SOUTH SUDAN TODAY Fair, Independent and Objective Wed, 04 Mar 2015 18:55:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The new Jihadist mentality by ISIS, El Shabab, Bukuharam and Al Gaeda: Does Islam provides Justification? (I) Wed, 04 Mar 2015 18:53:05 +0000 By Ahmed A. Morgan

Striving to uphold the “cause of God” simply means striving to uphold all God’s commandments and a strive to condemn all God’s prohibitions.

Hence, a jihad in the cause of God is a strive to preach and uphold God’s way and God’s Law.

Since the word jihad has been manipulated to advocate violence and the killing of innocent people, it is necessary to establish, with clear Qur’anic evidence, that the “cause of God” does not allow unlawful killing or violence.

1- First, we must always be aware of the prime declaration in the Quran which states that God does not advocate sin: “God never advocates sin. Are you saying about God what you do not know?” 7:28

2- Following from that, the Quran states categorically that killing any innocent soul is a gross sin:

“…… You shall not kill – God has made life sacred – except in the course of justice. These are His commandments to you, that you may understand.” 6:151

“You shall not kill any person – for God has made life sacred – except in the course of justice. …..” 17:33

The prohibition to kill any innocent soul has always been the law of God, in the Quran and in all previous scripture:

“……, we decreed for the Children of Israel that anyone who murders any person who had not committed murder or horrendous crimes, it shall be as if he murdered all the people. ” 5:32

3- God does not allow fighting (war) except in the case of self defence:

” ………. If they leave you alone, refrain from fighting you, and offer you peace, then God gives you no excuse to fight them” 4:90

If they resort to peace, so shall you, and put your trust in God. He is the Hearer, the Omniscient.” 8:6. “do not aggress; God dislikes the aggressors.” 5:87

4- God commands that there will be no compulsion in religion: “There shall be no compulsion in religion …” 2:256. “You have your religion and I have mine” 109:6. “Had your Lord willed, all the people on earth would have believed. Do you want to force the people to become believers?” 10:99.

The commands in the above verses are very clear. The Quran confirms that belief must be attained voluntarily and not forcibly. If we are forced into becoming Muslims, there would be no credit due.

The choice must be a voluntary one. “Proclaim: “This is the truth from your Lord,” then Whoever wills let him believe, and whoever wills let him disbelieve” 18:29. “You

shall remind, for your mission is to deliver this reminder.

You have no power over them” 88:21-22. The message of no compulsion in religion is once again emphasized in the above Qur’anic words.

5- Quran advocates pardon, forgiveness and tolerance:

“You shall resort to pardon, advocate tolerance, and disregard the ignorant” 7:199. “Tell those who believe to forgive those who do not long for the days of (meeting) God. He will fully pay everyone for whatever they have earned.” 45:14.

The Quran condemns the killing or even the persecution of people merely because they embrace a different religion. The Quran mandates absolute freedom of religion among all people.

Respect and mutual co-existence must be exercised with those of other religions. The Quran urges Muslims to treat such people kindly and equitably:

“God does not enjoin you from befriending those who do not fight you because of religion, and do not evict you from your homes.

You may befriend them and be equitable towards them. God loves the equitable.” 60:8. As all the above verses indicate, the Quran is clear in prohibiting all violence, unlawful killing and also forcing others into Islam.

Attacks on civilians and on innocent people around the world by these terrorist groups is a violation of all the verses quoted above and have no Islamic backing anywhere, leave alone other religions. THIRD:

Are ‘suicide bombers’ really going to Heaven as they believe? Suicide is a state of disbelief and loss of faith that is condemned by God throughout the Quran.

In the Quran, God commands the believers never to despair or lose hope but instead have faith in God and work for a brighter future:” ………… none despairs of God’s grace except the disbelieving people.” 12:87.

It is true that many of the youth who commit suicide bombing live in dire situations and there is no denying of their suffering and oppression.

But there is no justification for breaking God’s commandment.

Oppression is not a reason to break God’s law.

On the contrary, oppression is a good reason to hold tight to these commandments and to show more faith in God. Two wrongs do not make a right.

Today, even young girls are pouring into the war zones in Syria to support the ISIS.

In Nigeria and elsewhere, these people could use even young girls at ages below ten to explode themselves. Does Islam support these acts?

There is nowhere that God would approve of this, even Satan himself is wondering as to where these people have come from with all this mentality.

Such acts might have by now put both God and Satan on a serious research for their origin because they seem not to belong to either of the two opposite powers.

