Posts Tagged ‘human rights abuses’

Lamu port project launched

NAIROBI, 4 February 2012 – As a joint venture between the Republic of South Sudan, Republic of Kenya and the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Lamu Port for South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) corridor project, located in the northern part of Mombasa was officially launched on Friday March 2nd, 2012 by the heads of the three states H.E Salva Kiir Mayardit the president of South Sudan; H.E Mwai Kibaki the President of Kenya; and the Prime Minister of Ethiopia H.E Meles Zenawi. The three heads of state also at the same time attended the ground-breaking ceremony at the Lamu port.

Presidents Kiir and Kibaki laying the foundation stone for the LAPSSET project.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]
LAPSSET is one of Africa’s most ambitious infrastructure and economic development project. It consists of four major transport infrastructure components namely the highway, railway, oil pipelines and three airports.
A new transport corridor will be constructed from Lamu port to Isiolo where it branches off through Marsabit and Moyale to Ethiopia and another branch from Isiolo through Lodwar and Lokichoggio to South Sudan. Lamu port is positioned as an important transshipment hub poised to handle crude oil and oil products from the Republic of South Sudan.

The three heads of state raising their respective flags during the ceremony.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]
In his key remarks during the ceremony, President of the Republic H.E. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit congratulated President Kibaki and all the people of Kenya, and congratulated Prime Minister Zenawi for making the dream to be realized. President Kiir emphasized that Lamu port will create a new venture for the people of the three countries and will create routes of trade to enhance the economic development in the region. President Kiir pointed out that the three nations are now ready to grow from friendship to more productive economic partners.
Meanwhile the President of the Republic of Kenya H.E Kibaki said Kenya will closely work with South Sudan and Ethiopia in the development projects of mutual interest. He said the presence of the heads of the two states in Lamu port was a testimony of the importance of the port which links the entire East and Central Africa region to the international markets and will promote economic activities of 167 million people in the region.

President Kiir shakes the hands of H.E. Zenawi and President Kibaki looks on.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]
The Prime Minister of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia H.E Zenawi described the LAPSSET project as a new venture in the region and explained that the project will address transportation problems and will connect the eastern and western coast of Africa.

Reported by Thomas Kenneth from Nairobi

H.E Kiir in Nairobi to attend ground-breaking ceremony at Lamu Port

NAIROBI, 2 March 2012 – The President of the Republic H.E. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit arrived in Nairobi Kenya yesterday afternoon with a good number of ministers and senior officials from his office and from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to attend the ground-breaking ceremony for Lamu Port for South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Project, which will take place on Friday, 2nd March, 2012 in Mombasa.

H.E Kiir arrives in Nairobi on his way to Lamu Port. 
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]
The ministers accompanying H.E the President are Hon. Kosti Manibe, minister for Finance and Economic Planning; Hon. Emmanuel LoWilla, minister in the Office of the President; Hon Stephen Dhieu Dau, the minister for Petroleum and Mining; Hon. Garrang Diing, the minister for Commerce, Industry and Investment.
The ground breaking ceremony for the Lamu Port for South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport corridor will be attended by the President of the Republic of Kenya H.E Mwai Kibaki and the Prime Minister of Ethiopia H.E Meles Zenawi. The three heads of state are expected to address the historic ceremony today.

Reported by Thomas Kenneth from Nairobi-Kenya

By Usama Abu Jamal (Chonjo Magazine).

Lapsset (Lamu Port-Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor) is the name given to the low-tech, high-cost infrastructure project that will create a system of railroads, highways and pipelines from Lamu to Isiolo and on to Juba and Addis Ababa. The new transport network will link up with existing and proposed transport hubs on the coast and Isiolo to open up to the rest of the world what has previously been an isolated expanse of the coast and northern Kenya. The project calls for an estimated US$ 20 billion (and rising) investment.

The Lapsset concept advocates establishing an equatorial land bridge spanning the continent’s Atlantic and Indian Ocean seaboards—connecting Douala in Cameroon to a place on the Kenyan coast called Magogoni in Lamu District. Construction of a modern port in Lamu is the cornerstone of the Kibaki government’s Vision 2030 strategy for making Kenya an emerging industrial economy.

The historian Roland Oliver argued that imperialism’s major contribution to sub-Saharan Africa was the development of roads. The project will substantially extend land, sea, and air transport links that have witnessed little or no improvement since the end of the colonial era.

