Meet the Dinka people, the tallest people on Earth

Meet the Dinka people, the tallest people on Earth (Photo via The African History)

Meet the Dinka people, the tallest people on Earth (Photo via The African History)

JUBA – The Dinka people are a Nilotic tribe from South Sudan, but they do have a significant community in the diaspora. They live mostly along the Nile, from Mangalla to Renk, in Bahr el Ghazal, Upper Nile (formerly two out of three Sudanese Southern Provinces) and Dinka Ngok of Abyei Area in South Sudan.

The Dinka people originated from the Gezira, in what is now Sudan, according to oral traditions. The area was controlled in ancient times by the Kingdom of Alodia, a multicultural Christian kingdom governed by Nubians.

Dinka man conversing and a cousin sister with their white friend

Dinka man conversing and a cousin sister with their white friend

Living in its southern region and connecting with the Nubians, the Dinka people learned the Nubian syntax in a significant amount. Around the 13th century, the Dinka began to move from the Gezira with the disintegration of Alodia, escaping slave raids and other military conflicts, and also droughts.

The Dinka people live mostly on traditional farming and herding, depending on livestock as a cultural pride not for trade or meat, but cultural presentations, ceremonies, dowries and milk products for all ages.

Former South Sudan Chief of Defense with son

Former South Sudan Chief of Defense with son

Food and cash crops are cultivated on the Dinka. Grains, primarily sorghum and millet are grown in food crops. Groundnuts, sesame and gum-arabs are among the cash crops. Cattle are confined in dry season to wetland areas, the sudd and grass fields, but are taken to high grounds in the rainy season to prevent flooding and mud.

According to the 2008 Sudanese census Dinka number around 4.5 million people , making up about 18% of the country’s population and South Sudan ‘s biggest ethnic group.

Basketball player from Dinka

Basketball player from Dinka

They called themselves Muonyjang (singular) or jieng (plural), they make up one of the branches of the Nilotes River Lake (mainly sedentary agri-pastoral ethnic group of the Nile Valley and African Great Lakes that speak Nilotic languages, which include Nuer and Luo).

The people of Dinka do not have a centralized authority, but they have many independent but interrelated clans. Traditionally, some of these clans provide ritual chiefs, known as “fishing spear masters” or beny bith, who provide leadership to the entire people and appear to be at least partly hereditary.

Dinka man hugging his white friend

Dinka man hugging his white friend

Dinka called their language Dinka or “Thuɔŋjäŋ” (Thoŋ ë Muɔnyjäŋ), their language is one of the Nilotic languages of the eastern Sudanic language family. Their language is written in Latin letters with some additional characters included.

Machar carried his desktop with him while on the ran to DRC in 2016 – source

Desktop belong to SPLM-IO leader Dr. Riek Machar Teny (Photo via Facebook)

Desktop belong to SPLM-IO leader Dr. Riek Machar Teny (Photo via Facebook)

JUBA – South Sudan First Vice President and Leader of the main armed opposition leader, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, carried his desktop with him in the bush while on the run while he was pursued by air bombardment by the army in 2016 before ending up in Congo DRC, sources have said.

In July 2016, fighting between President Salva Kiir’s army and Machar’s SPLA-IO, broke out in the capital Juba, ending a 9-month-old peace deal which briefly stopped the civil war in the world’s youngest country.

Speaking to Sudans Post this afternoon, a senior member of the main armed opposition group said Machar carried a desktop with him when he was on the ran in the Equatoria jungle in July and August 2016.

“He carried with him his desktop in July 2016 when he fled to Congo DRC. He was with us and every time there was calm, we look for a place to use that device because he had to communicate with friends,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

“The device was finally left in the Sudanese capital Khartoum when he when to South Africa and when he returned, he got the computer and will be transported to Juba next week,” the source added.

Kiir sworn in newly appointed governors

South Sudan president Salva Kiir swearing in state governors today at state house J1 (Photo via presidency)

South Sudan President Salva Kiir swearing-in state governors today at state house J1 (Photo via presidency)

JUBA – South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir Mayardit, has this afternoon sworn in some of the newly appointed state governors, according to a statement by the presidency.

