Archive for the ‘Opinion Articles’ Category

Duplicitous Duality: Policies That Have Hampered South Sudan’s Transition to Statehood

By Peter Adwok Nyaba, Nairobi, Kenya

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March 24, 2018 (SSB) — I define socio-political duplicity as the attitudes, behaviours and psychological syndromes that emerge from severe conditions of power asymmetry, which play out in political chicanery, backtracking on promises, political exclusion, economic marginalisation and social discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, language or gender, as well as in inferiority and superiority complexes. The socio-political duplicity of the South Sudanese political elite plays out these days as a dichotomised identity that underpins South Sudan’s traumatising predicament.

The Republic of South Sudan became independent, or seceded from the rest of the Sudan, in July 2011 after nearly two centuries of common problematic history. To bring the reader to the same level of understanding, it is imperative to shed some light on the history of the Sudan, which started with the Turco-Egyptian invasion and occupation of northern Sudan in 1821. The Turco-Egyptian state in the Sudan, popularly known as Turkiya, thrived on extraction and plunder of its natural resources, such as gold, elephant tusks, ebony, ostrich feathers and African slaves drawn mainly from southern, central and western Sudan.

The regime was very corrupt and oppressive to both Muslims and non-Muslims. This provoked and united the Sudanese across racial and ethnic lines in a nationalist revolution led by a Muslim cleric called Mohammed Ahmed el Mahdi. This revolution started at Abba Island on the Nile south of Khartoum in 1881 and garnered support from parts of the Sudan, especially Kordofan, Dar Fur, Upper Nile and northern Bahr el Ghazal in the south. The Mahdist forces captured Khartoum in 1885.



Appreciation of a Mindful Leader, and a Hero to Many—Gen. Pieng Deng Kuol

By Deng Kur Deng, Pennsylvania, USA

Generals Pieng Deng Majok, Paul Malong Awan and Malual Ayom Dor at the Bor Airport during the second liberation of Bor, 2014

Generals Pieng Deng Majok, Paul Malong Awan and Malual Ayom Dor at the Bor Airport during the second liberation of Bor, 2014

March 22, 2018 (SSB) — In our long-delayed independence, the never-ending suffering of the people of South Sudan was achieved through withstanding a horrible experience. This was something many weren’t prepared to confront, but leaders were wholeheartedly realized, even by very young people.

There are men and women who have experienced excruciating pain, difficulties, and so forth, but they never gave up serving the people in the middle of indescribable suffering, especially among the children. Some of us didn’t even know what the war, that brought so much suffering, was all about until later years.

As is oftentimes stated, a child can differentiate between those who care and those who could care less. In the middle of the mess, women, children, and elderly can only depend on the real one—a leader meant to stand tall in the middle of an unbearable storm of chaos and sorrow.


Was The Political Wrangling In The Ruling SPLM Party The Root Cause Of The Current Crisis In South Sudan?

By Hon Arop Madut Arop, Oxford, UK

fighting in juba

fighting in juba, 2013, 2016

March 19, 2018 (SSB) — In this article, I will attempt to answer one basic question as to whether it was political wrangling in the Ruling SPLM party was to blame for the December 15th 20013 crisis or something else. This is important, because some people, both South Sudanese stakeholders and most members of the international community who are making efforts to resolve the on-going crisis appear to have lost sight of the fundamental causes of the said crisis. This oversight was clearly demonstrated when many stakeholders called upon the IGAD led HLRF to resolve the root causes of the crisis first before effort were made to revitalize the 2015 controversial peace deal.

Their request to resolve the root causes before the actual crisis could be addressed presupposes that other social and political ills: like bad governance, tribalism or corruptions were responsible for the crisis. Although these social and political ills are undeniably part of the problem, they are not the root causes of the problem per se. According to medical science, one has to diagnose the causes of the disease suffered by a patient before one can be able to prescribe right medicine to cure it. It is in the same vein that in order to solve the current conflict in the young nation, it will be instructive to discuss the main contributing factors to the current crisis in the hope that those engaged in an effort to bring peace to the world youngest nation would benefit from it. Bear with me.

