Home | News    Sunday 12 April 2009

Anglican Church of Sudan condemns tribal conflicts in Jonglei

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By Philip Thon Aleu

April 11, 2009 (BOR TOWN) – Bishops of the Anglican Church of the Sudan condemn elements behind tribal clashes in Jonglei State Thursday at a rally prelude to the Good Friday. The faithful thronged Bor Town Freedom Square only to break down when religious leaders exhaust biblical terms in condemning cattle raiding, counter-raiding and child abduction along tribal lines.

Southern Sudanese women sing as they celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ during a holy Easter service in Bor (photo Philip Thon Aleu)

Politicians, whom the Bishops accused of allowing crimes with impunity, never attended the historical religious gathering. The Archbishop of the Church of the Sudan Dr. Daniel Deng Bul leads the mission to the troubled State. Jonglei State is marred with tribal clashes over cattle riches; claiming hundreds of lives monthly - nearing daily in the last few days. The visit also comes in the Holy Week of Easter which marks Jesus’ death and resurrection. The week also ends Lent, the 40-day fasting period.

Bishop Paul Yugusur, the Assistant Bishop of Torit Diocese and the Deputy Chairperson of the (peace) mission leave the door open for the faithful whose tribes mates have link with criminals executing indiscriminate killing; saying:

"If you obey God, He will bring blessing to this land, He will bring a lot of cattle to this State and you will bear a lot of children but if you disobey Him, He will bring curse to you and your generations" but "the choice is yours."

‘LEAVE POLITICIAN ALONE’

Bishop of the Diocese of Bor Rt. Rev. Nathaniel Garang Anyieth believes that politicians have a major role in combating insecurity as well as do the Church preachers.

The (colonial) Britain and Khartoum governments failed to unite Southern Sudan tribes but your government (the Government of Southern Sudan), Nathaniel Garang said, will bring unity.

"But if you (Southern politicians) fail [again] to bring unity, I will pray for the end of thefts and they (masses) will be united," he said. "There are some people among us here who go stealing and pretend to be peaceful. They (criminal) are also protected by their leaders….but this should be told to the politicians who shield criminals that ‘the act must stop.’ For those of you who are Christians, leave these politicians alone," the veteran bishop further said.

Bishops Garang repeatedly calls for thorough prayers and change of habits among the six tribes of Jonglei State; Nuer, Dinka, Murle, Kacipo, Anyuak and Jieng.

Nathaniel Garang is the bishop of Bor Diocese which includes Ayod, Pibor, Twic East and Duk since 1984. He also served as a soldier in the first Southern Sudan guerrilla of 1956 to 1972; the Anya-Anya One (1). Mr. Garang, who currently doubles as the Dean of the Province of the Sudan, is credited for breaking down shrines used to worship gods in the early 1990s converting Bor to Christianity mainly the Episcopal Church of the Sudan (ECS).

The greater challenge facing Jonglei State is the lack of love for one another, the government officials representing state said.

"The absent of loving your neighbour is lacking in Jonglei State. Our government is committed like you (bishops) to bringing peace and security and that is why most of them (politicians) are not here because they are engaged in security meetings," Jonglei State Secretariat General, Duom Werabek said on behave of the State government.

CRIMES WITH IMPUNITY

Archbishop of the Church of the Sudan Dr. Daniel Deng Bul, who is on his first official visit to his home Diocese of Bor since becoming top most Christian leader last year, cautioned political leaders against permitting crimes with impunity.

“Over 2.5 million people lost their lives….among them our leader John Garang de Mabior, for the sake of this land. Other people lost their limbs to liberate this nation,” he said.

South-north Sudan civil war, which unfolded in 1983 when Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) took arms, started in this town – Bor. The SPLM/A reached an agreement with Khartoum government in 2005 ending the Africa longest civil war. The peace dealt, commonly known as the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), is yet to be realized in Jonglei State given the cattle backed tribal conflicts. Politicians, who have strongly denied supplying arms and rounds (ammunitions) to their tribes, are highly suspected of supporting ethical contests.

“I when to say this louder and clearly…,to the politicians and chiefs, that those who raid cattle must be brought to books…because you know them and don’t want to reveal them,” he said.

His Lordship Archbishop Dr. Daniel Deng wondered how leaders could distance themselves from thieves who are the people they rule! Cattle raiders, he says, contribute to cattle chiefs after each raid or child abduction to assure their safety.

