Thursday, November 30, 2006

Malakal on fire!

Not again!

The militias in South Sudan are at it again. What is the Sudan Armed forces doing supporting the militais? This is yet again the eveident support of SAF and Khartoum to continuous distabilize South Sudan and abandon the CPA.

The fighting in Malakal should be condemned by all peace loving people. We had enough eneough of these militias and they must be disaremed as soon as possible.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Kola Boof: this woman is dangerous!

I have discovered this Sudanese-Egyptian-American poet and feminist! Hilarious!

Her story is one of intrigue: imagine she was Osama Bin Laden's mistress! This lady wrote several novels and poetry collections too.

Check her out here.

Friday, November 24, 2006

From brain drain to brain gain . . .

Are you a Sudanese living abroad? Do you want to go home and serve your country?

The UNDP TOKTEN programme is the best for you. Let us turn the brain drain to brain gain. Your country needs you!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Government of South Sudan should focus on education

The recent report of the UN Rapid Assessment of Learning Spaces (RALS) makes grim reading.

The report said that 758,207 students are enrolled in 2,922 schools across the vast expanse of Southern Sudan, which is struggling to recover from two decades of armed conflict. According to the survey, almost a third of these children still attend classes in the open air.

This should be an eye opener for the government. Education is the backbone of nation building. If we want to achieve a lot and succeed, investment in education is the best insurance for the future.

South Sudan has one of the best universities in the country: Juba University. Although currently It had created some of the elites of the country since inception in 1978, with its medical faculty its pride. It is a cradle of our culture too. The other two univerisities in Wau and Malakal are coming up too.

Efforts must be put into building up the educational infrastructure. GOSS should make it a priority. The RALS data must be made into good use to chart the future.

We blog for Darfur . . .

That needs courage and determination. That is what We blog for Darfur is all about.

I would like to applaud the initiative of these guys at Mideast Youth. That is a small step, but with big effects.

Darfur has been ignored in most of the media. There is little that come out from the region. We need to have concret and reliable information about the events in darfur. The Arab world media is particularly silent.

Let us put our voices together and blog for darfur.

We can definitely make a change!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Bashir in Juba . . . so what?

President Omar el Bashir was in Juba last week. You may ask so what?

Indeed that was the question on everybody's mind. Is that news? Is he there as part of a PR exercise or something sinister?

Just for the record, the last time he visited Juba was for the funeral of Dr John Garang the Mabior, the former SPLM/A Chairman and Vice President who died in a mysterious helicopter crash. That was one year and half ago. He skipped the first anniversary of his death this year in Juba.

The most important element of his visit is the discussion of the militia issues. These militias are really causing headaches to civilians in the South. As per the CPA, there should be no militias. But the government continues to support renegade groups that terrorize civilians. We want to see that stopped. He promised to do just that. Let us hope it happens.

I wish those paliamentarians had asked the right questions: why is the implementation of the CPA going so slowly? Why is the Abyei Border Commission not formed? Why is the Petroleum Commission non-functioning? Vice President Kir should make these things clear.

We want answers, not promises.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The landmine menace in Juba

Life in Juba is getting back to normal, if not for the recent spate of attacks on civilians by unknown gunmen. I believe strongly that things will get better.

However, another real threat to normality is the issue of landmines. The Sudan Armed Forces had planted thousands of these mines in South Suda. They were randomely planted, with no maps of their exact locations. The whole areas around Juba are teeming with them. There are also tons of unexploded ordinances People cannot go back to their fields for cultivation.

It is a big challenge for thos working in demining operations. Areas have to be checked manually meter by meter before they can be certified as cleared. It is going to take ages to do all that.

Meanwhile, life barelly gets back to normal. At least people can get what they want to eat from Konyokonyo market.

According to Landmine Action, each year, up to 20,000 new casualties are caused by landmines and unexploded ordnance: around 1,500 a month and 40 a day. That is very serious indeed.

