Tag Archives: South Sudan

Last week in Juba: photo diary

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The end of the tent: South Sudan National Archives update

20131108_161229_filterQuick update on the South Sudan National Archives, from the African Studies Association conference in Baltimore.

A few months ago, the Ministry of Culture staff, with Dan and me from the RVI, moved the final load of loose paper from the USAID tent where they’d been housed since 2006, their first post-war home.  These were the last of the damaged pages from burst files, which are now waiting for someone who enjoys serious puzzles.

Three weeks ago, when passing, I saw that we were right to get out of the tent.  Temporary in the Juba climate really does mean temporary.

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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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Philosophising on money – returned refugee settlement, Juba

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Money makes the
World dance.
Dance for you
A big dance a
Great waltz
Money breaks mountain
down and irrigated deserts.
Money makes u able to
See well & show u the way
But my friend told
Me that the person
Who loves you
Because you have
Money, that person
Will bite you when
You have no money.
Money make great
Fools wise.
Money is love.
When you have a lots
Of money there re
Too many woman
Who love you.
When you’re poor
There’s hardly
Anyone to love u.
Money can buy
A human being!
Oh money, money
Hundreds of notes
Thousands of dollars &
Pound make u enjoy an
Earthly paradise but
Remember money kill!

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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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Geography, and re-learning Juba

I’ve just moved back to Juba, after a few weeks’ break in the UK, and I’m realising I know very little about this town other than that I can get a $4 sticky toffee pudding for breakfast.

That’s maybe an exaggeration. But in the process of starting up interviews again with returned Khartoum residents around Juba, I’m finding whole new neighbourhoods (and local names) I’ve never heard of before. So now I’m working on building a map of Juba that’s becoming similar to my now-ragged map of Khartoum – complete with arrows, notes and scribbled lines.

my huge Khartoum map being pored over in Apada, Aweil

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Leaving Aweil – last photos

broken

My last few days in Aweil felt quite sad – as I did some last chats with ladies in Apada, said formal goodbyes to people in ministries, and tried to take photos around the town for memories.  Oh, and broke down on the bike a few times.

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