Posts Tagged ‘Juba’

Tearz Travel Advice

Posted: November 25, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan, Opinion Articles, South Sudanese Diaspora, Tearz Ayuen
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By Tearz Ayuen

Dear Diaspora,

As Christmas season tiptoes in, I would love to advise those who are planning to spend the happy holiday with relatives and old friends in South Sudan. Call it Tearz Travel Advice or TTA in short. But remember, this is not mandatory, it is recommendatory. You have what it takes to take it or leave it.

You must have read or heard from friends that the baby country is growing except that it is developing at a speed of a snail. No, I am sorry I lied. Snail is faster than the speed at which development is moving in this country. This is because your, no, I mean our uncles and aunts are squandering the monies that come from oil revenues and sympathizers like the European Union and Unites States, amongst others.

When you touch down at Juba International Airport, your sensors will quickly notify you that you’re in a strange place. High humidity is the first thing that will say to you, “hello, welcome to Juba my long lost friend.” Your skin will not like the new condition, hence you will leak. English people call it sweating. The airport is a bit disorganized. Non-travelers walk in and out of the immigration sector. You can, for whatever reason, choose to bypass the immigration desk, depending on your body features.

By the time you walk out of the terminal, your outfit will have soaked from sweat. From the airport, you will either head home or straight to a hotel, depending on the size of your purse or the protrusion of your belly.


Hotels are very expensive. Accommodation costs over 100$ per night. Despite the fact that Juba hotels are not up to the western standards, they are somewhat decent. Each room has that device which dehumidifies the air. There is a water shower, clean tiled-floor, comfy king-size bed and fan, TV set and a fridge. However, I would urge you not to eat from those hotels. Most of the foods they offer are those that have overstayed in fridges. Nutritional value is gone. No taste at all.  By the way, after spending a very long period of time away from South Sudan, what would stop you from mingling with Jubans in local restaurants where you can find kisra, korob-lubia, asida made from cassava, awal-wala served with fermented milk, akop, dried fish and original fresh Tilapia or Nile Perch from the Nile River?

Modern Home

For my friend who will take a taxi home, welcome to Juba, buddy. This is where you will experience most of the things you heard about South Sudan. And if you’re a keen observer, your stay at uncle’s place could give you an idea about the root cause of corruption. If your uncle is a senior civil servant, you are safe. However, the only problem you will face is overcrowding. No privacy. Most rich government officials’ homes which I apologetically call mini-refugee camps are ever overcrowded, making life a bit uneasy. Nieces, nephews, uncles, in-laws, friends, bodyguards and many others are the occupants. Some come from as far as Nairobi, Kampala, and villages to seek financial aid from one man – the uncle. “This boy needs school fees; that one needs to travel outside the country for a surgery. This woman wants to go back to her children in the village. That one over there seated on a mat arrived last night. They are all waiting for one man’s salary, my salary,” a minister once said. And on payday, the big man distributes his salary to them, and both painfully and annoyingly enough, another hungrier contingent of relatives comes and camps. When it goes, another group arrives.  The most annoying thing is that they carry their own mattresses, bed sheets and mosquito nets. That gives an uncle no room for lame excuses like “oh my house is congested, oh blah blah blah.”

Life in a Tukul

For my buddy who may wish to have fun with friends in normal homes, ready yourself for some real fun. No electricity. No running water. No toilets. At night, mosquitoes rule. They make nights long and unbearable. They tax people; taxation is in form of blood.  If you’re lucky enough, you may find a pit latrine in your host’s compound. But please, always carry pieces of toilet paper in your pocket. It helps. In case you choose to ignore me, you stand a risk of scratching your buttocks with a twig. You were warned.

If your host lives in a place like Lubas-mafi or Rujal-mafi and doesn’t have a latrine, expect the unexpected. This means you will be forced to relieve yourself at a neighbor’s.  Using a neighbor’s latrine is not a problem because South Sudanese are still generous. The issue is traffic. In Juba, many home owners consider latrine a luxury. A family of about ten members defecates in the nearby bushes or open grounds. That means when one man builds one for his family, all the neighboring homes will use it. So, to use such a latrine, you must queue up, particularly during morning hours. When you finally make it in, you could find something unusual.  You are likely to find fecal landmines on the slap. This means some girls used the latrine earlier. There is a belief in Juba that girls do not squat on the pit latrine lest they become barren. So, they plant a lot of fecal landmines on the floor. And some men do not flush down their excretions. They leave that thing swimming simply because of the I-am-not-the-cleaner mentality, I hear.

Your Foreign Currency/Exchange

In here, the cart goes before the horse. The important Central Bank of South Sudan is impotent. Exchange rate is being controlled by cattle keepers. Isn’t that weird? They decide when the pound rises or drops. Right now, the official dollar rate is 2.9 pounds per dollar. While in the black market; with one dollar, you get 4.2 pounds. Unconfirmed reports say the dollar business run by the cattle keepers is a big scandal. The herders are mere agents. Their bosses are in the government. And that’s why the Juba City Council finds it hard to rid the city of them. Its efforts to arrest these official law breakers are thwarted by powerful anonymous caller who instructs the police to stop “harassing innocent civilians.”

Some of these cattle keepers turned money exchangers are conmen. I call them dollar-rustlers. They possess counterfeit money, both pounds and dollars. Always take precautions. If possible, choose one of them and let him hop in a car you’re riding in. With the help of your cousin or a friend, exchange your dollars. They operate in tree shades, at market places. In case you show up at their place, alone, they will pretend to be cross checking the genuineness of your notes. One dude holds it up to the light and feels it with his fingertips. He passes it on to another dude who does the same thing.  By the time it comes back to you, it will have passed through hands of about ten dollar-rustlers. Guess what happens? The one that comes back to you is a fake dollar bill. This is when they begin to reduce the rate and if you don’t agree to it, they ask you to leave.


Juba is fun. It’s the place to be during December holidays. Lots and lots of fun; all day all night – The social places, the party-goers, everything. However, things are a bit more different here.  That means there are some things, habits that you need to leave behind:

Dress Code

And this goes to girls. I know you are used to doing things the western way. That’s fine. It’s your life, your choice. You’re notorious for not wearing enough clothes – extremely provocative outfits: quarter-skirts (not mini- anymore) and string-like underpants. Some of you don’t even wear underwear anymore. Others don tight and transparent bra-less tops that show nipples. That’s cool. Some of us like that. But the problem is, when you dress up like that for a night party here, others, in fact, many, will think that you’re a call girl. Not to mention how South Sudanese men behave when drunk, they would want to grab you by any part of you, teats first. What do you think would happen to that social place should your male friends or brothers react? – A flying-bottle teeth-removal jaw-breaking zone, right? That’s one.

Two, there has been reports about Juba Police harassing urbane young females over dress code, especially those who wear tight jeans and quarter-skirts. Though it’s not a legal thing to do, a small unit of police officers could anytime any day decide to ‘teach’ young people how to dress properly. They normally stop them, confiscate the attires and drive off. Guess who is standing by the roadside naked, on Christmas Day? – You! I have nothing much to say to you here but I would urge you to always carry extra clothes – skirts, long ones – in your handbag.


The way you speak English here matters a lot. Members of diaspora have lost lives to accent in the recent past. You know very well that the 21-year civil war has disadvantaged a big number of us. This has made it so hard for some people to see you as a brother or sister. They feel intimidated, overlooked. So, when you speak that Youknowwhuramsayin accent while talking to police officers: “Hey worrap, maan? I jas came from the Unai stet, maan. I am from Coloraro, man. Coloraro. It’s a gu place, man. Aaight,” someone might mistake that for conceit – that you’re bragging about your academic acquisitions and maybe better life. If you are not careful enough, your ribs or chest could be the perfect destination of flying blows, kicks and gun butts. Guess the aftermath of this encounter with the police, and make sure your guesswork is not far away from serious internal injuries, deformation and death. Since you were neither born in the United States, Australia, Canada nor Europe, why can’t you just speak in a normal way? If I were you, I would even speak our broken English: “Hawar you, polith opither? Yeth ah yam prom Thouth Thudan. My name will be Jamith Deng. I am beri hepi por being home again.” Would that hurt or cost you a dime? Good luck.



