Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Juba Vocabulary

There is a hilarious new vocabulary that truly reflects the melting pot of development and post-war culture in South Sudan, and Ayom Wol Dhal has been taking notes.

Here are some of my favourites:

baby beny (noun phrase) Mocking term for a younger close relative of a high-ranking member of government, who despite having no job is regularly seen driving/crashing cars with GOSS plates, living the high life and intimidating low-level service industry personnel with the phrase ‘do you know who I am?’. Usually expects to be accorded the security status, respect and in-service benefits which are rightfully held by the illustrious older relative. Although the term is part Dinka, it is applicable to people of all ethnicities who fit the bill.
Source: AW Dhal, Juba 2012

briefcase INGO (noun phrase) Pejorative term for an international NGO which retains such a high percentage of donor funds for its own staff and structures that this appears to be its core business. As in “an INGO that needs to come with a big briefcase, so that it can take away all the money”. The phrase is a riposte to the currently popular phrase ‘briefcase NGO’, meaning an NGO with no local constituency or actual programing, set up largely or solely to attract funding.
Source: local NGO member (name withheld to protect the little funding available), Bahr El Ghazal 2012

infant soldier (noun phrase) Mocking term for a young man, typically one trying to impress ignorant foreign girls, or a prospective rap star, who claims to have been a child soldier, despite the fact that he is much, much too young to have fought in the war. Often associated with a claim to be a ‘lost boy’, despite never having been involved in any of the tragic overland child exoduses which gave rise to the term.

Source: AW Dhal, Juba 2012

International Relationships, qualification in (noun phrase) Humorous term for the qualifications which might be said to be held by commercial sex workers, particularly those specializing in servicing the UN/INGO market. Can further be sub-divided to indicate the market level at which such workers function, eg: high school diploma in International Relationships (low-end worker, perhaps based in Jebel Market); first degree in International Relationships (mid-level worker, perhaps specializing in the hotel trade, may be ostensibly employed in another service industry, such as hospitality, which affords access to potential clients); Masters (or perhaps that should be Mistress?) degree in International Relationships (high-end worker who may be accommodated in an expensive hotel or apartment, or be the temporary ‘girlfriend’ of expatriate or wealthy local clients, may be ostensibly employed as an office worker or sales rep, occasionally graduates out of the sector altogether with the help of a visa and wedding ring). The sector is marked by extreme fluidity as talented students may readily upgrade their qualifications and those with personality or substance abuse issues may quickly regress to Jebel Market. Modules of such a qualification may include face-to-face marketing, manual dexterity and vehiclular services.
Source: unidentified commercial sex worker (and one clearly in the wrong job), Juba 2011

H/T: Maggie Fick

Monday, July 9, 2012

Party poopers

Happy Birthday South Sudan! You are one years old and doing pretty damn well for yourself despite all the struggles you have had to and continue to endure.

Now to you, journalists of the world, writing your most emotive and touching piece on South Sudan's first birthday..............

I don't go to your kids' first birthday parties and tell them how much of a failure they are...... I don't go up to them and remind them that they still shits their pants and have a terribly low literacy rate...... So why do it to the South Sudanese?........dick

Just calm down.....

In his latest attempt to CALM EVERYONE THE FUCK DOWN, Bashir has blamed  zombies, crab people, gingers, witches, Jews and climate change for the recent protests demonstrations kerfuffle in Khartoum.

Following his head of PR's advice that the public are probably not going to buy that the recent problems are not actually a mini uprising but rather just a bunch of street children going mental, Bashir has gone into full "crazy dictator's crazier explanations for country's problems" mode. The key is saturation of scapegoats.......try them all and one is sure to succeed.

Although Bashir was given great credit for introducing the latest excuse of;
"We've already had an arab spring-like revolution in Sudan.......this is the product of it, and we are totally not due for another one for at least another 30 years."

So to all you commentators and voyeurs-of-revolutions out there who are on the brink of bursting that sweet uprising nectar.......You'll have to just put it back in your pants.

Despite these seemingly concrete plans that are clearly going to work, some within his faction who have a lack of faith for Bashir's strategy have been devising alternative plans:

"Separately, the President’s uncle, al-Tayeb Mustafa, advised his cousin to withdraw from the NCP and initiate a process of political reform in the country with free and fair elections as its endpoint. Thereby, he argued, the President could streamline an Arab Spring in Sudan without going through its risky pangs, the non-alcoholic beer of a revolution without a revolution. " (source)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Wumame addresses the BET

Funny shit......

He basically goes on a 7 minute rant criticising the way in which BET basically 'quarantined' international (read: African) artists by giving them their awards backstage, away from the spotlight.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Arming South Sudan with A.A.

Former US Special Envoy to Sudan, Andrew Natsios, recently suggested that the US should arm South Sudan with anti air weapons to bring an end to Sudan's aerial bullying.

Now he suggests that.........WAIT........hold on.......haven't we heard this before?

............Oh yes.

