Archive for the ‘People’ Category
Commentary, Contributing Writers, Featured Articles, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers, People
Tags: Artist David Garang Deng Aguer aka Adun Ciin Daam
Tags: Artist David Garang Deng Aguer aka Adun Ciin Daam
Tributes, Homages and Salutations to one of the eminent South Sudanese artists, David Garang Deng Aguer, popularly known as “Adun Ciin Daam”
By Awuol Gabriel Arok, Juba, South Sudan
December 28, 2016 (SSB) — With distress and grieve you will be missed David, never did you see the morning and evening of 27 December 2016 deep into the New Year 2017 which you have just missed by 5 days, lifeless feverish had just taken hold of you on the gloomy evening of 26 December 2016 and greatly robbed your loving relatives, friends, colleagues and people of South Sudan of your precious soul and comforting Art.
Dear David; with heavy heart and watery eyes, I salute your wholesome comradeship, your energetic and visionary dream as the bible says ‘‘Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful givers’’ 2 Corinthians 9:7 of which you have bravely responded to without reservations.
Dear David; you have given the people of South Sudan a complete and connected switch that will remains in history, your humble songs did not only entertain us but have united and counseled our minds that have been traumatized by the long wars of liberation, preciously when the need for counseling and awareness was high, your nationalistic songs of freedom have opened up veins and arteries of peace, love, unity and awareness.
History, Junub Sudan, People
Brief History of South Sudan And Brief Profile of Salva Kiir Mayardit
By Comrade Larco Lomayat, Kampala, Uganda
October 19, 2016 (SSB) — South Sudan’s struggle for independence started way back in 1820, with many people going to the bush and leaving behind their wives, children and families. The fearless warriors staked their lives for the sake of liberating Southern Sudanese from the pangs of suppression and oppression. This led to the signing of the Addis Ababa Agreement, also known as the Addis Ababa Accord in March 1972.
The agreement, signed by Sudanese president Jaafar Muhammad Numeiry and Joseph Lagu of the Anya Nya (a southern Sudanese rebellion movement), ended the First Sudanese Civil War. The agreement was a series of compromises aimed at appeasing the leaders of the insurgency in Southern Sudan, after the first Sudanese civil war proved costly to the government in the North. The agreement granted Southern Sudan autonomy, creating the Southern Sudan Autonomous Region.
However, Numeiry’s government in Khartoum dishonored all the peace agreements including the Addis Ababa Agreement, sparking the second Sudanese civil war.
This series of events is what eventually led to the formation of the SPLA/M in1983. The SPLM/A put up a spirited fight and refused to lay down their tools until the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed, ending the war in January 2005. This also saw Dr. John Garang appointed First Vice-President of The Sudan and President of Southern Sudan in January 2005.
However, Dr. Garang died in a helicopter crash on July 30, 2005, and Cde. Salva Kiir Mayardit was chosen to succeed as First Vice- President of Sudan and President of Southern Sudan.
South Sudanese geared up for the forthcoming independence referendum where they had to make a choice between being “second class citizens in their own country” or “free people in their independent state”.
In April 2010, Kiir was re-elected with 93% of the vote, marking a major step in the process of secession. Following his re-election, Omar al-Bashir reappointed Kiir as the First Vice-President of Sudan in accordance with the interim constitution.
Then came D-day, January 9, 2011, when Southern Sudanese voted over 99% for freedom. This session is the reason South Sudanese celebrated Historic Independence on July 9. 2011; that was birth of 54th country in Africa and 193rd in the world.
On July 9, 2011, the world gathered in Juba to witness the birth of the newest nation in the world. More than 3,500 dignitaries from around the world and over one hundred thousand South Sudanese and friends of South Sudan from all over the world attended the celebrations as South Sudan officially got her Independence. On the same day, the UN formally recognized South Sudan. In his welcome speech, the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, committed to support the new nation. He said: “Together we welcome the Republic of South Sudan to the community of nations. Together we affirm our commitment to helping it meet its many responsibilities as a nation.”
Subsequently, on July 14, the South Sudan flag was raised in New York and South Sudan was officially recognized the United Nations as the 193rd member state.
Following that, on September 23, 2011, the President of South Sudan, H.E Salva Kiir Mayardit, for the first time delivered the speech of the nation in United Nations General Assembly New York. He added his voice to what the many dignitaries had said and committed their support to South Sudan
and other nations. He remarked: “We remain strongly committed to maintaining peaceful and mutual beneficial relations with all states and particularly with our neighbors.”
It is on the same day, September 23, 2011, that President Salva Kiir, for the first time also met United States of America President Barrack Obama and the prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu.
To conclude the grand event, South Sudan raised its flag in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and was officially welcomed to the African Union as the 54th nation. Long live South Sudan. Your sweat has finally paid off.
There is someone who was behind the freedom and the independence of South Sudan, that person tirelessly worked so hard to see his people free, he took his people and crossed the river to the Promised Land. That person is called Salva Kiir Mayardit who his brief profile is here below:
Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit
· President of the Republic of South Sudan
· Commander in-Chief of the Sudan people’s Liberation Army (SPLA)
· Chairman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM)
· Born in 1952 in Akon, Gogrial County, Warrap State, South Sudan
· Married with eight children
· Christian (Catholic)
Qualification and Experience:
· Attended Akon Primary School.
· Attended Secondary School in Kuajok in Gogrial County.
· Attended Sudan Military College in infantry training and graduated as Second Lt in Sudan Armed Forces as an outstanding and leading graduate in military and academic performance.
· Attended Sudan Military College in Military Intelligence training
· Ascended to the Rank of Captain in Sudan Military Intelligence
· Served in various military garrisons in North and Southern Sudan
As Member of the First Rebellion In Southern Sudan:
· Joined the first Southern Sudan Rebellion Army (Anya-nya) in 1960 at age of 17 years old.
· Attend first guerrilla warfare training in the early 1960s
· Participated in various guerrilla warfare in Southern Sudan till the signing of the Addis Ababa Agreement in 1972.
As A Founding Member of the SPLM/SPLA:
· Participated in the early formation of the SPLM/A with his comrades Col. Dr. John Garang, Lt Col. Karbino Kuonyin Bol, Lt Col. William Nyuon Bany in the Sudan Armed Forces in the early 1980s.
· Participated in the rebellion in 1983 under the leadership of the late Dr. John Garang, followed by Kerbino Kuonyin, William Nyuon, Salva Kiir and Arok Thon Arok.
· Member of the First SPLM/A Military-Political High Command Council in 1983 and that included Col. Dr. John Garang, Lt Col. Karbino Kuonyin Bol, Lt Col. William Nyuon Bany, Hon. Joseph Oduho, Justice Majier Gai, Major, Salva Kiir, and Major Arok Thon Arok.
· He was a commander of the first SPLA Battalion (Tiger) and commanded various SPLA forces that captured many towns in different parts of New Sudan, particularly in Blue Nile, Upper Nile, Equatoria and Bahr el Ghazal regions.
· Commanded the SPLA training during the liberation struggle and assumed many key and strategic positions during the liberation struggle including command of SPLA, military intelligence and administrative supervision of some regions of New Sudan.
· After the split of the SPLM in 1991, Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit remained with Dr. John Garang as Second in command of the SPLM/A to Late Dr. John Garang.
· He was elected unanimously by the SPLM First National Convention in 1994 as the Deputy Chairman of the SPLM.
As Peace Maker:
· He led the SPLM Delegation to the Sudan Peace Talks in Abuja, Nigeria in 1993.