Lifting the lid: Necessary Noise

Posted: September 29, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan, Opinion Articles, Socio-Cultural
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By Yaak Jurkuch

Juba! Juba! Juba! Where do I begin? Well, let me break it down. It is the capital city of the youngest nation on planet earth, South Sudan or Southern Sudan depending on whose grammatical allegiances you keep between the His Excellency the President or the speaker. Open the last pages of the constitution of the Republic of South Sudan and you will know what I am talking about. Back to Juba, an old city to a new nation. Damn! Even the Bible refuses such combinations. it is like a new wine in an old wine bottle, the test is sure to be altered. Juba reeks of the same fate. I am not going to delve into the politics that goes on in this village because that is not my agenda today.

I am going to talk a bit about its unprecedented reputation, at least a bit of it. It is a hot, dusty and expensive place. In fact, some media house once referred to it as the most expensive village in the world. It is the only place where people spend more than they earn monthly and live comfortably. It is the only place youth play chess and cards day in day out and still eat and dress like kings. Only big cars traverse our roads. The other description no one wants to talk about is its tendency to be noisy. It is so noisy, even a new born baby has a headache. There is nowhere in Juba that is quiet, nowhere, not even in the graveyard!

So, the question is what causes the noise? Before you throw in your two pence, let me tell you what it is not. It is not the cars, it is not your Chinese phone, it isn’t the plumbers either and the market place is exempted from this vice because that is where it belongs. Yes, you guessed it; it is the necessary noise. Generators. With an average temperature of 33 degrees Celsius heating up everything and everyone in Juba, a generator is the only way out. Any politician worth his salt has a noise maker in his house. Some business men have it. Even a good thief has one. Unfortunately, I don’t own one. For an obvious reason, I am none of the above. I belong in the majority. The population of Juba is estimated at approximately 380,000. About 10 percent of this owns a generator, shared or otherwise. If my mathematics is still intact, this translates to 38,000 people. Now you agree with me when I say I belong to the majority. Yes, the ones who have accepted to bear the brunt of having to sleep in a hot, noisy house; hot because there is no fan and noisy because the neighbour’s generator simply can’t go off. He is a good thief.

On the flip side, nothing bar breathing can be done without this loud gadget. I called it necessary noise before, remember? From hospitals to banks, from hotels to government offices. Everywhere you go, there is a generator. The noise is simply deafening and it won’t be wished away in a hurry, an act that hinges on sheer folly. The question is, for how long are we going to have it. A man can only take too much. Before I immerse myself in deep waters that are the confines of an argument, I may not finish, get me right first. I am not a politician and I loathe politics like a wife does to a non performing husband. I am just a concerned citizen who knows what drug to take when having a headache. Yes it is panadol and we would be better off buying food than the drug. Most of us are poor, but with a filthy rich neighbour who constantly fails to realize that his gadget is loud. Sleeping on an empty stomach alone is hard; giving it a sound track only serves to make it untenable if I am to be polite.

However much you try to sleep, it only gets worse, even the circadian rhythm fails here, your neighbour won’t allow it. Not when the government’s light is not here. Speaking of which, where is the government’s electricity? When will we ever enjoy it? Or rather, whose house does it light? And please do not give me that ‘Young Nation’s’ excuse. We have said it for 7 years. A child at 7 years has not only learnt how to run but has started to lose the milk teeth, starting with the molars. In fact, this child here has serious canines that spring to action any time food passes by. Take away its playing toy and you will be bitten. Let’s pray that this baby child does not suffer what English refers to as arrested development because it is dangerous, it kills. It is time for us to determine how much necessary noise we can take, how much panadol we can buy, how much poorer we will get, how much hungry we shall become. If I forgot to say it, then it is called freedom of speech, I am just lifting the lid.

The author is a South Sudanese based in Juba. Send comments to

South Sudan and Greater Equatoria in particular has been marred by insecurities since the independence of our new nation.  Many innocent lives have been lost; properties have been illegally seized and occupied, and Greater Equatoria continues to face injustices and insecurities. ­­­­­­

We can cite several of these incidents.  Western Equatoria State continues to struggle with the atrocities committed by the Lord Resistant Army (LRA). Eastern Equatoria State recently witnessed violent confrontations between the Ma’adi and Acholi communities, which had been living in harmony for generations. Similarly, Central Equatoria State has witnessed multiple issues of insecurities such as previous Bari and Mundari conflict; and the recent land dispute of March 5, 2012 in Kemiru area of Juba County, where innocent citizens including women and children were killed.

The continuous inter-ethnic conflicts in several areas in the newly independent African nation, which has resulted in the loss of innocent lives, are unacceptable. Furthermore, the continuation of such conflicts tarnishes the image of the new nation and its people, who have struggled for more than fifty years to gain their independence. Therefore, regardless of whether the culprits are our brothers from Greater Bahr El Ghazal, Greater Equatoria, or Greater Upper Nile, the Equatoria Sudanese Community Association-USA (ESCA-USA) leadership condemns in the strongest possible terms the atrocities and insecurities resulting from such conflicts and misunderstandings; and more so, the recent events in Kemiru village of Juba County.

Although, the authorities at the national and state levels are working hard to minimize and eliminate insecurity in our beloved nascent nation, we still believe more can be done to ensure the safty the citizens of South Sudan and their properties.   We urge our leaders at the national and state levels to move swiftly to bring these culprits to justice.

Although our leaders at the national and state levels have our utmost support, we still hold them accountable for any shortcomings, especially loss of innocent lives particularly of women and children, as well as forceful seizure of properties.  Hence, ESCA-USA leadership stands ready to help in any way possible; however, will not accept anything less than safe, secure, and free South Sudan.

Our heartfelt condolence to victim’s families, and our thoughts and prayers are with them during this tragic time.  May the lord rest their souls in eternal peace.

God bless you

God bless Republic of South Sudan

Kwaje Lasu, RCP, MPH



Southern Sudanese Refugees Search for Kin in Ethiopian Camps
He was in Kurmuk in South Sudan when the bombs fell in September. And when he heard the explosions he ran home and hurriedly collected his most important possessions: an English dictionary, a bible and a biology book. But while he was able to bring 

South Sudanese Christians Face Deadline To Leave The North
Eurasia Review
Sudan in February announced the deadline for the former citizens it had stripped of nationality afterSouth Sudan’s January 2011 vote to secede. The ultimatum will affect an estimated 500000-700000 people, who are mainly Christians of southern origin 

CFC Eyes Budding South Sudan Market
By Victoria Rubadiri, 8 March 2012 Nairobi — CfC Stanbic Bank is eyeing the South Sudan market as it seeks to strategically position itself in the increasingly competitive banking sector. The bank’s Chief Financial Officer Edwin Mucai however 
EU Urges Sudan, South Sudan To Solve Post-secession Issues In AU-mediated Talks
RTT News
(RTTNews) – European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton has called on Sudan and South Sudan to redouble their efforts to find a negotiated settlement for all outstanding post-secession issues, in particular oil, citizenship, borders and Abyei, 
Sudan denies attacking South Kordofan civilians
BBC News
The government said any crimes against humanity are being committed by rebels backed by South Sudan. South Kordofan is one of three areas hit by conflict sinceSouth Sudan became independent from Sudan in July. Abyei and Blue Nile along with South 
Despite Tensions, Sudan-S. Sudan Talks Continue
Voice of America
March 08, 2012 Despite Tensions, Sudan-S. Sudan Talks Continue VOA News Talks continue between Sudan and South Sudan as they try to resolve simmering disputes over oil, borders, and citizenship issues. A VOA correspondent at the scene, in Ethiopia’s 
South Sudan Tribal in the Capital city: Culprits Captured
Mathok said that the arrest of the two soldiers who were identified to be from Sudan People Liberation Army has indicated that some individuals within the National forces are involved in fueling the crisis and claimed lives of innocent civilians in 

Letter To Jesus Of Nazareth

Posted: March 4, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan
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By Tears Ayuen (

Dear Jesus of Nazareth,

Though I’m not your faithful, I want to talk to you today. My friends say you’re a good friend of theirs. They say good things about you. They even encouraged me to read your biography written in a book titled The New Testament. In that book, I learned a lot about you; you performed miracles: raised the dead, fed a multitude with only two fish & five loaves of bread. You even walked on water. Wonderful! Well, the most stunning thing I got to know about you is where you were born, in a manger!! Under poor conditions! Damn! And the then ruler wanted to have you slain because he learnt you were to be great, a king, forcing your parents to flee to Egypt with you. Sadly, you lost your life to some ungrateful folks, your own people. Sorry, mate.

