Category Archives: South South-Sudan Borders

South Sudan @5 and second Juba War

On the onset of signing peace agreement in Addis Ababa and Juba, Government of South Sudan in the person of President Salva Kiir put forth many reservations on the agreement, among the reservations were the issues of “final decision making” mechanisms and the issue of the two armies in the capital Juba and other major towns. The peace makers of he CPA2 said it is a compromise peace agreement, maybe the word compromise have a good meaning in English but in the simple Arabic it is not a serious word that a peace agreement can be termed “compromise” peace, it mean joking. The designers would say saving lives of the people is better than bad peace, well, bad peace bring back death of the same people spared. Therefore, people who don’t like jokes in both camps of the President and of to be First Vice President knew they were been lock horned again in the CPA2 and that once the forces meet in Juba the smarter one will take down the dull one down.

Regardless of speculations and the bad role played by the social media in South Sudan and specially by South Sudanese in Diaspora, it was a matter of time for a keen observer to see the end or the beginning of second Juba war to come in months.
SPLA-IO is made up by officers who deserted the SPLA army, some officers while in the bush were given higher ranks by their organization and when they returned to Juba they started to interact with their former colleagues in the national security or in the military, which created sentiments among the old peers. Lt colonel George Gismalla was allegedly killed by the government security operatives. And SGt from SPLA-IO was reported killed within the pace of the same week. On 7/7/2016 a SPLA-IO convoy was stopped at checkpoint in Gudele1 Lou Clinic junction where the their vehicle was asked to be search and remove the tinted glasses, the discussion led to the SPLA-IO shooting the officer from government forces. The shooting resulted in the death of 5 government soldiers and two soldiers wounded from the IO side and many civilians were caught in crossfire, and man and his 6 years old son were reported shot in their car and got killed on spot.
The msytery of Friday 8th July shooting: who started the fighting in J1?  It is not clear who started the shooting on Friday the 8th July, but there are two stories, first James Gatdet the Spokesman for FVP wrote on his facebook that FVP was about to be assassinated while in the meeting at J1 on this, his bodyguards were notified and in turn they took on their shoulders the rescue mission by forcing their way into J1 where the meeting of the Presidency was taking place.
 FVP guards shoot on the Presidential guards from the government. James later deleted the post, and after the ceasefire, he bravely re-post it.
Second, it was reported that the Presidential guards started the firing on FVP bodyguards when they learn that Captain David Rieu who was present among the protection unit of the FVP is the same man who killed their colleagues the other night in Gudele. It is reported that all the bodyguards of FVP who were in J1 were all killed except the two bodyguards who were inside the J1 gate.
The current fighting which resumed on Sunday until Monday were solely fueled by the killings among the Presidential guards on Friday. A revenge killings, killings instigated by the absent of acceptance on both sides.
Government of National Unity is being formed but none of its members are preaching about it except only one Mabior Garang de Mabior on his Instagram account sometimes and sometimes with contradictory messages.
Ceasefire declared by the President and later reciprocated the First Vice President is holding, there are rumors of IO re-grouping to launch war on Kiir government, but the reality remains speculations by the South Sudan “experts” it was only in Leer the home of the FVP is where fighting was reported, it was reported that IO attacked government forces in Leer town. But the fighting has died down. An expert told me in Bentiu that the situation remains calm in Bentiu and that the parties are not interested in fighting, “they are wearied of fighting”
If there is fighting in Juba or else where it is going to be in two years times when the young traumatized kids grow into men and will take on their shoulders revenge of the current fights. Gaining new strength will set the ground for new Dinka-Nuer fighting in the future, now they are done with fight, scores settled, prophecies falsified.
Peace to South Sudan

Reflections on my recent visit to Khartoum

In the restaurants: When visiting a local restaurant in the heart of Khartoum, the cook and the waiters used bare-naked hands to serve food. Give me more bread please! The waiter will just walk and pick one and clean the flour off with his other bare-naked hand.

