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Who is Nuer in South Sudan context?

By Peter Gai Manyuon

January 19, 2014 (SSNA) -- The Nuer people are a Nilotic ethnic group primarily inhabiting the Nile Valley and now they are the one who are in Unity, Jonglei, and Upper Nile States respectively. They are concentrated in South Sudan, with some representatives also found in southwestern Ethiopia known by the name Gatjaak. They speak the Nuer language, which belongs to the Nilo-Saharan family according to the history.

Historically, the nature of relations among the various southern Sudanese tribes was greatly affected in the 19th century by the intrusion of Ottomans, Arabs, and eventually the British. Some ethnic groups made their accommodation with the imperial attackers and others did not, in effect pitting one southern ethnic group against another in the context of foreign rule. For example, some sections of the Dinka were more accommodating to British rule than were the Nuer. The Dinka treated the resisting Nuer as hostile, and hostility developed between the two groups as a result of their differing relationships to the British.

Looking at the way God almighty created the Nuer society in South Sudan, you find that, they are gifted by the God with some fours things that, every human being globally have acknowledged.

First of all, they are very strong in the Republic of South Sudan, they have resisted the British colony up to date, most of the tribes including Dinka were colonized and no one will deny the facts unless those whose their intellects is low, because in South Sudan context there are those who want to make shortcuts which is not the reality in the history.

Secondly, Nuer are peace loving people, they like to stay with their friends and other tribes without any problem. They don’t have big heart of other people properties, they are not thieves but they don’t like to be humiliated in one way or the other in their lives globally.

Thirdly Nuer are people who were born democrat , truth must be stay here my dear compatriots globally, they have what is call chiefdoms , which are all elective in the Nuer society beginning from Unity State which most of the historians regarded as the place where all Nuer were created place called “ Thaar Jieth Liech”. They give each and every one his rights and obligation no matter whether you are a lady, man in the society.

Fourthly, Nuer are people who like sharing, no matter how small of the food you have, they can divide equally without any problem in heart. And that is why globally most people love them so much

Coming to 2013 December when Nuer were Massacre in Juba

The number of the people that had been lost in the South Sudan crisis from the December 15th, 16th, 17th 2013 will not be recover by the Nuer Community in the Republic of South Sudan and the world at large, if am not mistaken. The question is who will be responsible for the killings that happened among the President Kiir groups in Juba?  Some people thoughts that, killing of Nuer tribes was a joke which is not the real because Nuer are human beings created by the God almighty and they should also be protected and respected as well by the International Community.

The killing that happened mostly in Gudele, Newsite, Manga, 107 , Khorwilliam area ,Jabel Market new National Security of South Sudan and Jabel Kujuor need good investigation from the International Community especially the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague. And if the criminals who were ordered to kill Nuer are not hung in The Hague, that mean there might be another killing because Nuer might revenge unless otherwise, something should be done.

Who can deny if Nuer can rule themselves where ever they are?

God had given Nuer fertile land with a lots of minerals that are within Unity State, Uppernile even Jonglei has got a small oil compare to the Bharegazal Region which had nothings to help people. Can you say that, those very rich people cannot rule South Sudan? The live of the Republic of South Sudan is within the territory of the Nuer without doubt.

The Author is the Independent Journalist who had written articles extensively on the issues of Democratization and Human Rights in South Sudan; you can contact him through, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

‘Madina’ Bor in Bor

By Martin Garang Aher

‘What you see troubling people here, is your fault’ (General Malual Ayom speaking to advancing troops on Bor).

January 19, 2014 (SSNA) -- Talking about Bor can be tremendously challenging at times to a non Dinka outsider, because the word has a tendency to ping pong from being a name of the city of Bor proper (Popular informally as Mading Bor), to a descriptor of the Dinka section inhabiting the large swathe of the Nile on the East Bank in Jonglei State. It is not even enough to stop here, but continuing on with etymology would mean making too many historical mistakes. Here, we are roughly talking of the city of Bor, Madina Bor, and perhaps Bor, the area and the people.

