Category Archives: Current affairs

Not an expert

My radio silence could be partly explained by a forthright intercession by a member of the South Sudan Embassy at a SOAS discussion yesterday.

“Self appointed experts on South Sudan [are a big problem at the moment]… [we need discussion to be] made more academic. … [Their comments are how] we are judged”

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Filed under Academia, Current affairs, History, Politics, South Sudan

Dr Peter Adwok Nyaba: South Sudan: The state we aspire to (2013)

The SPLM leadership is paralysed by internal schisms that compound the absence of a shared vision.  The leaders operate individually and without coordination, leading to contradictory public stances. [177]

Reading Dr Nyaba’s latest work – after his The Poltiics of Liberation in South Sudan: An Insider’s View (1997) – is like being slapped quite softly with a long, angry editorial from a man who (as per his reputation) has always been an internal critic.  It is refreshing, surprising – even the Sudd Institute’s briefing papers don’t have this element of anger and disappointment – and timely, despite Dr Nyaba pointing out at the book launch that the text has dated – it was supposed to be released in 2011, but the print run was accidentally sent to Khartoum and impounded.

I am going to do a quick sketch of Dr Nyaba’s main points regarding the SPLM/A in the interim CPA period, which is the meat of the short book, and his criticisms of the future of Southern government and leadership.

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Filed under Current affairs, Politics, South Sudan, Writing

Dr Peter Adwok Nyaba’s new book: notes from the launch

At the launch of Dr Nyaba’s new book, ‘South Sudan: the state we aspire to’, today at the New Sudan Palace hotel in Juba, the panel quite strangely didn’t opt to take questions from the relatively large audience. Instead, we were presented with three speakers: Dr Cirino Ofufo Hiteng, the previous Minister for Culture, Youth and Sports; Professor George Bureng Nyombe, eminent scholar of Bari history; and the Hon. Canon Clement Janda, SPLM member, ECS priest and previous SPLM Envoy for Darfur.

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I’ll admit that panels speaking about a book that the audience hasn’t read, in Juba, tend to be paeans rather than solid recommendations, notes or criticisms on the author’s arguments, and I wasn’t expecting to be overawed – although I was keen to get my hands on a copy. I was enjoyably wrong.

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Filed under Africa, Current affairs, Politics, South Sudan, Writing

Current events in South Sudan: photos from Aweil

governmentreshuffling

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Filed under Current affairs, Politics, South Sudan

Roundup 2: Total tally of “South Sudan Summaries”, this independence day 2013

Positive: McNeish, Vatican, Brookings, Jal.

Negative: DW, UPI, IRIN, everyone who quotes the ‘Friends’.

Most major internationals, like the Guardian and the Economist, went for reporting on the letter from the ‘Friends’, who seem to be trying to stage an intervention (original letter here).  I would recommend reading to the bottom of the Economist, just for the  mental picture of a nightmare bistro dinner conversation, among people who call themselves ’emperor’ apparently in semi-seriousness.

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Filed under Africa, Current affairs, Independence, Politics, South Sudan

Roundup: South Sudan’s two year independence anniversary op-eds

The international news world deals irregularly with South Sudan at the best of times, but every year for three years now, the opinion pieces flood in to mark the anniversary of independence in 2011.  It’s somewhat like receiving end-of-year reports from school.  So, I have gone through this year’s pre-anniversary selection, and summarised their views for you, in the spirit of helpfulness.

And a tally of ‘key issues’ noted:

  • ‘brink of war’: Hilde; Tisdall; IRT; WPR
  • Jonglei: Hilde; Tisdall; al-Jazeera
  • ‘the people’: Hilde
  • Zimbabwe comparison: Tisdall
  • ‘failed state’: al-Ghai; WPR; Luka Biong; Gulf News
  • corruption: everyone
  • oil: everyone

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Filed under Current affairs, Independence, South Sudan

First week in Aweil: photo diary

NHSLTD

Pithy comment on current state of privatisation of public health services in the UK?  No, it’s Nelson’s Hides and Skins LTD.

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Filed under Africa, Current affairs, Domestic bliss, Procrastination, South Sudan, Travel