This comes a few days after Kiir appointed eight state governors refusing to appoint SPLM-IO nominee for Upper Nile State due to objection by Apadang community who argues that General Johnson Olony is a divisive figure. The other candidate for Jonglei which was nominated by a section of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance was not agreed upon and was not appointed.

“The President of the Republic, H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, presided over the swearing-in ceremony of the seven out of the eight newly appointed state governors and chief administrators of Abyei and Ruweng administrative areas on Wednesday,” the presidency statement said.

The appointment came as a result of an agreement between President Salva Kiir Mayardit and the First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny on the formation of the state governments. The government appointed governors for eight states with the exception of Jonglei and Upper Nile states which would be resolved soon.

“During the swearing in ceremony, most speakers emphasized on security, education health, agriculture and revenue collection for the development of the states.

“Addressing the ceremony, President Salva Kiir Mayardit described the Swearing in ceremony as a milestone for the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity. President Kiir called on the newly appointed state governors and administrators to disseminate the message of peace to the populations in their respective states, and work hard to end inter communal conflicts in the states.

“The First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar Teny called on the state governors to cooperate and resolve challenges facing the populations in the ten states and administrative areas of the country.

“Meanwhile, the Vice President for the Gender and Youth cluster, Rebecca Nyandeng De Mabior urged the state governors to include women, youth and people with disabilities in the state government.

“On his part, the governor of Eastern Equatorial State Louis Lobong Lojore, who represented the governors, said that they accept the challenge of developing their respective states, and as governors they will implement the 35 per cent affirmative action by including women in the state governments.

“In addition the Chief Administrator of Abyei Administrative area, Kuol Diem assured the government and the people of their respective administrative areas that they will work tirelessly to deliver services to the people.”

Bentiu residents celebrate reappointment of Nguen Manytuil

Residents of Unity state's capital Bentiu celebrating in the streets to welcome the reappointment of Dr. Joseph Nguen Manytuil as governor [Photo via Facebook]

Residents of Unity state’s capital Bentiu celebrating in the streets to welcome the reappointment of Dr. Joseph Nguen Manytuil as governor [Photo via Facebook]

BENTIU –Residents of South Sudan’s Unity state capital Bentiu have taken to the streets this morning to welcome the re-appointment of Dr. Joseph Nguen Manytuil Wijang as governor of the oil-rich state.

President Salva Kiir Mayardit on Monday defied calls to replace Manytuil and reappointed the medical doctor to the position which he held since mid-2013, following the removal of now vice-president Taban Deng Gai in a controversial move.

Speaking to Sudans Post this morning, Dr. Samaan Chutyier, a senior aide to Manytuil, said spirits were high in the capital Bentiu and that residents have taken to streets to welcome the decision by Kiir to reappoint Manytuil.

Separately, residents have confirmed that they are on the streets of Bentiu expressing happiness to President Salva Kiir for the reappointment of the man they describe as servant of the people.

“We are really happy with President Salva Kiir Mayardit. Reappointing a servant of the people who is Dr. Nguen Manytuil is a great action and we welcome the move,” one resident who identified himself as Gatluak told Sudans Post from Bentiu on phone.

Another resident said he welcomes the move by Kiir to reappoint “our governor who has done what it takes to reunited the people of Unity state who have been disunited under the dictatorship of Taban Deng Gai.”

Kiir asks SPLM-IO to nominate different person for Upper Nile state

General Johnson Olony who is nominated by the SPLM-IO for the governorship of Upper Nile state (Photo via Facebook)

General Johnson Olony who is nominated by the SPLM-IO for the governorship of Upper Nile state (Photo via Facebook)

JUBA – South Sudan president, Salva Kiir Mayardit, has asked the SPLM-IO to name a different person for governor of the country’s Upper Nile state, a senior opposition official told Sudans Post.

On Monday, Kiir – a party to the revitalized peace agreement – appointed eight state governors and decided to skip the appointment of Olony as governor of Upper Nile state which has been allocated to the main armed opposition.

