Home | News    Tuesday 10 April 2012

Jonglei “magician” influential in inter-ethnic conflict


April 09, 2012 (BOR) – A self-proclaimed “prophet from God” in Jonglei state is thought to be having vast influence among local people, according to local officials.

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People displaced by the Jonglei conflict (UN)

Dak Kueth, a Lou-Nuer spiritual leader known locally as a “magician”, has armed youths who are acting as his bodyguards and receives cattle looted from neighbouring tribes, according to ex-abductees.

Kueth is unlike the "spear masters" of other states who use spears in their spiritual practises.

Kuol Deim Kuol, the commander in charge of Operation Restore Peace explained that Kueth in Uror county is the only influential person in the state opposing the disarmament. Kuol alleged that Kueth has instructed his followers to refuse to hand over their arms.

As part of South Sudan’s disarmament programme troops from the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and police began in Jonglei in March.

When the SPLA and police attempted to disarm him at his compound in March, a battle broke out, leading to the death of at least five people.

Former abductees claimed that magician Dak Kueth holds a senior position in Uror county. Nurah Borotus, a woman abducted on 1 January from Pibor county and taken to Uror county managed to escape on 23 January to Waat, the headquarters of Uror, said she was taken to the magician’s home by police afterwards.

“The magician wanted cows from the man who abducted me,” Borotus said. “When I had escaped to police in Waat, I was taken back to the magician home by police. He was convinced by the police that I cannot be given back to the man who abducted me because government will not allow that,” she added.

Borotus was later reunited with her relatives in Pibor county. Speaking to reporters in Bor before her departure to Pibor in February, Borotus said Kueth the magician is well equipped, and owns a satellite phone.

The UN estimated in January that 120,000 people have been displaced by the Jonglei conflict.

On Christmas Eve 2011, 6,000 armed Lou-Nuer youths launched what they described as a retaliatory attack aimed at rescuing their abducted children and women from Pibor county, home to the Murle ethnic group. The Murle responded by counter-raiding in Lou-Nuer areas including an attack in Akobo county on 9 March when 303 people were killed, according to the county commissioner, Goi Joyol.

The SPLA blame the mobilisation of youths from both communities to
attack rival tribes on spiritual leaders like the Lou-Nuer “magician” Dak Kueth.

Disarmament is progressing without resistance apart from “the magician [Dak Kueth] ...who committed atrocities in [Pibor county’s district of] Likuangule” last year, according to Kuol.

Kueth escaped to Ethiopia to evade prosecution, according to Kuol.

Moses Gatkuoth Lony, a member of the Jonglei state legislative assembly representing Uror county who is also the chairperson of peace, human rights and humanitarian affairs in Jonglei, said security forces did not approach the magician skillfully. According to Gatkuoth, all commissioners and members of parliament from Lou-Nuer areas had a meeting in the compound of the spiritual leader and convinced him to voluntarily disarm, to which he allegedly agreed. The SPLA agents reportedly surrounded his compound at night and the fight started, said Gatkuoth.

Gatkuoth said the magicians are “respected for prophesying rains, victories in wars as well as losses. The 1991 White Army marauding on Bor villages, popularly known as the ’Bor Massacre’, is alleged to have been influenced by a magician known as ’wur-nyang’."

Jongei is South Sudan’s largest state. The predominant religions are Christianity, traditional African beliefs and combinations of the both. It has two Christian dioceses of Bor and Twic East headed by bishops Ruben Akurdit and Ezekiel Diing respectively. It is home to six tribes main ethnic groups; Jie, Kachipo, Dinka Bor, Nuer, Anyuak and Murle.

Traditional spiritual leaders are also popular in the Murle ethnic group.

However, the Nuer White Army, a militia which claims to be protecting Jonglei’s Luo-Nuer civilians and cattle from Murle aggression has described their rejection of the leadership structures tradtionally used to mediate such conflicts, describing themselves as a “youth movement”.

A prominent Murle rebel from Pibor, David Yau Yau announced his return to a position of opposition to the government in Juba in April.