But this exceedingly ambitious venture raises some serious issues about the nature of regional development in this era of ‘late capitalism’. As in the case of colonial intervention, natural resources are the driver of foreign interests. Access to the continent’s oil and acquisition of ‘underutilized’ land, including tracts the size of small countries, are just two examples of the latest variation of external exploitation.

In the Lamu context, many issues need to be examined including the question of why the port is being actively developed despite human rights abuses, rampant land speculation, and mounting criticism of the security concerns attending the proposed port and other impacts. Why place the port in remote Magogoni in Manda Bay, especially when Kilindini Harbour in Mombasa is currently undergoing expansion and its transport links already exist?

Prerequisites for an operational port
According to government sources, the Manda Bay location offers several technical advantages. They claim the harbour will enable seven large ships to enter the port, whereas Kilindini allows only two, facilitating a 50 per cent increase in the tonnage the new facility can handle. The reported 38-metre depth of the channel will allow the latest generation of cargo ships (known as post Panamax) to dock at its berths.

The depth of the channel may be 38 metres in places, but as anyone who has fished the area and traversed the route between Mkanda and Mtangawanda at low tide knows, a large portion of the bay is relatively shallow. A long sand bar extends from Shaka la Paye and bisects the channel facing the Magogoni waterfront.

It is hard to envision seven ships simultaneously entering and exiting the Mlango wa Manda, the southern entrance to the bay—the picture of an oil tanker crashing into the Mwamba Khasani reef (the coral reef that borders the entrance) is much easier to conjure up. The Mlango Mkuu wa Kizingtini route in the north-east is much longer and considerably shallower.

While these and similar technical issues require clarification, it also follows that such obstacles are not a problem for the transformative powers of global capital.

Tweaking the area’s primary inshore fishery, the main livelihood resource for local fishermen during the economically difficult period of the Kusi south-east monsoon, is a simple matter of massive dredging. Dynamite can demolish the inconveniently located corals of Mwamba Khasani.

The reef is an important offshore fishing ground, and the only place this mtonyi (fisherman) has encountered the bonefish (mborodi in Kiswahili). The serious sport fisherman’s most elusive trophy, the run of the mborodi hooked on light tackle can make 200 metres of line scream off the reel like a banshee. Billfish are wimps in comparison.

Tourism will, of course, survive, but the makeover will claim other sectoral causalities.

The mangroves fringing Lamu’s islands and mainland—the critical hatchery for fish, shrimp, crab, and other delicacies gracing the tables of tourist hotels and Nairobi’s fine restaurants—will suffer major damage. Stakeholders fear the project’s negative impact on the area’s game and marine reserves, forests and water resources.

Turtles, dugongs and other endangered citizens of the sea will have to seek out other sheltered habitats to reproduce; Lamu’s indigenous communities may find themselves in the same boat.

Designed to promote economic integration of the larger region, the project’s railway master plan states that the Great Equatorial Land Bridge will also “facilitate cultural exchange” across the vast territory between Douala and Lamu—a distance of over 3,000 kilometres. Such benefits are more spin than reality.

In addition to the range of negative environmental and social impacts, costs on the ground are likely to include the deterioration of Swahili culture, a legacy that developed over the past two millennia. Amu (known to the outside world by its anglicized name, Lamu), long considered the centre of the civilized universe by its indigenous inhabitants, will no longer exist as we know it.
Lamu District’s population grew from 72,686 in 1999 to 85,641 in 2008. This 17.8 per cent increase does not reflect the parallel process of local out-migration during the same period. Yet, Kenya’s national rate of demographic increase over the same period was 2.8 per cent, a whopping 15 per cent below Lamu’s figures. The proposed port will see the current immigration of outsiders responsible for this unprecedented population growth turn into an avalanche.

According to an article in The Standard, the population of the district will balloon to 1 million over the coming years. Displacement has been under way since the late 1960s. The indigenous people of Lamu—long subject to humiliation, harassment and chronic insecurity—have good reasons to fear that they will end up a poor and landless minority in their own homeland.