May God save the world and its people from the new Satanism. Amen.

The writer is a lecturer of economics at the University of Juba and can be reached at 0912250567 or +254716147016

The article is to be continued.

]]> 0
Children seized from South Sudan school not released yet, Wed, 04 Mar 2015 18:39:56 +0000  

JUBA/NAIROBI,– Scores of children seized by armed men from a village in northern South Sudan two weeks ago remain forcibly recruited as child soldiers, despite intensive efforts to locate and free them.

One week ago UNICEF reported that 89 children preparing for exams were forcibly recruited as child soldiers, but the organization now believes the number of children may be in the hundreds.In addition, adult males were also forcibly recruited during the February 15 and 16 raid.

Following information provided to a team of staff from UNICEF and UN Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism partners, UNICEF is confident that the armed group which took the children was a Shilluk Militia under the control of Johnson Oloni. This militia is aligned with the Government’s SPLA forces.

In an intensive information gathering exercise, both in Juba and in Upper Nile State (where the seizures took place), UNICEF and MRM partners have tried to piece together what happened during and after the raid and to discover the location of the children. A formal UN Monitoring Report of a grave violation of child rights is being prepared. One of the challenges hamperingevidence gathering has been a heavy militia presence remaining in Wau Shilluk, thus making itimpossible to receive first-hand information.

However, from reports received so far it is becoming clear the children are not together in a single group. UNICEF understands some of the children – including some of the school boys -were allowed back into their village to eat with their parents and in some instances some childrenwere allowed to go to school. They were then taken away again at night.

In discussions with the SPLA in Melut it was confirmed the forced recruitment of the children took place and many of the children were being sent to Melut. Witnesses also stated many children have been seen in a training camp near Wau Shilluk and that in Melut children as young as 12 years old were seen carrying guns but not in uniform.

The SPLA stated that the Johnson Oloni militia was outside its control.

UNICEF Representative in South Sudan, Jonathan Veitch said when you put all these different witness reports together a strong picture emerged that the children may have been about to bedispatched to fight at Kaka, about forty five minutes north of Melut by boat.

“We fear they are going from the classroom to the front line,” said UNICEF’s Representative in South Sudan, Jonathan Veitch. “UNICEF appeals to Johnson Oloni to let those children go back to school and be with their families, immediately.”

Veitch also urged the Government of South Sudan to use whatever influence it had to secure the children’s release

]]> 0
A Former rebel official pushes for independent Akobo Fri, 27 Feb 2015 09:13:39 +0000 A former spokesperson for South Sudanese armed opposition faction, Lul Ruai Koang says separating Akobo county from Jonglei state will help improve the security situation within its neigbouring communities.

JPEG - 12.8 kb
The map of Jonglei in red

Speaking at press briefing in Juba, Koang said the population in Akobo was enough for creation of a separate entity, and that the police would tackle cattle thefts and revenge attacks.

“Akobo has enough population to make a separate administrative area like Pibor. You know very well that creation of Greater Pibor Administrative Area has significantly reduced issues of insecurity and we are seeing the dividends of having a separate administration from greater Pibor administrative area,” he told reporters on Thursday.

“Before getting their own administration, there used to be a lot of security. There was insecurity was everywhere,” added Koang, citing insecurity cases that allegedly existed in Central Equatoria, Eastern Equatoria [state] as well as greater Bor and greater Lou Nuer areas.

He further explained that Pibor has its own area police force and was now very stable.

“All security operators at state level were given to them; the sense of ownership came in and they make sure that they cease insecurity with the neighbors,” Koang stressed.

The former rebel spokesperson announced his unexpected defection from the armed opposition forces at a news conference organised in Nairobi, Kenya last week.

He formed his own movement to negotiate for creation of Akobo state like Greater Pibor Administration Area, but government is yet to officially comment on his demand.

Currently, Akobo county remains under the control of the armed opposition faction.

]]> 0
South Sudan police Beef Up Security As 12 People Are Killed. Fri, 27 Feb 2015 09:02:58 +0000

South Sudan’s police said it intensified its patrol movements in Central Equatoria state following the killing of 12 people, including a soldier, in Lainya along the Juba-Yei highway.

Police spokesperson,

Col. James Monday told reporters that security situation along Juba-Lainya-Yei

was improved with more police forces deployed to patrol the road.

“Everything has been put under control now. More and more police forces are patrolling the road.

There is no more fighting.

The road is now fully secured and vehicles are moving normally”, he said on Thursday.

He attributed the cause of the deaths to misunderstandings between two cattle keeping communities, without elaborating further.

