Home | News    Saturday 15 March 2014

Hundreds of Jonglei children forced to cross Nile to study in Lakes state


March 14, 2014 (BOR) - Hundreds of children from Twic East and Duk counties in conflict-ridden Jonglei state are crossing the White Nile by boat with their families to displaced camps in Mingkaman in Awerial county of Lakes state to access education, parents told Sudan Tribune in Bor.

JPEG - 44.3 kb
People scrabbling to get onto boats to cross from the Jonglei capital Bor to Mingkaman in Lakes state. 9 March 2014 (ST)

In mid-December clashes between soldiers in South Sudan’s capital Juba triggered a conflict that has engulfed much of Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile states pitting rebel forces aligned to former vice president Riek Machar and government forces.

Since the fighting began access to education and other key services have been interrupted or stopped completely since the fighting spread the three states of the Upper Nile region.

Peace talks between the warring factions have so far only brought a shaky ceasefire deal that both sides have violated. The Inter-governmental Authority for Development (IGAD), the East African body mediating the talks has proposed that a regional force is deployed to South Sudan to keep the two sides apart and protect ceasefire monitors.

Sudan Tribune caught up with Ayiik Aguer, a boy, 13, of primary six while crossing with his parents to from Bor to neighbouring Lakes state on Friday.

JPEG - 40.6 kb
A boy spreading cow dung which is burned in the evening to keep cattle warm and ward off mosquitoes. They have no access to education and have to help their parents by keeping cattle in the Toc are of Bor in South Sudan’s troubled Jonglei state. 13 March 2014 (ST)

"We came from Lith Payam [district], I am suppose to be in class six this year. My mother told me that should move to Lakes state to look for school. My sister is here too, she is going to start class seven when we find schools there", said the young boy in his native Dinka language while waiting for the boat in Bor.

Abuk Ayiik, the boy’s mother, said the current crisis in the country was a chance to better education "if one has the ability to move up to Kenya or Uganda camps".

Although the conflict began as the result of a political power struggle within South Sudan’s ruling party, much of the violence has been along ethnic lines between the Dinka, South Sudan’s largest ethnic group and the tribe of the president and the Nuer, whose most prominent figure is Riek Machar.

The violence especially in Bor has reopened wounds between the communities from the civil war that led to independence. In 1991 Machar split from the Southern rebels and his forces attacked Bor killing at least 2,000 local people.

JPEG - 33.2 kb
Two boys who spread cow dung which is burned in the evening to keep cattle warm and ward off mosquitoes. They have no access to education and have to help their parents by keeping cattle in the Toc are of Bor in South Sudan’s troubled Jonglei state. 13 March 2014 (ST)

After reports that Nuer civilians were being targetted in Juba following what the government claim was a coup attempt by soldiers aligned to Machar, Nuer commanders in Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile state mutinied forming the basis of the rebellion, which has also been joined by armed civilians.

Local MPs have estimated that over 2,500 people have been killed in Bor during the recent fighting, but these figures have been not yet been verified.

Ayiik lost her husband in 1992 during Machar’s last split from the SPLM/A.

"Riek Machar thought that he got a way to get rid of Dinka Bor out of this land but he was wrong. If his hatred came because of children levels of education and the number of intellectuals in this places, then more children will get access to education this time. More people from Cuei-Thon to Cuei-Keer [clans of the Dinka Bor] fled to Kenya and Uganda, after this crisis, they will come back educated. There are free schools in the refugee camps, unless one has no financial power go there like me", she said.

Jongelei state’s relief and rehabilitation officials estimate that 50 families cross into Lakes state every day.

The majority of the residents in Bor now are those who came from Duk and Twic East Counties two weeks to avoid attacks by the rebels, which they had been anticipating. Many of these people say they will still cross to the displaced camps in Lakes state if the security situation in Jonglei remains unpredictable in the weeks to come.

There are over 70,000 displaced people in Lakes state, many of whom have come from Jonglei where 140,000 people are currently displaced according to the UN.


Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 15 March 05:09, by omoni jr.

    I only take pitty on kids less than 10 yrs old and most importantly women and elders over 80 yrs old if there are any,but i doubt it. But the rest deserve it.

    repondre message

    • 15 March 07:31, by Mi diit

      Look at those heartless Dinka Bors, the Nuer spared them and instead of thanking the Nuer they now open their filthy mouths thinking that crossing the Nile is a safe haven beyond the reach of Nuer. Why don’t you blame Salva Kiir who started the violence? Ok, we know how you continue to behalf, see you there next time.

      repondre message

    • 15 March 09:28, by Tong dut

      That is how Dinkas are, they like killing each others for nothing,
      Rumbek is the trouble are in south Sudan.They will finished without knowing the reason why they are fighting for?

      repondre message

  • 15 March 10:23, by Andrew Ojok

    I love all south sudanese people affected by war zone and the only way to survive under Nuer conflict tribal will be condemn under umbrellas regimes changes upon by slaughterin and the will be last tribesmen in the country by the end of the day the will be slave too under Riek reaction shames on you gestures Nuer

    repondre message

  • 15 March 16:05, by Kim Deng

    It’s a matter of time before the Mighty Nuer Warriors declare the whole greater Upper Nile as Nuer Empire from Renk to Mading Bor (Ngundeng City) and from Ruweng to Gambella-Pibor.

    repondre message

Comment on this article


The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.

Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis

2015 elections are not a priority for Sudanese 2014-07-23 04:35:55 By Mahmoud A. Suleiman July 22, 2014 - This article comes against the backdrop of the news that reported the announcement of the National Elections Commission (NEC) that it had prepared the (...)

Bashir rests assured laden-burden on the Sudanese people’s shoulders 2014-07-14 06:09:16 By Mahmoud A. Suleiman July 13, 2014 - Omer al-Bashir believes that his continuing in power better protects him from tracking and prosecution by the International Criminal Court (ICC). He clings (...)

Lack of equity: A cause of many conflicts in Africa 2014-07-14 06:05:33 By Francis Ayul Yuar Nyok July 13, 2014 - It should be kept in mind that Africa crisis is not unique, more or less all the countries of the Sub-Sarah Africa are plague with acute poverty and in (...)


Latest Press Releases

Memory, healing and transformation in South Sudan 2014-07-23 05:55:08 Memory, Healing and Transformation in South Sudan A Working Paper by David K. Deng July 2014 Contents Introduction 1 What is memorialization? 2 Timing 2 Risks 3 Principles 3 Integrity 3 (...)

South Sudan: Independence Day marred by ongoing war crimes and looming famine 2014-07-09 01:39:56 AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE 8 July 2014 South Sudan: Independence Day marred by ongoing war crimes and looming famine · Both sides to the conflict committing war crimes and crimes (...)

UN urged to probe alleged cover-ups and manipulations by its mission in Darfur 2014-06-26 05:40:52 Strengthen Peacekeeping Mission’s Rights Reporting, Civilian Protection (New York, June 25, 2014) – The United Nations secretary-general should investigate alleged cover-ups and manipulation of (...)


Copyright © 2003-2014 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.