Archive for the ‘Philip Thon Aleu’ Category


By Philip Thon Aleu, Juba, South Sudan

Thursday, June 14, 2018 (PW) —- A debate has been ignited by resignation of SPLM Chief Whip, Hon. Atem Garang de Kuek, reportedly over Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) demand for 100% pay rise. This represents an opportunity to scrutinize public staff wages. I will discuss the relationship between low pay and corruption, the value of current wages relative to market prices of good and services, and I will suggest ways forward.

Wages Vs Market price

The members of TNLA, to their credit, have openly disclosed their monthly wages as 9,000 SSP (about $30 at the current exchange rate of $1=300 SSP). According to publicly available data from previous financial years budget documents, wages for constitutional post-holders range from 5,000 SSP (for states MPs) to about 20,000 SSP (national Ministers & state governors), translating to about $16.7 (minimum) to $66.7 (maximum) at the current black market exchange rate. Before devaluation of SSP in December 2015, the above wages were reasonable.

At average official exchange rate of $1=3SSP before December 2015, our politicians were among the best paid individuals on the African continent. 5,000 SSP was $1,667, 9,000 SSP ($3,000) and 20,000 SSP ($6,667) for states MPs, National MPs and Governor’s and National Ministers respectively. (If the information publicly available is authentic. kindly note that there is no official public knowledge of how much South Sudan politicians are paid in this country but TNLA MPs disclosure is an opportunity to investigate public wages). (more…)


The disunity between Bor and Twic communities: Why Terekeke won and robbed Jonglei of championship

By Philip Thon Aleu, Juba, South Sudan

 

Sunday, May13, 2018 (PW) — In this article, I will analyze why and how Jonglei lost the final to Terekeke, why Twic East wrestlers declined to participate and why Terekeke should expect more victories. There is absolute necessity of unity for Dinka Bor (Jonglei) if they are to overcome the power of Mundari wrestlers. Then I will look forward – making wrestling better organized and beneficial to the young men.

1-Lual Matiop vs Warnyang Awar (Terekeka won)
2-Makorou vs Teke-Agutnyang (Terekeka won)
3-Maguang Aguto vs Madul Guara (Terekeka won)
4-Gongic Achiek vs Nguli (Jonglei won)
5-Malok Akol vs Yawa (Jonglei won)
6-Ajith Majak vs Kamira (draw) as Ajith got dislocated
7-Lueth Akech vs Mayom Jakara (Terekeka won)
8-Pach Majok vs Majaka Twelo (draw)
9-Majur Ayen vs Ladu Makur (draw)
10-Nhial Thuom vs Ahon (draw)
11-Mayen Reech vs Many-pitia (Jonglei won)
12-Chol Akoi vs Luke Damayang (draw).

#TeamTerekeka 4:3 #TeamJonglei

. Why Jonglei state lost?

Jonglei state team were the reigning champions as they entered final but were not the best team in this tournament.

The #TeamJonglei lost primary because #TeamTerekeke was stronger and well organized. There is no question about that. Jonglei wrestlers were slimmer compared to Terekeke counterparts. Body mass is not strength but it’s necessary if you are to lift someone or being not easily thrown away. Second, Terekeke were not interested on who leads but targeted individuals opponents contrary to Jonglei’s. Finally, there were more younger, energetic Terekeke wrestlers compared to few, aged and weak Opponents from Jonglei. For Jonglei to expect a victory, they should have worked on their unity rather than sending half to face a full squat Mundari.

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A youth leader, Justine Woje:  “If you people are not able to run the government, hand the government to the youth, the youth are ready to run this government tomorrow.”

Information Minister Michael Makwei: “There is no way you take away without learning from us first you must acquire the experience from us first. The fact that you are educated does not mean that you are experienced, so please don’t hurry little by little you take over because it is also a process, it is not an event.”

By Philip Thon Aleu, Juba, South Sudan

Information Minister Michael Makwei Lueth in full old SPLM/A military uniform

Information Minister Michael Makwei Lueth in old SPLM/A military uniform

March 28, 2018 (SSB) — Information Minister Makuei Lueth is quoted to have told reporters that youth have to learn before taking leadership from elders, triggering fierce criticism.