In the offices: Only four hours of official work. From 10 AM to 2 PM you can be serve if you are lucky, after that nobody I mean officials in the offices to work on your papers.

Transportation: Transportation was the cheapest; whether you are taking a public buses or renting a taxi. 40 SDN can rent a taxi for a distance of 40-50 KM

In the hotel where I was accommodated, no photos, no any kind of art except that of the Kaba and arrow showing the direction of Mecca for prayer purpose in the room.

Majority of the people, the Sudanese are friendly to South Sudanese, but of course there were some pain and puzzling felt by the Sudanese over the separation of South Sudan. Few young men and young women make jokes like, “what do you want here again, you wanted your country, you have it why are you here again”? I was not sure if they were joking or complaining.

Food: Yes there is quality food everywhere, but for the well-off people, also there is that bad and poor quality food for the poor.

No more dust storms in Khartoum, Alhamdu liLah!

Fight for alcohols continue! Sudanese Gin/Aragi is the most darling and daring

I want to eat Shaeya or Nyama Choma, the owner was stupid. Bare foot, aggressive, Islamic religious symbols everywhere. I asked him “Brother, how long it is going to take me to wait for the Shaeya to be ready”? “Just wait” was the answer. He behaves like the Sudanese bus drivers who never tell the departure and arrival times and to them, time estimation is against the faith. In-shaa-Allah

Mobile phones market is boosted. Samsung phones trade-mark is everywhere in the town. One Samsung phone dealer cheated me; he gave me a fake Samsung and took my best Samsung. Great development!

Off to the Ministry of Education and General Instruction. There were queues in every direction. South Sudanese like other foreigners have one window or the counter to pay fees for issuing their certificates. All foreigners are charged 61 SDN and Sudanese 21 SDN. I thought there were other services for foreigners’ e.g.  where to receive the certificate, but all the foreigners with all, all the Sudanese queue for hours and hours to receive the  certificate. One out of five South Sudanese gets his/her name correctly spelled in the certificate. My names where spelled wrongly two times.

Big, very big towers or what the Westerns call now days (sky scrapers) springing up here and there, I think that is what they call development. Life has speeded up in Khartoum; you can see how people walk in the market places, no more slow-mode

So many bleached South Sudanese ladies around! And there are so many Nuer and Shilluk natives in Khartoum.

“Ya Zool do you have dollars? Do you want to buy dollars”? Mostly all well dressed-up South Sudanese are asked these questions in Arabi Market. Quest for the lost dollars from South Sudan oil continue.

Old friends who were human rights activists are still strong and keeping doing the same work. It seems that many people are minding their business now because of hardship in economics.

Many thanks to my friends and brothers from Sudan! Mohamed E. invited me for dinner the second day of my arrival. Mohamed A. invited me for dinner with his family the fourth day, my friend Mubark B. invited me for Mr. Gordon Gin. and a nice chicken. Dr. M.A invited me in his house and I had a nice dinner with him and an old friend I forgotten back in 2005 when I met him in Al-Mujlad. Many thanks go to all other friends who offered me training on human rights defenders security and reporting, many thanks.

What I knew Since March 2013

30/03/2013 12:06:38 م] Jo…: well two things could happen now, before elections (tell me if you also think this): SPLM stays together and Riek and Salva have a working relationship; or Nuer and Shilluk try to overtake Dinka leadership in SPLM and you have a big division and huge fight within SPLM/A

 [30/03/2013 12:07:42 م] James Diar: i am very much worried

[30/03/2013 12:07:47 م] James Diar: first:

[30/03/2013 12:07:59 م] James Diar: Riek is determined to stand for elections, he is right

[30/03/2013 12:08:11 م] Jo…: Riek is sure he wants to be president?