From the colonial Sudan, unto the independent Sudan – and South Sudan - the city of Bor had received umpteenth spotlights, both domestic and international for all reasons with good ones tipping the scale. But in the last thirty years, it had been the cataclysm that befell this serene city and her people that struggled to overshadow the best of it.  The period, 2013-2014, is a case period of tragedy; the latest of these tragedies being the destruction of the city and inhumane killings by the rebels set loose by Juba’s inefficiencies of governance and democratic misguidance.

In less than a month, Bor has changed hands four times between the rebels fighting the government and the national army, SPLA, defending ‘the country’ and the ‘constitution’ yet to be rectified. Division 8 General Peter Gadet Yak, based in Bor, defected with three brigades, per the narrative of South Sudanese army, and stormed the city on the 17th and 18th of December, 2013, killing about a thousand civilians, wounding many more and displacing all that remained; mainly to Awerial County in the neighboring Lakes State on the West Bank of the Nile. Other vulnerable civilians unable to make a prompt escape tolerated the terrifying ordeal of sheltering in the city’s compound of United Nations Mission In South Sudan (UNMISS). The South Sudanese army later drove Peter Gadet out of the city. A week later, the White Army mainly from Lou Nuer and Gaweer marched on the city once more, this time, on a counter-offensive with a prophetic mission of nonstop walk to Juba, the nation’s capital. Like in 1991, some villages on their way burnt and people were killed indiscriminately. The march worried the nation and the world.

Residents of Juba were undeniably terror-stricken of the news of a close to 25000 armed men eyeing their city of dwelling. The pressure was felt for real by those who live in the city and foreign others who knew that a violent elemental fall of Juba since its founding might unleash a walking pilgrims from other armed and dissatisfied groups, hence, setting the stage for Africa’s Yugoslavia, with neighbours absorbing the shock waves of war. Rumours of war at the city’s gates were exacerbated by the newly embraced technology in the forms of mobile phones and internet. International Media played its part to the dismay of the authorities who were themselves not impervious from trepidation. Mohamed Adow of Al Jazeera English Channel, who suggested that a reliable source told of a column of the White Army that slipped through the heavily militarized Juba-Bor road and was advancing on the capital, was quickly sent packing to lessen the airing of unjustified fear. On the internet, the newly emerging nationalism disintegrated into ethnic chest beating.

Further afield, responsibility then turned to frustration. The neutrality of president Museveni of Uganda was phenomenally compromised. As a member of Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) that hurriedly descended on South Sudan for the purposes of peace,  Uganda’s South Sudan matched that of the Democratic Republic of The Congo, with responsibility to protect (R2P) winning over the conceal evacuation of stranded nationals. What began as a peaceful mission became a mission to hunt for the vainglorious rebels or in defense of indefensible abstractions.

A warrior of Museveni’s character in a war zone is indisputably not an excellent peacemaker. With South Sudan’s geographical cauldron able to gulp down Uganda at least three times, president Museveni is well-versed that ‘going after’ Joseph Konyi is less wearisome than going after Riek Machar, whose 25000 White Army’s firepower on one front almost doubles the firepower that propelled the Lion of Ruwenzori Range into rebellious reign in Uganda, back in 1986.

Bor fell again to the national army on January 18, 2014 after almost a month of battling ‘mobilized civilians,’ as the army spokesman, Colonel Philip Aguer, would like to assume. Actually, the city was found empty when the national army moved in after surviving heavy losses in ambushes on the way aboard Ute cars, barges and tanks as a conventional army; a strange position opposed to good old days of not being a sitting duck on the road. 

Just like the natives of this historically significant and embattled city would want to know, a perturbing question is ‘why always Bor?’ The simple answer, among many, is that Bor is a victim of peace in a region that is otherwise peace wary. It is unwise to assume therefore that people in this area are not doing enough to protect themselves when for generations they have done all they could to train, lead, fought and accommodated others for a national entity that would safeguard all South Sudanese. Note that Abel Alier and Joseph Lagu, first post Addis Ababa Regional Government leaders of Southern Sudan, went to Church Missionary Society School at Malek in Bor.