But looking at the basic requirements that may boost ‘youth’ as an alternative to elders, I don’t see anything. For starters, South Sudanese youth only meet in tribal, clans and regional associations. There’s no national, nongovernmental association control, run and own by youth without the support of elders.

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By Philip Thon Aleu, Juba, South Sudan

food poisoning in Bor1food poisoning in Bor2

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By Philip Thon Aleu, Juba, South Sudan

girl child education

Let’s educate our girls

January 24, 2018 (SSB) — In most traditional South Sudanese families, a girl’s future was decided mainly by parents and male siblings. Boys enjoy some autonomy in making choices – from early sexual education to choosing a future wife and earning a living by any means (being cattle raiding, stealing from relatives, any coercive channels or through an honest accumulation of wealth like rearing cattle, tending a garden or hunting.)

In contrast, girls were strictly prohibited from unauthorized boyfriends, sexual partners, barred and highly restricted from engaging in activities that garner incomes and their future was nearly 90% determined by their fathers, brothers and other male relatives. Mothers also ensured their daughters follow community’s accepted norms. A girl who resisted this highly controlled life has to rebel. She was cursed, disowned and subjected to extreme conditions including punishments causing death. A good girl is that who does not have sex anyhow but wait until marriage. She can be a fool, arrogant but being a virgin was sure deal to brag about and place her at the top in the community.

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By Philip Thon Aleu, Kampala, Uganda

Governor Philip Aguer of Jonglei state

Governor Philip Aguer of Jonglei state

January 4, 2018 (SSB) — Home is sweet and though hundreds of kilometres away, one keeps his ears to the ground for any news.  The latest news is that businessman Gai Makor Leek is appointed the third mayor of Bor Municipality by Jonglei State Governor Philip Aguer.  Congratulations. Gai replaces second Bor mayor Prof. Hakim Ajieth Buny

There is a reason to celebrate Gai’s appointment.  Gai has his families and businesses in Bor.  Most senior government officials keep their children and wives outside the country.  In effect, deficiency in services delivery is not felt by their families.  Their children don’t experience studying in poor schools, they don’t go to ramshackle health centres.

New Bor mayor Gai Makor Leek beat them here because his family and businesses are in Bor.  A leader, as a matter of practicality, should benefit from the services he/she delivers to the people so that lack of service delivery will hit the family of a leader as well.  Leaders who have their families in the different world from the people enjoy kings’ lifestyles.

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My Christmas events since 1990

Posted: December 27, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers, Philip Thon Aleu

By Philip Thon Aleu, Entebbe, Uganda

17 years ago during the Easter of 2000 in Mangalatoria DC

17 years ago during the Easter of 2000 in Mangalatoria DC! with Thon Anyang Anyieth Nhial, Ngor Jok Deel, Maluak Ayuen Chol, Alier Cier Mading…

December 27, 2017 (SSB) — This is a record of all my Christmas events since I was baptized in Makuach, Bor, Jonglei state, in 1990.

Part 1: Makuach, Bor, 1990-1994
1. 1990: Makuach, Bor: After being baptized as a Christian, I was obliged to celebrate Christmas for the first time in 1990 in Makuach, east of Bor town. I did not know what exactly it meant at the time and just enjoyed the women and men throwing their arms back and forth and singing some songs that did not make sense to me at all.
2. 1991: Makuach, Bor: This was a full-time event after the SPLM split and subsequent Bor massacre and cattle disappeared in my life for the first time. I watched Church Choir marching on the road and amongst the bones from unburied dead. I followed the marchers throughout until I was tired and retired home.
3. 1992: Yuddu IDP camp, Kaya (at South Sudan Uganda border). This was my first Christmas season in our new home at Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp. I remember this event vividly for two reasons: a). Our family arrived from Bor after a journey of 43 days; and a day before the church marches which I later discovered to be on every December 24th. b). for the first time, I saw women and children well dressed. In Bor, few people were clothed in 1991. I was exhausted from the one and half months walking (from Bor to Kaya) and simply watched the parade from one spot with folded arms.

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National Identity: Preserve tribes but enhance nation bonds

By Philip Thon Aleu, Juba, South Sudan

Malong1

November 6, 2017 (SSB) — National Identity, a South Sudanese tag that we are proud of, cannot be installed by destroying our cultural identities. However, tribalism and associated traits should be preserved and shielded away and guided against tearing our nation apart. Is there tribalism in South Sudan institutions? Tribalism is defined by English Dictionary as “The state of existing in tribes; also, tribal feeling; tribal prejudice or exclusiveness; tribal peculiarities or characteristics.”

