Home | News    Friday 9 January 2009

Islamic increase perceived in Wau as life is routine

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By Manyang Mayom

January 5, 2009 (WAU) – Islam is spreading in Wau as over 14 mosques are available to Muslims for prayers.

Wau, the state capital of Western Bhar-El-Gazal, is a centre for three states that include Lakes, Warrap and Northern Bhar-El-Gazal state (Aweil).

The state has been culturally diverse since the war period and earlier. Many tribes assembled in Wau during the war period between the Khartoum regime and the former rebel army the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement (SPLA/M). Wau is part of three counties that include Raja, Jur-River, Jur-Luo and Wau Central County.

According to ex-chief of Islamic religious affairs in Rumbek Mosques, Sheik Yousif Mabor Majak, Islam in Wau is mostly accepted by the local community and Islamic organizations are going to provide more education. They will also include training for Islamic elders for South Sudan. He said that Islam is going to compete in more activities before everything in Southern Sudan.

Wau town also has nine mosques proving training to over 600 children for Quran reading.

In 1997, the SPLA tried to capture Wau but the late SPLA/M leader Dr. John Garang De Mabior refused the assault and said that Wau is the bridge between SPLA and the Khartoum government and if we capture Wau, then we will have cut off the communication network between SPLA and the government which is not correct to happen as Southern Sudan is not a separate country from Northern Sudan. Therefore, many SPLA commanders felt unhappy.

The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) of 2005 grants everyone in Sudan the right for freedom of religion, “and we have to make use of religion for solving problems in Sudan," said Sheik Majak.

“Religion is the belief between you and your own God whom you trust will provide you with everlasting peace," said Majak.

But the town also has a large Christian presence, as demonstrated on Christmas, when large crowds turned out to celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ.

Nevertheless, Majak said he recognizes Wau town as a centre for peace among all ten states of Southern Sudan. “We only feel peace in Wau and rest of the other states like Lakes state, Warrap, Aweil, and Bor, indeed we really have no concern there because there is no strong Islamic preaching,” he said.

He noted that in Southern Sudan only Warrap state has no mosque, since the one mosque was bombed during the war period and has not been renovated because the state government harasses Muslims in the areas.

INFRASTRUCTURE

Infrastructure in Wau is very good; roads and electricity are provided 24-hours a day by the government while security in Western Bhar-El-Gazal state is very accurate. The state assembly of Western Bhar-El-Gazal state is not built but since 2008, the state assembly has passed just two bills, said the assembly clerk.

The state even is wealth enough to have a place where animals are kept as a zoo. In Christmas, about 200 animals are shown for free in the Wau zoo. The zoo is seriously guarded by wildlife staff.

According to NGO officials, Northern Bahr El-Ghazal gets clean water supplied from about 200 hand-pumps dug within Wau town and villages as well have about 100 hand-pumps. The state government of Wau is planning to extend electricity to the rural areas but a survey has not yet reached the rural areas.

Furthermore, everyone in Wau is busy building concrete houses and fences that are built with band bricks. Meanwhile, the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) has built a fence and good offices in Wau town.

The UNMIS also have what are called "quick impact projects," which usually support the local community for funding any project dispatching peace activities and upgrading venerable people in the areas.

MARKET

Wau market is regulated by laws; no businessman can hike up his price of his own will like in Lakes state and Warrap state. There are bars in Wau and all drinking is designated for evening hours. Tobacco (tobacco chica), which is export from Egypt to Sudan, has conquered Western Bhar-El-Gazal state as the majority of youths and elders are found at evening gathering at one place to smoke this tobacco chica. Police try to stop smoking of chica but to no avail.

SPORT

The Western Bhar El-Gazal state is the foremost in sport among the ten states of Southern Sudan. They win CPA golden gift in 2007 CPA anniversary in their own hometown and indeed also the win match in 2008 in North Sudan state of Dongola in different games. The Governor of Western Bhar-EL-Gazal state H.E. Lt. Gen Mark Nyipuoc Obang requested that Wau inhabitants turn out in Wau for the welcoming of players in Wau airport in 2008 while policemen used the brass band. The day players arrived was declared to be a holiday.