“People have gone for business and abandoned the army, we have to lead the fight into Bor and the rest would follow us,” General Malual Ayom continued his speech to an ululating battalion of the sons of the soil. He was clearly subdued by the loss of his colleagues, General Abraham Jongroor and Ajak Yen, Gadet’s first victim of rebellion (quote inaccurate…meaning retained). Fly in generals are be warned that General Malual’s bravery must not be tried in the field, only at home.   This was the same General Malual who was featured on the BBC video in an ambush, self-stripped of any weapons and walking with head held high amidst the showers of bullets and disorderly dashing soldiers. The question of why Bor can pick up another answer: because Bor thinks there is a nation, but alas! General Malual needs to take 'fault' blame somewhere else.

So, when the city of Bor speaks of resilience to bounce back in the face of Gadets’ atrocities to all, including those who shot the first bullets of liberation in this city (Karbino Kuanyin and William Nyuon were also his victims), they simply mean business.

Martin Garang Aher is a South Sudanese living in Australia. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

South Sudan Crisis: The Hope for the Hopeless

By John Monyjok Maluth

Introduction

January 17, 2014 (SSNA) -- This letter serves as a personal analysis of the current politico-ethnic crisis in South Sudan. It includes the cause, the effects and the way forward of this young nation of the world. Read it and analyze it. You are free to share your thoughts with me using the email address that will be given at the end of this article.

1. THE CAUSES OF THE CURRENT POLITICO-ETHNIC CRISIS IN SOUTH SUDAN

Currently the causes of the politico-ethnic crisis in the new nation of the world are unclear. Different sources report different things regarding the root causes of the crisis. But what is the reason of writing this article if the author himself do not even know what to tell the public? I know that as the reader you may ask this important question. But for now, let us analyze what the other sources believe to be the cause or causes of this crisis in South Sudan. As the title suggests, we can surely call this crisis the “Politico-Ethnic Crisis” according to my understanding and what our media tells us every day.

You might have heard of the “Failed Coup Attempt” that took place in Juba on 15th December 2013 that is believed to be headed by the Former Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan, Dr Riek Machar Teny. But the evidences of the coup are not crystal clear according to other sources. Was there really a coup attempted by Riek and his allies? We just don’t know the answer. Only God and few individuals in South Sudan and the world know what went wrong between the presidential guards in Juba. I personally was in Juba that night until I left the area on 26th December 2013 for Yei. So far, there might have been an attempted coup or there was nothing like that. But what is important?

Finding the root cause would have been the best way to deal with the problem. A doctor or any health worker must first diagnose and find out the sickness before giving the right treatment and the doses of any drug or else the treatment can be given for a wrong sickness. The same thing applies for the current crisis in South Sudan. Both Kiir and Riek must tell the world what actually happened. But all of them speaks what they know is true. Kiir and his supporters announce the failed coup attempt, Riek and his supporters deny the same thing. So, how can we say that there was a coup attempt? How can we say that there was no coup attempt? To the current author, it is already useless to find out the root causes of this crisis. If you know the cause, that is fine, if you don’t know the cause, it is not the right time to struggle to get the answer.

2. THE EFFECTS OF THE POLITICO-ETHNIC CRISIS IN SOUTH SUDAN

The UN announces the grave need of the Internally Displaced People in South Sudan and the number is getting higher almost every day across the nation. There are thousands of people in UNMISS bases in Juba, Malakal and Bentiu. Many people ran for their lives to Uganda (Over 25, 000) and the number may soon arise. Thousands ran to Kenya (Kakuma) and thousands to Khartoum-Sudan. The world is saying that over 1, 000 people died apart from the 4, 000 who died militarily across the nation. Of course the vulnerable are always affected when any crisis occur being political or ethnic crisis. These people are surely women and children, the wounded and the elderly people. We have seen the Unity State capital Bentiu being burned down to ashes. Same thing with Malakal and Bor.