"Because you take their stolen cattle, you are also a thief," the Archbishop affirmed in reference to local leaders who don’t report criminals attracting a huge applause. The faithful swift between happiness and sadness as the Archbishop ends his speech with a strong promise to eliminate tribal politicians in the next year’s elections. Because of the tribal conflicts, agriculture has declined; the Archbishop stressed warning those who caused this anguish to harvest what they saw.

"I will tell my people (the Christians) not to vote to for those people who cause this suffering," he said.

Criminal cases in Jonglei State, which are clearly cattle related cases go unpunished, something the religious leaders are worried. The crime with impunity accelerates insecurity in this State where tribal conflicts don’t have planned pace by government to end them. Assistance Bishop Diocese of Bor Ezekiel Diing Malangdit served as the Master of Ceremony.

(ST)

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  • 12 April 2009 06:56, by Michael Madit Magot

    Thanks to our Anglican church of Sudan especially the Bor diocese under lordship DR Deng Bul and Nathaniel Garrang for condemning the Jonglei tribal wars.
    That is what the leaders and churches should be doing instead of adding fuel to the conflict.

    I was furious recently when the Akobo priests add their support to tribal feud by criticising the Duk on the criminals who were eliminated as they make trade with stolen cattles.
    Church leaders and government leaders are suppose to be neutral in tribal fighting.
    The Lounuer priests and leaders must learn to be neutral like Bor leaders and church lordships.
    The purpose of the churches and government is to sow peace without taking side.
    WITHOUT peace the churches will be of no use in changing people’s lives.
    The Akobo commissioners must learn to distance themselves from tribal wars like Bor South commissioner Jok Aring ,who avoid to involve himself in the recent murle-Bor clashes.
    This mean that the leaders must not allow their emotions to mar their judgement forgetting that their words are by far sensitive.

    The threats made by some leaders like the Lounuer commissioner made that they would arm themselves against murle if the government do not take actions are irresponsible.
    They merely serve as fuel to the already fragile situation which the leaders are suppose to arrest before it get worst.
    The secret of leadership is always that a leader does not openly display his emotions to the ordinary people whom he rule.
    That virtue is very rare to find in our neighbouring communities. However, that golden virtue constitute the secret to why we rule them and will for years continue to rule them.

    In the modern world a leader is elected as per his/her sound promises of which many fail the ladder of leadership should he/she break one of the promises.
    Few weeks ago DR Riek Machar shunned touring Bor and instead wage a secret trip to places like pibor and Akobo with hope that he is establishing his future leadership campaign foundation by brainwashing murle that he is the desired leader should the time for election come.
    Only to be embarassed by his cousins Lou nuer who waged a war against murle and committed a massacre.
    Can you see why they will not rule in Jonglei and sudan as a whole?
    Iam asking our Bor leaders to be consistent in their leadership and not allow themselves be dragged into tribal wars unlike the Nuer leaders headed by hussein mar nyuot.
    Leadership is not something simple,it can destroy your backyard like 1991 incident but the key to overcoming them is by distancing oneself from them and instead seek the alternative to solving them.
    Do not let our neighbours habits destroy our natural wisdom which magnetise our rule over them.

    Lastly iam conveying my condolences to the families affected by the recent murle-Bor clashes.
    Let us choose peace over revenge for our future.
    May God almighty rest their souls in peace.

    THANKS JONGLEI.

    repondre message

    • 12 April 2009 08:07, by DOOR!

      Michael,

      Nuer are just second class citizens do not compare them with Jonglei tribes! Do not even bother to mention them it is a waste of your time.

      repondre message

      • 12 April 2009 10:08, by shidd simon

        It is just very unfortunate that people like Michael Makue,Rebecca Nyandeng,Kuol Manyang,Abram Jok Ariing, and Bior Ajang and others were not among those listening to Deng Bul’s sermon.They are directly responsible for the deteriorating security situation in Jonglei.They encourage their youths to attack neighbouring communities by providing them with arms and amunitions.Jonglei state were enjoying some months of relative peace after former governor,Thon Lek, was transfered to Khartoum.However,the cycle of killings were again back to Jonglei when Dinka Bor men resumed the habit of attacking Nuer and Murle men along high ways while travelling via Dinka Bor areas.

        Peace is good for every human being no matter how strong and powerful he or she might be.The leaders of Jonglei need a change of heart and mind to reverse the current situation.The crimes of child traffeking,child abduction and cattle raiding,practiced by almost all communities in Jonglei state can be effectively eradicated only if our leaders act collectively as people of one state,one nation without any partiality. neither Military mobilzations nor political conspiracies shall bring peace to Jonglei state,we must be strong enough to go through self criticism, rather than exchanging acusations ,as the only way forward.

        repondre message

        • 13 April 2009 07:58, by probe logic

          Indeed those of Rebecca Nyandeng, Kuol Manyang, Bior Athuwet, law maqie and John Luke and others, this is the people whom gave Nuer Lou weapons in order to wipes Murle out of Map even they’re talked to Anyaunk and Tothapa and those two tribes rejected their Claims of finishing Murle.