The state government of Wau provides a cultural theater whereby drama, actors and other music bands demonstrate their activities. The room entering to the theater is one main door and everyone small or big is asked to pay an entrance fee which is only five pound Sudanese. Police control the fence while security agents secretly enter for free of charge to secure the grounds.

TRANSPORT AND HEALTH

Over 50 percent of travellers in Wau use motorcycles, 40 percent use bicycles and 10 percent use land-cruiser cars and trucks making business. The United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) really supports the local community in health and sanitations works. They also provide medicine.

UNMIS is deeply involved in bringing peace to the local clan that disputed for several years.

Meanwhile, the maintenance of health care units remain a collaboration among the state government and local NGOs in Western Bhar-El-Gazal state, as well as IRC, UNICEF, Red cross, Oxfam, though they failed to provide drugs sometimes.

The state hospital owned by the government of Wau has little equipment and few professional doctors as midwives are common. There are training supported by NGOs that help the state government to maintain a few qualified staff to run the state hospital with commitment. “The birth period has have killed more the 1 percent of women here in Wau," said midwife Deborah Martin.

People who brought here with gunshot wounds and those beaten in the head with black sticks are no longer common like during the war period. Now with the adoption of peace, the cultures of Wau have changed from ones of war into cultures of peace.

“We are not worried for any harm but God is out protecting because our youth are having no AK-47 in the areas," said Peter Juma. He affirmed that police, military and the joint integrated unit (JIU) are our protections here in Wau.

COMMUNICATION

The state is nice in communication, it has five network system that include; Gemtel, Sudani, Mobitel, Sudantel and MTN network. The rural areas are still using African traditional passing of information from man to man. Civilians are used to carrying mobile phones daily to communicate with their relatives both inside and outside the country.

There are also a lot of challenges in buying the scratch card for phone in Wau town; the card priced at 10 pounds is auctioned out for 13 pound. All scratch cards are set at a fixed price from the industrial unit but local businessmen increase the prices for the cards, which they usually bring from Khartoum.

(ST)

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 9 January 2009 06:50, by Gatwech

    It looks as if Islam is going to spread like a wild fire in Greater Bahr el Ghazal in the next few years. Did late John Garang really refused to capture Wau, or did he fail to capture it? I thought late Kerubino Kwanyin attacked the town with the intent to capture it which failed and resulted to massacre of the people of Bahr el Ghazal by the SAF forces in 1998.

    repondre message

    • 9 January 2009 08:41, by Timdor

      Its right for every one who wants to Worship whoever he/she thinks God to him/her.That’s not a big matter for our struggle towards Independence of South Sudan but Gatwech! do not allow me to be tempted to count all the mosques in Western Upper Nile with its Mecca mosque in Rubkona.

      Garang said it with faith that Wau should not be captured and it was not a failure.You should ask yourself how many mportant towns were captured during that period of military campaign????? Wau could have gone alone without being attacked seriously like other Towns.

      You will not understand it because there were no towns captured in Western upper Nile due to your support for Khartoum government during that period when the conept of Militia intensified in Western upper Nile.

      To Shiek Majak Of lakes state, don’t worry about other states: Warrap is already led by a muslim governor and he has already put a plan to make sure that mospues are built as soon as possible to meet with warrap MDG of 2015 as mosques are basic needs for the communities of warrap state.

      Next time when you come to Kuajok,you will hear the roaring of your Imams 5Km away from the town like wild lions in the forest and get welocmed with Ibirigs for washing up yourself!!!

