Oil-mudslides rolling over South Sudan

Trigged by an oil spill and subsequent heavy rainfall, waves of oil and contaminants-soaked mud are rolling over South Sudanese villages and farmlands, reports the Nile Institute of Environmental Health (NIE-Health), one of the country’s leading environmental monitoring and reporting institutions.

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The oil spill resulted from a bursting in December 2017 of a pipeline connecting Paloch and Adar, home to two of South Sudan’s most productive oil fields. The fields’ operators patched the pipeline and made a half-hearted attempt to bury and cover the spilled crude.

The seasonal rainfall gripping South Sudan has transformed the oil residues into a viscously flowing mixture that is now making its poisonous way through the villages and farmlands. Alarmed at the loss of their fields and of their potable water, local communities are organizing to force the oil companies to take the measures so urgently need to quell this flood of contaminants.

Fighting for their forests

Courageous communities take on the clear-cutters in South Sudan’s pristine woods

Ignoring regulations designed to protect Lela-Bul, wildcatting loggers are swarming over from Uganda to clear-cut one of Africa’s last greatest stands of first-growth forest.

As environmental journalist Hannington A. Ochan reports, this onslaught is finally inciting resistance. The communities that have lived from and with the forests for generations are organizing themselves to fight for them.

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Healing the pain through comedy

By Waakhe Simon Wudu

Mading Ngor’s childhood was spent fleeing the massacre that wiped out his village and killed his father, and then surviving the ensuing ten bitterly-hard years as a child refugee.

One of his remedies for fixing South Sudan would seem surprising, especially in view of his own harrowing childhood: comedy.

“We looked for the one thing that could build bridges across the deep divides that rack our country, and we came up with comedy,” says Mading.

And specifically, neighboring Kenya’s Eric Omondi, whose international popularity recently earned him a star turn on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show.

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Mading’s YouTube channel 

Remembering a friend

by Bonifacio Taban

“John Manguet was a heroic reporter and a leader. He was loved and embraced in his community,” says Nigel Ballard, Internews Director of Community Radio.

That is John’s epitaph.

John was killed in the late afternoon of July 11, 2016 by South Sudanese troops embarked on an orgy of killing, rape and harassment.

John was 32 years old.

I met John in 2012. He was a reporter for a community radio station in Bentiu, South Sudan. I was freelancing in the town, which is a center of the oil industry, for the Voice of America and for The Niles news-site (www.theniles.org).

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Joseph Oduha on journalism in South Sudan

Reporting in the “world’s most dangerous country for journalists”

“Hard to believe nowadays, but I used to love my chosen profession. That was before civil war broke out in 2013. In the heady pre-civil war era,  hopes ran high that South Sudan would have freedom of the press. Those hopes are long gone.

I  report on politics, corruption, violations of human rights and of freedom of the press and speech. That makes me a front-line reporter in today’s South Sudan.

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