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'Artist. Designer. Writer. Committed -yet preoccupied- citizen of the world.
And much more, I guess.

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South Sudan

Dec 15, 2014


South Sudan and Sudan; news roundup about the complex, intertwined situation

In 2012, I wrote about Al-Bashir: Sudan: divide and rule, the winning strategy. A year before that, as South Sudan celebrated its independence, I was carefully optimistic in South Sudan: Render unto southern Sudanese that which is theirs. And in December last year, on the beginning of the South Sudan civil war, I paraphrased an article by Daniel Howden published on The Guardian, in South Sudan: how we all fell for the ‘big lie’. Needless to say the situation is dire and complicated in South Sudan right now. To better understand what is happening, I selected some posts I think are worth reading. Starting with The Sudans: after the divide Series published on The Guardian, and a must-read article by James Copnall ‏@JamesCopnall : South Sudan conflict: What chance of peace? On Twitter, Tristan McConnell @t_mcconnell tweeted: “Personal ambitions” of #SouthSudan‘s leaders “jeopardize the future of an entire nation,” says…Read more

Dec 29, 2013


South Sudan: how we all fell for the ‘big lie’

The title paraphrases an article by Daniel Howden published on The Guardian: How Hollywood cloaked South Sudan in celebrity and fell for the ‘big lie’. Since the  crisis in South Sudan started two weeks ago, I’ve read a lot of things on the whys and hows of the situation. And, unsurprisingly, I’ve read a lot of ineptness, misreading, ignorance and snap judgements. And, unfortunately, unlike Howden (could he have used them as a click-bait?!), I don’t think Hollywood stars are the first ones to blame. Maybe it’s time for some people to clean up their own act first. My goal is not to patronize, but from where I stand, and for at least two decades now, I have been working to select and provide accurate information on Sudan, Darfur and now South Sudan. I have been able to observe all sorts of misreading when it comes to Sudan and South…Read more

Sep 21, 2013


Abyei Referendum: Sudan wants is oil, South Sudan wants its people

These are the words of Taban Abel Aguek, a Member of State Parliament in Rumbek, Lakes State published on yesterday. “It is clear what Sudan wants in Abyei is oil, but South Sudan wants its people“. Very clear indeed but the situation can be more complicated than it appears. Abyei is a one million square miles region, it has oil and fertile land. The Ngok Dinka, sub-Saharan cattle herders, are the vast majority in Abyei but the nomadic Misseriya tribe is also part of the equation. Not mentioning Sudan and its president, Omar al-Bashir (charged with Darfur genocide by the International Criminal Court) literally fighting for his country’s interests. The status of Abyei was one of the most contentious issues in the negotiation of  the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), and a separate referendum to determine whether Abyei belongs to Sudan or South Sudan was supposed to be held…Read more

Aug 10, 2013


Tagwa Badredine Al-Hum, Sudan’s Smartest Girl
"I want to be a big journalist. Anywhere…I want to go to France…I want to go to learn..."

On September 3, 2011, Tagwa Badredine Al-Hum’s family was celebrating a holiday near their hometown of Damazin, the capital of Blue Nile state in Sudan when airstrikes began to pound the city. The family packed their few belongings—along with 13 cows and goats—and fled to a refugee camp across the border in Ethiopia. Eventually, the relatives ended up in Gendrassa, a camp in the Maban County of South Sudan. Tagwa, now 16, recently graduated from the camp’s primary school. Back in Damazin, as the daughter of a teacher and a businessman, Tagwa excelled in school—she earned the highest marks in the entire country on South Sudan’s most recent set of standardized tests. But in Gendrassa, she can no longer study English because she has surpassed the level taught at the camps. And because of her years being shuttled between refugee camps in Ethiopia and South Sudan, she’s fallen behind on…Read more

Jul 24, 2013


7 Things You Need to Know About South Sudan’s Government Crisis
Who just got fired? Who is left running the government? What about negotiations with Sudan?

On July 23, South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir  issued a decree  dismissing his longtime vice president, Dr. Riek Machar, along with all the ministers and deputy ministers in his cabinet. In a statement read on national television late Tuesday evening, Kiir also suspended Pagan Amum, the Secretary-General of South Sudan’s ruling political party, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, or SPLM. Social media reports that 17 brigadier generals have also been removed from their posts. Full article on Enough Project.