· He led the SPLM first delegation to the Sudan Peace Talks in Kenya in 2002 and that resulted in the signing of Machakos Protocol on July 20, 2002 and which granted the people of Southern Sudan the right of self-determination by 2011.
· Supervision of Darfur Peace Talks in Abuja, Nigeria.
· Supervision of Eastern Sudan Peace Talks in Asmara, Eritrea.
· Initiated the unification of Darfur movements for the peace talks.
· Initiated peace talks between Ugandan Government and Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).
· Concluded Juba Declaration between SPLM and other Southern armed groups to be incorporated in the Sudan People’s Liberation Army.
As Chairman of the SPLM:
· After the death of the Late Dr. John Garang in 2005, he was unanimously elected by the SPLM Leadership as the new Chairman of the SPLM.
· He was unanimously elected by the SPLM Second National Convention as the Chairman of the SPLM in 2008.
· He is the Chairman of the SPLM National Liberation Council.
President Salva Kiir’s House In Luri
Greetings from Kampala, Uganda
Recently, the so called Sentry has collected false information from the Internet and other social media and issued a report falsely accusing and claiming among others that President Salva Kiir Mayardit has built a Big or Huge House (Mansion) in Lurit, an area situated few kilometers South of Juba.
On September 19, 2016; Two Great Longtime American Friends Namely Mrs. Deborah Martin and Mrs. Faith McDonnell and I (Larco Lomayat) met with President Salva Kiir for three hours in his office at J1 in Juba. The meeting was fruitful whereby many issued were discussed including the claimed house in Lurit.
During the three hours meeting, I asked permission from the President if we could go and see the claimed mansion, without hesitation; President Salva Kiir granted us permission to go and have a look at the house.
On September 22, 2016; Lt. Gen. Marial Chinuong, Commander of South Sudanese government’s Presidential Guards organized few soldiers to escort us to the visit the site. Mrs. Faith McDonnell and I went to Lurit and found out that what was reported by Sentry was 100% BIG LIE (FALSE CLAIM), the truth of the matter is, Salva Kiir does not own a house in Lurit, that house is a Government Presidential House; still under construction with Local Materials made right from site in Lurit.
Again, it is not a mansion as was falsely claimed by Sentry Report. Take a look for yourself pictures of the house which were taken on September 22, 2016. Up to now the house is still under construction.
Posted by: LOMAYAT@aol.com
TRIBUTES AND SALUTATIONS TO THE FALLEN GIANT OF INTEGRITY, DR. WILLIAM KON BIOR-BAR
By Awuol Gabriel Arok, Juba, South Sudan.
October 7, 2016 (SSB) —- Dr. William Kon Bior was a Legendary Consultant, Advocate and Commissioner of Oaths. He was the President of South Sudan Bar Association. He founded the Establishment of Southern Sudan’s Ministry of Legal Affairs and Constitutional Development in 2005 when he was appointed Undersecretary. He helped in drafting of the first SPLM/A Manifesto. He fought for the inclusion of the Abyei protocol in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) Naivasha.
As a holder of LLB (Hons)-University of Khartoum, D.P.L in Petroleum and Mineral Laws- University of Dundee UK, L.L.M-(Maritime Law)-University of Wales UK, M.A- University of St. Andrews UK, BD (Hons) University of St. Andrews and a PHD from the University of Manchester UK, his knowledge and experiences was a magnificent ameliorate to South Sudan justice system.
Dr. Kon Bior joined the SPLM/A in 1984, and after training, was posted to Nairobi as the SPLM/A representative to East African countries. Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin was the SPLM/A representative to Southern African countries, based in Harare, Zimbabwe, while Elijah Malok Aleng was SPLM/A representative to Franco-phone countries, based in Kinshasa, DRC Congo.
Junub Sudan, People, Photos
Commentary, Contributing Writers, People
By Col. Gaddafi Majok, Juba, South Sudan
June 24, 2016 (SSB) — The Late was born as a 3rd child (2nd son) to Kelei Chol Nhial (Adol clan, Kolnyang payam) and Aluel Aluong Kur (Koch clan, Makuach payam) on 1st of January in 1962 in Adol Village, Gak Boma, Kolnyang Payam, Bor County, Jonglei State. He survived with three wives and fifteen (15) children and twelve (12) grandchildren.
He joined primary school in 1970 – 1976 in Bor and Renk Elementary School, and he then did Intermediate Education in 1977 – 1980 at Kongor Intermediate in Bor and secondary Education in 1980 – 1983 at Malakal Senior in Malakal, where he went back and had his Sudan Certificate in Malek Secondary in Bor.
He joined SPLA/M on 19th May 1983 and obtained his military training in Bonga, Ethiopia with Jamus Division. He was then commissioned to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant at Shield One and assigned to the GHQs of C-in-C.
Columnists, Featured Articles, History, PaanLuel Wël, People
“A man came and found an animal killed and he demanded to be given ‘ɣäm’ (thigh) but someone among the people said, look at this guy, how could he be so greedy that he asked for ‘ɣäm’ (thigh) instead of ‘lɔ̈ɔ̈m’ (rib) and so he was given ‘lɔ̈ɔ̈m’ (rib). Meaning if we want Southern Sudan, we must start by asking for the whole Sudan and then surely we will be given South, but if we started with asking for the South, we would gain nothing as the Anyanya One case attest. The people of South Sudan should know that no man marries an ugly woman and no woman marries an ugly man. The unity of the Sudan has not been made attractive. I and those who joined me in the bush and fought for more than twenty years have brought to you CPA in a golden plate. Our mission is accomplished. It is now your turn, especially those who did not have a chance to experience bush life. When [the] time comes to vote at referendum, it is your golden choice to determine your fate. Would you like to vote to be second-class citizens in your own country? It is absolutely your choice,“ Dr. John Garang’s famous “Rumbek Exhortation” delivered on May 15, 2005 at Rumbek Freedom Square, upon his arrival in Rumbek for the commemoration of the 22nd anniversary of May 16th in Rumbek, Southern Sudan.
By PaanLuel Wël, Juba, South Sudan
June 23, 2016 (SSB) — Garang Mabioor Atem Aruai—popularly known as Dr. John Garang—was born on 23rd June 1945 into a peasant Dinka family in Buk village of the Awulian community, Kongor District in Jonglei State, Upper Nile Region of the historical Sudan. Garang was the sixth of ten children—six boys and four girls—born to Mabioor Atem Aruai from the Awulian clan (Patem, pan-ayen) and Ghak Malwal Kuol from the Kongor clan (Padol, pareng), both of Twic Dinka from the Greater Bor Dinka Community.
Young Garang left his home district of Kongor at the age of ten after the death of his father to attend school in Bahr el Ghazal. He went to Tonj Primary School (1954), followed by Bussere Intermediate School (1958), and then Rumbek Secondary School (1962) when the Anyanya One war broke out. Just after joining Rumbek Secondary School, teenage Garang was expelled for participating in a Southern-wide student-led strike—one that was fomented by the legendary Southern freedom fighter, Marko Rume.
Message of Condolence to the Family and Relatives of Uncle Lual Diing Wol and the Entire Aweil CommunityPosted: February 9, 2016 by PaanLuel Wël in Commentary, Featured Articles, People
We Share the Grief and pain with the family and Relatives of late Uncle Lual Diing Wol and the entire Aweil Dinka community
By Mawien Athian Athian, Tito Awen Bol and Garang Dong, Nairobi, Kenya.