If the planners talk blithely about cultural exchange, the Lapsset infrastructural elephant is clearly not about the Bajuni exporting coconuts to the pygmies in exchange for the hardwood needed to build their dhows.
More sober observers reckon that it may insure the extinction of the culture and society that gave Kenya its national language and the region its famous lingua franca. Pastoralists inhabiting the rangelands between Lamu and Juba fear the influx of foreign capital and infrastructural development will be the Trojan horse that dooms their identity and way of life. They rue the irony of this happening just when their traditional economy of trading in livestock is generating the monetary value and institutional respect it deserves.
Those opposing the project, in contrast, could be accused of ignoring the big picture motivating its architects, planners and financiers. Kenya, for example, is a dynamic yet poor nation with a government sensitive to the needs of its burgeoning population of young and increasingly educated citizens.
On the surface, the Lamu port at Magogoni and other Lapsset initiatives present a timely opportunity to provide for their long-term welfare. Perhaps the same could be said in respect to the quest for internal energy and food security motivating China and other national governments queuing up to finance the project.

Under conditions where land and citizen rights are secure, local inhabitants aware of the costs imposed by their historical isolation would welcome investment and development on this scale and accept that some eggs will be broken along the way. The diverse voices raising objections in this particular case are not opposed to making an omelet per se. Rather, it’s the unrealistic scale and timelines for implementation, the secrecy of the ‘black box’, and other contradictions invoked by the project’s implementation that raise the alarms.

At a time when the principle of local participation is the rule elsewhere in Kenya and implementation of the new constitution holds out hope that historical injustices will be rectified, the issues raised by the Magogoni Port contradict the content and spirit of the reformist agenda.

The memorandum of understanding for the ROLLA Project—an acronym for
Road, Rail, Oil-Pipeline, Oil-Refinery, Fibre-Optic Cable, Lamu Port and Airport
—a predecessor to Lapsset overtaken by events, granted full control of contracting and hiring to foreign investors and the project included allocating a large tract of prime Tana Delta agricultural land to investors.

After a series of brief meetings with local stakeholders in 2009, the minister of Transport claimed that the mainland site of the port was empty land, and declared the locals to be strong supporters of the project. Although release of the feasibility study undertaken by a Japanese firm and discussion of its contents in parliament is supposed to precede implementation, the government proceeded to issue tenders for the construction of the first three berths.

In the 1980s Magogoni was home to a growing community where internally displaced Bajuni farmers and sedentarized Boni hunter-gathers lived in harmony with a sizeable minority of upcountry settlers. Kenyans need to know both what happened to these people and about the blatant subversion of individual and communal indigenous land ownership that is going on right now.

In local eyes, Lapsset is equated with land-grabbing from above. The primary targets are Magogoni and adjacent areas scheduled for an oil refinery, an international airport, a Dubai-style tourist city and workers’ camps. State elites have reportedly claimed many of the prime parcels. Speculators from coastal tycoons to upcountry investors of more modest means are scrambling to acquire plots, leaving the “legally titled” properties advertised on the internet to more gullible parties.

Reliable sources report that the phenomenon is being replicated in Isiolo and along the designated route to Juba passing through Samburu and Turkana. Issues beyond Kenya’s borders include the quantity and accessibility of new and potential oil deposits in conflicted areas of Uganda, Congo and Southern Sudan.

Oil money can deliver the World Cup to Qatar but translating lines on the map of Africa into a “Great Equatorial Land Bridge” is a much more daunting proposition. Those interested in potential parallels mirroring the scenario unfolding in this part of the world can try typing “Gwadar” in their Google search box. Several years ago the Chinese financed the development of a modern port in this traditional Pakistani dhow harbour and transport links transiting the hinterland of central Asia. Hyped to promote prosperity and regional integration, the Gwadar project spawned massive corruption and land-grabbing by state elites, and fuelled a raging insurgency by Baluchi secessionists. The three Gwadar berths completed before things went awry still remain unused.

A Daily Nation report on the prospects for Kenya in 2011 cited a statement by the latest occupant of the Transport ministry, who stated, “When we are ready, we shall hit the ground and show the locals how they will get involved.” Meanwhile, back in Lamu, there are reports of locals jumping the gun.

The State House interests unveiled in one of the WikiLeaks documents appear unconcerned with security implications of the Gwadar project and other hotbeds of Islamist ferment—like the situation in Somalia a mere 30 kilometres north of the proposed port.

Farmers are vowing to die defending their smallholdings. Their less valorous neighbours are reportedly cutting down trees and burning their houses. The interception of several school leavers intent on joining Al Shabaab last November vindicated rumours of the growing number of locals slipping across the border.

Although Lamu has been one the region’s most important ports for centuries, since 1963 state interventions have worked to choke the traditional Lamu economy based on dhow building, mangrove poles, small-scale fishing and agriculture, and local and international maritime transport.