You know what? We share one or two things in common; I was born in a forest, under a tall tree where there were no medicines, no food no nothing. Worst of all someone lied to my then president, Omar Bashir, that I would be great. So, he ordered his soldiers to make man-made rains of bombs and missiles rain on my village, causing my mother to sneak me and my siblings into Kenya. See? We share some significant similarities though your father was a carpenter and mine, a soldier. Your mother, Mary, according the book, was a church thing; my mother, Martha is addicted to your teachings. She spends most of her time around the church. Since I was a kid, she has been reading a big book named “Kitap de Duor” that I later learned it’s the “Thuongjang” translation of your life history.

Now to the point, having danced with angels, having drunk holy wine, having eaten heavenly birthday cake and having delighted during your two-thousandth and something birthday anniversary on Sunday, I want you to think about my countrymen, leaders in particular. Do me a favor; just concentrate on my country’s issues. Don’t even think about our neighbors. Kenyans are strong now. They hold any stubborn politician by the ear. Ugandans are super fine; they frog-march thief leaders to police stations. Forget about the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo. They’re gone. Corruption has swallowed them alive, whole and intact. It’s too late to rescue them. North Sudanese will be okay. They just realized that Bashir’s 22-year regime has been nothing but thievery plus dictatorship. The youths have been politically charged. They will topple the bhang-smoking Bashir the Ghadafi way. Wait and see. Give them few days. Though Ethiopians are practicing the word “exodus”, don’t worry about them. You will find out what they are running away from, later on. Deal, right?

I’m from South Sudan, an African state that just attained independence from the descendants and believers of Prophet Mohamed, the founder of Islam who happens to be your religious rival. No, the word rival is more of a sport; he is your religious enemy. By the way, I was made to understand the other day that his followers are converting more people all over the world as many turn away from Christianity on grounds of failure to uphold Christian values by church leaders. I heard that big church leaders, really big ones, sleep around with young boys, some, with married women. Someone said catholic is the worst. It’s crazy.

Back to the point, my leaders liberated us from Arabs, a fact that makes them think that they’re untouchable, unquestionable. They’re running the affairs of the nation the way that pleases them. They have customized the national affairs. They talk too much and do little or nothing at all. They invest outside the baby-nation. They have bought expensive houses in the neighboring countries; some have houses in America and Europe! The vehicles they ride are like those of the U-S hip hop musicians – highly costly. As the people they allegedly went to the bush for get consumed by acute poverty, most of them spend money, public money, on travels and unnecessary projects. I heard they recently had a retreat in Mombasa whereby they “burnt” millions of Shillings.

Something keeps telling me that South Sudan is a polite word for corruption. Everyone talks about it; in the streets, in bars, in matatus, under trees, everywhere. Everyone speaks against it; church leaders, politicians, women, boys and girls. And nothing happens. Every new day is just like the other day. Even the president, a bearded man who always wears cowboy hat, always says he’s fighting it but his efforts are ever abortive. I’m afraid, if the president doesn’t do anything about corruption in his government, I think, dogs, cats and even cows would begin to complain about it!

My leaders are busy. In fact, they have been busy, busy working on personal projects and stealing. Yes, stealing. Even the anti-corruption guys who supposedly prevent corruption are involved. One of them is, this week, in the news for embezzling millions of pounds. See?

Opposition leaders who are suppose to act as check and balance of the ruling party are useless. They represent tribes. They don’t have substantial agendas. They’re all nothing but a bunch of sycophants. All they strive for is position.

Civil society organizations are not any better. They are run by lazy mutes. I’m not sure if they really understand their roles. Or if they do, the fact that they get funding from the government deactivates them. They’re good at keeping silent.

If you’re going to do anything, please start with SSTV. Shut it down! News bulletin begins with a minister and ends with another. All they say is where they visited and when, where they will visit and when. What they plan to do. That’s all. Directors work hand in hand with the government. They waste the young reporters as they instruct them what stories to chase and what not to, leaving no room for creativity, thus “murdering” their potentials and stunting journalistic growth. The journalists are warned against asking big men “bad questions”. You should see them in the field. No questions are asked. If any, it could be after the minister forgot to include, in his yapping, the duration of his or her visit. They shamelessly blamelessly place a minister before a camera. He then talks, talks and talks, talks about nothing. No one understands the contents of SSTV programs. They are hosted by old dudes with ancient mentality. Don’t hesitate to shut it down. Please!

The riches of the newest nation are being looted by foreign nationals with the help of our leaders. Let’s talk about job opportunities. Companies are mushrooming. Organizations are already in place and others are coming soon, both local and international. Instead of channeling all these opportunities to the badly needy employable youth, our rulers give them out to their friends across the borders. This is how it goes; an influential guy orders his friend or brother in the department of immigration to process national IDs for his girlfriend, her friends and even friends of her friends. Remember, they’re not southerners. They are economic immigrants who escape economic crises in their states. These guys eventually get jobs because they’re highly qualified and experienced. All this goes undetected because the labor ministry seems to be reluctant on this matter. It should have a committee that monitors the activities of NGOs. Most NGOs think South Sudanese are incapable of working, or more precisely, unemployable. This is why foreigners have taken over almost everything in Juba; public transport industry, hotels. And leaders pretend that there is nothing wrong with it. Hail Mary!

The youth are good for nothing either. I think they choose to tolerate poor governance because the leaders are their uncles and aunts who sometimes support them. However, making necessary noise against corrupt individuals would be like biting the fingers that feed you. There’s a representative in the government. The dude is rarely seen. Nobody knows what he is up to. Perhaps he fits well in the skirts of, “if you can’t beat them, join them.”

In conclusion, please make them realize what they are leaders for. President Salva says his government is zero-tolerant to corruption. Make him mean it. Make him differentiate friendship from government business. I want to see him act upon any official who fails to account for his spending. Once more, make the MPs represent their constituents, not their football teams of children and concubines. The people they go to the parliament for are pretty poor. Living standards haven’t changed since your father created earth. No roads, no health centers, no running water. It’s worst in my birth place, Jonglei. Insecurity tops the list of things to worry about when you get to my state. It’s easier to kill someone than buy a bottle of beer in Jonglei. The issue needs a simple solution but no one seems to long for it. Thanks to too much nose picking amongst the top leaders……..! Don’t tell them what I told you lest someone shaves my dreadlocks with a broken piece of glass.

A moment of truth, I lied to you about who actually wanted to murder me. It wasn’t Bashir; it was the current Vice President, Riek Machar. He got deceived by some witch that I would one day be a problem to him. He ordered his soldiers to kill me. They went about killing everyone of my kind in Bor but they couldn’t harm me because my mum fled with me. His soldiers drove away our cattle, about seven-hundred and fifty heads; our only means of livelihood by then. I was born to be a cattle keeper or maybe a cattle rustler. His actions changed the whole thing. I’m now counted amongst learned South Sudanese. My friends call me white collar hustler… [Smiles].Besides, I’m friends with him now. And he happens to be my favorite politician.

Dear Uncle,

 By Tears Ayuen

You just offered me your old V-8 and credited my bank account with a huge amount of dollars but I don’t think that will stop me from speaking my mind. There’s something that I have been keeping to myself, something that I have always wanted to tell you, something that disturbs me, something my peers abhor you for. I defend you though. It is high time now I tell you in this short note. It’s going to be disheartening, however, close your eyes and take a deep breath before you proceed to the next paragraph.

Here we go…… it’s both ironical and incomprehensible how our grandfathers, fathers, aunts, friends, mothers, sisters and even yourself bled, sweated and shed tears, sacrificially, for more than a century in a quest to detach south Sudanese from the claws of Islamic rule yet you still dumbly ignorantly selfishly plug us in the socket of Arab world by indecisively rushing to their states in order to attract investments, given the hidden agenda that comes with their development proposals.

