me to put forward an idea for cattle keepers or government in South Sudan. The pastoralists love their cattle to death in this part of the world. Cattle are not only for milk and meat but are also for prestige and pride. They also also for payment of bride price and fines in the event of murder. (more…)


By Malith Alier, WA, Australia

Dr Majak with President Kiir, December 2018

Dr Majak Agot with President Kiir, December 2018

 

Monday, 4 February, 2019 (PW) —- We saw it coming that the reneged reunification of the fractious SPLM may some day be concluded. The SPLM in government, and after combing Arusha, Pretoria, Cairo, Kampala and Addis Ababa for inter-party peace, was waiting for the other factions to make the first moves. This is 2019 and it’s about to happen amidst implementation of the 2018 Peace agreement.

From 2014 and immediately after the outbreak of war, the SPLM embarked on that elusive inter-party understanding – signed Arusha Declaration. It has since taken four years for it to happen perhaps in piecemeal. Many South Sudanese are however, questioning why Former Detainees also known as SPLM Leaders waited that long. Two agreements have been signed and full implementation is still a pipe dream. It is the question of timing rather than the motive.

The FDs actions may ruin the peace agreement altogether if allowed to fall through. By all intents and purposes, it seems, they are determined to achieve the reunification in the absence of their leader, Mr. Pagan Amum who belated rejected the Revitalised ARCSS. The hurried actions of the FDs reminded us of the “Lonesome George” on Galapagos Islands who needed to be evacuated from one isle to another in order to be safe. (more…)


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 Malith Alier, Perth, Australia

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Saturday, January 12, 2019 (PW) – It is a sad news that the supposedly Al Watan Newspaper published in Juba is a victim of the brutal regime that came to power 30 years ago in a military coupe de’tat.

Its only crime is to publishing what is basically happening on the streets of Khartoum. The roots of National Congress party or shortened NCP extend beyond the country we left 8 years ago because of its Islamism, classicism, slavery, dictatorship and human right abuses.

Sudan has not change an inch. It still fights Africans to the South, East and West. Corruption has multiplied under Bashir tenfold. (more…)


By Malith Alier, Perth, Australia

corruption in south sudan

Saturday, January 12, 2019 (PW) — Kenyan schools typically reopen in the first week of January and normally go on for three terms  with three breaks to conclude an education year. 2019 goes down as a year when Kenya changes to another system to supersede its old 8.4.4 which has been running for a long time. Competence Based curriculum (CBC) begins in with lower primary and will progress in implementation according to Education Cabinet Secretary (CS), Amina Mohamed.

According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, Kenya adopted the 8.4.4 system after it previously used the East African (7-4-2-3) system when the Community disintegrated. Under the leadership of President Moi, the country implemented the system in 1985. It meant 8 years of primary, 4 years of second, and 4 more years of university education. (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 Malith Alier, Perth, Australia

images

Saturday, December 15, 2018 (PW) — Each of us was born with nothing on hand at the time of birth. This fact needs no one to be reminded about. On equal measure some of us go on not to gain much out of this world in the way of riches.

Nature has adequately endowed my country, South Sudan with natural resources that could make everyone in the country to be adequately catered for but this is not the case. We have abundance of livestock, vegetation, fish and recently oil wealth.

Despite abundance of the above natural wealth and the low population people remained extremely poor compared to neighbouring countries. Some of the reasons why people remained poor include; war, tribal or internal conflicts and lack of general productivity by organisations and individuals alike.

War alone has the greatest potential to imposed displacement and destitution on the country. The 1983-2005 and the 2013 – 2018 upheavals are the best examples for South Sudan. (more…)


By Malith Alier, Perth, Australia

Family history

Monday, 1 October 2018 (PW) — Nhial lual had four wives namely; Amac Gai, Nyakor Adol, Aluong Akec and Nyariak Agou.

Lual Nhial a single son on his mother, Amac Gai was married to Areu Guut Kuol and Achok Khang Yuot from Pale and Koc respectively.

Areu, before her demise has the following children: Gai, Malaak, Ateny (my mother) and Athou. Athou, as the name suggests was a result of mother’s death. “Athou” means death.

Had she (Areu) been alive beyond the fourth birth, many offsprings would have followed.

Achok Khang, the second wife has only three sons; Majier, Ayuen and Mabior. It’s Mabior’s family who organises this memorial service today in Perth.

Malaak among the four siblings was the only educated one. He graduated from Khartoum University business school in 1976. He later married Anai Johnson Kuol Kur from Ater section of Makuach Payam. They have three children, one son and two daughters. (more…)


By Malith Alier, Perth, Australia

CEPO Fact Sheet on the Signed Khartoum Peace Agreement on the Revitalization of the 2015 ARCSS

Monday, 3 September, 2018 (PW) —  Last time, the parties to the violated 2015 Compromise Peace Agreement (CPA) were forced by the international community to append their signatures and implement the agreement in time to save the suffering people of South Sudan.

It’s a painful thing to be forced twice by external forces to do something you know one must do. Death, infrustructure destruction and human destitution, the three “Ds” brought about by war are nobody’s friends. War always without doubt brings human missery to the fore and halts progress for generations. That’s why it is wise to steer clear of it under any circumstances.

In our case, the quest for political power was central to the war that had caused tens of thousand lives and forced millions of people to seek refuge outside the country. Now that the external forces have once again forged the Revitalised peace agreement signed by the belligerents, the focus now turns on its implementation. (more…)


By Malith Alier, Perth, Australia

President Kiir's speeches after independence

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

Tuesday, August 28, 2018 (PW) – This piece is neither a biography, critique or praise of Salva Kiir and his regime. We’re aware that there are attempts by certain individuals to author a biography of President Kiir unilaterally. This piece is a common man’s view that only narrates the path Kiir negotiated to the top of the SPLM/SPLA and therefore to that of the country called South Sudan.

The man, fondly referred to as Joshua by his ardent followers takes us to the Biblical times when Moses, the leader who led Israelites out of Egypt went over the mountain not to return to taste the fruits of the promised land. Moses and Joshua story is found in the old testament of the Holy Bible and is used by Christians to illustrate stories similar in nature such as the one of Southern Sudanese.

History tells us that when the dissident southern soldiers rebelled in 1983, Salva Kiir was a mere captain in the Sudanese army. Stationed in Malakal, Upper Nile, he was an intelligence officer who tasked to report to the military headquarters subversive activity in the South. (more…)


By Malith Alier, Perth, Australia

adija

Wednesday, August 22, 2018 (PW) — With the likely advent of peace in the coming months, all the attention now turns to implementation of the agreement and the elections to crown it all. In the meantime, the parties preemptively vowed to implement the agreement in letter and spirit. Possibly they are aware of the lost opportunities by not implementing the previous agreement.

Had all gone well, by now, the country would have been a different place and no one would be in this mirage any more. This country has gone through difficult periods, characterised by famine, disease such as cholera and other preventable disasters since resuming atrocities 5 years ago.

One of the advantages of having peace is the potential to innovate and grow albeit gradually with time. The advanced nations we see and look up to today in the world ceased wars and conflict many decades ago. In the absence of war a nation is able to develop and channel its human capital solely for development. It also uses its resources exclusively for this purpose. (more…)