[30/03/2013 12:08:23 م] James Diar: yes he want

[30/03/2013 12:08:42 م] James Diar: there is no SPLM, there are Dinka and Nuer top generals supported by other small tribes

[30/03/2013 12:08:53 م] Jo…: but he possibly loses EVERYTHING if Dinka SPLM/A tear each other apart

[30/03/2013 12:09:03 م] James Diar: yes

[30/03/2013 12:09:07 م] James Diar: everything

[30/03/2013 12:09:17 م] James Diar: i am now campaigning for Riek

[30/03/2013 12:09:24 م] James Diar: not officially of course

[30/03/2013 12:09:38 م] James Diar: but in tea places, in beer places, in buses

[30/03/2013 12:09:41 م] Jo…: I see – I don’t have a preference, but tell me why Riek is a good choice

[30/03/2013 12:10:00 م] James Diar: because it will save the situation, no fight no more wars

[30/03/2013 12:10:09 م] James Diar: it is not because he is good

[30/03/2013 12:10:15 م] James Diar: but because i do not want war again

[30/03/2013 12:10:27 م] James Diar: among the Dinka and Nuer

[30/03/2013 12:10:39 م] James Diar: it is a time bomb

[30/03/2013 12:10:58 م] James Diar: it is also another dimension,

[30/03/2013 12:11:01 م] Jo…: I know that with the integration of SSDF, the biggest single ethnic group in SPLA now is Nuer

[30/03/2013 12:11:14 م] James Diar: not true

[30/03/2013 12:11:32 م] Jo…: leaders are still Dinka but largest proportion is Nuer no?

[30/03/2013 12:11:37 م] James Diar: maybe yes number of officers but not number of foot soldiers

[30/03/2013 12:11:51 م] James Diar: Numbers of officers Nuer are many

[30/03/2013 12:12:03 م] James Diar: so let talk of 50%

[30/03/2013 12:12:15 م] Jo…: well then perhaps it depends on the other groups

[30/03/2013 12:12:19 م] James Diar: but the confusion is not who is big in the army

[30/03/2013 12:12:21 م] Jo…: because nobody has a majority

[30/03/2013 12:12:38 م] James Diar: it is who can mobilize his tribes if war broke out

[30/03/2013 12:12:42 م] Jo…: but they will use the threat of force from the army for power, no?

[30/03/2013 12:12:52 م] Jo…: I see.

[30/03/2013 12:12:53 م] James Diar: both can easily mobilize their tribes

[30/03/2013 12:13:02 م] James Diar: no

[30/03/2013 12:13:11 م] James Diar: there is no army

[30/03/2013 12:13:24 م] James Diar: there are militias loyal to each commander

[30/03/2013 12:13:33 م] Jo…: yes, sure, agreed

[30/03/2013 12:13:51 م] James Diar: so Riek can gain in Unity, some parts of Jongeli, some parts of Upper Nile

[30/03/2013 12:14:14 م] James Diar: it is the old grudges of the Dinka vs. Nuer

[30/03/2013 12:14:22 م] James Diar: so i go for Riek for peace

[30/03/2013 12:14:31 م] James Diar: not because he is a good leader

[30/03/2013 12:14:43 م] James Diar: he is bad and worse than Kiir

[30/03/2013 12:14:45 م] Jo…: wait, because Dinka will not mobilize as much if Nuer is president?

[30/03/2013 12:15:07 م] James Diar: no problem

[30/03/2013 12:15:19 م] James Diar: it is a chance of each person

[30/03/2013 12:15:26 م] James Diar: it is the splm to decide

[30/03/2013 12:15:55 م] James Diar: if the splm failed to decide they are making doom fire for the people of south sudan

[30/03/2013 12:16:14 م] James Diar: Equatorian want the fight between these two tribes

[30/03/2013 12:16:32 م] James Diar: because they will need their numbers to go down

[30/03/2013 12:17:39 م] Jo…: it’s a difficult situation….