      By Timdor

      repondre message

      • 10 January 2009 14:54, by Gatwech

        Timdor,

        It is not time to entertain the readers with the typical Dinka lies on this web. No Dinka commanders captured major towns, but the Nuer and others like Equatorians and Shilluk did. You were hiding in Itang refugee camp and other camps in Kenya and Uganda. Don’t deceive the world that the Dinka fought a war. The fact that late John Garang used a remote control from Nairobi and Kampala in fighting the war is different from the real frontline battles. But for someone like you, you think it is the same. In Western Upper Nile, ask the President Omer AlBashir how it was fighting Riek Machar’s forces in Mayom, Unity state. Let him explain to you how he got shot in his leg by Dr. Machar’s forces he directly commanded. No body from you coward commanders had ever came across SAF’s commanders in real battles. So you are not equal to claim others’ successes. You lie of Wau as simply spared by Garang when it just resulted to the massacre of tens of thousands of Bahr el Ghazal civilians when Kerubino Kwanyin tried to capture it as planned by John Garang himself. ARe you saying that you captured Juba, Malakal and only refused to capture Wau, another regional capital? Stop you cheap lies, they are known world wide!!!!

        repondre message

        • 11 January 2009 10:49, by Timdor

          To:Gatwech!

          Few corrections on your comments: If you look again at my commnet over yours,two things bothered me..
          1.Spread of Islam to Bhar el Ghazal areas and
          2.Kherubin K.Bol attacked Wau

          I tried to answer the first statement as it had bothered me a lot but just ignore the second statement as it was a big lie and i thought you would analyse it critically becuase how would you say Kherubino attacked Wau while he was based in the Town with all its forces as a rsult of Khartoum Peace agreement of 1997 in which he was signatory to the agreement.However,the agreements call for all its forces to assembled in Gogrial Town and Wau as they were government garrison towns and they have to fight SPLA forces throughly in Bhar El Ghazal while Riek forces do the same thing in Upper Nile. Kherubin became the C-in-c for GATRRY-Wau forces which translates into:Gogrial,Aweil.Tonj,Rumbek,Raja,Yirol and Wau forces which were supported by Khartuom Government.

          Any way,i do not want to caputre your attention but just to bring you on the right track as we post realities to the readers.

          Regarding the caputring of Towns,Garang participated fully in most battles though he used to be in Nairobi most often.

          I do not need to mention some commanders which captures which towns but history can tell my friend. If you mention the names of those commanders and the areas they had captured then i would be happy with you as we struggle to dig out the realities. I mean SPLA commanders not the militia ones wih the areas they have captured!

          I may not ask Bashir of what had happended in Western upper Nile because i do not have his contacts but Reik participated fully in the struggle for Liberation of South Sudan but got mess up with the herat of defaction which denies him of his good deeds. And some one defacting from the government garrison cannot be said that he attacked Wau..

          By Timdor

          repondre message

  • 9 January 2009 07:28, by Mr Famous Big_Logic_Boy

    Culture that the dinkas had learnt from Arabs and they are now beliving in it. I don’t even think that this junglese has anything to do with, they are food lover that is all. What they know is food not terrorism. But its good to see that they are enjoy themselves in South not in slavery company with their ensalve arabs.

    repondre message

    • 9 January 2009 09:14, by James

      Ceng da buk pel ngang!!!

      In which arabs want mobilize us.

      I my seft I don’t believe that Islamic can be transferring to Southern Sudan (Warrap-Kuajok) as we can see now arabs want us to follows his culture but, we didnot seeing this one properly,
      Don’t let the hyiena to entering in the house first!!!!!!!!!!

      We never accepted this mobilize in our Coutry which is Southern Sudan (Warrap-Kuajok).

      repondre message

      • 9 January 2009 10:07, by Hakuna Matata

        what a crap? islam is coming to the south! soon we will have home grown terrorist/jihadist who will be waging jihad against innocent people.
        let the black muslim go to the north! we dont want them!