Jul 7, 2012


The revolution in Sudan and the ‘villains’

Why is the Sudan revolution being ignored? I’ve been asking the question for a while now and we have to face the facts: recent protests in Sudan have received little to no attention from the media. Since 1989 and the first article I wrote on Sudan, I have seen and heard many things. Or maybe I haven’t seen and heard enough to say the truth. In the media, I mean. Because on the ground, there have been plenty to see and hear. For more than two decades, I have discussed a lot, with many different people from here, from Sudan, from everywhere. I’ve listened to the ones who think everyone has their own problems to deal with; the ones who talk too much and don’t do enough and some others complaining ‘It’s always the same out there’… Hopefully, many others try to understand and don’t turn a blind eye; some people…Read more

Jun 28, 2012


Support #SudanRevolts and take action!

My interest in Sudan started with Omar-Al Bashir’s military coup in June, 1989. I was young but I already knew it could change the fate of Sudan and its population forever. Since then, I always kept an eye (let’s say two) on the country, doing my best to raise awareness on the situation, especially when Darfur happened, and more recently Blue Nile and South Kordofan. For decades now, I have heard Sudan was not a priority. That the International community was not interested, they had (and apparently always have) other fish to fry. Even the media have been shy about covering Sudan. A few days ago, I asked a journalist about ‪#SudanRevolts‬ lack of media coverage and I got a bewildering answer: ‘Not enough deaths for the frontpage. ‪Syria‬ has more, daily’. For years, and despite the amazing work done by activists, organizations and even some brave journalists, the least we can say…Read more

Mar 18, 2012


Sudan: divide and rule, the winning strategy

Sudan is back on the front pages. Since the past few days, I can hear, here and there, people saying: ‘Amazing, George Clooney has been arrested!‘ or ‘George Clooney was in handcuffs in Washington today!‘. Then I asked: ‘Do you know why he has been arrested?‘ The replies were: ‘It was at a protest outside some embassy…’ or ‘I don’t care, watch the video to see him handcuffed!‘. This publicity stunt worked very well but I’m not sure the reasons that motivated it spread beyond the Atlantic Ocean… Although I can’t deny this media strategy worked before. Five years ago in Tall oaks from little acorns grow, I wrote: ‘Most of the people I know only discovered the crisis in Darfur in late 2006 early 2007 when George Clooney came back from Sudan’. I added: ‘Kinda confusing an actor known to be ‘the world’s sexiest man’ and a man who ‘used to be the next…Read more

Feb 19, 2012


In Sudan, Seeing Echoes of Darfur. And still waiting for diplomacy…

Sudan’s ongoing military campaign in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states is a reality but not one you can see. One you guess from satellite imagery, one you read from witnesses’ stories. Now we have something more, a report by Nicholas D. Kristof, a columnist for The New York Times and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner. Kristof has just reported from Yida, South Sudan. Some interesting points from his article, full version here. “Bombings, ground attacks and sexual violence — part of Sudan’s scorched-earth counterinsurgency strategy — have driven hundreds of thousands of people from their homes in South Kordofan” “While the Sudanese government is trying to suppress an armed rebellion in the Nuba Mountains, it is civilians who bear the brunt of the suffering” “The Sudanese government bombed this refugee camp in November, and, just a week ago, it bombed the nearby town of Jau, in South Sudan” “Unless outside countries…Read more

Jul 9, 2011


South Sudan: Render unto southern Sudanese that which is theirs

South Sudan has gained its independence from Sudan. Eventually. I just got off the phone with a (now officially) southern Sudanese friend who fled his country twenty years ago. For him, the independence is something he is proud of, it is some sort of freedom and for the first time in years, he will go visit his family who stayed near Juba, the capital of the new Republic of South Sudan. Of course this is a great news and it deserves to be celebrated. Unfortunately, with the recent events in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, there is, more than ever, a real weariness with war. Not to mention that South Sudan will have to face many challenges: the country is oil-rich but it is also one of the poorest country in the world with nearly 40 percent of the population needing food aid to survive. But I know people of…Read more

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