An Arab is an Arab; be he a sheikh, politician, hawker or shopkeeper. His mission is one and simple; to Arabize and Islamize anyone, anywhere. I don’t think you need a PhD in History to trace back how they came and the price of their presence in Sudan, of which we have paid dearly. Even your seven-year son can recite it before an international audience. An Arab always strives to change you, in and out; from names, color of skin, lifestyle, name it. You ask the people of Nuba Mountains.

Let me take you back a little bit by elaborating how ungrateful ingrates this folks are. Back in the day, the Arabs came to Sudan as single male merchants. I repeat; single male merchants. They arrived and settled in Khartoum, an area allegedly inhabited by Dinka people. That was before the cleverer race invented the calendar. As they carried on with their businesses, and after they showered the unsuspecting Dinka chiefs and elders with gifts of mirrors, sweets, salt and soaps, they requested the old dudes for a number of things. First of all, they asked for pieces of land for erecting shops. And then they asked for girls for marriage, a request I suspect the sly Dinka people gladly assented to since they felt it was the best way to rid of their ugly, promiscuous and lazy daughters. Remember, today’s Dinka folks practice that business. They marry off our unmarriageable sisters to foreigners. Doesn’t that remind you of what happened the other day?

Anyway, the girl-sweet-salt-business continued as long as the first guys found it lucrative. They invited over their brothers, uncles and friends back home to join them. They eventually multiplied and started showing their true colors – master-like behaviors. They began to control everything, both that moved and that didn’t. They did a lot with the natives. They sold some into slavery and made some laborers. But with the inability of cattle-rearing communities to succumb to change easily, the Dinka waged countless wars against their nieces but lost, forcing them to migrate to different parts of Sudan. See? Northerners are our biological nieces because their existence is as aresult of the aforementioned unions. I understand the Dinka were so arrogant, some still are, such that a slave would turn away leftovers, claiming that he should have partaken in the meals at the table with his master’s family. Since then, the feud rages on.

Now, wasn’t it yesterday that the Nile River overflowed with blood and bodies of innocent womenand children that were ceremoniously slaughtered by Arabs just because they refused to be Arabic? Or has it been too long to remember the root cause of the 21-year civil war that claimed 2.5 million lives and displaced 4 million more, including your children?

Then, what on earth makes you travel to their cities to lobby investments from their companies? Who has bewitched you, uncle? Does south Sudan have to attract investments from the Middle East? What world records have they set or broken in terms of development apart from high unemployment rates, Low wages and widespread poverty?

Or do you have shares in the Arab companies you bring in the baby country? In fact, rumors say so. I will stop here because I feel the few remarks will brainstorm you.

One more thing, I want you to talk to your daughter; the one who calls herself Lady Gaga. She drinks a lot lately. She has made a lot of broke friends who she drinks with day in day out. I doubt she attends her classes regularly. Haven’t you been wondering why she keeps asking you for more money? Apparently, she is an ATM machine. There’s this broke boyfriend of hers who has assumed the nature of a tick. The guy clings to her so badly. She pays his rent, buys him pants. I tried to talk her out of her brand new lifestyle but she instead hailed insults at me, calling me names.

Furthermore, she doesn’t wear enough clothes nowadays. The first thing you see when she appears is her breasts. They hang naked; with only the nipples covered. When asked why, she says our grandmas used to wear nothing at all. “So, why disturb someone who has at least dressed?” She asks. The next thing to worry about her dress code is her skirts. They are too short. You can see her underwear even when she is standing! And she calls anyone who dares rebuke her, uncivilized.

You must be wondering why I haven’t deposited all the money into your foreign bank account. It’s because the bank manager, on seeing stacks of dollars, and especially after I failed to account for the source, threatened to call cops on me. I lied to him that it was for a registered company based in Juba. He instructed me to get proper papers in order to bank the notes, and that was after I bribed him heavily. I have resorted to banking the money in bits pieces just to avoid possible interrogations by Interpol. I will have banked it all by June this year. If I may ask, where did you get this large sum from, uncle?

I almost forgot. I’m obliged to educate you about your concubine. Forgive my English. I would have used a better or at least mannerly reference had the English people created a polite word for concubine. She is playing you. I mean, she fakes her love for you believe it or not. Worst of all, the baby is not yours. The father of the baby is an old boyfriend who she broke up with after she conceived. I learned that the dude disowned her because he didn’t have what it takes to feed extra mouths; but he resurfaced when he realized she is alive and kicking.

Thanks to your unsuspectingness. Or is it negligence? You may find it hard to believe this: I, for no specific reason, tampered with her phone while she was in the kitchen. I entered into the “sent items” folder where I found an SMS that she sent. It reads “dear sweetheart, there’s no reason you should doubt my forgiveness. I told you last time that I do understand why you refused to take responsibility for my pregnancy. You were a student and had no money. Besides, the baby is yours….. I love you and want you so bad. The old fool left for Juba this morning, come home tonight and correct what the old man doesn’t do right…………….”

Juba turns off the oil and turns up the pressure on Khartoum

Posted: February 7, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Economy, Junub Sudan
Tags: , ,

The South goes for sovereignty

Juba turns off the oil and turns up the pressure in its fraught negotiations with Khartoum over oil, cash, security and citizenship

Few outside the Juba government had expected it to start shutting down oil production on 22 January. Warnings from the Government of South Sudan had been widely seen as brinkmanship. The National Congress Party (NCP), plus African Union, Chinese and Western mediators, had apparently forgotten the capacity for decisiveness of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), which helped it to win Independence for the South. The talks should resume on 10 February but no one expects speedy agreement. This was clear when the AU representative, South African ex-President Thabo Mbeki, announced on 31 January that they would cover several outstanding issues from the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement since ‘the interim transitional period ends at the end of March’. This broadening of the agenda is a tactical victory for the GOSS, which for the first time has the NCP literally over a barrel.

This is costing Khartoum dear but it also knows that Juba loses 98% of revenue, with no clear alternative. The NCP’s strength is military and it is beating the war drums. Second Vice-President El Haj Adam Yusuf said on 25 January that the army had surrounded SPLM-North rebels in Blue Nile and South Kordofan and ‘Juba is not far’. Until November, he was senior in Hassan Abdullah el Turabi’s Popular Congress Party and the NCP accused him of conspiracy in 2007. His threat has hardened Southern resolve and highlights the chasm between the two governments.

‘This is not about oil, it’s about politics!’ one senior Northern oppositionist told Africa Confidential. This goes even beyond the CPA’s ‘unfinished business’ to the heart of North-South relations on one hand and relations between the regime and the Sudanese people, North and South, on the other. ‘They [the NCP] have convinced themselves that the Independence of the South is just a formality,’ the oppositionist said. Khartoum has warned foreign journalists and rabidly anti-Southern propaganda has appeared even in liberal media, such as Al Ayyam.

This all suggests two broad scenarios: the talks focus on technical and financial issues and reach agreement, at least on oil; or they break down and South Sudan seeks new outlets while Sudan’s economy nosedives. Either way, a new Southern pipeline looks likely (see Box, Who pays the pipeline). The bigger unknown is whether the NCP will apply its theoretical military superiority.

Who will blink first?
It doesn’t look as if the GOSS will blink first and much now depends on how the NCP assesses the economic crisis and its political impact. It was demanding up to US$38 a barrel from Juba in transit fees (the international rate is $0.40-$1.00) and confiscated already loaded ships at Port Sudan. It did not seem to be seeking compromise. President Salva Kiir Mayardit accused it of ‘looting’ $815 mn. in Southern oil, some through a new, secret, spur pipeline, and of underreporting output for years. As the talks ended, Juba had offered $1.7 billion to Khartoum and transit fees of $0.63-0.69 a barrel. Khartoum demanded $5.4 bn. cash and $3 a barrel.

What has really upset Southerners is that Khartoum has dealt with Juba in the traditional way. President Omer Hassan Ahmed el Beshir called it ‘naive’ and Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Kurti, ‘childish’. This is seen as a calculated insult to the new sovereignty for which Southerners have paid so dearly. ‘It’s OUR oil’, said one Southern analyst, ‘and it’s a separate country. They can’t demand things.’

Interested governments follow the oil crisis and the war in Blue Nile and Kordofan with anxiety and a steadfast public even-handedness which dismays Southerners and also Northerners, who regularly ask why Libyans rebelling against a brutal dictatorship get Western and Arab military support while their Sudanese counterparts receive only criticism.