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  • 10 April 2012 08:06, by Cobra Bior

    Fuck that, if i were with that magician i would escape with mine. Kuol Diem failed terriablly to disarm murle. 640 guns from former militias of murle? you got to be kidding me. let see when the rainy season begin, those who have given away thier guns will regraded trust me. I know mighty SPLA will leave those civilians vunerable to murle raiders with out any protection even hyena would robe them.

    repondre message

    • 10 April 2012 09:51, by Ruach

      Cobra Bior,
      I 100% agree with you.These 640 guns were given to them by Kuol Manyang to fight Yau-Yau,but they did turn their faces to kill the innocent Lou-Nuer and Dinka Bor.No gun was collected from Murle.One Murle has 5 different types of guns.Kuol dim is not fair,they are accussed of raping women in Bor Counties(many counties of Dinka Bor)

      repondre message

    • 10 April 2012 09:57, by Dinka Dominated SPLA/M

      Cobra Bior
      Go and borrowed magician from Kuath since you are Nuer son of evil man, shameless is always come from Nuer,
      How many time did nuer give it a tried to used magic and they fail, failure is there in your blood no doubt about that,

      repondre message

      • 10 April 2012 14:30, by Cobra Bior

        @ Dinka Dominated SPLA. iam not a failure, i have seen this downside of unfair disarming happening at nuer land Dinka Bor land even warrap land. so iam tryin to tell you guys my experiences. i have no hate against murles. i just dont like loots and stealing and shit. although i lost alot people to murle barbaric then Abrabs i still want to see peace revealing in junglei.

        repondre message

      • 10 April 2012 14:43, by Cobra Bior

        @ Dinka Dominated SPLA. i never been a failure. i joint spla when i was six years old and still its fan. i could have gone to frontline, but i was told by Piang Deng not to becuz i was so young to do so. so bro, i hate talkin tough on the web so just leave it as simple is that. Back to the topic, i have known kuol Dim during Kapoeta battle, i know his thinkin capacity, so let the truth reveal.

        repondre message

        • 10 April 2012 14:58, by Cobra Bior

          Dinka Dominated. if kuol Dim was not after some, why focused his attn. on one lone magician with 15 guns escaped for his life, and acted like he couldnt see these murles roaming in Bor and nuer jungle? to be exact, we will give this chance as "piece of straw broke the Camel back" to kiir and kuol Dim, should murle attack our civilian, Dink Bor can protcet themselves in any way. its easy to got gun

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    • 10 April 2012 09:58, by Madit

      Mr. so called Dak Kueth spiritual leaders are also made to blessed, called rain, stop diseases and not to involved themselves in cattle raiding but who will blame you because you are Nuer spiritual leader who their grandfather cursed them to be the only tribe that will owned cows among other tribes in SS. SHAME ON NUER TIRBE YOU ARE REBELS LIKE YOU LEADERS, FOOD LOVERS LIKE YOUR LEADERS, FOOLS

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    • 10 April 2012 10:00, by Dinkawarrior

      Ho! God have mercy on your people! The so called Nuer NYamnyam Profits are always misleading God’s people. Nuer community need to be shame for themselves, how come for you to decieved youselves about Prophet? there is nowhere on earth except Israel with real Prophets but the rests of the worlds are bunch wolves in sheep’s clothes! Shame on you Nuer!

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  • 10 April 2012 10:27, by Dinkawarrior

    Are bunch of wolves in sheep’s clothes! Shame on you Nuer!

    There is no different between civilized Nuer and the one in Luak. They don’t even say no to an unethical issues that might bring shame to the whole community. The good Nuer you might find, might be the one trained by Dinka people. Believed or not, I can make a reserch about it!

    repondre message

  • 10 April 2012 10:51, by Dinkawarrior

    You can make a reserch about it!Shame is always come out there from Nuer community more than any tribes in South Sudan, runing back and forth to Khartoum and turn against their onwn people. The only thing we will do to them is to Pray so that Jesus Christ could help them! Their sins might turn our country back into darkness. Ho Lord Jesus Christ!Help your lost sheep!

    repondre message

    • 10 April 2012 13:57, by Ruach

      Dinka Warrior
      Jesus Christ does not cooperate with those who insult other pple or tribe.If u are a true christian,u need not talk about the sin committed by another person as no on earth talk or know your sin u ’ve committed.Only Jesus Christ knows how sin u are.Stop hating Nuer for nothing otherwise u are doom

      repondre message

  • 10 April 2012 16:51, by Morthon Akol

    our people of South Sudan, what is wrong with you guys? the government program like disarmament no body can opposed. and by the way who is Mr. Kueth? if he is really a spiritual leader he is the one who suppose to tell people that to give gun to the SPLA not to opposed. what kind of spiritual leader is that? and also is very clear that anybody opposing the SPLA should ues force against that person

    repondre message

    • 11 April 2012 00:27, by allan

      Miss jalaby if u like this magic guy why dont u just give ur mom for one night stand

      repondre message

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