February 9, 2016 (SSB) —- Baba Africa, it is so early to leave us, Uncle “Lanbaar,” it is too soon to go away from us; Uncle Lual Diing Wol, it is not the time for us to see you parting with us forever. You are a man known by all for your principles and satires that you add in every speech with nation always at heart.
As members of Mading Aweil Community and friends to the children of the late Uncle Lual Diing Wol; and as nationals, we are heavily touched by the passing-on of veteran Lualdit. Late Lualdit or Baba Africa has not just been a politician and a revolutionist; but a man that had been keeping the movement lively from the days of struggle to independent.
Featured Articles, History, People
“Dear All. This is to inform you that we Lost Lt. Gen Lual Diing Wol famously known as Baba Africa or Landbar yesterday at around 5:00 Pm Yesterday at Aga Khan Hospital Nairobi. It took me time to announce his death because I was busy making some arrangement. I thank all people of South Sudan for their firm stand with us during this hour of tragedy. I would also like to appeal to our government and the opposition to allow the presence of all those who intend to mourn with us and put our political differences aside because my father was a man of all South Sudanese, Baba Africa was a lovely Father,Grandfather, uncle and comrade to all South Sudanese without discrimination. R.I.P Landbar all your proverbs will be missed by your people specially SPLA comrades but you did all a man can do to his people and Country. I would also like to appreciate All those South Sudanese who visited us in both hospitals Germany and Aga Khan.” Sultan Malong Diing
February 9, 2016 (SSB) — Garang left nothing to chance in his high-powered courtship of Gadhafi’s assistance. The survival of the movement and the fate of his people depended on his success in winning over Gadhafi, even for a brief period of time. Thus, Garang cobbled together a well briefed and amply prepared delegation led by Commander Lual Diing Wuol, then the SPLM representative to Tripoli.
Editorials, Featured Articles, People, Poems.
“My sons died for this country… The eldest one was killed in Nasir, the other one was killed in Itang, and another one was killed in Yei and now you killed this one for me… I have been wondering when the Arabs came to Juba to kill Isaiah… I wrap my head in a white cloth because I wish South Sudan to be in peace and he who wraps his head in black and kills people at night is responsible for ruining your country; please count me out”—–Late Isaiah Abraham’s Mother, Abuna Rebecca Lueth Wel, speaking during Isaiah’s Memorial Service in Juba, December 13, 2012.
Editorials, Education, Featured Articles, History, PaanLuel Wël, People, Philosophy, Speeches
Tags: Dr. John Garang, Speech by Dr. John Garang, The CPA
Tags: Dr. John Garang, Speech by Dr. John Garang, The CPA
What is Government in the View of Dr. John Garang? Dr. John Garang Talking to the SPLA Military Officers about Leadership and the Role of the Government in Readiness for the Post-CPA Era in the Republic of South Sudan
November 27, 2015 (SSB) — With the advent of peace, comrades, we have reached a new phase of our armed struggle, a new phase of transforming the guns and the bullets—that is military power—into political power, and using the political power to achieve socio-economic development rapidly. This is because there is no meaning of revolution—the revolution is meaningless, unless it makes our people happy, unless the masses of our people, as a result of our glorious revolution, become prosperous.
Socio-economic prosperity quantifiable with the degree to which people go ahead and advance in their individual and communal lives: they get food, they get shelter, they get clean drinking water, they get healthcare services, they get social amenities, they get economic infrastructure such as roads, they get jobs and so forth. Unless we provide these essential services to our people, unless the revolution provide these things to our people, then the people will prefer the government of the NIF that provide salt to the government of the SPLM that does not provide anything to its people.
This is simple arithmetic: if the SPLM cannot deliver anything and we just shout REVOLUTION! REVOLUTION!; and yet the cattle of the people are not vaccinated; their children are not vaccinated or sent to school; there is nothing to eat, there are no roads, there are no basic necessities of life—there is no cloth, no needle, not even a razor blade—when the barest minimum of essential things of life are not available, then the people will drive us into the sea, even though there is no sea here, they will find one. Mind you, we have no other choice.
Contributing Writers, Editorials, Featured Articles, People, Press Release
The Eulogy of Our Beloved Late Dr. DING COL DAU DING (MBChB; DPhil (PhD); BSc (Hons)): Nov 21st 1975 – Oct 28th 2015
By Dr. Dau Col Dau Ding (the elder brother of the deceased)
November 27, 2015 (SSB) — Friends, loved ones and family; It is a privilege under the eyes of God for me to honour and pay tribute to a very special and precious person which we have tragically lost; my younger brother, my best friend and my soul-mate, Dr. Ding Col Dau Ding.
All lives that we lose within our new country are precious and this one has truly affected many of us more than most. Ding was tragically taken away from us all just under one month short of his 40th birthday. We are all devastated and heartbroken, and the pain and sorrow we feel as a family is more than words can ever express or I can say.
Contributing Writers, Featured Articles, Letters, People, Reports
The Biography of Our Beloved Late Dr. DING COL DAU DING (MBChB; DPhil (PhD); BSc (Hons)): Nov 21st 1975 – Oct 28th 2015
“An Angel with Healing Hands (Ding-Dit de Wol)”
November 27, 2015 (SSB) — This booklet is dedicated to those who are inspired by Ding’s achievements and performance in life. It is particularly pertaining to the dictum of Dr. John Garang De Mabior that brought him back to South Sudan:
“For those who did not experience bush life can still contribute in many other ways in a free, independent South Sudan.”
Letters, People, Press Release
My Dear South Sudanese,
November 26, 2015 (SSB) — My family and myself can hardly find words befitting your sympathetic and compassionate response to our despair on the untimely death of our Son, Dr. Ding Col Dau Ding, on the night of the 27th October 2015.
Ding was a highly competent medical doctor and an exceptional scientist. He loved clinical medicine and he had a maxim of using his medical knowledge to make his patients happy and healthy. In fact, we have not come across any of his patients complaining of poor treatment under his care. Just imagine; when no volunteer was available to give blood to a very sick young patient, Ding volunteered and gave one unit of his own blood to his patient. This is medical over-sympathy and humanity at its very highest!!!!
Our love for Ding is immeasurable. We have buried Ding in the grounds of our new home in Juba. Ding’s spirit will forever still give us an aura of his ongoing closeness and nearness to us.
The South Sudanese Police authorities have now officially stated to us, and are now formally reporting, that Ding’s death was murder and an investigation is now ongoing with international assistance and support. Aside from being South Sudanese, Ding was born in England as a British Citizen.
People, Press Release
Featured Articles, History, People
R.I.P Diktoor Kemeri: Tributes to the True Patriot of Junub Thudan
PaanLuel Wël: Diktoor Gribani Kemeri Dejango served his people wholeheartedly both in the bushes, the famous Chukudum hospital that rivaled Lokichogio hospital, during the liberation struggle and in Juba in the post independent South Sudan. He was one soul that embodied the true spirit of Junub Thudan for, although he was an Equatorian by heritage, he was widely known to and beloved by all South Sudanese irrespective of their tribal heritages. RIP diktoor Kemeri….
Highway Chulbaar: South Sudan has indeed loss a great person. I remember him in Nimule and Yei when he used to treat wounded SPLA soldiers in the 1990s..He was also very expert in an appendix operation.. R.I.P GIANT!
Kamzee Awuol De-yen Arokdit: What a great lost! Mighty Dr Kemeri you are a legend of life, a saving hand have left… Dr, South Sudanese will ever miss your caring hands but will never forget your dear and whole hearted sacrifices.