That the port is sounding the death knell for sub-Saharan Africa’s most sophisticated maritime culture is the project’s darkest irony. That the same infrastructure development could be undertaken more efficiently by encouraging local participation and through partnerships with the new county governments may prove to be its cruellest contradiction.


Bor MPs cautiously laud Riek apology about 1991 massacre, ask him to extend it to the grassroots
Written by Mading Ngor, The New Sudan Vision (NSV),
Thursday, 11 August 2011 11:53

Hon. Malek Alier, MP for Anyidi, Kolnyang, Bor South (left) and Hon. Deng Dau, MP for Twic East, on Wednesday waded into Dr. Riek Machar’s apology to the Dinka Bor community on Sunday for crimes committed in 1991 under Nasir Faction

( Juba  NSV) – Two Dinka Bor MPs from the National Assembly on Wednesday waded into Dr. Riek Machar’s Sunday apology to members of the Bor community for the gruesome killing of thousands of its citizens by the Nasir Faction’ forces in 1991, then commanded by Dr. Riek Machar Teny.

In the same year, the community also saw its property looted and livelihood put into disrepair by the faction.
At a gathering held at the home of the late Dr. John Garang to commemorate the sixth anniversary of his death on Sunday, Dr. Riek Machar, South Sudan’s Vice President stunned those who attended, when he unexpectedly owned up to the heinous crimes of the Nasir Faction in 1991. The apology came nearly twenty years after the massacre.
On August 28, 1991, Riek Machar and his comrades declared a coup against the late leader of the SPLM/SPLA, Dr. John Garang, called ‘Nasir Declaration.’
On Sunday, Dr. Riek explained the aim of his movement, which was initially supported by many southerners from different tribes, was to restore democracy and human rights in the mainstream SPLM, whose late leader was allegedly autocratic. However, the Nasir Movement went on to commit human rights abuses, culminating in the ‘Bor Massacre.’
The Sunday occasion was organized by Garang’s widow, Madam Rebecca Nyandeng, and supported by the committee, which was charged with organizing Martyrs Day, The New Sudan Vision has learned.
Madam Nyandeng invited MPs, government officials, the Speaker of South Sudan parliament, religious leaders, the President, the Vice President, and members of the public. The event was announced at Emannuel Jieng church in  Juba , and through SSTV.
President Kiir did not attend the prayers, but the Vice President, Dr. Riek was one of the invited dignitaries who turned up.
“The family [of the late Dr. John] took the opportunity to remember Dr. John in a bigger way because the vision and the legacy of what he fought for is now achieved,” Hon. Deng Dau Malek, MP for  Twic   East   County , explained to The New Sudan Vision on Wednesday.
Hon. Deng, who also spoke at the event in his capacity as representative for Twic East, where the late Garang hailed from, said most of the speeches at the occasion, bordered on memory of South Sudan’s fallen heroes and heroines, in light of last month’s historic achievement of independence for South Sudan, and what awaited its future.
Apology for 1991 massacre
‘“Dr Riek, when he stood, and talked about the painful event of 1991,”’ narrated Hon. Deng, ‘“His statements were that whatever that happened in 1991 should not be associated to other people, namely people like Dr. Lam who was his deputy, and person like Gordon Kong, who was also member of the Political High Command during that time.”’
The lawmaker went on further:   ‘“He said I should take squarely the responsibility of the events of 1991. And he said the people that have suffered were people of the Greater Bor, and the entire Jonglei.
‘“He took that day to express his apology to the people who are affected by the events of 1991”’, he concluded.
When he was narrating the events of 1991, Dr. Riek broke down and wept, to the point where he nearly collapsed, several witnesses confirmed to The New Sudan Vision.
The Vice President was then joined by his wife, Dr. Anjelina Teny, who was also reportedly in tears. The dramatic scene provoked a moment of raw emotions, where some of the victims started wailing in memory of their loved ones who had died in the massacre or its aftermath, while others were bewildered by the apology, The New Sudan Vision understood from various accounts from witnesses.
In response to the apology, Caretaker Gov. of the Central Bank of  South Sudan , Elijah Malok, as elder in the Bor community and immediate relative of the late Dr. John Garang, took the microphone. He was said to have expressed his bitter feelings about 1991, before concluding that he would personally forgive Riek, but that he would refer the case to the larger Bor community for deliberation on the next step.
Madam Nyandeng, on the other hand, spoke the last words. She blamed Riek for setting the South backward with his 1991 move, when SPLM/SPLA was on the verge of victory at the time. She reasoned the  Republic  of  South Sudan  would have been achieved a decade earlier were it not because of the defection, The New Sudan Vision was told.