[30/03/2013 12:17:54 م] James Diar: very much

[30/03/2013 12:18:33 م] James Diar: so, if splm failed Riek, he will form a new party, and there will be heated contest in the elections or there will be no elections

[30/03/2013 12:18:59 م] Jo…: yes, I assume he will but then both Riek and Salva will have less power overall, no matter who wins

[30/03/2013 12:19:38 م] James Diar: yes, to rescue the situation

[30/03/2013 12:20:32 م] Jo…: so which way will the other groups fall? Towards Riek or towards Salva?

[30/03/2013 12:21:34 م] James Diar: So far, Equatorian has their own hidden agenda, they cannot make it known to other

[30/03/2013 12:21:50 م] Jo…: when you say ‘Equatorians’, who do you mean?

[30/03/2013 12:21:57 م] Jo…: Bari, Mundari?

[30/03/2013 12:22:03 م] James Diar: Bor will support Kiir to revenge on Riek and also to wait and grab power if Kiir failed

[30/03/2013 12:22:19 م] James Diar: Bari, and the three states of greater Equatoria

[30/03/2013 12:22:39 م] Jo…: aha

[30/03/2013 12:22:42 م] Jo…: ok

10 points about workshops in South Sudan

and so many workshops of the same kind again and again

Adventures by the White Nile

Anyone working anywhere in healthcare in South Sudan is likely to have extensive experience of workshops. These often duplicate content with other workshops, and more than more senior person has observed that we need to have less workshops and more action. My observations from those many workshops is as follows:

1. There will be at least 3 dignitaries who will open the workshop. They will start by saying ‘all protocols observed’. They will talk about how this workshop is crucial to the continuance of the human race. There is often an opening prayer.
2. The workshop will start late; very late in fact. The dignitaries will make it run later.
3. After an hour one of the cleaners will walk in with a crate of cold water bottles. She’ll walk round the room distributing them. Then she’ll do the same with cans of soda. No matter who is talking it…

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Yes, there are places here for Honeymooners

Yes, there are places here for Honeymooners

Unceasing Delicate Border Relations between the states of Western & Southern Kordofan in Sudan and Unity State in South Sudan

Note: I presented this paper in a migration conference in May this year in Bentiu as a civil society position.

 Background to Misseriyia Migration to South Sudan:

Unity State in South Sudan receives Misseriya nomads for hundreds of years back in history and still received them today.  Sometimes the migrations of the Misseriya to South Sudan Unity state were peaceful and sometimes it was bloody migrations. The history tells of how good and bad the relations were between these border communities of Misseriya, Nuer and Dinka. The Ngol (Ragaba Elzeraga) conflicts of 1960s-1974 are still fresh in the memories of the generation of Paramount Chief Tunguar of Leek and Paramount Chief Jau Jiel of Panaruu. After the conflicts, Ngol rivers were left for Misseriya, still Misseriya begin to migrate deeper south of Ngol around Abiemnhom, Mayom, Rubkona and Panrieng counties of Unity state.  

 Despite the conflicts between the host communities and the Misseriya, this Sudanese tribe was always welcome to Unity state. The end of 1970s was peaceful until abruptly the Misseriya were engaged again in trying to explore new lands deeper south and this time it coincided with the rebellion that was stating in South Sudan the SPLA/M, taking that opportunity, Sudan government of Nimeri and Al Mahdi used the Misseriya tribes very well to raid and displace first Abiemnhom, Mayom Panrieng and Rubkona. Those of Khery Fahim, Isa Bashry, Faki Nawai were all engaged in arming and organizing the Misseriya militants to raid cattle in all the cattle camps in the northern parts of Unity state.  

 When the National Salvation Revolution led by President Al Bashir took power in Sudan in 1989, the new regime organized the Misseriya into popular defend forces. Their armed men with new statehood legal status rampantly raid almost the northern line of South Sudan from Aweil to Panrieng as far as Mapel in Western Bahr Elgazal[i].

 During the 22 years of war, the successive governments in Sudan alliance with Misseriya thus, they got all the rights and privileges over their neighbors from the Dinka or the Nuer. They could displace a village, they could raid cattle, raped women, and their actions were not questioned by the authorities.