As we start to discuss the contributing factors to the current crisis, it will be important to recall that, after the independence of South Sudan, all the existing political parties that were registered in accordance to the ancient regime’s constitution, including the SPLM, automatically became illegal entities. The political parties, the old and the new, were then expected to have their parties registered in accordance with the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan 2011 before the function as political entities. Basically, the SPLM, as the lead party should have also been registered afresh. This would have been followed by the calling for third-party national convention in order to approve the party’s basic documents namely, the manifesto and the constitution. Other procedural regulations could have also been revised and approved by the third party national convention.


“A new Transitional Government without President Salva Kiir is a farce; a mere fallacy devoid of reason and one that delivers no concrete solution to South Sudan’s conflict.”

By Hon. Taban Abel Aguek (MP), Juba, South Sudan

four vice presidents of south sudan

four vice presidents of South Sudan

February 21, 2018 (SSB) — As talks on the Revitalization of the Peace Agreement continue in Addis Ababa, many suggestions are being put forth on ways and means to remedy the situation in South Sudan.The search for peace in South Sudan is good but it seems strange that, as we look for solutions to the conflict in South Sudan, we create more mistakes that tend to prolong war than avail peace. In real essence, the Addis Ababa peace agreements seem to plant more recipes for war than avail complete cure for our problems.

In the first agreement, there was an issue of two armies which later resulted in the Juba fight on 8th July 2016. Another new recipe for war again today is if IGAD accepts the demand by the opposition groups and one civil society organization called Centre for Peace and Justice (CPJ) for President Salva Kiir Mayardit to be excluded in the new transitional government of South Sudan.

In the first place, I am one of the South Sudanese that did not support the High-Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF), I was rather supporting the National Dialogue. In my opinion, the National Dialogue should first have given been a chance. If it fails, then we would be obliged to try the Revitalization of the 2015 Peace Agreement.


By Chol Michael Maker, Juba, South Sudan


Chiefs Michael Maker Deng (tall one behind) with his fellow Bor County chiefs posing for a picture at Freedom Hotel in Bor, 8 April 2016, after intra-communal Peace conference in Bor picture by Mach Samuel Peter

February 19, 2018 (SSB) — this is a timely piece of pieces of advice offered by a war veteran and head chief of Makuach Payam, Chief Michael Maker Deng, to his son.

Listen to me son and take my advice wholeheartedly,
Look straight into my eyes lest you miss a point and answer every question handsomely,
Lie to me not son for I am your father who raised you singlehandedly.

You have to learn son that word patriotism is not mentioned in the Bible,
Yell and scream son, but betrayal is what you always get abundantly,

Youth that my life was robbed of and all I gained is regret painfully,
Years have gone by and I have no qualms with he who lynched me spiritually.


By Deng Vanang – Dares Salaam, Tanzania

four vice presidents of south sudan

four vice presidents of south sudan

February 18, 2018 (SSB) — Before going straight to the column, I have to relate one moral and still important story to the readers within the string of events which happened in Africa within the span of 24 hours of Wednesday to Thursday, 14th – 15th February 2018.

Call it a miracle for the believers, while a mystery for nonbelievers. This wonder only God’s chosen few acknowledged, but never dared share it lest they are verbally lynched in public.

It was spiritually coded message sent to our leaders in both government and the opposition on the one hand and Igad mediators on the other by none other than Almighty God through His usually unseen Angelic emissaries.

But all have been so deaf and blind to comprehend the message, except glaring glory of power and allure of ever tempting United States Dollars till this day.


By Emmanuel Ariech Deng, Wunkuel, South Sudan

four vice presidents of south sudan

February 18, 2018 (SSB) — If there exists a miserable dysfunctional society or state rich in different types of mineral resources, fertile agricultural land and currently experiencing extreme poverty, then South Sudan will never miss topping the lists of those impoverished countries on the planet.

After years of persistent wars and conflicts with far-reaching peaceful solutions, the revolutionary slogan, vision, and development has been destroyed by the revolutionists themselves and instead, the political settlement of issues of immediate attention is diminishing into the infinity. Not even the words of encouragement, restoration of hopes and security assurances from the country political leaders. They are quiet and we are eager to listen to them at Dr. John Garang Mausoleum.

The church leaders, civil societies, international communities and freelance observers have tried their best over the last four years or so but the position of their arguments and suggestions felt into deaf ears of the key players of this country political instability.