          Mr. Kuol Manyang he needs to bring humiliations of around 1996-1999, when he was governor he was Abused power by putted five Murle Leaders in prisons without lamented charged which supposed lets those people being in prisons.

          Miss: Rebecca Nyandeng she also forgotten easily how much was Murle loyalty to her husbands, even she doesn’t knew Lokwangeli what she become sent Nuer Lou to burned down, was rooted for her husband during Riek Rebelled of 1992 and yet she still had charges of rejected development of Road to pass through Murle Areas that was during her minister of transport.

          For all those remarks let development of peace being not to achievement in the present of these people their made security of Jongeli virile or unbalanced.

          Thank God Will brings peace

          repondre message

  • 13 April 2009 02:41, by J.James

    Hi all

    Shidd Simon

    I am 100% in agreement with your clear and untribalistic comment regarding a deteriorating situation in Jongole state. Indeed there are some few and weak minded politicians within Bor circle who believe that there more clear than any other person in Jongolei state and therefore tried to disarme other communities while suplying their own tribe with weapon and ammunitions in an attempt to wipe out the other tribes in the region.

    Matter of facts, Nyandeng, Bior, and Kuol are the major problems in Jongolei states. Supplying arms to the civilians is not a solution to the problems but increment to the death and security problem in the region.

    Bor will never defeat either Nuer or Murle though Bor are armed from children to the oldest living civilian in the area.

    In addition, if Bor don’t stop mistreating Murle and Nuer traders on their ways through Bor, the war between Murle and Bor in particular will never end till Bor are going to learn and accept Murle as friends and citizens of SouthSudan who deserves every right of freedom, ownership of property, right to get development, and freedom of movement within Jongolei state.

    The war between Bor and Murle will simply end when the following measures are closely observed and respected:-

    1. Bor must stop harrasing Murle traders who are passing through Bor route.

    2. Bor must stop attacking and raiding Murle traders in Juba.

    3. Bor must allow all NGOs to reach Murle areas freely and respectfully without unwanted conditions.

    4. Bor must stop selling kids to Murle whom they later turn them as stolen by Murle.

    5. Bor must stop trying to bring conflict between Nuer and Murle or Anyuak because these tribes are not fools, instead they know the games Bor are trying to play in the region.

    6. Bor must accept open discussion between them and Murle and they (Bor) must stop trying to belittle Murle through whispering and gossiping..

    These steps may bring peace and tranquality between Bor and their neighbors around the area. Big hearted Bor are the problem to the peace in Jongolei.

    God bless

    The writer is the villager in Pibor town.

    repondre message

    • 13 April 2009 10:07, by Deng Magot Riem

      I am sorry to reply to this comment but let me just do it. I thought it would have been better to undestand oneself and the community in which you live. J James, you failed to realiise one simple thing here, that is your community’s behaviours.
      In addition to that,
      mentioning any known indivudual won’t potray you and the likes as truth tellers. Here is the thing, if you are from beer/murle however you call yourself; forget that this time around Bor will come to a negotiating table with beer under any circumstances. Again, distribution of NGOS is not Bor communit’s responsibility.

      Let me remind you guys,whatever you are driving at will not happen. My commmunity of Bor has been known for her peace building but the neighbours to take advantage of that. Let the state be lawless till all come to terms.

      repondre message

      • 13 April 2009 12:54, by atmospheric

        To Door

        Hey Mr, mind your business OK.
        You are talking about Nuers being second class citizens while Dinkas are firth class!,you make me laugh.
        What a shame!!
        oh boy

        repondre message

  • 13 April 2009 21:09, by The Curse

    I think its right that the tribal conflicts have been condemed by the Anglican church of Sudan. Its true that Africas longest civil war has ended but there is still the issue of these tribal conflicts in the south. I think these tribal conflicts are very serious and im sure they will bring about severe set backs to the development of the south. If we all step back and look deeply at this issue we will see that southern sudanese people are being killed not by the north this time but by themselves. I remember back in 2005 just after the CPA had been signed, there were critics who said that southern sudan was not srong enough to be an independent country, I didnt believe it then but now im regretfully begining to lose hope. Southern sudan fought with great honor and pride and gave many hope they could live in peace again. It would be sad if they continue to destabilise their own country and prolong their own suffering.

    repondre message

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