Juba county commissioner,

Stephen Wani said fighting started on Tuesday and continued to Wednesday when reinforcement was sent to separate the warring sides.

“Actually, the total number of people killed,

according to the reports we have received from the local people were 11,” he said, adding “This number increased to 12 when the body of a soldier was found,”.

Central Equatoria’s information minister, Samuel Suba said the situation was now calm.

]]> 0
Machar Calls on Kiir to engage ln Direct Negotiations In Addis Ababa,,, Fri, 27 Feb 2015 08:53:29 +0000

February 26, 2015 (ADDIS ABABA) – South Sudanese former vice-president and rebel leader, Riek Machar, has called on his counterpart, president Salva Kiir, to “pack his suitcase” and come to Addis Ababa for direct negotiations with him in order to quickly resolve major sticking points and end the 14-month long civil war in the country.

JPEG - 9.7 kb
South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar (L) gives a joint press statement with Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta in the capital, Nairobi, on 30 May 2014 (ST)

This came a week after president Kiir failed to show up at the venue for the opening of the last round of the peace talks mediated between the two warring parties by the East African regional bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

On 1 February before going for a three-week break, the two principals agreed to resume direct negotiations on 20 February so as to resolve the outstanding issues and sign a final peace agreement by 5 March dateline imposed by the IGAD mediation.

In a press statement he issued on Thursday, 26 February, Machar who leads the rebel faction of the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO) slammed president Kiir for lack of commitment to end the war, saying he had been waiting in Addis Ababa hoping to resume and finalize the negotiations and beat the dateline.

“The final phase of the IGAD led peace process started on February 20th 2015 and I have been waiting here in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It is now one week and president Salva Kiir has not shown up for the peace talks,” lamented the rebel leader.

He said he was committed to peaceful resolution to the conflict which has raged on for 14 months, hailing the efforts exerted by the IGAD mediation to end the bloodshed.

The former vice-president said the war has resulted into untold suffering of the people and that there was need to resolve the issues by the two top leaders before 5 March.

“This is not the time to procrastinate but to expedite the peace agreement such that our people rebuild their lives in peace and harmony.”

“It is time to restore law and order in South Sudan,” he said.

He called on president Kiir to heed the cries of the people of South Sudan, adding together the two principals would “quickly workout the terms of the peace agreement.”

IGAD mediators have given 5 March as the dateline to reach a final peace deal, saying this round was the last chance for the warring parties.

Ambassador Seyoum Mesfin, IGAD chief mediator and chairman of the special envoys for South Sudan in a statement during the opening of the talks decried the absence of president Kiir from the venue and called on Juba’s top executive to travel to Addis Ababa for direct negotiations with the rebel leader.

Issues yet to be resolved within the one-week remaining timeframe include governance, political and institutional reforms, security arrangements, economic reforms, leadership structure and power-sharing ratios, accountability and reconciliation and public service reforms.

However, talks have been polluted by reports of resumed violence in Upper Nile and Unity states in violation of the cessation of hostilities agreement signed since 23 January 2014 by the two warring parties.

This is amidst fresh accusations by Khartoum against Kampala, saying 16,000 Ugandan troops allied to president Kiir’s government were being deployed at the Sudanese border in Unity and Upper Nile states to help fight against Machar’s rebels. Khartoum warned this could result to intensified war around the border areas.

South Sudanese rebels have been calling on Kampala to withdraw its troops from South Sudan in accordance with the cessation of hostilities agreement, accusing the foreign troops of interference in the internal conflict.

President Museveni has so far not heeded to the call, arguing that Juba would collapse should his forces withdraw from the country unless an alternative regional force was deployed.

]]> 0
The Chinese government has formally indicated that it supports China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), Thu, 29 Jan 2015 11:28:37 +0000 The Deputy Director General in the Chinese Ministry of Transport, Tang Guomei told a Parliamentary select committee investigating controversies surrounding the deal that the Chinese Transport Ministry recommended CHEC to build the Standard Gauge Railway.

They met at the Chinese Transport Ministry headquarters on Monday 26th January 2015.

The committee led by Nakifuma County MP Robert Kafeero Ssekitoleko was seeking clarity on the capacity of CHEC to handle the project.

“The Ministry of Transport only recommended CHEC and does not know any other company but they could have had their own way of competing to get the contract,” she noted.

Commenting on the capacity of CHEC to handle such a project, Guomei revealed that CHEC has the capacity to mobilise resources since they had a long standing relationship with the Chinese Import and Export Bank, China Bank of Development and several commercial banks that support Chinese contractors in securing contracts overseas.