By Dut Kuot Akok, Aweil, South Sudan

tribalism in rss

February 18, 2018 (SSB) — Since 2013 up to date, South Sudan has been occupied by a socially transmitted disease called tribalism brought about by those who pretend to be believers every Sunday and Friday while they are the very people who promote and preach tribalism whenever they leave their places of worshipping. It is due to the above practices that forced me to say such illusive conjecture; I termed it illusive conjecture for the reason that the existence of paradise and hell in heaven has no tangible substantiations that can clearly testify their existence.

But to avoid bringing myself into loggerhead with the creator, it is better to take it the same way we were taught to believe in the controversial resurrection of Jesus Christ according to the teaching of the Bible. And as such, let me hope that one day there will be a special place in hell for tribalists who are busy turning heaven and earth in order to demolish our milk and honey nation called South Sudan due to their individual self-interest.


By Atem Biar Atem, China, Beijing

four vice presidents of south sudan

February 18, 2018 (SSB) — In the spot of public attention, it’s in a rare occurrence in the world to see a peace agreement reached for the country only to plunge back into violence just a couple of months later, no doubt South Sudan exemplified itself. In 2015 Peace accord was signed between two elephants after grasses suffered, new governments formed and sworn in and institutions were to be built to channel conflicting interest in a post-conflict environment. This was popularly seen as a formal termination of violent conflict marking the beginning of what was believed to be a long and winding road from war to peace once again.

After the experience of violence and in the wake of new unified leadership, no doubt hopes were high that South Sudan has finally returned to peace. The expectations of the people who were personally affected by the fighting in all aspects of lives and who have to find their way in the newly achieved peace were believed to be paramount in the heart of our leaders. But again the hopes and wishes of the suffering civilians within our borders turn into a nightmare when the armed confrontation erupted again at the center of South Sudanese authority in 2016.


Remembering My Dad, Prof. Ahang Beny Acuar, Who Joined his Mother and Ancestors 10 Years Ago – February 19, 2008, Toronto, Canada.

By Dr. Laaura Nyantung Ahang Beny, Michigan, USA

Construction of the Jonglei Canal in Sudan on February 24th,1983

Construction of the Jonglei Canal in Sudan on February 24th,1983


February 17, 2018 (SSB) — “In the quiet tranquility of the beautiful village of Panebei in Yirol, Sudan lies in a deep eternal sleep a humble soul. He rests peacefully beside his beloved Mother, Kulang Mou Kacuol, in a place he never really left, free at last and unencumbered by the burdens of our physical world. There is no running water there as of yet, but it is his home and my home, too. He is Ambrose Ahang Beny Acuar, my beloved Father.

My Father was born around the year 1938 in Aturok, Yirol, Southern Sudan into an Atuot Dinka family. His father was Beny Acuar and his mother was Kulang Mou Kacuol. He had five brothers—Madol (deceased), Macar, Kon (deceased), Ahou (deceased), and Cieng—and one sister—Acuoth. My Father left home at an early age to attend school at a time when the schools in southern Sudan were run by British colonialists. In what I believe was a compromise, my Grandfather, Beny Acuar, had selected my father from among his siblings to attend school. At the time, Dinka families generally preferred boys and young men to be reared for a life of cattle-herding. Boys spent many days of the year in the cattle camps and it was an honorable thing to do. Curious, I often asked my Father why Beny Acuar chose him and not another sibling. I believe that his Father recognized his brilliance and wisdom from an early age and thus sent him to school.


By Ang’ok Arok Got, Eldoret, Kenya

young girl with a gun

A young lady with a gun on guard during Governor Philip Aguer visit to Anyidi payam, Bor County, Jan 2016

February 17, 2018 (SSB) — I know vividly that by the time I finish typing the last word of this article and post it, I will have lost 1001 friends especially ladies. Call me a prejudice, call me a mongoloid, call me a dwarf, call me a traitor, call me a male chauvinist, call me all those sorts of names you think are barbaric, those big hee vocabularies you can think of, but alas! I will not conceal the truth from thee thy Kingdom Come. I have pondered over this topic for so long. You might go numb with series of plethora thoughts but truth and transparency are a formidable combination that encompasses a human life cycle. Insects can either have a complete or incomplete metamorphosis but humans tend to live their thousand life cycles in one lifetime. There we go ladies;