Ajak Deng Chiengkou: Dr. Kemeri deserved a high class medal of honour or anything in his name. His work can never be describe and his dedication will never be found to those who knew him. He served, save lives and inspired generations. May God rest his soul in peace.
Kur Achiek Kur: He will be missed by all the poor South Sudanese who can not affort treatment abroad – he was among the few best Dr South Sudanese had – my condolences to his family and friends – God rest his soul in peace
Dau Duot Diing: Imagine Ajakda,he deserve maximums respect and honor. Rest in peace Dr Kemeri,the nation that you served with your full energy and time won’t forget your efforts.
Nyibol Chol: Ajak, the death dr Kemire is a bad to hold South Sudan; he really worked hard for his country. Yesterday I just went to his place and found it lock and just had right know he has just gone may the God rest his soul in peace.
Jakaria Atem: Rest in peace Dr. Kemeri for your last tireless work in Ashwa during the SPLA’s Operation Jungle Storm (OJS) operations will keep you in our hearts and lips in our history. May God be with you.
Kuol Malual: What? is that true.we lost Dr.kemeri,a man of life,man of white heart.he is the only doctor who did big role in south sudan.may ur soul rest in peace Dr.
Ajak Ayual Diing: RIP Major General Dr.Gribani Kemeri. You did a great job during the dark days of struggle.. Treating SPLA wounded heroes during the days of Operation Jungle Storm (OJS) and Operation Thunder Bolt (OTB). Your days in Labone and Nimule are still fresh in our minds.. A very humble renowned Surgeon. RIP General
Chol Ajak-Agilbiok: Great human being, a wonderful Dr and a true South Sudanese.
Jon Pen: WE’VE LOST A HERO! Dr. Kameri Gribani Jango, the revolutionary times’ life saver of our wounded heroes of the war of liberation has passed on in a Nairobi hospital after a terminal illness! I can’t stop reminiscing my best days with him when I was a Face Foundation medical officer in Lobone IDP Camp in 2004/5/6/7. He saved many lives after many battles of the major operations in the 90s: especially the ODN (Operation Deng Nhial) in Bahr al Ghazal, OJS (Operation Jungle Storm) in Eastern Equatoria, from Pogee to Jebelein in 1995/6, and OTB (Operation Thunderbolt) in Central Equatoria, from Kaya through Yei to Mile 40 in 1997. Thumb up to NPA (that we jokingly used to call ‘Norwegian People’s Army’), the only dedicated liberation NGO those good old days before it was affected by the TROIKA’s position in the post-liberation South Sudan. RIP, great surgeon of South Sudan… just two weeks after we lost another top scientist at a regrettable age, Dr. Ding Chol Dau! This nation is indeed regressing!
Prof. Julia Aker Duaany: A wrenching journey from Indiana (US) to John Garang University, South SudanPosted: November 7, 2015 by PaanLuel Wël in Commentary, People
The killing had ended more than a year earlier, but the university still bore the scars of battle: broken windows, looted metal safes, computers smashed beyond repair.
Walking slowly through the debris on a recent 100-degree afternoon was a 6-foot-tall woman with a Sudanese accent and a U.S. passport.
“It’s the vice chancellor,” one student whispered.
“That woman is as powerful as any man,” a group of girls chanted as she walked by.
Commentary, Contributing Writers, Featured Articles, People
Dr. Diing Chol Daau Diing, a son of Dr. Chol Daau Diing, graduated with a PhD in Neuroscience at the age of 26 from Oxford University, UK. People must know that he was a gifted Clinician, “An Angel with Healing Hands (Ding-Dit de Wol).”
By Reech Malual, Juba, South Sudan
November 6, 2015 (SSB) — Many people in South Sudan did not know that the country got a Scientist but; folks get it right as I expose this information. Neuroscientist, DR. DING COL DAU DING (MBChB; DPhil (PhD); BSc (Hons)) was born on the 21st November 1975 in Exeter, Devon in the United Kingdom.
He attended Cuiken Primary School in Edinburgh, Scotland. After this the family moved to Aysham in Norfolk, East Anglia, where Ding attended Aylsham Middle School and Aylsham High School. During Ding’s earlier years he was an avid footballer and played for his school football teams as well as being selected to play for North Norfolk County Boys Football Team, Norwich City Youth Development Team and England School Boys Football Team.
Featured Articles, Kur Wël Kur, People
Selflessness, Courage, Patience and Visionary: Rare Combinations of Unique Characters in a National Leader
By Kur Wel Kur, Australia
Kuol Manyang Juuk will Never Regret.
May 14, 2015 (SSB) —- Writing about people, places or about anything takes an interest. Some people become interested in their relatives and friends. Some admire places of their connections or places of their wishes and they write about them. While writing about exceptional people (regardless of any relationship) or about topics close to our hearts, tip-top the love of writing. I had picked up glittering nuggets in some people whose bloodlines never crossed mine and wrote about them on this site (Paanluel Wel). So I hope writing about Kuol won’t attract “accusations of being labelled as selfish”.
How I wish I were a microscopic brain-worm to wiggle myself in Kuol’s brain. To find his secrets of processing information, which makes him a daring decision maker. Mistakes and corrections characterise lives of leaders but what defines exceptional leaders is their fairness of letting the law/order takes its course regardless of other forces (friendship and blood relationship ). Toughness and softness describe humans; however, it depends where each falls: inside or outside. Those who exhibit toughness externally, are soft from inside. Their actions rely on gossips, friendships and relatives. But those whose toughness falls within them appear speechless in the faces of situations. Leaders with zipped mouths repel gossipers. They see problems in different angles and their solutions to problems bud the hopes for a better future.
Born to Manyang Juuk in Pathuiyith, Athoc’s section of Bor and Keth Kuor-reng (pronounced as Kureng) in Adol (Gak), Gok section of Bor, Kuol largely lived most of his childhood in his maternal home. His maternal uncle, Athiu Kuor-reng sent him to Akol-Ajak primary school. He got initiated at his paternal home (Pathuiyith-Mathiang). He spent his youthful years in school until the birth of SPLM/A, a liberation movement, he sacrificed all his souls (self, family and relatives). A movement that delivered The South Sudan.
Leadership requires courage and selflessness
Great leaders are courageous and selfless. To liberate a country is frustrating for everyone but directors of the liberation shoulder more loads than the rests. During the war of liberation, many of his friends and relatives got pruned in one way or another until he was left a lone stander like a desert tree, but his courageous and selfless character sustained him to this minute. How he handled the loneliness is what I am yet to know from him one day when he comes visiting the tombs of his maternal uncles in Gak.
Selflessness will save our country one day. Our country engages in a civil war because a few people are selfless and our economy is drowned by inflation because most of our leaders including those who are policing others in embezzlement are selfish. If we were to borrow some characters from Kuol, then his courageous and selfless characters of saying the truth and working for it (truth) would do us good. Legends observe their surrounding, but they listen more to their within-voices. I regard Kuol Manyang Juuk as a legend and some people if not many, share this realisation with me.
Exceptional leaders project their decisions beyond tomorrow
Proactive projection of decisions is visionary. Kuol in his area of jurisdiction guided the mission of liberation to the highest level of his abilities. In so doing, he acquired himself enemies, especially among his relatives and friends who felt neglected. This blame game exists to this very day. However, his nature of giving same treatments to all, is the foundation of his selfless character. With this character, he expects all around him to lift themselves off from the grounds of mediocrity to the majestic heights of excellence. As a great leader, he guides the results of the mission.