Every area is affected in varying degrees, being economy, businesses, and lives and are still being affected by this useless war. The worst effect of this useless and pointless war is the surrendering of our national resources to Khartoum just because of our internal issues that will soon be resolved whether through the gun battle or through talks. I could not endure seeing the South Sudanese in UNMISS compound being labeled as if they were animals – Nuer Dinka (Bentiu). To keep it short, this crisis has claimed more lives more than what the world can confess. But what is important right now? We need the quick end of this war. We need peace and it must come from our leaders. It must come from the fighting comrades. It must come from the communities being used by politicians without their knowledge. It must come from all of us.

3. WHAT IS THE WAY FORWARD FOR THIS POLITICO-ETHNIC CRISIS IN SOUTH SUDAN?

This is the heart of this article. Anything with a cause or beginning must have an end. I’m writing as the patriotic South Sudanese who is both Nuer and Dinka by blood if there is anything like having a Nuer or Dinka blood. I have no side to support. I support all sides and that is why I felt like to share what I think is the solution to this useless and foolish war in my motherland. As mentioned earlier, finding out the cause of this crisis could easily lead to finding the solution for it. But the situation is already out of control, we need a solution and we need it now before finding out the root cause.

The solution to this crisis is cessation of hostilities from both sides. To me, no one will win this useless war. If Kiir and Riek are really thinking about the South Sudanese, then this war must stop and it must stop now. I am sure if Riek command his forces not to attack they will not attack and the same thing with Kiir. Please my two leaders, stopping the fight do not mean you are useless or coward or whatever word the world can use against you. It simply means you care for your people, the South Sudanese. Many do not even know what it means to be a South Sudanese let alone the power struggle between Kiir and Riek, yet they are the ones dying in front lines. I lost relatives both from Nuer and Dinka in the army as well as among civilians. I just long for an end to this crisis and it must end soon.

Please do not allow the world to believe the lie that “South Sudanese cannot lead themselves” as this has been a saying from our Arab brothers from the North/Sudan. Prove to the world that you are leaders with minds. Blaming whatever side like what happens on social media cannot and will not solve any problem. Your preconditions (Release of the detainees, etc) will never bring peace to those who seriously in need of it right now. Please think of your people, the same people you fought for before me, the current author was even born. Can you think back for a while and remember how far you came? This simple issue could not allow you to turn this beautiful nation into chaos. Please agree to put down your guns. Agree to save the lives of innocent people. Many are drowning in the Nile River; many are being killed by war related sicknesses all because of your anger and resentment.

The solution to this crisis is in the hands of Riek and Kiir the very leaders of South Sudan. This point three of this article, I wish it could be read to both Riek and Kiir. It is for them to see and think over it even though they already know about it. I am not writing this because they don’t know it, I write because I think it is the only solution to this crisis. If only these two leaders could agree to end it, they can do it without the help of anyone from the outside world.

To the fighting armies with generals and armed civilians, please understand that this crisis is originally political and it must remain as such. Please stop targeting harmless civilians based on their ethnic identify. I am the victim of this issue. I was almost killed twice in Juba and once in Yei just because I have marks on my forehead that resembles those of Nuer men. This is true from both sides. I know my message is hard to be implemented, but surely possible if we can only know that we are but one people in one nation. My message goes to Nuer and Dinka people that are currently turning this war into what it should not be – the tribal war. Please listen to me. War cannot solve anything. We fought for a long time in Sudan, but only the negations brought our peace, the peace that we are about to forget now. I appeal to Equatorian nationals to remain peaceful as they are. You are indeed true nationals of South Sudan and I just love that spirit you have.

May God bless South Sudan as we sing in our national anthem!

The author is a South Sudanese theologian and a tutor at Emmanuel Christian College in Yei River County, South Sudan. You can reach out to him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it John Monyjok Maluth is the founder and CEO of the un-registered Discipleship Press, an independent Press in South Sudan. John has written computer manuals and The Principles of Conflict Management: In South Sudanese Perspective a book that is like a prophesy for the current issues in South Sudan. John is also a South Sudanese software developer with Microsoft Visual Studio. You can contact him using his website at http://discipleshippress.wordpress.com and use the “Contact Us” page for more views from about the current issues in South Sudan.

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