Dear ladies, how dare have you misunderstood and misinterpreted the term “civilization” and totally camouflaged from our own culture and customs, moral values and behavior, self-respect and family dignity to this weird and lackluster kind of lifestyle of the foreign people? I suppose you screen the foreign culture from your colonizers and take with you what is good to make home a better place of stay, rich with ideologies beautifully crafted from your own ideas and knowledge combined. I swear you people will die as copies due to those stupid minds which make you copy everything you come across. That you are civilized ladies, civilized ladies of the modern era, “civilized ladies”, my foot.


By Benjamin Guarken Chiman, Juba, South Sudan

kiiriek war

February 17, 2018 (SSB) — War by definition, is a state of armed conflict between different nations or states or different groups within a nation or state whereas, senseless, simply means, being unconscious of comatose. The world wars that have been fought many times were either justifiable or were simple being fought with comatose minds.

Many leaders resort to war as last option when either table negotiation or mediation fails. Sometimes, these kinds might be accepted to be called justifiable wars. However, some leaders drive their nations to war with other nations or with herself, maybe through internal influences or external influences. This type of war qualifies to be generously termed a senseless war, the war without benefits the war brought about by being comatose of ideas or leadership strategies.


By Deng Akok Muoradid, Juba, South Sudan


The current state of RSS

February 16, 2018 (SSB) — The South Sudan’s journey to independence took almost half a century from Anya Anya One Movement 1955- February 1972 and from SPLA/M 1983- 2005. The ordinary people of then Southern Sudan region under the umbrella of Anya Anya one movement fought for 17 years until in February 1972 when they reached an agreement with the Islamic regime of President Jaffer Nimeri but the agreement was later dishonored by Nimeri himself.

The Anya Anya one guerilla war inflicted heavy losses on the ordinary people of South Sudan as thousands of innocent civilians were massacred by the Islamic government and millions of people were left destitute. Some remnants of Anya Anya one later joined SPLA/M in 1983. The Anya Anya one war survivors who managed to survive up to the date of independent in 2011 are currently still poor, homeless and many of them have already starved to death in the last two years.


By Dut Kuot Akok, Aweil, South Sudan

February 14, 2018 (SSB) — Illiteracy rate in South Sudan is alarming. According to UNICEF estimation in 2011, more than eighty percent of South Sudanese population cannot read or write with severe challenges to female students. According to the same organization, less than one percent of girls complete primary education. It was also estimated that more than one million of children who were eligible for primary school were not enrolled with secondary school enrollment being lower than ten percent among those eligible.

Thus education is one of the priorities of the government just in word minus action, however, the current inactive system in the ministry of General education under the often silent minister has paralyzed the activities of the ministry which is one of the cornerstone of human prosperity and the overall betterment of the nation in every country. His Ministry was supposed to play an active role and put extra efforts to improve the educational system and lay the strong foundation to the Incoming generation but discouragingly, the current system in the ministry is a complete lousy system that provides quantity education to the children rather than quality education.


Personal Proposed Government on Peace revitalization in Addis Ababa

By Ayuel Madut Chan, Juba, South Sudan

Jacob Zuma and Salva Kiir, 21 Jan 2018, Juba

President Jacob Zuma and President Salva Kiir, 21 Jan 2018, south Africa

February 12, 2018 (SSB) — Ayuel Madut Chan is a South Sudanese with no political interest but peace is what he is yearning for to come home. Please God helps me to let my voice reaches the ears of elites in Addis Ababa. You have nothing to consider most from small man’s proposed position but if wishes were horses, beggars would have a ride. What if this is done? Poor man like me and many others dying and yearning for peace would have a country and leaders to be proud of.

Please this is what I know will bring peace to the best of my knowledge during the transition window period 18 more months be added to current transition window:


What is the pride of life?