The technical capacity of CHEC has been one of the points of dispute after some witnesses told the Committee that its expertise lies in bridges and harbours-but not railway lines.

Robert Kafeero Sekitoleko, the select Committee chairman, said that Uganda is interested in many Chinese companies but they need to do their work transparently and competitively.

The deal to construct the railway triggered controversy when State Minister for Works John Byabagambi cancelled an understanding with China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) and picked China Harbour Engineering Corporation (CHEC) to construct the eastern railway line.

museven kiil and kagame

CCECC then went to court seeking justice in what they called unfair withdrawal of contract but later on withdrew the case.

Later four MPs led by Lwemiyaga County Theodore Sekikubo petitioned Parliament citing flaws in the procurement process.

Members of the Committee who are in China till 31st January 2015 include the Committee Chair Robert Kafeero Ssekitoleko, Kalaki County MP Clement Ongalo Obote , Sheema District Woman MP Rosemary Nyakikongoro, Kumi County MP Patrick Amuriat, Ibanda North MP Xavier Kyooma and Amuria District Woman MP Suzan Amero.

]]> 0
First of more than 2,000 child soldiers freed in South Sudan.. Thu, 29 Jan 2015 11:20:10 +0000 There is freedom at last for more than 200 child soldiers in South Sudan.

This is the first of more than 2,000 children expected to be disarmed and reunited with their families as part of a peace deal.

The government of South Sudan signed an accord with the leader of a militia in the troubled Jonglei State.

The child soldiers, aged between 11 and 17, are to be released in stages over the next few weeks.

The UN Children’s Fund estimates that some 12,000 children have been recruited by South Sudanese armed groups in the past year.

]]> 0
American tycoon sponsors 15 S. Sudanese teachers Sun, 11 Jan 2015 11:22:34 +0000 At least 15 South Sudanese secondary school teachers have been selected for a four-month training course at the United States-based Arizona University. January 7, 2015 (JUBA) – 

Edward Eisele, an US-based tycoon, will sponsor the teachers under South Sudan Fellow Education program.

The initiative offers opportunities for educators to enhance their skills and leadership, which are essential for developing the new nation.

The teachers, education officials said, will head to Arizona State’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College and participate in “preparing South Sudan’s next generation of educational leaders” program.

JPEG - 32.7 kb
Teachers graduating after in-service training in Malek secondary school in Bor.

South Sudan’s education minister, John Gai Yol, said the scholarship would benefit more South Sudanese students when the teachers return at the end four months-long training focusing on in-depth curriculum development and other aspects like teacher leadership, equity, technology, and effective instructional methods.

He said teaching was no longer an attractive profession due to low pay, but promised that the education ministry would do everything possible to change this trend.

“Educating more children would help stamp out the sectarianism and tribal- based violence that emerged during the one year old conflict,” he stressed.

Umia Elijah Waren, one of the beneficiaries, said government should position long term strategies to address existing gaps in the education sector by developing teachers.

“The American people and the other people will not continue to take people outside [the country] because it is very costly,” said Waren, a teacher from Juba Girls’ secondary school.

“I think the ministry could look at ways certain resource centers could be put in here and then the few can be used to get this information benefit the bigger part of the country,” he added.

Michael McCarthy, the deputy chief of mission at the United States Embassy in Juba, congratulated the fellows.

McCarthy said American tycoon knows the significance of nurturing more well-trained teachers to support South Sudanese children.

“He could have done anything with this money. He could have, I don’t know, bought a hotel but you know what, he didn’t do that. He chose to spend that money on you because he has faith in you,” he said.

The 15 teachers, among them two females, will return to the young nation in May.

Recent studies reportedly showed that education was one of the main priorities for the people of South Sudan as communities see it as the most important peace dividend.

Sadly, however, South Sudan’s education indicators remain among the worst in the world, despite increases in school enrolment over the past few years. It is estimated that more than one million primary school aged children, mostly from rural areas, are not in school, while the few schools that do exist are not conducive to learning.

]]> 0
Sudanese-born footballer makes history in Australian league.. Sun, 11 Jan 2015 11:15:32 +0000 April 19, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – Majak Daw will make history on Sunday when he steps out on the field, becoming the first Sudanese-born footballer to play in the Australian Football League (AFL).

JPEG - 19.4 kb
Majak Daw is the first Sudanese-born footballer to play in Australia’s professional league (HERALD SUN)






The former refugee, who fled Khartoum with his parents and eight brothers and sisters, will debut for North Melbourne against Brisbane in the Victorian state capital.