On the oil issue, the West is privately more sympathetic to the South, says an SPLM source. However, this may not extend to bailing out a government which has stopped pumping approximately 315,000 barrels per day. ‘Resolution is imperative if the GOSS is to have the wherewithal to be a development partner for the international community,’ warned a senior British official this week.

Chinese puzzle
China, the biggest producer and purchaser of Sudanese oil, is also worried and dispatched the head of the Communist Party Central Committee’s International Department, Wang Jiarui, to Juba and Khartoum. ‘The shutdown raises the political instability of an already challenging operating environment, pushing Chinese and other Asian national oil companies [Malaysian and Indian] to reconsider the importance of the two Sudans in their expanding international portfolios,’ Luke Patey, co-editor of a new book, Sudan Looks East, told AC. China gets only 5-6% of its oil from the Sudans but fears sanctions on major supplier Iran.

The kidnapping of 25 Chinese workers in Egypt (now released) and the capture of 29 others by the SPLM-N during fighting with Sudan’s army in South Kordofan have triggered a public debate in China on workers’ protection, at least abroad. The 25 were building a road near Talodi (to facilitate gold mining by French interests, say Nuba sources). Beijing even deployed Vice-Foreign Minister Xie Hangsheng on 31 January to reprimand Sudanese Chargé Omer Eissa Ahmed. Meanwhile, though, China was trying to negotiate the workers’ safe passage with the SPLM-N, thereby opening relations with the opposition. The whole situation challenges Beijing’s huge new investment in unstable countries and its policy of ‘non-interference’. China analyst Daniel Large said: ‘It’s a very elastic policy – very hard to break.’ Beijing will not abandon Khartoum (it’s just promised a $200 million loan) or Juba. Its biggest decision may be whether to help build a Southern pipeline.

General Salva Kiir’s team knows that challenging Khartoum is the most popular move it can make. People came out on the streets nationwide to support the oil shutdown but there is also concern about what comes next. Hopes of health and education remain high.

This was no knee-jerk shutdown, say insiders, and the GOSS has long planned for the worst. Cabinet Affairs Minister Deng Alor Kuol spoke of a five-year cushion and other sources talk of a sovereign wealth fund banked in Kenya and Uganda. One key man in the Ethiopia talks has been Sayed Mohamed el Hassan el Khatib, an NCP trusty, ex-London diplomat and CPA negotiator. He also heads the NCP’s Centre for Strategic Studies: some rethinking may be required there as it seems Khartoum underestimated GOSS strategising. As both parties prepare for the next bout of talks, Juba faces the tough task of wresting substantive concessions from Khartoum’s veteran tacticians. There may be a messy compromise but that’s far from guaranteed.

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2012

Sudan: President Bashir – the Belligerent Eye of a Perfect Storm

6 February 2012


The vultures are circling around Sudan’s President Omar Al-Bashir. He’s faced problems before, of course, but a perfect storm of resistance and discontent brewing in and out of his country is the most serious threat to his rule yet.

Simon Allison takes the liberty – not that such liberty’s are usually allowed in Bashir’s Sudan – of explaining to the Sudanese strongman the precariousness of his position, and second-guessing his solutions.

For three decades, there has been one man at the centre of Sudanese politics. As rebels have come and gone (some co-opted, some killed), as cabinets have been reshuffled, as former friends have been made enemies and enemies friends, as international envoys have changed faces and messages, through famine and civil war and genocide and secession, there has been a single presence in the eye of the storm that has been Sudan’s last few decades. Take a bow, President Omar Al-Bashir. The least we can do is recognise your tenacity, holding on when many around you couldn’t.

But we won’t applaud you for it. Yours hasn’t exactly been a stellar rule, characterised by divisive and alienating policies, a frequent resorting to extreme violence and the elimination (often literally) of any sign of dissent. The International Criminal Court wants to try you for war crimes, in relation to the hundreds of thousands of people that were killed in Darfur.

Some call it a genocide, and all evidence points to your direct involvement. This, perhaps, is why you’re still around 23 years after you seized power in that military coup: you’re simply more ruthless than anybody else.

But unfortunately for you and the clique of generals and businessmen that feed off your position (and help sustain it), things are beginning to unravel faster than you are able to deal with them.

It began with the breakaway of the south last year, a compromise that circumstances (and, some argue, a rare political miscalculation) forced upon you. Since then, it’s all been going wrong. Most importantly, the south took with them most of the combined Sudan’s oil wealth

Khartoum has enough oil in its control to meet domestic demand, but that’s not really what the oil is about; it’s about extra cash to sweeten your friends and manipulate your enemies. Thanks to the secession, your regime is bleeding around $32-million per day in lost oil revenue.

That figure is even higher now that the south has turned off the taps completely, refusing to let its oil go through the pipeline that runs to Port Sudan. Using this pipeline means paying transit fees to Khartoum, and no one can agree on what they should be: you are demanding exhorbitant payments, but the south’s figure is just as unrealistic. It didn’t help when you unilaterally seized over US$200-million of the South’s oil as ‘reparation’ for the unpaid transit fees; in response, Juba shut down all oil production and announced plans to build a new pipeline through Kenya.

Surely they’re bluffing, you must be thinking; they can’t afford to have no oil money whatsoever for the next year. But their government is poor, knowing how to operate on straitened budgets.

They’ve also got a vast reservoir of goodwill to call upon after leading the fight against Khartoum, and they’ve got some powerful international backers. Maybe, just maybe, they’re thinking about sitting tight on the pumps for the next year; this was certainly the impression given at the recent African Union summit, where sideline negotiations with the south went absolutely nowhere.

Then there’s the rebel problem. Your government has never had many genuine fans, but popular opposition to it is reaching unprecedented levels. There’s Darfur, of course; not even a genocide could solve that tricky little problem.

There are still a few armed groups fighting against your government. It’s a low-level insurgency, but requires troops and time and money to deal with.

And strangely enough, your biggest recent victory in this war – the killing of infuential rebel leader Khalil Ibrahim – might have made this headache even worse, as it appears to have stalled the ever-stuttering peace talks. And in the new south of the country, on the border with South Sudan, is more serious insurgency headed by a breakaway faction from South Sudan’s ruling party.

Your armed forces are going at them with everything they have, including the old trick of indiscriminately rolling bombs out the back of old Russian transport planes, but so far have made little dent.

In fact, these rebels feel so confident, they recently kidnapped 29 Chinese workers from a construction site; a huge embarrasment for you given that China is your closest and most powerful ally. You don’t want to make life in Sudan difficult for them, but you are powerless to solve this problem – so much so that China eventually went begging to South Sudan for help. Worse, these new southern rebels have teamed up with some rebel groups from Darfur to create a rebel alliance against Khartoum. It’s early days yet, but this could eventually be the fulcrum for a coordinated uprising.

But that’s not too much of a worry for you, because in your heartland of Khartoum and central Sudan you remain as strong as you ever were, with a population united behind you in the knowledge that the quality of their lives (relative to their other countrymen) is dependant on you retaining power.

But wait – what’s that we hear? Yes, emanating from the very core of your support are the unmistakeable rumblings of discontent. It started with the bread protests.

Your dire financial straits made it difficult to guarantee low bread and fuel prices, a luxury to which central Sudan’s mostly compliant population have become accustomed.

Prices rose, and the people weren’t happy; you had to send in the security forces to keep the peace. Here’s an interesting historical parallel for you, just in case you missed it: popular protests against Hosni Mubarak in Egypt started with bread riots.

And look where that got him. And while we’re on the topic of bread, what about the increasingly strident warnings being issued by the international community about an impending famine in some areas on the border with South Sudan? Your officials deny the problem with a smile, but it’s almost certainly there, and will bring even more unwelcome international attention on your government – and, consequently, more international support for those looking to bring it down.

But a little domestic disturbance can be contained. The people have never been the real source of your power, which comes instead from an all too predictable direction, given your military background: the army.

The armed forces in Sudan receive a ridiculously large proportion of the budget, and in return keep your government in power. It’s a cosy relationship, in which everyone benefits except the rest of the country, and it’s stayed strong for as long as you’ve been in charge.