Posted: February 12, 2018 by PaanLuel Wël in Junub Sudan, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

By Michael Chol Tor, Juba, South Sudan

February 12, 2018 (SSB) — The phrase “pride of life” is found only once in the Bible, in 1 John 2:16, but the concept of the pride of life, especially as it is linked with the “lust of the eyes” and the “lust of the flesh,” appears in two more significant passages of Scripture—the temptation of Eve in the Garden and the temptation of Christ in the wilderness. The pride of life can be defined as anything that is “of the world,” meaning anything that leads to arrogance, ostentation, pride in self, presumption, and boasting. John makes it clear that anything that produces the pride of life comes from a love of the world and “if anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him”.

The first example of the temptation of the pride of life occurs in the Garden of Eden, where Eve was tempted by the serpent to disobey God and eat the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Eve perceived that the fruit was “good for food,” “pleasing to the eye,” and “desirable for gaining wisdom” (Genesis 3:6). She coveted the fruit in three ways. First, it was appealing to her appetite. This John refers to as the “lust of the flesh,” the desire for that which satisfies any of the physical needs. The fruit was also pleasing or delightful to the eye, that which we see and desire to own or possess. Here is the “lust of the eyes” John refers to. Finally, Eve somehow perceived that the fruit would make her wise, giving her a wisdom beyond her own. Part of Satan’s lie was that eating the fruit would make her “like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5).


Debunking the Myth of the 64 Tribes of South Sudan

The purpose of this article is to debunk the prevalent myth of the so-called 64 tribes of South Sudan, by arguing that there is no coherent and sound basis for how the original architects of the “64 tribes” could have logically arrived at number “64” with respect to the definition of the word tribe. Instead, the article proposes 10 nationalities, with 131 tribes, of the Republic of South Sudan. Nonetheless, the conclusion of the article is that neither the nationalities nor the tribes per se truly reflects and presents the political reality of the country – hence, the imperativeness of tribocracy.

By PaanLuel Wël, Bor, South Sudan

RSS coat of ARMS

South Sudan’s coat of arms, in which the eagle symbolizes vision, strength, resilience and majesty, and the shield and spear the people’s resolve to protect the sovereignty of their republic and work hard to feed it.

February 9, 2018 (SSB) — South Sudan, like much of Sub-Saharan Africa, is a tribal nation. Government is formed and run along tribal lines; war and rebellion are declared and fought along tribal lines; corruption and nepotism are initiated and perpetuated along tribal lines; employment and scholarship opportunities are offered and obtained along tribal lines; job and army promotions are done along tribal lines. Marriages and social events are conducted along tribal lines. More often than not, everything is done and run along tribal lines in South Sudan. Therefore, tribalism is the modus operandi and the basic organizing unit of the South Sudanese society is the tribe. If so, then which are the tribes of South Sudan? By conventional wisdom, there are 64 tribes in the Republic of South Sudan. In this article, this conventional wisdom will be referred to as the 64-tribe paradigm.

According to Gurtong Trust – Peace and Media Project, these 64 tribes are: the Dinka, the Nuer, the Zande, the Bari, the Kakwa, the Kuku, the Mundari, the Nyangwara, the Pojullu, the Acholi, the Shilluk (Chollo), the Anyuak (Anyuaa), the Balanda-Boor, the Balanda-Bviri, the Bongo, the Jurchol (Luo), the Maban, the Jur Man-Ang’eer, the Pari, the Shatt (Thuri), the Adio (Makaraka), the Lotuka (Otuho), the Dongotona, the Ifoto, the Imatong, the Lango, the Logir, the Lokoya, the Lopit, the Avukaya, the Baka, the Jur (Beli & Modo), the Keliku, the Lugbwara, the Lulubo, the Madi, the Moro, the Moro Kodo, the Mundu, the Uduk, the Didinga, the Larim (Boya), the Murle, the Tenet, the Suri (Kachipo), the Aja, the Bai, the Banda, the Binga, the Feroghe, the Gollo, the Indri, the Kara, the Mangayat, the Ndogo, the Ngulngule, the Sere, the Woro, the Yulu, the Toposa, the Jiye (Jie), the Nyangatom, and the Tid.

While many South Sudanese intellectuals and foreign observers have consistently lauded the dazzling beauty of “unity in diversity” presented by the 64 tribes, few have bothered themselves to inquire into the genesis of these 64 tribes. More so, there has been little debate on the methodology and framework used to probe into and arrive at the 64 tribes. How, for example, was it possible that some ethnic groups such as the Bari speakers, with similar language, common descent, culture and history, have been divided up into various tribes while others such as the Dinka and Nuer speakers, with similar language, common descent, culture and history, have been lumped together as one tribe respectively?


