Big deal?

Sudan's president Omar Hassan al-Bashir (L) addresses a news conference as his Eritrean counterpart Isaias Afwerki (R) looks on in Asmara, the Eritrean capital (Photo: Reuters)

Hello reader,

I am running short of ideas today. You know it's one of those days when you stare up at the ceiling hoping for inspiration from above but it's hard to catch a glimpse of heaven when you are inside.

For students, it's almost exams time. For teachers, it's time to test us and watch us angonize in class for several hours.

For President Bashir, it's a post-ICC era and every step he takes fills up my "Sudan google page" with news from all the leading publications in the world.

But judging by all the news coverage out there on Sudan, which are drowning out my little blog, I gather that the world cares about me as a Sudanese.

Since this is recession time, I think I need a bailout: I need the "Sudan google page" clear of all the none essential news that are creating chaos and disarray in my brain.

Obviously am not issuing a ban on NGOs or writing a fatwa, or authoring a threat to non-Sudanese. Mine is just an orderly request.

However, you see the point; I have very little to say except to protest at why it's a big deal that Bashir's in Eritrea and how this is a good-for-nothing-story on my "Sudan google page?"

O.k, am gonna catch some sleep now so I can come up with a better blog entry tomorrow.

Good night....






















Kiir's best performance yet....

South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit (J. Scott Applewhite, Associated Press)


My day has been good, thank you.

As usual I was scouring the web hoping I'd come across anything relevant and of interest to you and me. 

I did but it comes late, like the salaries of the SPLA war  heroes.

Obviously it's not a laughing matter but it's a shame you have to mutine in Southern Sudan to be taken seriously. 

Anyway, I am digressing....

Let me blow the horn of President Mayardit a little bit today because he has earned it, rhetorically speaking.

It's true Kiir hardly gets as much media coverage as his predecessor late Dr. John Garang did.

However, at his own pace Kiir's learning to fill Garang's big shoes.

Again, I got to it late but it's better late than never, people say. 

So on April 4, the very day the ICC was set to deliver its verdict on Sudanese President Bashir, Kiir gave a brief  but candid interview to Edmund Sanders of the Los Angeles Times in Khartoum.

I'm tempted to give you a preview of the conversation here:  

Q: Do you think Bashir deserves to be prosecuted for war crimes and genocide in Darfur?

A: It's not my business. I'm not the judge

Q: Is what is happening in Darfur genocide?

A: We did not want to call it that. We know that people are dying. Whether it is genocide or not, we cannot say.

In southern Sudan, there was war and I was one of the commanders. The number of people who died in the south were more than those who died in Darfur -- almost 3 million. Nothing was said about genocide then.

A quarter of the number of people in southern Sudan died. If the ICC was looking for the truth, they should have looked for the people who were responsible.

Q: Are you preparing militarily for possible violence?

A: I'm a soldier. I'm prepared.

Q: Where are you going to get the money to make up the shortfall [because of falling prices of oil and south depends on it almost entirely]?

A: I don't know. Maybe you might loan me some money? (Laughter)

Q: I don't have nearly enough, but are you hoping to borrow from the U.S. or other countries?

A: We are trying to work out a way to get money and run the administration.

Whether we are successful, we don't know yet, but we must survive.

Few things went really well with this interview.

  • First, Mr. Mayardit came across as relax, confident and he spoke succinctly, showing a mastery of the press language.  
  • Secondly, Mr. President was very articulate and effective. 
  • Finally, he employed a healthy dose of charisma.

Kiir may not be Garang, but this interview showed he could have his own Garang moments.

And before I forget, it was good politics too.

I'm doing this because I haven't been successful requesting interviews with Mr. Kiir so his office now owes me one.

I'm joking.Sealed

Good night...





Should this woman adopt these Sudanese twins?



Performance artist Vanessa Beecroft's intention to adopt orphaned babies Madit and Mongor Akot comes under scrutiny in the film documentary The Art Star and the Sudanese Twins. (Vanessa Beecroft/Pietra Brettkelly)

I was cruising the web today when I came across this story of a 39-year old Italian-British artist Vanessa Beecroft who tried to adopt two twins, Madit and Mangor Akol she met at an orphanage in South Sudan's Rumbek.

A New Zealan filmaker Pietra Brettkelly accompanied her on her journey to South Sudan, resulting in a documentary called The Art Star and the Sudanese Twins.


This Beecroft photo was shot in Rumbek, Sudan, in 2006. (Vanessa Beecroft/Pietra Brettkelly)

Critics are already weighing in on the issue.

Should Beecroft be allowed to adopt the twins? Is her work art or exploitation? Is this an extension of colonialism or its refutation?



Archbishop of Sudan: "We reject homosexual practice"


Most Reverend Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul is welcomed in Terekeka, Equatoria (Photo: Rev. Charles Ogeno)

O.k, deep breath. It's a sensitive topic to even mention, I know. It's polarizing and divisive.

That's the point here.

Consider how the whole issue of homosexuality splits the Anglican Church.

When Bishops and deputies voted to approve the election of openly gay Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire, U.S.A,  in the Episcopal Church's 2003 General Convention, the African branch of the church was up in arms.

The Most Reverend Daniel Deng Bul made his position on the issue crystal clear upon his enthronement in April last year as Archbishop of Sudan.

"We reject homosexual practice as contrary to biblical teaching and can accept no place for it within ECS (the Episcopal Church of Sudan)," he said in a statement published on virtueonline

That's a typical African stance, no surprises.

I must say it's the Archbishop's reasoning against the EC's embrace of homosexuals that is eye-popping.

He said that in Sudan Christians "are called infidels by the Islamic world when they hear our brothers and sisters from the Christian world talking about same-sex [relationships] to be blessed."

In other words the breakdown of morals in the EC gives the Muslims in Sudan "the upper hand to kill our people."

Breathtaking explanation, eh?

I notice my mind is kind of racing here and there, trying to ask the right questions.

So, if I understand, Most Reverend, your conclusion is that Muslims in Sudan are screwing Christians right now because of the degeneration of morals in the EC?

Maybe. But it has always been so even before EC recognized homosexuals, isn't it?

Just like in Sudan the Muslim government in Khartoum is doing away with the Muslims in Darfur, irrespective of their Islamic religion, isn't it?

Therefore, it's not cut and dry.

O.k Most Reverend, I applaud you for standing up for your values.

Just don't use complicated theories to convince EC  'cause humans are thinking beings.

Hence, the reason why rationalists are sometimes hesitant when it comes to religion because of its monolithic, textual view of things.

Oh, which is really my central argument, much more killing goes on in Sudan beside religious persecution.


South Sudan war heroes strike in Yei


SPLA war heroes took to the streets today in Yei to protest non-payment for more than seven months according to Daily Monitor.

However, a NSV reporter in Juba said the war veterans have not been paid for more than two months.

The disabled war veterans have reportedly destroyed property in Yei and shut down the border.

“There is no single vehicle that has crossed to Sudan today. All the borders to Sudan are closed so we really don’t have anybody going to Sudan or coming from Sudan,” said a Ugandan immigration official on South Sudan-Uganda border.