But even here, at the very source of your strength, there are problems. We know that a 700-strong group of army officers sent you a warning letter recently, saying that the army was simply not equipped to go to war against the south. Merits of this argument aside, such an open challenge to your authority is unprecedented.

And if the army army gets tired of you, it’s pretty much game over. Publicly, you’ve written off this threat as the work of just a few disgruntled soldiers, but inside you must be worried. Your regime is being challenged on every level, and it doesn’t look like you have the money or the support to deal with it.

So what to do? Well, you’ve been in tricky situations before, and always emerged unscathed. Your usual tactic is simple, but effective: raise the stakes. Fight fire with bigger fire. Hence your comments in an interview on Friday: “The climate now is closer to a climate of war than one of peace,” you said. “We will go to war if we are forced to go to war. If there will be war after the loss of oil, it will be a war of attrition. But it will be a war of attrition hitting them before us.” You’re talking about war with South Sudan, of course, and you went on to outline your casus belli: a fuzzy but emotive argument that the south is stealing Khartoum’s rightful share of its oil.

But this isn’t just about the oil. This is about everything: the rebels, the south, the famine, the bread protests, the economy, the army, the people. You hope that by bringing the spectre of war closer, you can solve all those problems in one: keep the army busy, create a war economy, emphasise the already existing seige mentality and ultimately keep yourself in power.

You probably don’t want to actually go to war – those insubordinate officers were right, your army is unlikely to cope – but you will if you have to. This is, after all, how you’ve solved all your previous problems: shoot first, and ignore questions later. But the questions are already being asked. What’s your answer going to be this time?.

South Sudan’s Kiir unleashes barrage of attacks against Bashir

February 6, 2012 (JUBA) – The president of South Sudan Salva Kiir on Monday launched a fierce attack on his Sudanese counterpart Omer Hassan al-Bashir calling him a “thief” and urging him to surrender himself to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

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Sudanese President Omer Hassan al-Bashir (L) and South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir (R) attend the inauguration of the new African Union (AU) building in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, January 28, 2012 (Reuters)

Addressing members of the Sudan People Liberation Army (SPLA) at Bilpam military base in South Sudan’s capital of Juba, Kiir reiterated his country’s threat to sue Khartoum over oil it confiscated since late last year.

The landlocked new nation took three-quarters of the oil production, the lifeline of both economies, but needs to pay for using northern export facilities and the Red Sea port of Port Sudan.

The Sudanese government started seizing a portion of South Sudan’s oil pumped through the pipelines running in the north’s territory saying that this measure was taken after Juba failed to pay fees for exporting the crude which it said was close to $1 billion.

South Sudan responded by shutting down its entire output of 350,000 barrels a day.

Khartoum and Juba’s negotiations on the oil transit fees made little progress after the former insisted on charging $32 per barrel while the latter is pushing for a $1 fee.

Kiir revealed that he pressed East African leaders to convince Bashir not to confiscate any of South Sudan’s oil.

“We asked them to talk him out of this step but Bashir carried out what he decided so we were forced to close down oil wells because we are a sovereign nation and required to preserve our wealth,” he said.

The southern leader disclosed that while shutting down oil wells they discovered that there were more wells than were recorded during the transition to an independent state last July.

He suggested that this enabled Khartoum to “cheat” on the quantity of oil produced since the signing of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended the north-south civil war which claimed 2 million lives.

Kiir refuted Bashir’s assertions that he backed away from signing a framework agreement in Addis Ababa after initially agreeing to it before Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.

“When I entered the [meeting] room I found Bashir telling jokes and I spoke to him in a good spirit. Shortly afterwards they brought the [agreement] document but I informed them that the proposals contained therein are left to the heads of the [negotiation] delegations; Pagan [Amum] and Idriss Abd-el-Kader and then I left” he explained.

The SPLA commander in chief called on his soldiers not to attack northerners under any circumstances.

“Any northern guy coming here fleeing war or Bashir do not ask him. Listen very well to me; I don’t want to hear that any one of you stirred trouble with northerners staying in Juba because they themselves are sick of Bashir” Kiir said.

“Our problem is with Bashir and the gang of thieves around him,” he asserted.

‘I will send my four sons to war’

Kiir downplayed the warning made by Bashir last week that war has become a real possibility.

“If Bashir wants to fight us in Juba, we will meet him in Judat [al-Fakkar border region]” he said.

The South Sudan leader was apparently also responding to remarks made by Sudan’s 2nd vice president al-Haj Adam Youssef last month in which he said that Khartoum’s army could strike as far as Juba in pursuit of hunting rebels operating in South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

But Kiir said that Bashir lacks “good thinking” as he wants to rush to war with South Sudan before resolving his other troubles. He also mocked Bashir’s talk about uniting the south by force saying that “he is dreaming”.

He said that he will not hesitate to send his four sons to war should it erupt with the north adding that Bashir wants to slaughter the Sudanese people.

“We are the most people to like northerners in Darfur, Nuba and Beja; All people up in the north are our friends…But he [Bashir] hates the Southerners” Kiir said.

He called on Bashir to surrender himself to the ICC and embark on a trip to The Hague saying that the prisons there are luxurious.

“He should get out of this heat and go to the cold country there [Netherlands]” Kiir said mockingly.

Bashir was indicted in 2009 & 2010 by the ICC for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Darfur, where some 300,000 people are thought to have died in violence raging since a rebellion erupted there nine years ago. Sudan has refused to hand him over to the Hague-based court.


Armed Nuer youth announce force of 30000 to encircle Murle
Sudan Tribune
Victims of ethnic violence in Jonglei state in South Sudan wait in line at the World Food Program distribution center in Pibor to receive emergency food rations, last week. Tens of thousands fled their homes after ethnic violence erupted in Pibor 

Journalist assaulted, humiliated at S. Sudan parliament
Sudan Tribune
February 06, 2012 (JUBA) – A renowned journalist was humiliated and beaten by security guards manning South Sudan’s National Assembly on Monday, eye witnesses told Sudan Tribune. Mading Ngor, host of the popular ‘Wake Up Juba’ show on Bakhita FM, 

South Sudan’s Kiir unleashes barrage of attacks against Bashir
Sudan Tribune
February 6, 2012 (JUBA) – The president of South Sudan Salva Kiir on Monday launched a fierce attack on his Sudanese counterpart Omer Hassan al-Bashir calling him a “thief” and urged him to surrender himself to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Regional Blocs Threaten Uganda’s Grip On South Sudan Market
By Ismail Musa Ladu, 7 February 2012 Uganda’s trade figures with South Sudan are slowly taking a tumble as the political class continues to shelve a proposal that would re-ignite trade between the two neighbouring countries.
Dr. Qotbi Al-mahdi: South Sudan State is Opposed to Peace and Aims to Ignite 
Sudan News Agency
6 (SUNA) – Chairman of the Political Sector of the National Congress Party (NCP), Dr. Qotbi Al-Mahdi, pointed out that all the indications and practices of the government ofSouth Sudan and its obstinacy in the negotiations and its establishment to 

Sudan News Agency
South Sudan: UN Relief Chief Sees ‘Terrible Situation’ (press release)
The United Nations relief chief today visited areas in South Sudan hit by recent ethnic violence and met some of the victims of a vicious cycle of raids and reprisal attacks, describing what she had seen as “a terrible situation” with people having 

Juba Technical Secondary School

Posted: August 1, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Education
Tags: ,