 In this juncture, South Sudanese youth in big numbers were forced to seek and obtained arms from the SPLA and other armed groups mainly to repulse the Misseriya incursions resulting in many raids conducted against the Misseriya. Exception of Abiemnhom County, the other three counties of Mayom, Rubkona and Panrieng has been engaged in raiding Misseriya in possible ways every year since 1986 to the present day. The South Sudanese tribes in Unity state has never attempted to engage in land incursions to the northern borders, instead; they simply wait and raid in the South Sudan territories. The raids have bereaved the Misseriya, Dinka and Nuer from wealth and human for many years and have contributed to poverty. The Falata Ambororo was victimized in the course of the Nuer, Dinka and Misseriya conflicts. Many people believe that the Fallata Ambororo are peaceful people but because of the destination where they hail in Sudan, the Falata tribes have become victims of traumatized and hunger for revenge South Sudanese tribes.

 Past grievances and future challenges to Sudanese nomads’ migrations:

  1. Because of the war, Sudan government and then rebels SPLM/A armed their supporters and used them as proxies in the war.
  2. There have been no laws to regulate the migrations of the Misseriya nomads into South Sudan especially in Unity State.
  3. Some of the agreements that were organized and negotiated through the SAF were always dishonored by both sides.
  4. There have been no attempts to address the grievances on both sides, trauma have accumulated into behavioral diseases.
  5. South Sudanese communities believed they do not benefit from the Misseriya migrations into their lands. Instead they are occupied with worries of what will be the end of things when Misseriya leaves the lands. 
  6. In many cases, those Misseriya chiefs who negotiate terms of grazing inside South Sudan are believed not to be the real chiefs and therefore, their commitments are not binding.
  7. The relationship between these border communities mostly serves the interest of only one party, the Misseriya.
  8. In recent years, the state government of Unity state used to negotiate the terms of grazing with the Misseriya. This is not enough as long as there are no community engagements at the grassroots.
  9. There are no assigned police forces to protect the Misseriya nomads as well as the host communities. Governments does not commit to fulfills it is obligations.

 Recommendations:

Firstly, let revisit three recommendations put forth by Dr. Douglas Johnson in his January 2011 recommendations [ii]:”road back from Abyei”

  1. The Government of South Sudan needs to give a practical demonstration of its repeated statements that the Misseriya will not be hindered in their seasonal migration into Abyei and neighboring Unity, Warrap and Northern Bahr al-Ghazal states by outlining the security measures it will undertake to help the Misseriya protect their herds without resorting to carrying arms;
  2. Annual meetings, based on the model of those already concluded in Aweil in 2008 should be held to enable Misseriya and Unity state community leaders to agree on the details of annual migrations. These can be facilitated by SPLM leaders in whom the Misseriya already have trust, example of Paul Malong, governor of Northern Bahr al-Ghazal state;
  3. Both tribes should be involved in their own security by the creation of joint seasonal cattle guard forces to monitor grazing routes and pasture areas without having to depend exclusively on the national police and armed forces of either Sudan or South Sudan;
  4. The establishment of joint seasonal courts to settle disputes arising during the annual migrations.
  5. Yearly exchange visits to the Misseriya lands and to South Sudan. The communities should not only be confined to cattle camps relationship.
  6. Formation of Northern Unity- Southern Misseriya  Migration Monitoring and Evaluation Mechanism
  7. Collection and Dissemination of previous agreements between the Misseriya and the four counties of Unity state. This includes various reports of peace building like the ones of Concordis, AECOM and others.
  8. The Misseriya are families (Awalad Omran, Mazagna, Awalad Kamil, Fayareen and Ajayra) like the Nuer and the Dinka (Aloor, Bul, Leek and Panaruu), these families with the support of their government local governments must formulate and regulate policies of migrations.
  9. The two countries South Sudan and Sudan governments to commit to support peaceful coexistence.
  10.  There is need to separate interests/reasons of engagement, the cattle migration should be treated differently from that of trade and commercial purposes. The Misseriya should not blindfold people of Unity state through trade as away to allured and neutralize local demands for dignified negotiated settlement of past grievances and present interests. 
  11. Misseriya tribes must acknowledge and regret their past involvement in the war and atrocities inflicted on the local people in Unity state as a way for seeking forgiveness and reconciliation.
  12. The tribes from Unity state should acknowledge that the war grievance is holding them hostages and preventing them from exploring the rewards they could gain from worthy engagement with the Misseriya as neighbors.