He did not also appoint the governor for Jonglei state which has been allocated to the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) because of differences within the opposition consortium over who should be nominated.

A senior government official said on Monday evening that the SPLM-IO’s leadership had nominated Johnson Olony but was turned down by Kiir.

Speaking to Sudans Post on Monday, a senior opposition official who is also a minister in the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU) revealed that Kiir has asked the group to nominate a different person for the gubernatorial position.

“President Salva Kiir Mayardit has turned down the nomination of the SPLM-IO because he doesn’t want the appointment of Johnson Olony,” the official said.

He has since asked the leadership [of the SPLM-IO] to name a different person for the governorship and that person will be appointed next week,” the official said.

The opposition who totally refused to be named said the “SPLM-IO position is very clear: no one can tell us who to nominate. That will be a dictation of what we, as a political organization can do.”

Kiir appoints eight state governors, leaves out Upper Nile and Jonglei

South Sudan President Salva Kiir speaking to reporters at the state-house J1 in January this year [Photo credit: Reuters]

South Sudan President Salva Kiir speaking to reporters at the state-house J1 in January this year [Photo credit: Reuters]

JUBA – President Salva Kiir Mayardit has this evening appointed eight state governors without appointing governors for Upper Nile and Jonglei which are allocated to the SPLM-IO and South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA), respectively.

According to a deal reached between Kiir and Machar last week, the SPLM-IO was given three states of Upper Nile, Western Equatoria and Western Bahr el Ghazal.

However, in a decree this evening, Kiir appointed governors for Unity, Warrap, Lakes, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Eastern Equatoria, Western Equatoria, Western Bahr el Ghazal and Central Equatoria as follow:

A- State governors

1 – Emmanuel Adil Anthony Wani – Central Equatoria state (SPLM-IG)

2 – Louis Lobong Lojore – Eastern Equatoria state (SPLM-IG)

3 – Makur Kulang – Lakes state (SPLM-IG)

4 – Tong Aken – Northern Bahr el Ghazal state (SPLM-IG)

5 – Nguen Manytuil Wijang – Unity state (SPLM-IG)

6 – Bona Biar – Warrap state (SPLM-IG)

7 – Sarah Kilto – Western Bahr el Ghazal state (SPLM-IO)

8 – Alfred K. K. Onyango – Western Equatoria state (SPLM-IO).

B – Chief Administrators

1 – Kuol Alor – Abyei Administrative Area (SPLM-IG)

2 – Joshua Kuani – Greater Pibor Administrative Area (SPLM-IG).

3 – William Chol – Ruweng Administrative Area (SPLM-IG)

Denay Chagor says his age written wrongly on national documents

South Sudan minister of higher education Denay Jock Chagor (Photo by Sudans Post)

South Sudan minister of higher education Denay Jock Chagor (Photo by Sudans Post)

JUBA – South Sudan’s minister of higher Education, Denay Chagor has claimed that his age was written wrongly on his Nationality Certificate and the Passport, days after some opposition leaders suggested that Chagor is young and cannot serve as governor.

Currently, members of South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) are engaged in an internal feud over who can serve as governor for Jonglei state which has been allocated to the opposition consortium by President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar Teny.

Following the allocation of the state, Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin, the chairperson of the National Democratic Movement (NDM) and a senior member of the Alliance, nominated his secretary-general Mahjuob Biel Turuk for the Jonglei state governorship.

He then criticized some members of the alliance of conspiring to obstruct his nominee and install Denay Chagor as governor of Jonglei state.

However, speaking to Sudans Post this afternoon, Denay Chagor said his age was written wrongly and that he is bigger than Dr. Mahjuob Turuk.

“My age is written wrongly in my documents. I was not born in 1986. I was born in 1975 and my age is 45,” Denay Chagor told Sudans Post.

“They are talking against Denay Chagor as if I have any personal issue with them,” he said probably referring to Dr. Lam Akol talking against him.