He and his likes (insert: Daniel Awet Akot) executed the idea of preparing our nation for the second phase of liberation: the war of illiteracy. Literacy cures the underdevelopment. With this fact in mind, he did his part in Upper Nile regions while Awet directed the mobilisation in Greater Barh El Gazal. They’re the fathers of young educated South Sudanese today. The thousands of graduates who strutted away with their degrees last week in The University of Juba are the testimonies of Kuol’s projections and executions. What’s left now, is bestowing responsibilities of the nation building and rewriting of the constitution to these graduates.
Staying true to his character of being exceptional and visionary, Kuol appointed a young educated man, Nicholas Nhial Majak Nhial as the first mayor of Bor town. His (Kuol) peers viewed his decision as naive and insulting to the elders but his projection aimed for the best of tomorrow. Many young peoples do appreciate his decision of employing young and energetic graduates because the fierce under development needs fresh and best minds. So incorporating the youth (graduates) into caring for the nation, not just in defence but also in policies making will surely galvanise our country in terms of development and defence.
An example of a dream come true was when trouble makers from Greater Pibor sneaked into the territory of Bor and disturbed the tranquility of the area. Nicholas Nhial as a mayor and the commissioner, Mameer Ruuk mobilised the youth and pursued the trespassers until they ran uncoordinated. They ran for their dear lives and with empty hands. To accomplish that mission, the mayor and commissioner lifted the morale of youth by being with them. And the fact that they (Mameer and Nhial) are young, determine the results.
Great leaders are patient
They can, sometimes, settle for less for the sake of the country. Kuol, in his military career, observes the principles of self-discipline and patience up to this moment. In the leadership curses in South Sudan, many appointees, weak-hearted self-proclaimed leaders and those who hung around great leaders as households have turned South Sudan a contesting club for leadership. However, Kuol waits for appointments from his senior, the president. He never preempted information or based his decisions on empty politics. You can recall the leaked news of his false appointment as the minister of defence in 2012. Many ill-wishers ran between the president and him, spreading lies, but he stood firm and rose above all odds of Juba’s rumors.
Negating the wisdom in this saying: ” Patience is the mother of cruelty”, I admire to write: Impatient is the mother of all rebellions. All rebels whether active, passive or undecided are impatient retards who keep dreaming of either bending or breaking the rules of harmonious societies. Some people may wonder about what causes impatience but greed feeds impatience. Selfishness grows and nurses greed.
In the rising and falling of our country, each of us is left to observe the greatest leaders, dead or alive. As he (Kuol) strikes among us, we cannot appreciate the breadths and depths of his exceptional leadership until hundreds years after this generation’s burial. This notion of seeing the importance of exceptional leaders after they left offices or left us because of their deaths, is a sickening weakness of human’s character. After the burial of Dr. John, before his corpse disintegrates, we cried rivers, asking God to raise him back to life so he could lead us but when he walked among us and preached the idea of “good governance”, we turned to him deaf ears and blind eyes.
To rest this article, public roar in excitement, voting in their most desired leaders into public’s offices; however, when those leaders fail, the public lose confidence in them; the public would boo them out of the public’s offices. Leaders cannot satisfy every voter, even the leadership saints such as Dr. John Garang retired to their graves with some people’s grievances. I assure you, no leader is perfect even Jesus, the healer, the redeemer, the manufacturer of miracles and the co-creator of the universe left us condemned.
In the same vein, Some people fume with anger at Honourable Kuol Manyang but when Kuol Manyang Juuk retires, he won’t regret because he offered all his strength and soul could afford for the betterment of South Sudan. As I write this note, I understand that no characters greater to be in a leader than selflessness, courage, patience and visionary. Kuol is a living testimony of these characters. I hope he can lecture in military academy (if the government initiates one) after his defence post.
The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made are the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to email@example.com. SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing from
Tribute to Pan-Africanists: Kwame Nkrumah, Thomas Sankara, Amilcar Cabral, Patrice Lumumba, Mwalimu Nyerere, John Garang…Posted: April 21, 2015 by PaanLuel Wël in Africa, History, People, Philosophy
Cabral at 90: Unity and struggle continue in Africa
By Dr. Ama Biney.*
In this special issue on Amilcar Cabral (photo) we seek to return to the life, writings, legacy, political, social, economic and cultural insights of this revolutionary figure whilst examining what he means to Africans and their struggles of today.
Amilcar Cabral would be 90 years old on 12 September 2014 if his life had not been cruelly cut short by reactionary forces on 20 January 1973. He was 49 years old at the time and therefore 20 January 2014 marks forty one years since his brutal assassination. Cabral risks becoming an obscure figure to new and younger generations not only in Africa but globally who are able to reel off sportsmen and women, musicians and celebrities, rather than revolutionary internationalist figures such as Cabral. Therefore in an attempt to reinsert Cabral into the consciousness of African people and progressive peace loving citizens around the world, Pambazuka News celebrates the short life, thought and contribution of this almost forgotten figure who was not only an agronomist, guerrilla fighter, but a poet and political theoretician committed to the unity of Africa and Africans.
Forty-one years since the assassination of Cabral, much has changed in the world and much has remained the same. Apart from Africa’s last colony of Western Sahara, the rest of Africa has achieved flag independence but remains economically enslaved to Western neoliberal capitalism whilst the majority of Africa’s people continue to live in wretched conditions. In studying Cabral’s life and writings they will give further inspiration to the present generation who face new conditions of a globalised world in which empire has reconfigured itself with African allies of imperialism and as globalised imperialism seeks to depoliticise ordinary people and disconnect them from African history. In returning to the writings and speeches of Cabral, we reconnect ourselves to a struggle devoted to genuine socio-economic and political transformation in Guinea Bissau which ordinary people were empowered to be subjects of history and reconstruct a new society. Revisiting this national liberation struggle should inspire us to do the same today.
CABRAL’S IMPORTANCE IN OUR TIMES
In our times Cabral’s praxis, that is, theory combined with practice, remains relevant to progressive Africans, activists in social justice movements in Africa and around the world. His thoughts and practice can teach us something in our own specific struggles and concrete conditions of today. However, to this, Cabral, if he were alive today, is likely to have cautioned that: ‘rice is cooked inside the pot and not outside.’ This political principle and practice that he strongly upheld is beautifully conveyed in this African proverb. As the political theoretician he was, he insisted to militants of his Partido Africano da Independencia da Guiné e Cabo Verde (African Party of Guinea and Cape Verde, otherwise known as the PAIGC) that it was essential ‘to start out from the reality of our land – to be realists.’ To put it differently, he insisted that it was fundamental that the positive and negative, strengths and weaknesses of every reality had to be carefully evaluated on its own merits. He told PAIGC militants: ‘A very important aspect of a national liberation struggle is that those who lead the struggle must never confuse what they have in their head with reality.’ The correct diagnosis of a particular reality was for Cabral fundamental ‘so as to guide the struggle correctly.’ Moreover, he insisted that: ‘reality never exists in isolation,’ for the reality in Guinea and Cape Verde was integral to the reality of West Africa and with the reality of the world, ‘although there might be other realities between these.’
‘WE MUST AT ALL TIMES SEE THE PART AND THE WHOLE’ – CABRAL
Cabral, like Frantz Fanon, was clear that the characteristic failure of post-independent Africa was the absence of ideology underlying the political programmes, policies and vision of political parties. At the Tricontinental conference, Cabral said:
‘The ideological deficiency within the national liberation movements, not to say the total lack of ideology – reflecting as this does an ignorance of the historical reality which these movements claim to transform – makes for one of the greatest weaknesses in our struggle against imperialism, if not the greatest weakness of all.’