So the answer is YES (Uppercase). Our institutions are tribal and most public servants practice tribalism openly. This goes down the line to law enforcing agencies. I was traveling from Nimule to Juba in 2014 and as a practice, aliens or people who look like aliens, are checked several times and often harshly handled by police. At the first checkpoint at the foot of Gordon Hill in Nimule, our car was halted by men in South Sudan National Police uniforms.

The police peeped into the car, trying to recognize a foreign face, I guess. His eyes settled on me. I was seated in the middle in the back seat of the Taxi. He asked for my National Identity card. I told him if he needs all ID cards, he should start from the front seat, not in the middle. This upset him and he fumed at me. I stood my ground and refused to be intimidated. He swore that I will not go to Juba that. So we were barking at each other at the top of voices and this pending confrontation attracted more policemen.

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National Identity: Decreeing Dinka Cattle out of Equatoria Region not a solution

By Philip Thon Aleu, Juba, South Sudan

Cattle keeper in Jonglei [photo] Jongkuch Jo Jongkuch

Cattle keeper in Jonglei [photo] Jongkuch Jo Jongkuch

November 3, 2017 (SSB) — In 2012 when the Cooperation Agreements between South Sudan and Sudan were signed, one young man promised to challenge the SPLM party in forthcoming elections – the elections that never arrived yet! Asked what would be his main points, he said the SPLM government does not take care of its people. He said the government accepted to allow Arabs nomads, Messeirya, to graze their cows in Abyei but refused to extend the similar olive agreement to other cattle keeping communities from grazing in Equatoria, for example.

The Dinka cattle are roaming in Equatoria Region and this has become a political issue over the last ten years. As a reminder, Dinka tribe are pastoralists and most tribes in Central and Western Equatoria are crop farmers. So in the last twelve months, President Salva Kiir weighed and issued two Republican Decrees asking cattle keepers to leave the Equatoria region and returned to Jonglei – and wherever they came from! One such decree was issued about a week ago.

The first decree issued in 2016 was ignored by the pastoralists. In the twisted coincidence, the President recommitted himself to the Cooperation Agreement with Sudan this week – a few days after ordering fellow South Sudanese out of what is constitutionality part of their country. The agreement between Juba and Khartoum allowed unimpeded “transhumance.”

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National Identity: Decreeing Dinka Cattle out of Equatoria Region not a solution

By Philip Thon Aleu, Juba, South Sudan

Cattle camp in Bor

repatriated Dinka Cattle camp in Bor

November 3, 2017 (SSB) — In 2001 while in a camp for internally displaced persons (IDP) and an early adulthood – a stage of development young people attempt to engage in community issues, I chatted with a longtime childhood friend over the choice of the local chief. Two individuals were contesting. Most South Sudanese tribes choose their leaders based on linkage; from blood relation and geographical area. It is not about the ‘what’ (issues at stake) but the ‘who’ (individuals representing or attempting to address the challenges).

In the lead up to the local election, our conversation centered on ‘the who and the what’? Who is the best choice without the predicament of blood connection? What are the issues at hand? My friend said one guy was very good at winning issues for his community – the people closely related to him. Every time he makes the decision, he considers his blood. The other candidate was a rare breed. His decisions are mostly based on facts – not any connection – whatsoever. As students of CRE (Christian Religious Education) by then, the later should be the leader. Leadership is about issues.

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By Philip Thon Aleu, Juba, South Sudan

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

November 1, 2017 (SSB) — This week, primary students in Kenya and Uganda are sitting their final exams. And I would like to take this opportunity to wish all South Sudanese students success. This is a very important step in their academic lives – and more significantly, for girls.

I’m singling out girls because we, the South Sudanese, have fewer girls completing primary education in our country than boys. However, our children in Kenya and Uganda have better opportunities – and it appears all children – irrespective of their gender, are completing primary education in Ugandan and Kenyan towns. (Most children in refugees’ camps have limited opportunities – and girls are so disadvantaged in the camps).