Telar Ring wants Western Equatoria traded for Lakes state

Former South Sudan ambassador to the Russian Federation Telar Ring Deng speaking to SSBC following his arrival at Juba International Airport in 2018 from Nairobi (Photo via SSBC)

Former South Sudan ambassador to the Russian Federation Telar Ring Deng speaking to SSBC following his arrival at Juba International Airport in 2018 from Nairobi (Photo via SSBC)

JUBA – Former South Sudan ambassador to the Russian Federation, Telar Ring Deng, has SPLM-IO leader Dr. Riek Machar Teny to trade Western Equatoria state for Lakes state, pointing to the strategic importance of the state to the main armed opposition group, a senior opposition official has said.

The former diplomat who has switched sides several times during the past two years joined the SPLM-IO from the SPLM-IG earlier this year following the return of then rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar to the South Sudanese capital.

Reports have said that Telar Ring who is from Lakes state has been lobbying for the governorship of Lakes encouraging the SPLM-IO to trade the state with Western Equatoria state which he said was not significant to the group.

“Amb. Telar Ring Deng has requested the Chairman and Commander in Chief, the First Vice President H.E Dr. Riek Machar Teny to swap the state of Western Equatoria for Lakes because – according to him – it is of significance to the SPLM/A (IO),” the official closed to Machar told Sudans Post this morning from Juba.

The opposition official however said that Telar’s request has been turned down by Machar saying all the states are equal and are significant in the eye “of the people’s movement.”

Dr. Lam asks Kiir’s support on Jonglei state governor race

Leader of the National Democratic Movement (NDM) and Secretary-General of South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin is asking for appointment of his nominee as governor of Jonglei state (Photo credit: via Radio Tamazuj)

Leader of the National Democratic Movement (NDM) and Secretary-General of South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin is asking for the appointment of his nominee as governor of Jonglei state (Photo credit: via Radio Tamazuj)

JUBA – Opposition leader Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin has appealed to President Salva Kiir to support his nominee for Jonglei state governor, days after welcoming a Kiir-Machar consensus that ended a four-month-old deadlock on states allocation between the parties to the revitalized peace agreement.

There are rumors that President Salva Kiir is working to appoint the state governors this week, although a senior opposition has said today that the parties were in a deadlock over when that action should be taken.

Kiir and Machar met at the statehouse J1 on Wednesday last week and reached a consensus on how to resolve the deadlock on the states allocation which has been on for a duration of four months, and which has been blamed by peace sponsors for the surge in ethnic violence at local levels.

The Kiir-Machar consensus provided for the allocation of six states to the SPLM-IG. These are the states of Warrap, Unity, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Eastern Equatoria, Lakes, and Central Equatoria.

The SPLM-IO was given three states which are Western Equatoria, Western Bahr el Ghazal, and oil-rich Upper Nile state. The South Sudan Opposition Alliance was given the Jonglei state which it initially rejected, but accept after pressure mounted on them from the two principals of the agreement.

Letter from Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin to President Salva Kiir asking him to support his nominee for Jonglei state (File credit: NDM)

Letter from Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin to President Salva Kiir asking him to support his nominee for Jonglei state (File credit: NDM)

Following the announcement of the deal by South Sudan’s presidential minister Nhial Deng Nhial, Dr. Lam’s group along with another party within the Alliance welcomed the decision by the two men to allocate to them Jonglei state and immediately nominated its secretary-general for the position of the Jonglei state governor.

In a letter on Thursday, Dr. Lam asked Kiir’s support on the matter and appoint his nominee as Jonglei state governor because – according to him – it is the last chance for the group to serve as part of its contribution in the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement.

“Pursuant to the agreement reached on the 17th instant regarding the allocation of the Governors of States to Parties to the R-ARCSS, we in SSOA have started the process of choosing our candidate for the position of the Governor of Jonglei State,” Dr. Lam said in the letter dated June 25, and addressed to Kiir.

“The selection procedure [for Jonglei state governor] has always been for the interested constituent organizations to make their nominations, seconded by another and the Leadership Council chooses the one with more votes in the Council or if there was only one candidate then he/she wins unopposed,” he added.

