The Aweil palaces


I live in a concrete hut in Aweil, much like my one in Juba.  It’s rare to find a concrete structure here, particularly in Maper, where I’m moving to in two weeks: Maper is a suburb of Aweil built since 2008, with continuing land demarcation and disputes, and a population getting back on its financial feet following – for most – a huge family relocation.

The limited (expensive) concrete there is in Maper is invested in small, generally one-room boxes, with tin roofing and options for expansion, thanks to exposed brickwork and straggling metal wires coming out of walls.  But in the expanses of un-fenced land around Maper and Apada (another returned community), in the immediate surrounds of the small Aweil town, there are huge monuments to the joys of concrete and reflective glass windows.

These massive buildings – called palaces by some locals – are the holiday homes of Juba elites.  Apparently, allegedly, one belongs to the bodyguard of President Salva Kiir, and another to the top man of the gravelling company mining at Jebel Kujur.  I’ve taken quick snaps from buses as I’ve gone by.  Outside of the ministries area of Aweil town, they are some of the few signs of the hakuma here.






Filed under Africa, Current affairs, South Sudan, Travel

2 responses to “The Aweil palaces

  1. Observer

    Vulgar displays of greed. So much for ‘freedom.’ The ‘mining company’ at Jebel Kujur is run by the nephew of Salva Kiir who is a shareholder and has built palaces around the world, including Aweil his hometown. Frustrating that Western researchers, students and ‘helpers’ pussy-foot around the realities and in some cases collude with ‘Juba’s elites.’

    • I have my name on my blog; maybe you could put your name on your comment? I agree with the vulgarity; these things are often right next to resettled people rebuilding their families under bad tarpaulins and a woven straw mat roof.

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