It was originally the brilliant suggestion of my hero, John Prendergast.

Well done, Andrew Natsisos, you have just stolen an idea from George Clooney's shadow.....

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Give war a chance......it's not as horrible as people say it is

                                          (I can't believe I found a relevant video that is also related to current pop-culture)

"Paradoxically, an all-out civil war in Sudan may be the best way to permanently oust Mr. Bashir and minimize casualties. If a low-intensity conflict rages on, it will lead to a humanitarian disaster."

Seriously Gerard Prunier? I now imagine you're the type of person to put out a grease fire with an RPG.
You sound like an artificial intelligence robot that developed consciousness and calculated the conclusion that the only way to solve humanities problems is to eradicate humanity itself.

Polemic bullshit like this really gets on my nerves......all I hear is an endless barrage of emotionally driven irrational rhetoric that is more destructive than helpful. High-intensity conflict is not the solution. Its a nice thought, but clearly not one that has been very well though through.

For instance, how can one be sure that an all-out civil war won't simply be stretched out over a long period time with innumerable casualties on all sides? Is it really fair to throw those who may not necessarily have a desire to fight into a  full-scale war? Irrelevant of which side of the battlefield they stand on, in an all-out civil war, everyone is thrown into the line of sight. Furthermore, Prunier assumes that the dynamics of an all-out civil war is will be so simple, with one united front clashing against Bashir and his henchmen. Rather, we have long seen the complications of the group dynamics within the various conflict afflicted regions. These complications arise from distinctly differing reasons for their rebellion in the first place and more importantly, differences in their end game or vision for the conflict. For example the various Darfuri rebels have always had problems agreeing on issues. More recently, there was this. In an all-out civil war, it really wouldn't be that hard to imagine that Bashir, being true to his diabolical Bond-villain-like nature, would simply exploit these differences to cause internal clashes, thus weakening any united alliances. We've seen it happen in South Sudan with the apparent financing of rebel groups by Khartoum during and after the war.

More importantly, even if somehow the rebels were able to stay united and manage to oust Bashir.........what then? With so many differing visions of what Sudan should be, coming from a range of peoples who are typically ethnically and culturally distinct from each other, can it be assumed that they would all just sit down be able to come up with a clear plan as to how the country will be ruled and by whom? Or is it just as likely that the these various rebels representing their community will continue to fight and will continue to increase the death toll, long after Bashir is gone?

I realise that I sound extremely pessimistic......but thats because I am. I will always be pessimistic towards the war option, especially when I am still very optimistic about a peaceful option.
"The status quo is not working, regardless of what American and United Nations officials might believe."
Yes, the status quo may not be working......but that doesn't mean that we give up and simply start shooting. It means that we change the status quo. For example, Prunier argues that;
"Whenever foreign leaders demand greater respect for human rights or peace talks, Sudan always agrees, because agreeing makes the international community happy"
 Well, equally valid is the fact that foreign leaders also always promise Sudan that they would finally ease up on all the sanctions if Sudan did "X", but when Sudan does "X", foreign leaders do not follow through. More on this point here.
"Indeed, without some moral common ground, “negotiations” are merely a polite way of acquiescing to evil, especially when one’s interlocutors are pathologically incapable of respecting their own word. And in the case of a murderer like Mr. Bashir, there is no moral common ground."
Only fools hold negotiations based on moral common ground. Negotiations need to bring about mutual agreements that reflect a sense of interdependence for all parties. You can't expect people to be motivated to work together when there is no strong reason for them to do so. I think that with more time, investment/commitment from foreign leaders and with a continued preservation of hope for a peaceful solution, the war option can be kept under the bed along with all the other childish fantasies.

And in regards to Prunier himself.......it is so fucking easy for you to sit there in your armchair and talk of war when the saliency of the suffering, sacrifices and casualties of conflict is so far from your arrogant mind. Place your life and the lives of those you love on the front line and then we'll see if your strong support for war persists. In the future, be more careful with your sentiments, as your words are likely to influence the opinion of those that read it, and this world does not require anymore warmongers..........unless your solution to humanities problems is in fact to eradicate humanity itself.

............now I need to go wash the taste of hippy off my mouth.

h/t: Roving Bandit

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

DDR Reversal

From ST:

On Tuesday the Vice President, Riek Machar, called for a joint meeting involving national ministers and leadership of the bicameral Juba parliament as well as representatives of the political parties, national unions, business community, local NGOs and civil society organizations in the country.The meeting called for the formation of a wider national mobilization body to coordinate efforts geared towards mobilizing human and material resources to support the national army in the face of the "Khartoum’s aggression.".....This will include recruitment into the army youth volunteers and ex-combatants.

So much for all that effort put into DDR......well, at least UNDDR now has a solid excuse for not having done anything.
Also, how awkward is it going to be to have the soldiers go back out to the villages to return the weapons they took from civilians during the various disarmament campaigns. 

Still, I can't see any possibility of this decision coming back to haunt them in the future.........