On her own behalf and that of her children, the Former First Lady said she forgave Riek Machar for his crimes.
On Monday, the Dinka Bor community called an emergency meeting, also held at late Dr. Garang’s home, and attended by representatives of the Bor community, intellectuals, citizens, and politicians to agree on how to handle the issue.
Although those who attended said no consensus emerged from the meeting, the predominant ideas can be broken up to about three, according to Hon. Malek Alier, MP for Const. 15, Anyidi, Kolnyang, Bor South:
  • (1) those who are asking for Dr. Riek to apologize to the grassroots in Bor and other S. Sudanese communities
  • (2) those who are willing to forgive Dr. Riek but without any political strings attached
  • (3) and those who are saying Dr. Riek’s apology will fall short if it comes from him alone and not from fellow perpetrators.
In the meeting, a committee made up of Bor representatives to follow up on how genuine was Dr. Riek’s confession, was formed. Its members are waiting to meet with the Vice President to sought whether he stood by his apology, and to agree on how to best proceed with the issue.
‘Truth and Reconciliation’
For Hon. Deng, Dr. Riek’s apology on Sunday was a welcome development.  “As members of parliament, we say this is a good gesture for general reconciliation, and this is what we call Truth and Reconciliation. People must talk about the bitter things that had happened,” he told The New Sudan Vision, in an interview.
On the timing of Dr. Riek’s apology, he said it “could be political” but also “reality” because reconciliation will be nonexistent if the people of Bor do not express their feelings about the horrific memory of the massacre.
He carried on: “People of Bor have been uprooted by 1991. And we are saying we cannot do it alone here in  Juba because Greater Bor people, who are affected, are at the grassroots. It may not be understood by people who are at home in the villages.
“We encourage Dr. Riek to extend this gesture to the people who are really affected, and we’re talking about people who are in the rural areas,” he added.
Ready to forgive…
Hon. Malek held similar sentiments with his counterpart. “Generally, people are ready to forgive but they think that, this thing should be said in another bigger gathering, where people who have been affected or victimized, who have lost many [relatives], should be heard first,” he told The New Sudan Vision on Wednesday.
“It should not be done at the political level. It has to be extended to the grassroots, so that those who are bitter, those who have lost their dear people, they have to air out themselves, and if that forgiveness comes out from them, then all are going to be healed,” he said.
Dr. Riek’s belated apology has triggered all kinds of speculations about his intentions. Others wondered whether his apology was meant to solicit Dinka Bor support in his leadership ambitions.
“This apology should not be misunderstood, as if we have something we’re cooking,” said Hon. Deng, when The New Sudan Vision asked him about the political implications of any resultant forgiveness from the community.
“It’s from him, and he knows why he has said this at this time,” he said.
“As a people of Bor, we’re firm behind the leadership of the SPLM, led by comrade Salva Kiir Mayardit. And so whatever reconciliation that is done, is done within the context of the existing structures,” he concluded.
What’s more, Hon. Malek stressed the importance of having a uniform apology from the perpetrators.
“What we want to know, is that, is this idea, the idea of Riek Machar alone, or the idea shared by those with whom he was doing this together. Riek alone, even if he’s forgiven and others are still maintaining that bitterness, it will not help. So I want this thing to be extended and we hear from others who were with Riek Machar, whether they are ready, what Riek has said, is what they have, then it would be good for us,” he told The New Sudan Vision.
“We’re convinced that [the apology] is a good initiative, it’s really a national initiative, because we want Southerners to forget all the bitterness. We want Southerners to forget the past. We want to begin anew so that we build our
nation,” he added.
Machar move on the 1991 Bor Tragedy is patriotic
By Isaiah Abraham

Sudan Tribune: August 11, 2011 — The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) broke up in August 1991 until 2002, when the two sides came together again. The break up at that time was so devastating and nearly put the liberation struggle to its knees. There were problems everywhere: on the military and political fronts. The ugly part of it all is the tribal dirty seeds it has sown among our people. It was a split that never to be talked about openly unless one is prepared to soak all kinds of salvos from those against and for it.