To a group of African American militants in 1972, he said: ‘To have ideology doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to define whether you are communist, socialist, or something like this. To have ideology is to know what you want in your own condition.’
Neither did Cabral have pretensions to be Marxist or Leninist. When asked in 1971 by a European journalist to what extent Marxism and Leninism as an ideology had been relevant to the national liberation struggle of Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde, Cabral responded thus:
‘Moving from the realities of one’s own country towards the creation of an ideology for one’s struggle doesn’t imply that one has pretensions to be a Marx or a Lenin or any other great ideologist, but is simply a necessary part of the struggle. I confess that we didn’t know these great theorists terribly well when we began. We didn’t know them half as well as we do now. We needed to know them, as I’ve said in order to judge in what measure we could borrow from their experience to help our situation – but not necessarily to apply the ideology blindly just because it’s very good. This is where we stand on this.’
In short, we must take from Cabral that today’s progressive individuals and their movements must theorise out of their concretely lived situations of self-understanding within the context of their specific history. Yet, they must learn from the experiences of others, to the extent that the experiences of others are useful to them in finding solutions to socio-economic, political and ecological problems. In this way, for Cabral, theory and ideology were neither static nor dogmatic but both were in ceaseless and uncompromising efforts of open-ended reflection in relation to a particular reality and specific history.
At the first Tricontinental Conference in Havana in 1966, Cabral said: ‘It is useful to recall in this tricontinental gathering, so rich in experience and example, that no matter how close may be the similarity between cases and between the identities of our enemy, national liberation and social revolution are not for export. They are – and every day they become more so – the outcome of a local and national elaboration that is more or less influenced by external factors (favourable or not), but essentially is formed and conditioned by the historical reality of each people, and is carried to success by right solutions to the internal contradictions which arise in this reality.’
CABRAL AND CULTURE
Much has been written on Cabral’s position on national liberation and culture and specifically that the national liberation struggle was a struggle to reclaim African culture; and yet how that cultural reality is dictated by economic conditions of underdevelopment. Whilst he acknowledged the strengths of ‘various African cultures,’ we should note Cabral recognised a plurality of African cultures. He also observed that ‘culture develops in an uneven process, at the level of a continent, a ‘race’ or even a society.’ He was a realist and a candid political theoretician in also pointing out the weaknesses of African culture. From 19-24 November 1969 he held a series of seminars for PAIGC cadres at which he said:
‘Our struggle is based on our culture, because culture is the fruit of history and it is a strength. But our culture is filled with weakness in the face of nature. It is essential to know this… Various comrades who are sitting here have an amulet at their waist, in the belief that this will allow them to escape Portuguese bullets. But not one of you can say to me that no one of the comrades who already died in our struggle had an amulet at his waist. They all had them! It is just that in our struggle we have to respect this, we have to respect this because we start out from reality.’
Cabral advanced to point out that such practices are also an ‘obstacle to the struggle’ which is also complex. In many parts of the African continent particular reactionary cultural practices and notions exist that impede socio-economic development. For example, in the wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone during the 1990s many soldiers wore amulets believing that they would protect them from injury and death from opposing militias. Similarly in some African countries albino individuals are murdered believing their body parts hold magical powers to be used in rituals. Today it is only the rapid and widescale advancement of education and science that can eradicate such pernicious ideas and practices.
Moreover, Cabral did not consider African cultures as sealed from other cultural influences. In his own words he said:
‘A people who free themselves from foreign domination will not be culturally free unless, without underestimating the importance of positive contributions from the oppressor’s culture and other cultures, they return to the upward paths of their own culture. The latter is nourished by the living reality of the environment and rejects harmful influences such as any kind of subjection to foreign cultures. We see therefore, that if imperialist domination has the vital need to practise cultural oppression, national liberation is necessarily an act of culture.’
Therefore, one of the many challenges confronting African people in our current globalised world is to critically evaluate aspects of the seemingly hegemonic nature of Western culture that is positive and negative. By internalising the harmful aspects of Western culture we continue to be unconsciously perpetuating our own oppression.
Cabral also identifies the fact that ‘political leaders – even the most famous – may be culturally alienated.’ There are African leaders today who use the slogan of culture to oppress others who are gay or lesbian by upholding heterosexism as the cultural norm and defining what is culturally acceptable and unacceptable for African women to wear, whether that is trousers or mini skirts.
PARTY PRINCIPLES AND POLITICAL PRACTICE IN AFRICA TODAY
Basil Davidson, the great British historian referred to Cabral as not only the ‘inspirer’ of the PAIGC but ‘its leader, its relentless critic: a man of unforgettable moral resonance and strength of purpose’ whom he met in 1960. Deplorably today Africa’s leadership lacks men and women of the integrity of the generation of the era of Mandela and Cabral. In Cabral’s address entitled, ‘Our Party and the Struggle must be led by the best sons and daughters of our people’ there are a number of ethical and political principles he outlines that remain relevant to political parties and social movements in Africa today. Cabral is outspoken in denouncing party militants who ‘have sought comfort, to flee from responsibilities, an easier life, to begin enjoying themselves, thinking that they already have independence in their grasp.’ He continues with this frankness when he says: ‘And we must throw out those who do not understand, however much it hurts us.’ He urges each individual to be vigilant ‘for the struggle is a selective process; the struggle shows us to everyone, and shows who we are.’ Inevitably struggles for social and political justice soon separate the wheat from the chaff; the politically sincere from the politically insincere, the politically honest from the politically dishonest. That is why he states that: ‘struggle is daily action against ourselves and against the enemy.’ This enemy now manifests in Africa in the form of a petty bourgeoisie who are Eurocentric in their aspirations and support neoliberal economic policies whilst colluding with outside interests in order to fulfil their own narrow class interests and power base. Therefore, at this present juncture in Africa’s history, progressive forces must be aware that this particular class in Africa is as detrimental to the interests of the African poor as are the forces of ‘stealth imperialism’ operating in the form of the IMF, World Bank, AFRICOM and various multi-lateral aid agencies.
Cabral identifies patriarchcal attitudes embedded in the views of some male militants within the party who resist women taking up their responsibilities as a problem. To cite him at some length:
‘A particular instance was the occasional stubborn, silent resistance to the presence of women among the leadership. Some comrades do their utmost to prevent women taking charge, even when there are women who have more ability to lead than they do. Unhappily some of our women comrades have not been able to maintain the respect and the necessary dignity to protect their position as persons in authority. They were not able to escape certain temptations, or at least to shoulder certain responsibilities without complexes. But the men comrades, some, do not want to understand that liberty for our people means that women as well must play a part, and that the strength of our Party is worth more if women join in as well to lead with the men. Many folk say that Cabral has an obsession about giving women leadership positions as well. They say: ‘Let him do it, but we shall sabotage it afterwards.’ That comes from folk who have not yet understood anything. They can sabotage today, sabotage tomorrow, but one day it will catch up with them.’
Cabral also castigates those male PAIGC commissars who prefer a woman to become a mistress instead of him helping her to become a doctor, teacher or soldier using the authority of the party to satisfy not only his own stomach but his lust. Today, despite the progress some African countries have made in the political representation of women in national assemblies such as South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi with women claiming over 30% of parliamentary seats, in many African universities and schools young girls and women continue to be subjected to sexual harassment and sex for grades as the sugar daddy phenomenon exists. Men in positions of power abuse these positions for sexual gratification and the perceived status and ego derived from such sexual exploitation.