        Gatwech

        you are trying by all means to discredit Dr. Garang on all that he had achieved! even Arabs, our swon enemies, will tell you that Garang make Sudan to be what it is today and not your traitor of a uncle. please rejoint the SAF for the second time to fight SPLA. internet war will do you nothing!

        cheers

        repondre message

        • 9 January 2009 11:16, by Gatbentiu

          Islam is amongst the world largest Religions,in my view its not wrong to be accepted in Wau as we have freedom of worship in Sudan,and it can not worry the triblistics individuals,any way am not a muslim but I was taught to respect anything sybolized by its beleiver as "God".I have my own religion to follow I can not force people to accept it and i will not be force to accept other people’s religion,Forcing people to accept other people beleive is what jalaba called "Jehad" which can not happen in christianity,let it be individual understanding to accept Jesus Christ as their personal saviour.

          dholbentiu@gmail.com

          repondre message

          • 9 January 2009 19:14, by philip Lukudu

            There is no freedo of worship as some people wants one to believe especially in the northern Sudan.Take for instant,the changing of anglican church closer to republican palace in Khartoum and the comfistication of catholic club also opposite Khartoum airport.You need to watchout for these black muslims.

            repondre message

        • 9 January 2009 23:17, by Toang Tiach Tot

          the people of southern sudan should not accept Islam because of money given to them by Arabs this money are our own money how can they convert us with our oil’s money .ISLAM is not a religion of freedom because all the muslims force people to go on their own way of believes and life .the people of south sudan should not accept Islam if they don’t want to invite terrorism
          Let those individuals go to North sudan early before independent because there will be no room room for Islamic religion in the land of real black African

          repondre message

  • 10 January 2009 12:10, by peter wade

    Hi Journalist Manyang Mayom, God has give you a power of his own. Thank you going deep to write new story that out government never having any ideas, You have done well in Wau on this story. it is showing that Mark the Governor of Wau is doing nothing abut not really nothings because religion is for everyone concern.

    I appeal to SOuth journalists to write like Manyang who alway create chapter new. this is really journalist work. I named Manyang today the second hero for Southern Sudan for Truth. His name is Mr. South Sudan truth.

    God guide us and peace for everyone who is reading this comment

    repondre message

  • 10 January 2009 14:54, by Gatwech

    Timdor,

    It is not time to entertain the readers with the typical Dinka lies on this web. No Dinka commanders captured major towns, but the Nuer and others like Equatorians and Shilluk did. You were hiding in Itang refugee camp and other camps in Kenya and Uganda. Don’t deceive the world that the Dinka fought a war. The fact that late John Garang used a remote control from Nairobi and Kampala in fighting the war is different from the real frontline battles. But for someone like you, you think it is the same. In Western Upper Nile, ask the President Omer AlBashir how it was fighting Riek Machar’s forces in Mayom, Unity state. Let him explain to you how he got shot in his leg by Dr. Machar’s forces he directly commanded. No body from you coward commanders had ever came across SAF’s commanders in real battles. So you are not equal to claim others’ successes. You lie of Wau as simply spared by Garang when it just resulted to the massacre of tens of thousands of Bahr el Ghazal civilians when Kerubino Kwanyin tried to capture it as planned by John Garang himself. ARe you saying that you captured Juba, Malakal and only refused to capture Wau, another regional capital? Stop you cheap lies, they are known world wide!!!!

    repondre message

  • 11 January 2009 19:08, by Deng Baak Kuot

    I have seen this Islamic’s influence is an inevitable,and I think we need a carefully analysis to this kind of institution.I do not hate ISlam,but their extremism creates hatred among the people.
    Therefore, I do not want to see this in the nearest future because we had enough for last twenty-one years. I hope our brothers who are feeling that this is a part of development in the region; do not teach hatred within our communities.
    I believe their collaboration with the our fellows’Sudanese from Northern part of country do not tend to destabilise in the Greater Bhar el Gazelle. Hence, our Northerners are known of division and rule that has been their successiful objectives for decades. some people include myself have a big concerned when we read and hear such a development. It reminds us of other away to deprivation Justice and equality to choose away again.I hope that people outside there will hear the voiceless’s people. our brothers who are working in this institution should think twice and put priority of innocence people first before their interest. As a result, they will be the victim of this kind of development in our society.

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