Statistics from UN Agencies have it that most South Sudanese girls are more likely to die from childbirth than completing primary education. This is a disturbing but not a surprising assessment because parents do not take girl child education as a basic requirement for children upbringing.

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By Philip Thon Aleu, Juba, South Sudan

Ugandan election

The Ugandan election: do or die scenario

August 9, 2017 (SSB) — At the onset, I would like to make it clear that no person in her/her right mind would wish for disenfranchised and miserable communities, but realities must be said publicly to prepare for the worst possible outcome. Having said that, it’s necessary to try to figure out when will a democratic South Sudan, the dream nation that generations of men and women fought for in about six decades (1955 – 2011), be attained.

The SPLM-led war of liberation (1983-2005) and Interim Period in Southern Sudan (2005-2011) succeeded partly because the most marginalized people were promised a democratic, secular and prosperous Sudan/South Sudan.

At Independence in July 2011, the new country had very remote from or no single indicator of a democratic state. The SPLM leaders never provided basic services like roads to connect villages to towns. Babies in the countryside continue to die of preventable diseases like measles, tetanus, TB, malaria and watery diarrhea because the free medicines – supplied by World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF – were never delivered to the people to save lives.

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By Philip Thon Aleu, Juba, South Sudan

president salva kiir

August 3, 2017 (SSB) — Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) has to be called South Sudan People’s Defence Force (SSPDF) according to the Command Council. This is the first time the South Sudanese army will be reflecting the name of the world youngest nation. There is the mixed reaction from devoted supporters and members of the SPLA – a name synonymous with the liberation of South Sudan.

To proponents of the SSPDF as a name for the national army, this was long overdue. Some members of the society think otherwise, claiming the decision is wrong and will erase the historical name of the liberation army.

But given that Sudan, the northern neighboring country to South Sudan, is fighting insurgents called SPLM/SPLA-North, maintaining SPLA as the official name of our army was diplomatically insensitive in my view. We are a country and ought to put South Sudan First! Since 2005, a lot of militia have been integrated into the SPLA – proper and many things have happened.

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By Philip Thon Aleu, Juba, South Sudan

nimule juba highway attack

A bus ambush along the Juba-Nimule Highway on August 2nd in which five died and 13 more wounded

August 3, 2017 (SSB) — In 2014, when I relocated from Nimule to Juba to look for job – but had my family in Nimule, I was a frequent traveler on our country’s only paved road. Today, I rarely visit Nimule these days because the route is almost a death trap.

This leads me to question the recent pronouncement on SSBC-TV of a peace accord with rebel leaders who claim responsibility for attacks on Nimule—Juba road. Was it a fake deal?

I wasn’t, however, convinced that a peace agreement can be negotiated in hotels without involving the foot soldiers and be very effective. The rebel generals – now part of the SPLM-IO in Juba, never went back to their comrades in the bushes to inform them about the agreement.

What I saw on SSBC-TV was them being decorated and promoted to ‘generals.’ I never saw their visit to their soldiers in the bushes.

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By Philip Thon Aleu, Juba, South Sudan

Alliance and Bor college students, Jonglei state

Governor Philip Aguer posted with students of Bor College and Alliance High school picture by Mach Samuel

July 5, 2017 (SSB) — With due respect to freedom of speech and expression, any statement threatening lives of fellow citizens is unacceptable. It is a crime and I don’t know if the authors of the said letter are free or summoned to police for questioning. I heard the leader speaking on VOA South Sudan in Focus with a relaxed voice.

Therefore, unnecessary is the single word to describe this letter from Bor Community Youth Association in Bor. First of all, organizations such as Bor community youth association are not representative of the people. Like other tribal associations in the country, not every Bor youth subscribe to Bor community association.

These associations evolved due to what I can rightly call leadership syndrome – where everyone is sick for not being a leader because leadership position comes with access to public resources. Pathetic!!

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By Philip Thon Aleu, Juba, South Sudan

war

April 27, 2017 (SSB) — Honestly, there is always a solution for any problem if given a holistic approach.