 

[i] Unity State Migration Conference held at Census Hall, Bentiu, South Sudan from 29 February to 2 March 2012

[ii]  Douglas H. Johnson, the road back from Abyei

Reflections on Hon Stephen Miabek Lang Tenure as Pariang County Commissioner (1)

Accordingly, the county priorities were:

Health infrastructures: on this plan, 100% was achieved. In all nine payams of Pariang there are health centers constructed in my cases it is one roomed. However, health facilities are not that well functioning due to lack of health cadres locally and statewide. The commissioner and his administration have lobbied for funds to training locally hired health cadres in Yei medical school. There are number of youth who have attended secondary schools who can be train to be medical assistants. Another challenge to health is lack of midwives.

In education, in education little has been achieved. Very few schools were constructed in some of the payams because schools construction require huge budget. There were plans to send 13 teachers for training in Yei teachers training center for 4 years course in education but the plan has been hailed by lack of funds.

The third priority was to provide clean water for human consumption. Pariang County used to be home for Guinea worm. When Miabek resumed office as county commissioner in 2005, there were 13 hand pumps in all of 62 bomas. During Miabek tenure in office a total of 49 new boreholes were installed. Now the numbers of boreholes in Pariang stand at 71 boreholes installed by different development partners including Samaritan Purse which operate from Yida refugees’ camp.

To be continued…

 

21 December, 2012 11:05

The Run Continues: Sudan Armed Forces Bombed Refugees Camp in Yida Payam:

The local authorities in Panrieng County in Unity State have reported that Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) on 10th November bombarded Yida payam in northern Unity State.

Yida payam in Panrieng County has hosted refugees from Nuba Mountains who fled the fighting in Southern Kordofan since June this year when the SAF and SPLA/N engaged in armed confrontations.

Sudan Armed Forces Antonov has bombed the payam headquarters where the refugees’ foods were stored, the airstrip, in the middle of the camp and in Yida village. Six bombs were dropped by an Antonov. The refugees and the hosting community escaped in forests to seek safety.

According to the locals, the bombardment came at a time when a UNMIS helicopter had just landed in Yida airstrip. The helicopter was on humanitarian mission to assist the refugees who are now estimated to be 21,000 people. “The incident is a serious violation of international border and we urge our government in Bentiu and Juba to react in the strongest terms possible to deter the government of Sudan continuous crimes in our land” said Peter Dudi who is the Yida payam SPLM secretary. “Our payam has suffered a lot this year when SAF bombed Jaw several times displacing our people in addition their Antonov fly low over villages causing fear and horror in our villages”. said William Deng de Mum paramount Chief of Yida payam

Stephen Miabek Lang de Bilkuei Panrieng Commissioner confirmed the air strike and said that “at around 2: 30 PM today a SAF Antonov has bombed Yida payam headquarters in Yida 40 KM north of Panrieng town. He said that the aerial strike killed 12 people and wounded more than 20 people”.  According to Commissioner Miabek, the victims include children and women who were not able to dodge the falling fire from SAF Antonov.

The refugees call for the international community and the government of South Sudan to protect them from their government which hunting them even in the places they are seeking refuge in South Sudan.

Seven people are reported killed as a result of a bombardment in Guffa village in northern Upper Nile, Maban County, where Sudan Armed Forces have dropped 18 bombs on a refugee’s camp settled by 400 people from Blue Nile.

Sudan government troops are targeting refugees within an international border of South Sudan in Upper Nile and Unity state since June 2011.