It’s a rare feel-good story out of Sudan, which usually hits the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Majak’s mother Elizabeth said the entire family would be at Etihad Stadium for the game, along with another 40 extended family and Sudanese community members.

The 22-year-old will also be cheered on by young Sudanese refugees from Melbourne’s gritty outer suburbs where Daw grew up and is already considered an inspiration.

“Coming from another country and having the experiences of what my family has gone through has shaped me. I’m very proud of my culture”, Daw said in an interview with the Herald Sun on Thursday.

“There are a lot of Sudanese community here in Melbourne. I think they look up to me and I take ownership to do the right thing”, he added.

Daw arrived in Australia in 2003 after the family spent three years in Egypt waiting for their visas to be processed. His family settled in the Wyndham Vale municipality, about 36km from inner-city Melbourne, and also home to a large number of newly-arrived Sudanese and first-generation immigrants from other Horn of Africa countries.

At the Wyndham Vale Football Club, Sudanese players made up half of the under-18 team last year.

Daw, who has been playing AFL since he was 14, was first inspired to take up the sport after a language tutor took him to watch a game.

Daw has been waiting three years and three games for his chance to start in the professional league.

His club announced his selection earlier this week via Twitter, using the tongue-in-cheek hashtag: “Majak Happens”.

However, Daw was making headlines even before his selection, becoming the first Sudanese Australian to be drafted to an AFL club after he was contracted to North Melbourne in 2009. His signing made news around the world, with his story aired on the BBC and Voice of America.

In an interview with BBC after his signing, Daw said he hoped his efforts would encourage other African migrants to integrate more into mainstream society.

“When I first started a lot of my Sudanese friends, the boys, they weren’t a fan of me playing footy, they tend to hang around the Sudanese people, just one area,” he said.

“I kept on telling them you need to get out and explore and know these people, because you’re going to be living here all your life – you’re not going to be with the Sudanese people the whole time”, he added.

Although Daw has been praised for his on-field brilliance, his progression to the national league was not without its challenges.

Early on, the rookie struggled to overcome his ungainly style, with coaches questioning whether he had what it takes to compete at the highest levels, while an off-field indiscretion last year, in which he lied about going partying while injured, led to a suspension.

The AFL is the most popular sporting league in Australia and currently consists of 18 teams spread over five states.

Also known as ‘Aussie rules’, the sport is renowned for its athleticism and high-energy physical contests.

Although Majak was born in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, his family are from the Dinka tribe, the largest ethnic group in South Sudan – which split from north Sudan in 2011.

]]> 0
3 people injured in a shootout among personal guards of West Darfur governor.,, Sun, 11 Jan 2015 11:12:15 +0000 January 10, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – Three guards were injured in armed clashes which erupted among the personal guards of the governor of West Darfur state, Haydar Galu Koma, in his house in the state’s capital of al-Geneina.

JPEG - 24.2 kb
Pro-government janjaweed militiamen on top of a heavily armed pickup patrol the main road out of the Kirinding-2 refugee camp at the outskirts of Al-Geneina, April 24,07 (Reuters)

Security sources told Sudan Tribune that gunfight broke out on Wednesday among the governor’s bodyguards following an altercation, saying that three guards were injured and one of them is in a serious condition.

The same sources said the incident was caused by sharp differences which emerged between the Secretary General of the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM), Bahar Idriss Abu Garda, and the LJM chairman al-Tijani al-Sissi on the implementation of the security arrangements of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD).

Recently, Abu Garda was accused by al-Sissi’s partisans of delaying the implementation of the security arrangements and obstructing the registration of the former rebel group as political party ahead of April general elections.

From his side, LJM secretary general blamed al-Sissi for weakness in his relation with the ruling National Congress Party (NCP). Also, his friend and minister of reconstruction, and Infrastructure in Darfur Regional Authority (DRA) Tadjadine Bechir Niam, denounced the failure of the authority to carry out its mandate and alluded to corruption in the implementation of recovery projects.

He further accused al-Sissi of dispatching elements that are not members of the group to the Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) camps.

Galu Koma, who is the head of the security arrangement committee, oversaw the integration of 2800 LJM fighters into the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) last December at Abu-Domaya training camp.

The DDPD was finalized at the All Darfur Stakeholders Conference in May 2011 in Doha. In mid-July the Sudanese government and the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) led by al-Sissi signed a protocol agreement committing them to the document.

]]> 0