Black Kush: my next 100 days

What should I be doing in the next 100 days?

I believe it is good practice to set goals, objectives and way to achieving (activities) those aims. So here I go at Black Kush. I want to set my path for the next 100 days. It will be much easier to monitor progress and later evaluate at the end whether there were achievements.

OK, I don't want to sound like a CEO with all SMART objectives and things like that. Plainly stated sentences will do here. After mulling over several ideas and ways of improvements for my blog, I have settled for the following:
  • To represent my opinion as best as I can on issues of interest to South Sudan in particular and Sudan in general
  • To balance different points of view and represent them accordingly
  • To criticize objectively, giving alternative solution where necessary
Wow, that was quiet a mouthful! Believe me, I couldn't even explain all of them if ask. I probably want to show how smart I am! (lol). How do I go about achieving all that? Let me try:
  • By following news coverage about the Sudan and the realationship with the rest of the world
  • By stimulating debate through regular podcast on issues of interests and relevance
  • By revealing some good aspects of our society (Sudan is not only Darfur! There are lots of good things happening here too!)
  • By spicing my posts with anecdotes and lively commentary
  • And lastly, by continuously interacting with other Sudanese bloggers out there!
Phew, that was serious! Am I gonna achieve all that? By the look of things it is not going to be easy.

So 100 days from today, I will invite you to vote whether I have achieved my objectives.

Let the show begin.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Black Kush: my first 100 days!

Black Kush is 100 days today! Hurrah!

It was on August 10th, 2006 that I started my blog. I guess it is time to make some analysis of my work in the last hundred days. Have I achieved what I had set out to do in the first place?

I had posted 50 posts in 100 days, an average of one post every other day. Looking at the toughness of my work and time in working on the net, I guess this is an acceptable target. Considering that there were days or weeks that had gone without a single post before, I consider it an achievement!

I have set also to cover my part of the world or South Sudan to be more precise. I have seen how my world was under represented in the media, or misrepresented too. I covered comments on the Government of South Sudan, criticising and applauding when the need arises. I have checked their activities and what needs to be done. Have I succeeded?

I appreciated the efforts of GOSS to bring peace in South Sudan by supporting peace talks between the Lord Resistance Army (LRA) of Uganda and its government. There will not be peace in the South if the LRA continue to operate.

I had a heart for Darfur, and felt that the world must act to avoid a hunamnitarian disaster of unimaginable scale. I was standing for a UN force in Darfur, knowing that my government is against that. I know AU were underfunded and small force in an area twice the size of Europe. I felt I had too add my voice to the call for sanity. Has it any effect?

Lastly, I want to thank those guys out there who visited my site, posted comments and encourage me by just dropping by. I owe you big, guys.

I especially like to acknowledge the support of Drima, the Sudanese Thinker who always had a word or two. He is one hell of a guy who likes to see Sudanese folks blogging! And I admit am his fun.

I want to go out and celebrate. Tomorrow, I will set out my policy for the next hundred days! Please do come around again! Love to see you here.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Sudan accepts UN's aid in Darfur

Now we are getting some where. President Omar El Bashir had accepted the new hybrid AU-UN force for Darfur.

Let us see where it will take us now. sigh

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Annan opens Darfur conference

The pressure is on. And the mecury is rising.

The AU conference in Addis Ababa on the current situation in Darfur is a welcomed step to solve the carnage. The world is not going to rest until sense is brought back to Darfur. Why should people continue to suffer like this, in world where there is plenty for all. I hope the conference comes up with strong mandates.

The UN force for Darfur is still on the agenda:

"We have not given up the idea of strengthening the force in Darfur," Annan said. "We need to continue our efforts to calm Darfur ... the border area between Chad and Sudan is very fragile and volatile."

A hybrid force, that is. Let them come.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Juba old faithful bridge collapses

What a shame!