  1. President Salva Kiir. As the head of state, the President has every power to stop the war and restore our dignity in the world as people. First of all, he must be honest to himself and admit that fighting the numerous armed groups is a war that can’t be won. The SPLM/A did not capture Wau, Juba or Malakal during the 21 years of war but that did not end the war until Khartoum listened. The fact that rebels don’t control any major town is not a reason sufficient to underrate their strength. They are capable of blocking highways and disrupt movements of people and goods from one part of the country and another. Second, the President should allow communities to be ruled by leaders of their choice, not people loyal to the President but without a constituency. South Sudan is so diverse and complex to govern through one man’s preference. Third, the President should engage his SPLM faction and enter a leadership discussion. The SPLM has never been an institutionalized party for the last 34 years…in fact, it has never been a political party prepared to govern through institutions but through instructions and orders. The “all units messages” issued by Dr. John Garang had morphed into “Decrees” during President Salva Kiir’s reign. A diverse country like South Sudan needs a different approach; a compromising, tolerant and inclusive management is required. If the President break with the current styles of his leadership, he will definitely add more medals to his list for transitioning Southern Sudan from 2005 to 2011 and overseeing our independence. That is one way to end the war.

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By Philip Thon Aleu, Juba, South Sudan

April 11, 2017 (SSB) — A beautiful teenager was being married through a dowry competition. Three men declared their interest to marry her. She was just at puberty age and knew little about sexuality or what is entailed in marriage process. All she knows is that your husband will sleep with you and have sex.

If three people want to marry you, according to her understanding, they all want to have sex with you. This scared her. How can one girl go with three men at the same time? She thought about this situation and then thought about her vagina. Is it enough for three men? No. It is too small.

She kept this anxiety to herself and allowed the dowry negotiations to continue unimpeded. As is the norm in most Dinka cultures, the Bor bridegrooms declare their wealth (in cattle – and lately money, cars and buildings) as offers to win the parents’ hearts – and that “rich man” takes the bride.

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By Philip Thon Aleu, Juba, South Sudan

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January 3, 2017 (SSB) — The Jonglei State governor’s cabinet reshuffle caught me by surprise. And I never got the news till I 8am on Wednesday. I did not expect it. But the ministers kicked out had tough times recently with the public.

That aside, the new deputy governor is not a newcomer to politics. Agot Alier Leek, has held several political posts in Jonglei – dating back to pre-2005. His latest positioning being commissioner of Bor County. I had left Bor when he became the commissioner but remained in touch with him in one way or the other.

During one of our encounters, we spoke about empowering the people. He said people must be self-reliance and cease / scale-down depending on UN handouts. This is a strong argument and attracted my attention.

Now that he is back to one of the most powerful position in the State, he must really work hard to restore that confidence among our people.

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By Philip Thon Aleu, Juba, South Sudan

November 18, 2016 (SSB) — Intro: (If my radio was there, this is a story that I will be running right now….enjoy)

Bor, the capital of Jonglei State is tense – albeit in a playfully and peaceful atmosphere, ahead of a wrestling game between decorated wrestlers Gongic Achiek Nai and Magot Khot Ajak. Both men hail from south and central Bor – a territories collective known as Greater Bor that include Duk. Journalist Mach Samuel Peter [MSP] is in Bor.

MSP: There is no statistic on how people live currently in Bor town but there is no doubt that the population has multiplied close to ten times over the last few days. Today (Friday), five commercial planes landed in Bor airstrip from Juba. This is the busier day as far as I know. In 2013 – before the war led to displacement of people in Bor, there were three hundred thousand people. Today, that figure could be doubled. Villagers have come. Women and men. And many people from Juba have come too. I think every Bor section, sub-section is represented today in Bor town.

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By Philip Thon Aleu, Juba, South Sudan

appointment-of-14-commissioners-jonglei-state

September 16, 2016 (SSB) — Governor Philip Aguer Panyang appointed 14 commissioners to run 14 counties in Jonglei State. I did not think it was a good idea to have more than 10 counties. But I must now concede defeat and say congratulations to all the new commissioners.

Second is the question of the commissioners themselves! Out of 14, I recognized 3 faces; two career commissioners and one familiar face (call him ‘a commissioner in the waiting’). I don’t have any idea what the rest were doing before September 15 or if they were waiting to be appointed commissioners too. If your commissioner was folding his hands and waiting to be appointed to political position, without trying any another avenue of life, then you are in trouble. It seems many of them are in this category and so we are in trouble. We have many boring commissioners. I might be wrong, but time will tell.

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