Cabral urges opportunists within the Party to be unmasked and emphasises collective leadership in opposition to ‘the tendency of some comrades [is] to monopolise leadership just for themselves.’
Today this destructive monopolisation of leadership continues. Post-colonial Africa has witnessed waves of civil wars e.g. Liberia, Burundi, Rwanda, Somalia, Sierra Leone, the DRC, the CAR and currently in South Sudan, to name a few. These wars were clearly not guided by ethical or ideological principles in the conduct nor goals of the war. Civilians were hacked to death in many of these countries and women raped. Today in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Central African Republic (CAR), and in South Sudan, deaths and atrocities of African people continue with impunity as these conflicts make victims of innocent civilians.
Political leaders such as former Vice President of South Sudan, Riek Machar, who was sacked by President Salva Kiir in July 2013 does not abide by the rules of the political game and has resorted to violence for political ends. The ongoing conflict in South Sudan is a political rivalry of male egos that has been played out in many African countries since independence and has tragically resorted to each side resorting to their phallic guns as a means of resolution of their political ambitions to rule. Machar and war leaders in the CAR and the DRC are bereft of any noble political and ethical ideals that motivated Cabral’s generation. Meanwhile, it is stunning to know that in a country that is just over two years newly born, two and a half billion dollars of oil money has been stolen by South Sudanese officials and ministers. What kind of ethics underlies the behaviour of such individuals who deprive their citizens of life in medicine, functioning roads and a future through education? How is it possible to morally justify the use of children as child soldiers in Africa’s various past and on-going wars?
Clearly the watchwords of many of Africa’s leaders have been antithetical to those Cabral advocated. It could be argued that idealism infused Cabral’s political thought. He was clear that certain principles were essential to political work such as: ‘explain to the population what is happening in the struggle, what the party is endeavouring to do at any given moment, and what the criminal intentions of the enemy may be.’
Cabral was a dialectician in that he was sensitive to the contradictory character of human existence; he strived within himself and encouraged others to become better human beings. Hence he urged:
‘Educate ourselves, educate other people, the population in general, to fight fear and ignorance, to eliminate little by little the subjugation to nature and natural forces which our economy has not yet mastered. Convince little by little, in particular the militants of the Party, that we shall end by conquering the fear of nature, and that man is the strongest force in nature. Demand from responsible Party members that they dedicate themselves seriously to study, that they interest themselves in the things and problems of our daily life and struggle in their fundamental and essential aspect, and not simply in their appearance … Learn from life, learn from our people, learn from books, learn from the experience of others. Never stop learning.’
Many of the general watchwords of Cabral reveal his deep commitment to ethics. For example, he tells PAIGC members: ‘We must constantly be more aware of the errors and mistakes we make so that we can correct our work and constantly do better in the service of our Party. The mistakes we make should not dishearten us, just as the victories we score should not make us forget our mistakes.’
He evokes Gramsci’s ‘pessimism of the intellect and optimism of the will’ when he pronounces the following:
‘So in the light of favourable prospects for our struggle, we must study each problem thoroughly and find the best solution for it. Think in order to act and act in order to be able to think better. We must as always face the present and the future with optimism, but without losing sight of realities and particularly of the special difficulties of our struggle. We must always bear in mind and carry out the watchwords of our Party: hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst.’
CABRAL: DEMOCRACY AND PAN-AFRICANISM
Cabral’s watchwords have a pertinence in our times for we must ‘know well our own strength and the enemy strength.’ Most important of all his watchwords and relevance for our times is the need for Africans to foster the principle and practice of criticism and self-criticism with integrity. In his own words:
‘Develop the spirit of criticism between militants and responsible workers. Give everyone at every level the opportunity to criticize, to give his opinion about the work and behaviour of the action of others. Accept criticism, wherever it comes from, as a contribution to improving the work of the Party, as a demonstration of active interest in the internal life of our organisation.’
The failure to destroy the colonially inherited institutions of the state is one of the principal failures of post-independent political parties,  but equally disastrous has been the failure to practice and nurture democratic values among multi-ethnic communities in the forging of a new and tolerant Africa. Consequently, during the post-colonial period and currently, this lack of democratic tolerance and inclusivity has given rise to many examples of ethnic cleansing, communal tensions, extremism in the form of Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab, genocide and xenophobia in various parts of Africa.
Cabral’s intimate knowledge of Guinea through his work as an agronomist put him directly in touch with many of the country’s ethnic groups such as the Fulas, Balantes, Manjaco, Mandinga, Baiote, Beafada, Saracole, Mancanha, Bijago, Sosso. He believed that whilst there were economic, social and cultural differences among these diverse groups, they could unite around principles and interests. This belief led him to wage a struggle to unify the islands of Cape Verde with mainland Guinea. His belief in unity of his country was amplified to the rest of the continent in founding the Conference of Nationalist Organisations of Portuguese territories (CONCP) in 1961 which incorporated Angola and Mozambique. This organisation worked for the independence of all the former Portuguese colonial territories. His Pan-Africanist convictions are also revealed in his informal talk with over 120 African Americans in 1972 where he connects the struggles of people of African descent to those in Africa. Cabral’s honesty is evident here in the manner he answers the questions put to him by his audience. He also tells them that as they ‘become conscious of their responsibilities to the struggle in Africa’ it does not mean they all have to leave America and ‘go fight in Africa’. He says to his audience:
‘That is not being realistic in our opinion. History is a very strong chain. We have to accept the limits of history but not the limits imposed by the societies where we are living. There is a difference. We think that all you can do here is to develop your own conditions in the sense of progress, in the sense of history and in the sense of the total realization of your aspirations as human beings is a contribution to us. It is also a contribution for you to never forget that you are Africans.’
His brutal honesty is also seen in his interaction with the African Americans when he is asked about the role of women in the struggle for liberation. Cabral responds by pointing out the differences in Fula society in which a woman is considered to be like a piece of property; in Balante society where women are not owned and other matriarchcal societies. He points out that whilst the PAIGC has made great achievements, there remains much to be done. This is Cabral’s candid view on the question of the oppression of women:
‘We are very far from what we want to do, but this is not a problem that can be solved by Cabral signing a decree. It’s all part of the process of transformation, of change in the material conditions of the existence of our people, but also in the minds of the women, because sometimes the greatest difficulty is not only in the men but in the women too.’
In short, Cabral is correct in identifying that patriarchcal ideology has also been internalised by women who also resist change as many men may do and this gravely complicates overhauling the status quo of gender relations.
CABRAL’S INTERNATIONALISM, HUMANISM AND AID
Cabral’s Pan-Africanism also had an internationalist dimension for he believed that racism ‘is not eternal in any latitude of the world. It is the result of historical and economic conditions. And we cannot answer racism with racism. It is not possible.’ In his ‘Message to the People of Portugal’ broadcast in 1969, he made clear that a distinction needed to be made between the people of Portugal and Portuguese colonialism. He called for fraternal cooperation with the people of Portugal. He appealed to them to oppose the slaughter of their own sons in a continued war; he thanked the Portuguese people who had recently participated in demonstrations against Portugal’s colonial wars. Cabral’s humanism towards prisoners of war is revealed when he states: ‘We consider that a prisoner-of-war deserves respect, because he is giving his life, whether or not the cause he is fighting for is just.’
In his address to African Americans he acknowledged the support from the countries making up the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) as well as moral, political, and material support from the Soviet Union and China.