The split by our people at that time, just not to waste your precious time, was unnecessary fratricide and horror we must now leave behind as we look forward to rebuild our nation. A healing is badly needed, the very pain caused by the aftermaths of the 1991 split. No amount of reparation could assuage that pain of destruction in that land, but admission of the miscalculation or mistake does. A bright chapter was opened to important section of our society. It took one man initiative to burry the matter (hatchet).

That is why this man called Machar has gone to bed with the Southern Public. The man is here to stay whether you hate or like him. He has everything it takes to stay there, irrespective of what haters want done or not done against him. This is a beauty of people with big hearts. May this gifted man continue to offer directions to his people, Oh! May the vision of this great man be firm and unshakable, Oh!

But some people will rebuff the big man offer on the ground that it was ‘justice delayed and therefore should be denied’- that it came late. They also argue that the big man should have gone to Bor or Panyagor to express it under no pressure (recall how elders in the party started the argument. The other concern is that the Vice President made an apology after the man they have tried to wrest power has gone (dead).

The author however thought that time doesn’t affect the truth so long as it was done in good faith. Going to Bor/Panyagor or Duk again isn’t a deal; since the big man has gathered courage to do what a civilized person does, there is no elephant to make out of it to press him to the wall. Between him and father (Dr. Garang) and as politicians and learned ones, they had cleared their differences then and forever.

Radicalists within their camps in this regards shouldn’t make mountains again out of mound hills; they got to shut up, and allow our people this opportunity for healing. Machar has started it, others must follow.

Let’s look briefly at the so-called apology at Garang’s home in Juba on that cold Sunday the 7th, its importance to everyone and the leader (Machar) in question. We shall do it in few notes however. Our beloved Vice President chose the home of our hero (Dr. Garang) to make amend, something so symbolic and historic not done by any dead of living Southerners. What has killed our people and still will do them more harm is pride and arrogance. Time to forge ahead together is right here. It starts with you

Mama Rebecca de Mabior was just on a thanks giving service/occasion, and from nowhere politicians from there (Bor) scratched the matter and the big man didn’t disappoint. It was an emotional moment for everybody, something a coward and evil minded people won’t do. He stated what we usually say here that the rebellion was exploited by others, and wasn’t the policy of the break away faction; that is unmistakable truth. He took the blame as a leader, and he did it very emphatically and sincerely. We must be proud of this talent at the top!

Second, the elegiac will remind others who killed political prisoners in Ashwa or whatever near Pageri in Nimule County and Chukudum in 1993/1994 that what they did there to finish up politicians, officers and innocent people because of their political orientation or tribe was ingloriously a wrong. Whether the directives were given from ‘above’ or not, the loss of lives of our politicians, officers there remains unforgivable unless the authors of that wanton deaths of Southerners come out publicly and say ‘we are sorry’. Example is set by the Vice President how about them?

Take it right, this line above doesn’t allude to insinuation of group or one person, rather it is an expression of pain about what was done stupidly that must be let go out of our chests. Shamely though the officers who were engaged in disappearance are still being promoted, and are move from one plumb job to another. People know them and history will not be kind to such individuals in our society. Time has come for us to show maturity to the damage we did to ourselves.

Third, is that the said apology by the Vice President has put to rest (as far as Bor Community is concerned) a matter that has always divide our people; say Bor vs Nuer. The Big man (Machar) and by extension the larger Nuer community were targeted by Bor community for what had happened then in 1991. Yeah, brothers and sisters from Bor were on the receiving end of that rebellion and no right minded person could deny the destruction it has caused these people. But the by gone should be by gone, especially now that the big man has come out and say ‘he is sorry’. That is leadership, not because he personally ordered the macabre, no! Let no one again go over this matter again; it is close and is done. Congratulation to the big man for that job well done!

Forth just to wrap up, the entire Southern public shouldn’t take such moves with guile, wily reception or for that matter for granted. What this great son of South Sudan (Dr. Machar) did to Bor people in Juba (not necessary in Bor Town) on Sunday should be emulated by other leaders whose political path trails blood of innocent people in our land. Gen. George Athor Deng and Gen. Gordon Koang Chol should now renounce violence and say to Southerners ‘we are sorry’. By doing so, they are healed and allow others to heal too (Proverbs 28:13 and James 5:16). God bless Dr. Riek Machar Teny Dhorgun!

Isaiah Abraham writes from Juba. He ca be reached at