He said his group has nominated its Secretary-General, Mr. Mahjuob Biel Turuk, to the position of Jonglei state governor adding that the “nomination was seconded by the SSLM.”

“To date, no other nominations were made. Therefore, SSOA LC should have adopted him as the nominee of SSOA to the position. However, some organizations within SSOA are reluctant to hold a meeting for that purpose for reasons best known to them.

“As time is ticking, we are obliged to present our nomination [for Jonglei state governor] directly to your Excellency hoping that he gets the appointment.”

SPLM-IO sets new condition for states gov’t formation

First Vice President and SPLM-IO leader Dr. Riek Machar addresses a press conference jointly with President Salva Kiir (not seen) at the State House in Juba, on February 20, 2020 (Photo: via Getty Images)

First Vice President and SPLM-IO leader Dr. Riek Machar addresses a press conference jointly with President Salva Kiir (not seen) at the State House in Juba, on February 20, 2020 (Photo: via Getty Images)

JUBA – South Sudan’s main armed opposition group, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO), has set a new precondition for the formation of states government, according to a senior opposition official.

The parties to the revitalized peace agreement last week agreed to the allocation of states which has been one of the sticking points in the implementation of the 2018 revitalized peace agreement.

The SPLM-IO and President Kiir’s group have been feuding over who takes what states prolonging the formation of the state governments, which is seen by the UN mission in the country and other peace sponsors, as a solution to the rising ethnic violence in the states.

Speaking to Sudans Post on Thursday, a senior member of the SPLM-IO said the group has informed the parties to the government of its decision to have the parliament reconstituted before the formation of state governments.

“The SPLM/SPLA (IO) has informed our peace partners in the SPLM-IG that states governments should not be formed unless the parliament has been reconstituted,” the official said from Juba on condition of anonymity.”

“The government has been buying time in the entire implementation of the revitalized peace agreement. For example, the disagreement over the number of states took us more than one year. The government eventually agreed to return the country to 10 states.

“Again, the government disagreed with us over who takes what ministry in the national government, they initially gave us the ministries we wanted after many months of discussion,” the SPLM-IO official added.

The official said the government was refusing the reconstituting the Transitional National Legislature because it wants to buy more time and said the main armed opposition group has made it clear that it will not accept the formation of state governments unless the parliament has been reconstituted.

“The government reneged over the allocation of states. It wanted to take all the oil-producing states and eventually, gave up on Upper Nile. Now, the government is saying ‘let us form the state governments and then we negotiate on the matter of the parliament’ which we have rejected totally,” the official said.

The latest condition from the SPLM-IO comes amid rising pressure from the international community for South Sudan parties to form the state governments because ethnic violence was rising at an alarming rate in the states since the beginning of the year.

Rival communities in Jonglei state – the Murle, the Nuer, and Dinka – have been attacking each other resulting in the killing of over 300 people in April this year including members of the humanitarian organization working in the area.

UN calls for inclusive governments

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan, the Troika, and the European Union have constantly been calling on the SPLM-IO and the government of President Salva Kiir to end to ethnic violence which has so far raised fears that the relative peace which has been experienced by the world’s youngest country since the signing of the revitalized peace agreement would unravel.

This week, the UN chief in South Sudan, David Shearer told the Security Council that members of the world’s youngest country’s organized forces were joining the conflict urging the parties to timely form the state governments in an inclusive manner.

“The political impasse, on top of the COVID lockdown, has caused the conflict to escalate with violent incidents multiplying fourfold in two years,” Shearer told the UNSC via a video conference briefing earlier this week.

“This violence can no longer be pigeonholed as ‘inter-communal’. Fighters in uniform have been spotted suggesting that organized forces may be joining the conflict which risks unraveling the ceasefire,” he stressed.

Threats to peace

Shearer further added that “the real threat to the people of South Sudan lies in the collapse of the already fragile health system. This could result in many, many more lives being lost – a tragedy that can be prevented.”

The SPLM-IO is a main signatory to the revitalized peace agreement and different originating from it always has been a pressure to the other main signatory, the government of President Salva Kiir.

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