The lifeline bridge into Juba collapses under the strain of heavy traffic streaming into the town on 5th November 2006. This old bridge had served the town for many years, resilient to change and tough to the core. But alas, it can take no more.
Pic source: Bente

The fears of Vice President Kir

Salva Kir fears war returns to South Sudan if Darfur crisis continues! Interesting.

This is not news to me. I have already warned here ( BLACK KUSH: Can Darfur undo the CPA? ) that Darfur threatens the fragile peace in South Sudan.

Now the big guy is adding his voice. Let us get a solution quick before all hell break loose again.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Jan Egeland and the LRA

What will it take to bring the Lords Resistance Army rebels of Joseph Kony to drop their guns and go home in peace? The ICC indictment don't seem to work, with the only hope now pitched on the fragile peace talks taking place in Juba.

The UN Head of Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland is putting hope where all else had failed. His meeting today with the elusive rebel leaders showed his commitment to see the carnage in northern Uganda and South Sudan end.

LRA is threatening the peace in South Sudan. The ICC must choose between peace in the Uganda and the workings of international law. If peace in Acholi means forgiving Kony, be it. It maybe hard to bury the hatchet, but the people who suffered most are ready to do anything for the sake of peace. I hope the world is listening.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Who is distabilizing South Sudan?

The situation is worrying in South Sudan. The news circulating that a "New LRA" is functioning in the South is not to be brushed under the carpet. The groups have been carrying out copy-cat killings of civilians similar to the notorious LRA of Joseph Kony.

True, if the government in Khartoum happens to be behind the killings of innocent´civilians, that will be the worse violation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. Why will they do such a thing?

There has always been suspicion about Khartoum. Although the CPA was signed, a number of militias remain loyal to Khartoum. These are the groups which are threatening the peace in South Sudan. These groups must be reined in for stability to prevail.

GOSS must exercise its authority over the whole South Sudan. No rag tag militias must be allowed. A thorough investigation must be carried out. If Khartoum is implicated, the evidence must be made known. All the perpetrators must be brought to justice as soon as possible.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

SPLA must improve security in South Sudan

What is happening in South Sudan? It saddens to hear that yet another group of civilians has been killed.

The security situation in South Sudan is getting worse by the day. The recent spate of killings of innocent civilians travelling the roads around Juba is a big setback in the fragile peace. The SPLM must do something now and urgent. The South Sudan army must be mobilized to rid the bushes of South Sudan of these murderous bundits.

South Sudan has come out of a violent 21 years of war. There is no reason to go back to that horrible past. Those bundits attacking civilians must be rounded up as soon as possible. The SPLA ows the people of South Sudan some protection.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Al Jazeera TV: ten years on

Happy Birthday Al Jazeera TV!

The Arab World's most popular old news TV Channel turns ten years today. This "Arab CNN" was hated by Arab governments, bombed by the USA but loved by over 40 million ordinary Arabs. The channel had seen its reporters killed in crossfire or charged for being members of Al Qaeda (eg. Tayseer Alouni in Spain)

Wherever you stand, you will agree that Al Jazeera is the most popular channel. It had brought the Israeli-Palestine conflict into homes, the gruesome faces of the war in Iraq and Afghanistant and the unpopularity of US policy in the Middle East.

It has also been accused of biasness and fueling anti-West propaganda in the ME. I have watched it for years, and loved and hated it at the sametime too!

We wait and see what their English channel will bring.

Read their english profile here.

Who is Mo Ibrahim?

Can the real Mohammed aka Mo Ibrahim please stand up?

I am getting confused! When the billionaire businessman announced his prize for good governance in Africa, he was both praised and criticised at the same time. But that is irrelevant for me. Is he a Sudanese or an Egyptian, is the question?

Most news outlet refer to him as "Sudanese businessman" born in Sudan in 1946. Read here and here and here! However, Time Europe and the BBC said he was born in Egypt!

I was just wondering whether some guys are playing politics here: that nothing good can come out of Sudan, except for carnage like in Darfur!