In regards to aid, he was blunt in stating that: ‘we let each people give us the aid they can, and we never accept conditions with the aid.’ If Cabral had lived, it would have been interesting to see how he would have navigated the entanglement of conditionalities of donor countries and multi-lateral aid agencies which many African countries have failed to escape from in the last 50 years of so-called independence. In the late 1960s Cabral was uncompromising on aid and volunteers, for he said to Basil Davidson: ‘We want no volunteers… We shall turn them back if they present themselves. Foreign military advisers or commanders, or any other foreign personnel, are the last thing we shall accept. They would rob my people of their one chance of achieving a historical meaning of themselves: of reasserting their own history, of recapturing their own identity.’ Perhaps it is the case that among the army of Western and African development consultants in the various NGO outfits and personnel up and down the African continent, many also rob Africans of the chance of ‘reasserting their own history, of recapturing their own identity’ today?
Since the decade of the 1970s Africa has received billions of dollars of aid which has instead maintained client regimes of one kind or another in Africa with little regard to whether these regimes were providing a decent living for their citizens with the funds allegedly allocate to ‘aid’ these countries.
The issues of identity and dignity that Cabral wrote about are reflected in other struggles around the world apart from the African continent. In Brazil and Columbia, just to give two examples among many, struggles by indigenous people to remain on their land as logging and new highways and dams are built are destroying the livelihood of indigenous people. That land is intimately tied to a people’s identity and dignity was profoundly understood by Cabral. If he were alive today he would certainly identify with the struggle of the indigenous Awa, a group of nomadic hunter gathers who are threatened in Marahao state in Brazil by loggers encroaching on their land and the hundreds of African communities who have been dispossessed of their land through land deals to foreign investors by neo-colonial African governments.
UNITY AND STRUGGLE CONTINUE
The vast majority of African people continue to struggle on the continent despite the myth of an ‘Africa is rising’ narrative. African people continue to fight against GMOs, land deals, unfair mining practices and oil extraction that leaves ecological pillage and plunder in communities; against unfair working conditions; and for human rights. As Cabral poignantly pointed out in one of his oft repeated quotes:
‘Always remember that the people do not struggle for ideas, for things in the heads of individuals. The people struggle and accept the sacrifices demanded by the struggle, but in order to gain material advantages, to be able to live a better life in peace, to see their lives progress and to ensure their children’s future.’
The revolt in Guinea Bissau that turned into a revolution led by the PAIGC in 1956 was inextricably tied to the creation of new socio-economic structures. “Build the revolution as you fight” was both the slogan and concrete practice of the PAIGC. Consequently the mobilised masses of people of Guinea Bissau together with the PAIGC built alternative schools, clinics and engaged in economic programmes throughout the liberated areas as the beginnings of the new type of society they wished to live in.
In this Pambazuka special issue on Cabral, we have a number of articles that examine the impact of Cabral’s legacy on the Black Liberation Movement; revisit his ‘weapon of theory’; evaluate Cabral’s position on imperialism, neo-colonialism, Pan-Africanism, socialist revolution and cultural politics. They are by no means an exhaustive evaluation of Cabral’s political and social thought. However, they are a small contribution to the much needed celebration and reflection on his critical relevance for Africans today.
*Ama Biney (Dr) is a scholar-activist and Acting Editor-in-Chief of Pambazuka News.
Africa: a continent drenched in the blood of revolutionary heroes
Between 1961 and 1973, six African independence leaders were assassinated by their ex-colonial rulers, including Patrice Lumumba of Congo, who was killed 50 years ago today
Patrice Lumumba, prime minister of newly independent Congo, was the second of five leaders of independence movements in African countries to be assassinated in the 1960s by their former colonial masters, or their agents.
A sixth, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, was ousted in a western-backed coup in 1966, and a seventh, Amilcar Cabral, leader of the west African liberation movement against Portugal of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde, (Partido Africano da Independência da Guiné e Cabo Verde or PAIGC) in Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde, was assassinated in 1973.
Lumumba’s death in 1961 followed on from that of the opposition leader of Cameroon, Felix Moumie, poisoned in 1960. Sylvanus Olympio, leader of Togo was killed in 1963. Mehdi Ben Barka, leader of the Moroccan opposition movement was kidnapped in France in 1965 and his body never found. Eduardo Mondlane, leader of Mozambique’s Frelimo, fighting for independence from the Portuguese, died from a parcel bomb in 1969.
The loss 50 years ago of this group of leaders, who all knew each other, and had a common political project based on national dignity, crippled each of their countries, and the African continent. The effects are still evident today.
Ben Barka and Cabral were revolutionary theoreticians – as significant as Frantz Fanon and Che Guevara. Their influence reverberated far beyond their own continent. At the 1966 Tricontinental Conference in Havana, organised by Ben Barka before his death, Cuban leader Fidel Castro’s closing speech referred to “one of the most lucid and brilliant leaders in Africa, Comrade Amílcar Cabral, who instilled in us tremendous confidence in the future and the success of his struggle for liberation.”
The Third World Movement, challenging the economic and political world dominance of the colonial powers, the US, and the neocolonial leaders favoured by the west, would have two short decades of ambition and optimism despite the long shadow of its great leaders’ deaths.
Today, it is impossible to touch down at the (far from modernised) airport of Lubumbashi in the south of the Democratic Republic of Congo – in 1961 known as Elizabethville, in Congo (then renamed Zaire) – without a shiver of recollection of the haunting photograph taken of Lumumba there shortly before his assassination, and after beatings, torture and a long, long flight in custody across the vast country which had so loved him. This particular failure of the United Nations to protect one man and his two colleagues was every bit as significant as that in Srebrenica in 1995, when 8,000 men and boys were killed.
Lumumba’s own words, written to his wife just four months after the exhilaration of independence day in the capital Kinshasa are a reminder of who he was and why he meant so much to so many people then, and still does today.
“Dead, living, free, or in prison on the orders of the colonialists, it is not I who counts. It is the Congo, it is our people for whom independence has been transformed into a cage where we are regarded from the outside… History will one day have its say, but it will not be the history that Brussels, Paris, Washington, or the United Nations will teach, but that which they will teach in the countries emancipated from colonialism and its puppets… a history of glory and dignity.”
Lumumba would not have been surprised that his successor, Joseph Mobuto was the US strategic ally in Africa for 30 years. Congo was too rich, too big, and too important for the west to lose control as they would have had Lumumba lived.
How ironic that Mobuto was succeeded by Laurent Desire Kabila, whose 10th anniversary of assassination, by his own guards, falls just one day before Lumumba’s? (There are conflicting reports as to the exact date of Kabila’s death, a good overview can be found here).
Kabila came to power in 1997 as the useful figurehead of the armies of Rwanda, Uganda, and Angola. He trailed some historical legitimacy from his involvement in one of the rebellions against Mobuto, inspired by Lumumba’s death. Che Guevara was then, in 1965, deep in his second-last catastrophic attempt to change the world, working then from his concept of Lumumba’s Congo.
When Kabila sprang from obscurity in 1997 as leader of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Che’s African diaries from eastern Congo had not yet been published, with the acid comment, “I know Kabila well enough not to have any illusions about him.”
In Kabila’s first chaotic weeks in power in 1997, the great Tanzanian leader, Julius Nyerere visited Kinshasa and addressed the new and unformed leadership. “There are no uncles any more for Congo, do not wait for them to come and help you – the country is yours and you must take the responsibility for it and for your people,” he said.
As one of those present told me: “They did not like Nyerere’s speech, they could not wait to use their new power to make allies with foreign businessmen and get rich themselves – just like the others.” But Lumumba’s ideas are still alive, and he himself had no illusions that the road to dignity for his people would be extremely long.