Everett Kamandala Minga: July 29th 2011
Juba-South Sudan
Grounds of the Juba Technical Secondary School
Juba Technical Secondary School (JTSS) is the only technical school of its kind in South Sudan offering three (3) years of high school course work and technical studies prior to entrance to the University. Students come from all the ten (10) States of the South. The school prepares students for further studies in Colleges and Universities as well as preparing them for skilled work in the industrial, building and automotive sectors. The curriculum of the school is based on the Sudan School Certificate and students are exposed to rigorous subjects with the exception of Biology, and course offered are in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Geography, English, Religion and in addition rigorous Technical subjects. The technical courses offered are in
  1. Carpentry and Joinery
  2. Building and Concrete
  3. Welding
  4. Automotive Technology
  5. General Electricity
Plumbing and pipe welding is a field that I have encouraged the school to introduce in an effort to prepare more of their students to enter work in the oilfields of South Sudan
Carpentry and Joinery workshop
These desks were designed and assembled by JTSS Carpentry & Joinery students
Carpentry student at work
Carpentry and Joinery Instructor
After successfully sitting for the Sudan school certificate; students with excellent results are admitted to Universities to study engineering and sciences. Those with less than satisfactory academic result usually pursue work as skilled workers and are well prepared technically to do well in their fields of study.
Gender Representation in JTSS
I was very impressed to learn that the school has made great effort to recruit and admit girls in to their program. Currently the school has about 350 students and about 50 of them are girls. The Deputy Head Master Mr. John Duku Manas informed me that for this current academic year they had only 180 slots, but over 280 students applied. The calendar year for this school is May to February.
25% of the student body is girls. These girls are planning to be architects
Feature engineers of South Sudan with the deputy Head Master
These girls are proud to be among the few girls in South Sudan to have an opportunity to study JTSS. They plan to major in architecture in University
Difficulties facing JTSS
The school faces a lot of challenges; the most basic of which is the lack of a definite curriculum focusing on technical education from the GOSS Ministry of Education. This is an urgent concern the Ministry of Education should address and the technical curriculum to be developed must focus on the local market demand for technical work. Some of the problems the school is faced with are as follows:
  1. The school needs financial support for the purchase of materials and tools for practical work. Currently the government of Central Equatoria supplies the financial support but it takes time to remmit assistance
  2. The school lacks adequate manpower because there are very few technical teachers in the South. The Central Equatoria State needs to hire more teachers
  3. They lack workshop attendants to prepare the workshops prior to practical classes. There are four workshops for Building and Construction, Carpentry and Joinery, Welding and Automotive technology
  4. JTSS lacks the finances to pay laborers to help students prepare projects in building in construction. The laborers are to help in mixing sands with cement and do other basic and manual preparation prior to the students coming in to direct and supervise the work
  5. The school lacks means of transportation to transport students to the field
  6. Students need breakfast because many come from families that cannot afford to pay for breakfast
Call for Help and Expansion of the School
“Education is the cornerstone of economic opportunity and development and any efforts to help young people realize their full potential must begin there”. The economies of all African Countries are changing into knowledge based economies and South Sudan being the newest Country on Earth must make an effort to move into such an economy. The changing face of technology requires an individual to be specialized in a particular skill. Only a person who is expert in a particular field can get a good job. Technical education also offers the advantages of preparing students to obtain the right set of skills and training in a high-demand industry. A technical school can teach high-demand courses in fields such as agriculture, business or commerce, engineering, technology, automotive, home economics, fishery and skills trade such as welding and blacksmithing.
There is a need to expand such a school throughout the ten (10) States of the Republic of South Sudan and JTSS is planning to do just that, expand into all the States of South Sudan. JTSS is also planning to build dormitories in its current premises to host students with no family ties within the vicinity of Juba. The organization that has helped JTSS for the past three years will be moving on by the end of July and this leaves the school with no funding partner. It is prudent that we as citizens of South Sudan do what it takes to ensure that such a school is adequately funded by seeking proposals to fund this school. JTSS is located within the premises of Buluk Intermediate School.
The welding shop at JTSS
Students busy at work
These finished window frames are made by the students themselves
Theory put into Practical training and action
Welding instructor
Building and joinery practical workshop
Theory being put into practical work
Automotive workshop: Skeleton of a car before major repair works
Remodified car retrofitted with new engines, transmission and other major works ready for use. The students use this vehicle which they remodified for practicals on driving
Fundamentals of engine dynamics
Library: As you can see this library needs a lot of help and this is one of two shelves void of textbooks
Computer lab: These are donated computers, out of 24 computers, 8 were recently stolen when thieves broke in
Electronic workshop for repairing electronics
JTSS students on break


July 25, 2011 (JUBA) — The South Sudan on Monday availed new foreign policy including opening a total of 54 new diplomatic missions around the world.

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Barnaba Marial Benjami (ST)

Barnaba Marial Benjamin, a caretaker Minister of Information and official South Sudanese government’s spokesperson on Monday told journalist at a press briefing that the newly born state has prepared a new foreign policy strategy following review of existing agreements, including agreement on sharing of Nile river benefits.

“The country has planned new trade agreements with different countries and will open embassies and consulates around the world with new diplomatic service staff,” Barnaba said.

The minister said the newly independent country plans to increase the number of diplomatic missions to 54 in the future. Around 34 diplomatic missions will be opened in a first phase in addition to the 13 diplomatic missions already established.

In line with the 2005 peace agreement implementation the South Sudan government opened Liaison Offices in some neighboring countries and Western countries to manage its interests and regional cooperation.

The minister said that tourists who want to visit South Sudan could apply to the missions. “But, visitors from those countries, where we have no diplomatic missions for the time being, will be granted visa on arrival”, he said.

He further added that the country has already become a member of the United Nations and remaining looking forward to join number of international institutions including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

“We also have plans to become a member of the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in Eastern Africa and will also sign bilateral and mutual agreements with various countries”, he stressed.

The minister said the Republic of South Sudan is working to open an embassy in the United Arab Emirates to boost economic and trade relations between the two countries. He said there are daily cargo flight between the UAE and Juba. The Republic of South Sudan has good ties with Egypt and many South Sudanese students are in Egypt for study and training purposes.

Many states around the world recognized the republic of South Sudan which is proclaimed its independence on 9 July after January’s referendum on self determination where South Sudanese voted overwhelmingly in favor of secession. Sudan was the first to recognize the new state on 8 July 2011.

He said the South would continue to work with the North as an independent and sovereign state as both the countries have common economic and security interests. He further said that the parties are currently scheduled to resume negotiation on some of the outstanding issues, such as border demarcation, the issue of Abyei, and oil revenues.

One Referendum, Two New Nations

Posted: July 25, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in World
Tags: , , , ,

Rebecca Hamilton, Juba, Sudan
Published on February 10, 2011

Across the globe, southern Sudanese are celebrating their imminent independence from the rule of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and his predecessors in Khartoum. These northern rulers spent much of the past half-century engaged in a brutal effort to Arabize and Islamize the southern people. International attention is now focused on helping the chronically underdeveloped region of southern Sudan manage the transition to statehood. But what is missing from the conversation is recognition that the looming partition of Sudan creates not just one new nation, but two.

During the past month in southern Sudan it has been easy to get swept up in the rejoicing of a people who have finally realized their multigenerational struggle for freedom. In the jubilant words of a primary school teacher soon after he cast his vote, “This is our end-of-apartheid moment!”

But for me, the euphoria has been tempered by panicky calls and e-mail messages from friends and civil society leaders in the north, whose reactions to the imminent loss of the south form a complex web of emotions: Happiness for the southerners’ emancipation; sadness for the loss of the north’s connection to the rest of Africa; terror that the world will now “leave us to Bashir.”

Bashir himself has done nothing to allay northern fears, telling the population that if the south secedes, there will be “no question of cultural or ethnic diversity. Shariah will be the only source of the Constitution, and Arabic the only official language.”

Northerners are of course overwhelming Muslim. But they are also multiethnic and multilingual. Moreover, there is a big difference between the kind of Islam traditionally practiced in Sudan and the kind Bashir’s ruling National Congress Party, or N.C.P., has thrust on the population since its 1989 military coup.

The southern case against the N.C.P.’s vision of Sudan is well understood. Less appreciated are the longstanding efforts of many northerners to also reject the imposition of this unitary Islamic-Arab identity on “our beautiful Sudan.” For them, the south of the country has been a counterweight.

Many northern opposition leaders have in fact been over-reliant on southerners (and their Congressional supporters in the U.S.) to fight this identity issue for them. With the south now out of the equation, dissident northerners fear being left without allies at a critical moment in the battle to define their new country.

The N.C.P. is more vulnerable than it has been in years. The most telling whisper of the regime’s fragility comes not from any report produced out of New York or Brussels, but from the tea stalls that line the streets of Khartoum.

Rising sugar prices mean that a sugar-laden glass of tea — the primary calorific intake for many impoverished Sudanese — has gone up by almost 50 percent in the past three months. New austerity measures have lifted government subsidies on bread and fuel, stretching meager household budgets to breaking point. When the opposition leader Hassan al-Turabi suggested that a popular uprising was on the cards last month, he hit a sore spot; the N.C.P. arrested him immediately.