What Does Dr. Riek Machar Confinement In South Africa Means To The High-Level Peace Revitalization Forum?

By Longar Mathiec Wol, Juba, South Sudan

South Sudan in Turmoil

South Sudan in Turmoil, courtesy of the Gov’t, IO, G-10, other opposition groups and UNMISS

February 9, 2018 (SSB) — When the war broke out in December 2013, and the two camps emerged one supporting the government and other one supporting Dr. Riek Machar turn Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO). That painful division caused indiscriminately ethnics target and killing suspected to be on both sides. It is a war that caused South Sudan pain, the hope that we were independence state seems to have been chattered and look like a dream; people got back to the struggle they recently emerged out of and they dark days returned.

People with spinelessness starting dubitating themselves why they voted for independence state. To tell you, you made no mistake you are a hero or heroine because you made the independence of South Sudan possible; the one that we had been fighting for almost 50 years. 9th July 2011 was the day millions of South Sudanese were longing to see, the day they have never dreamt of has come during your lifetime. You should be proud of being part of that historical moment in the history of our country.

Whatever happened, our leaders took us back to that closed dark chapter of war and suffering. When August 2015 peace was signed, it cooldown the conflict of 2013. The two camps signed the peace agreement; H.E general Salva Kiir Mayardit and the opposition led by H.E former first vice president Dr. Riek Machar respectively signed the agreement in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. That hope was almost washed away when the other war broke out at president palace 2016. Another challenging moment in the history of our country emerges again. Dr. Riek Machar left the country with some of his troops till he appeared in DRC in one month and a half later.


By Deng Akok Muoradid, Juba, South Sudan      

Taban Deng in YUAI

Taban Deng Ghai with top army officers of the SPLM-IO in Yuai, Greater Akobo area, January 2018

February 8, 2018 (SSB) — In South Sudan, there is no culture which condones corruption, criminality, selfishness, prostitution and indecent dressing. All the cultures of the 64 tribes never tolerate corruption, indecent dressing, greediness or any act of crime and that is why the people were in peace among themselves during the pre-independent period.

The South Sudanese in the pre-independent period were God-fearing people and they were well administrated by their respective kings and chiefs compared to the current situation in which some citizens have reached the level of undermining God. South Sudanese cultures are the best among all the cultures in the world and they are in accordance with the Holy Bible because bible itself doesn’t allow the people to corrupt the public resources, dress half naked or practice prostitution.

However, the introduction of western culture has put our cultures under the threat of extinction and some have already extinct. In addition, the life difficulties that were created by the current austerity and inequality in the distribution of public resources have forced our people to turn into robbers, others are killing their brothers because of the cattle, others are corrupting the public resources to satisfy their needs, others are abducting other people’s children, others have become gangs and drunkards in order to forget the conditions that are facing them, our ladies have joined prostitution and some of them have bleached their skins to attract the wealthy people.


By Benjamin Guarken Chiman, Khartoum, Sudan

Makwei and Lam

Information Minister Michael Makwei Lueth, being chatty with opposition leader, Lam Akol Ajawin, at the Adis Ababa Revitalization Forum

February 7, 2018 (SSB) — It’s often argued by most of the world bodies that, an agony being faced by South Sudanese is purely a man-made one. Some people still think that it’s an external brokered tragedy.  On the one hand, the search for viable remedies to this grown and nursed agony seems to stem from every single heart of its citizen.

Though differences sound louder then what seem to unit them, they still have the sense that; they belong to one nation, one country. They still share some blood bonding. They still possess secrets to share.  Above all, citizens from both divisions are held in a constant vicious cycle of poverty! AND THAT UNITS THEM MORE!

On the other hand, wrong solutions often proposed by the international community and South Sudanese politicians seems to be aggravating factors then being remedies in themselves. The lack of trust among the citizens themselves is more likely to be the main pivot to why a consensus would not easily be attained for a viable and durable peace in the near future. The citizens of both camps (in governments, opportunists and oppositions) plus their leaders have low affinities to themselves as people of one nation, despite their similar and undeniable pain of trounce.