On Jan. 30, al-Turabi’s warning gained credibility when youth activists, organizing through Facebook, drew hundreds of protesters onto the streets of Khartoum. Beatings and tear gas from riot police dispersed the crowds, but sporadic protests have continued ever since. While the parallels should not be overstated, especially since opposition to the ruling regime is far from ubiquitous, N.C.P. leaders cannot discount the possibility that, like Tunisia and Egypt, the people’s frustration with their leadership cannot be contained forever.

Until now, the extraordinary ability of Bashir to weather designation as a state sponsor of terrorism, comprehensive U.S. and E.U. sanctions, and finally an indictment by the International Criminal Court for atrocities in Sudan’s western region of Darfur, has generated a mythology of invincibility around him.

But petro-dollars dispersed through a vast patronage network have been vital to enabling him maintain his grip on power. And the bulk of these oil revenues are about to head south. Bashir’s senior adviser predicts the northern economy will take a hit of “not less than 30 percent.” Absent the benefits they are accustomed to, the loyalty of Bashir’s supporters will be tested.

To his great credit, Bashir has allowed the southern referendum to take place, despite knowing a free vote would see the south secede. And he has been promised much by the West for doing so. Those promises must be delivered if future promises are to have any credibility.

But Bashir’s laudable position on the referendum does not wipe the slate clean, nor should it buy him a free pass on current or future human-rights abuses in the north.

While international attention has been consumed by the southern referendum, Khartoum has stepped up its military campaign in Darfur; at least 40,000 civilians have been displaced in the past month alone. And a handful of brave local journalists and Darfuri activists have just spent their 100th day of incommunicado detention in the custody of the N.C.P.’s ruthless internal security thugs.

Beyond Darfur, the popular consultations to address the administration of pro-southern populations falling just north of what will soon be an international border have not transpired. And desperately needed reforms of national-security laws and media censorship have been repeatedly promised and never delivered.

As Sudan splits, the temptation to deploy all donor and diplomatic energy toward ensuring the viability of the new southern nation is enormous. However, serious attention must also be given to those fighting for a prosperous and democratic new northern nation.

It is too early to tell what the outcomes of the spate of recent uprisings will be, but if Tahrir Square has shown us anything, it is that ignoring the legitimate grievances of any population is a high-risk strategy over the long-run.

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From Juba to Jerusalem

Posted: July 25, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan
Tags: , , ,

By Aidan Fishman
07/23/2011 23:52
Israel has the opportunity to midwife the birth of the UN’s newest member.

As most already know, the international community welcomed a new nation on July 9, as South Sudan officially gained independence from its former Northern overlords. On July 14, the UN accepted South Sudan as its 193rd member state. But behind the jubilation throughout that country and among its exiles worldwide lurk feelings of doubt and even despair.

Their newborn state is one of the poorest in the world, with economic and public-health shortcomings that dwarf other international causes for concern, such as Gaza’s so-called humanitarian crisis. More than one in 10 children in South Sudan die before the age of five due to easily preventable diseases, while 90 percent of the population lives on less than $1 per day.

Although there is abundant cause for concern, there are also reasons to be grateful for the opportunity that now lies before the people of South Sudan and the international community. The country will serve as a critical test case for Western nations as they seek to learn the lessons of previous failures in Africa and the Third World. Israel can play an important role in transforming South Sudan into a shining beacon of peaceful development for the region.

As World War II ground to a halt in 1945, the two new superpowers, the US and the USSR, made it known that the era of colonialism was over. Although their ideological and pragmatic disputes would soon lead to the Cold War, both victors agreed that European nations such as France and Britain needed to grant independence to their erstwhile African and Asian colonies.

Teh colonialist nations left their former possessions in shambles – hobbled by poor infrastructure, ethnic disputes, arbitrary borders and economic systems designed for the benefit of the colonial power, and not the denizens of the colony.

Nations like Senegal, Nigeria and Angola were abruptly cast off, left to fend for themselves like the infant boys Romulus and Remus in Roman mythology.

And like Romulus and Remus, these countries were then raised by wolves.

Demagogues like Nasser and Castro molded the newly independent states into the Non-Aligned Movement, and set them firmly on the path of left-wing kleptocracy, authoritarian paranoia, and hatred for the US and its allies, notably Israel. This bloc became the “automatic majority” in the UN General Assembly – nations that, in the immortal words of Abba Eban, would pass a resolution “declaring that the Earth was flat, and that Israel had flattened it” by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions.

WITH SOUTH Sudan, the West has an opportunity to show that it has learned the lessons of over-hasty decolonization.

At a time of debt crisis in the EU and wrangling over the debt ceiling in the US, it will not be easy to dedicate millions of dollars to feeding the starving children of South Sudan. But if the developed world is serious about bridging the massive equality gaps that plague our planet, now is the time to do so.

Israel has a critical role to play. Both Israel and South Sudan earned their sovereignty only after traumatizing and hard-fought wars of independence. And both nations are saddled with question marks over their borders, as South Sudan prepares for a drawn-out struggle with its former Northern overlord over the provinces of Abyei and South Kordofan.

South Sudan will need a modern, professional military to defend itself against the bloodthirsty dictator and alleged war criminal in Khartoum, and Israel can certainly help in that regard. But more importantly, the Jewish state can also nurture democracy and sustainable development.

In recent years, Israel has become home to approximately 15,000 refugees from East Africa, although exact figures are difficult to determine. About 2,000 are said to be from South Sudan. As Israeli politicians from across the spectrum hailed South Sudanese independence, Interior Minister Eli Yishai of Shas was quick to propose the repatriation of these migrants, who are seen in some quarters as an economic and demographic boondoggle.

YISHAI’S APPROACH is foolish and wrong-headed, especially since most of the refugees have no desire to return immediately. Rather than shipping the South Sudanese asylum seekers back to their newly sovereign homeland, Israel and international Jewish organizations should team up to provide them with the best education Israel has to offer. After a few years at Israeli universities in fields such as agriculture, politics, medicine and communications, these former refugees can then return to South Sudan and use their newfound skills to build the country.

Israel, the only true democracy in the Middle East, can help breed the political class that will make South Sudan the only true democracy in East Africa.

Farming techniques that help grow fish in Israel’s Hula Marshes can help raise fish in the Sudd, the giant marsh that dominates South Sudan.

Israel’s extremely advanced solarpanel technology can be easily transplanted to South Sudan, one of the sunniest nations on Earth.

The massive benefits to South Sudan are clear. The world’s newest nation will receive tangible and desperately needed help from Israel in the form of cash, technology and even human capital. Who better to help the South Sudanese “start up” their nation than the Middle Eastern state famously dubbed the “Start-up Nation”? In its own small way, South Sudan can also begin to reward Israel’s massive investment in its future. At some point in September, the UN will hold its muchanticipated vote on a unilateral Palestinian bid for independence, in direct violation of the 1996 Oslo Accords.

If the UN’s newest member bucked the Third World trend and voted against the Palestinian bid, or even abstained, the symbolic boost to Israel and its allies would be immense.

To be sure, the motion would still pass by a large margin in the General Assembly, and would still likely be vetoed by the Americans at the Security Council.

But this gambit by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was never about attaining real independence, because even he knows that fine words and meaningless UN resolutions will not give his people a state. Rather, the Palestinian campaign is all about empty rhetoric and advancing the goal of delegitimizing the Jewish state. A fiery, impassioned speech by the South Sudanese delegate decrying Arab duplicity and expressing solidarity with Israel would work wonders to take the wind out of anti- Zionist sails.

Befitting their status as a newborn nation, South Sudanese leaders will find themselves with a host of foreign-policy decisions that require urgent attention.

For this reason, it is essential that Western nations act quickly to prop up this new African state, and do their part to expunge the sins of mismanaged decolonization from their collective conscience.

Israel, too, needs to approach South Sudan immediately, before the Arab League can beguile its politicians with bribes and false promises of aid. The events of the past weeks represent a critical foreign-policy opportunity for the West, for Israel and for South Sudan.

From Juba to Jerusalem, let freedom ring!

The writer is a student at the University of Toronto specializing in International Relations and Near and Middle Eastern Studies.