Acholi pajok have been uprooted from their homeland – Decades isn’t over, we are forced to go back to displacement camps.
Hundreds of Acholi Pajok fled into Uganda for a second day on Wednesday 6/April 2017 bearing further grim testimony of an attack by government forces on the border town of Pajok in which at least 17 people were killed, according to a Reuters tally.
Some were shot as they tried to flee. Others had their throats slit before their bodies were strung up from door frames. Two children were run down by a car.
The testimony from the refugees, more than 3,000 of whom have gathered just inside the Ugandan border, offers a glimpse of the brutality of a three-year civil war ripping apart the world’s youngest nation.
The government denies its Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) forces target civilians and said Monday’s operation in Pajok, a town of more than 10,000 people 15 km (10 miles) north of the Ugandan border, was to flush out rebel guerrillas.
Reports that its soldiers had killed residents were untrue, SPLA deputy spokesman Colonel Santo Domic Chol said. His troops had orders to refrain from entering and taking over Pajok, he said.
“This is not true. It is just a manufactured campaign against the SPLA. Some people are not happy, because the SPLA flushed out bandits and rebels who have been controlling Pajok for the last two years,” he told Reuters by phone.
“What I know is that the bandits are looting and killing the population in Pajok, starting on Friday, Saturday.”
South Sudan, which split away from Sudan in 2011 after decades of conflict, has been mired in civil war since President Salva Kiir sacked his vice president Riek Machar in 2013.
Acholi Towns turned into a limbo
Pasquale Okot, 30, a farmer, narrates the tragic death of his two brothers
Having fled the initial fighting, he crept back to his home in Ywayaa village on Pajok’s outskirts to collect his belongings. There he saw government soldiers grab his brother, 35-year-old mechanic Ayela Peter, from a crowd, tie his ankles, slit his throat and sling up his body in a doorway.
“When they saw them slaughtering my brother, people scattered and started running. When they were running, they shot my other brother,” Okot said at the Ngoromoro border crossing.
The fighting has caused the biggest refugee exodus in Africa since the 1994 Rwandan genocide, and the United Nations said in December it had evidence of ethnic cleansing by both government forces and rebels, with soldiers showing callous disregard for civilian life. Two refugees spoke of the SPLA troops overrunning Pajok’s hospital and killing a medical worker.
Omal Koloro, 52, a businessman, said the medic was a doctor called Aloka who had tried to prevent SPLA soldiers from entering the compound. Four others at the hospital were also killed, Koloro said.
In another incident, he said children were targeted as they ran across a bridge at the first outbreak of gunfire. “Two were run over and two they just shot,” he said.
we are all sad about the indiscriminate killing of innocent civilians, children, women, and elderly ones.
The Pajok assault is the latest in a string of attacks in the fertile Equatoria region that is emptying towns and villages near the border with Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo.
More than 1.5 million people have fled in the last nine months, nearly two thirds of them to Uganda, which is struggling to cope.
The Ugandan government and United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) are scrambling to complete a half-built refugee settlement near Ngomoromo for the latest arrivals, who are living in the bush at the Ugandan border.
“We’re trying to work out the best place for them to be accommodated,” UNHCR spokesman Alvin Gonzaga said. “We’re trying to ready the site but we need the signature of the land owners.”
Concerns and Worries
Even when they reach the relative safety of a settlement camp, many refugees face an agonizing wait for loved ones who went missing in the panic two days ago.
The phone signal to Pajok has been cut. (The questions is why the government cuts of communication line if they are not the perpetrator of the incident)
“My mother is still there,” Okot said. “We don’t know whether she’s alive or dead.”
Survivors in picture – Many Questions unanswered!
A look back at this small town in picture!
Did You know?
Wether you are learning Acholi or you are a native speaker, did you really know that the modern spoken Acholi -(leb acoli/luo ) has a total of 42 Alpahbets?
You better believe it!
Recenetly we(not linguistic giants – just “we” the native acholi speaker helping others to learn simple spoken and written acholi) have discovered that Acholi Languge has more than jsut 26 straighforward English Alphabets.
The 42 Alphabets discovered are a mixture of single Alphabetical letters(with the exception of some few letters that aren’t part of Acholi alphabets) and a two letters’ combination that are inseparable in pronunciation of every day spoken Acholi/luo Language.
Despite the fact that Acholi/Luo language uses the same English Alphabets, it has more combination of “two” letters to form a single pronounciation that signifies them(The two letters combined) to be qualified as clear “stand-alone Aphabetical letters, since they aren’t pronounce separately but as one letter word in a sentences.
The two letters’ combination is pronouced as one letter word with additon of specific vowels at their ends.
- “Ny” (literally pronounced -“Nya (or +other vowels..”) as in “Bwami” (violence)
- “Ng” (literally pronounced -“Nga ( or +other vowels…”) as in “Ngom” (soil)
- “Bw” (literally pronounced -“Bwa (or +other vowels..”) as in “Bwami” (violence)
- “By” (literally pronounced -“Bya (or +other vowels..”) as in “Byel” (to carry on your back – esp. applied to babies )
- “Cw” (literally pronounced -“Cwa” (or +other vowels..”) as in “Cwal” (to send or push)
- “Dy” (literally pronounced -“Dya”) (or +other vowels..”) as in “Dyang” (Cow/bull) and many others.
These two combination letters’ alphabets given above and many others are pronounced as one letter words in every day spoken Acholi/luo Language.
Check out the full list and how to practice pronouncing them at LANow
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Part.1. Acoli/Luo (aka Acholi) Alphabet
Acholi is spoken mainly in Northern Uganda, known collectively as Acholiland, and in the Eastern Part of Southern Sudan. Who belongs to the Western Nilotic branch of the Nilo-Saharan languages. Acholi/Acoli is closely related to Alur, Lango, Jopadhola and Luo of Kenya. Acholi is also pronounce as Acoli, Akoli, Acooli, Atscholi, AShuli, Lwoo, Lwo,
The Language spoken by the Acholi People is also known as – Acholi or Lok Acoli or Dok/dog Acoli or Leb Acholi.
The best-known piece of writing in Acholi so far is the Song of Lawino, an epic poem by Okot p’Bitek from Uganda. It was first published in 1966 and has been translated into quite a few other languages, including English.
Part-1. The Alphabet.
Written Acholi Alphabet is so unique in many ways and sometimes may look confusing to many Learners of this most easy language to learn in the world.
There are letters that are completely missing and some letters are combined to form a desired pronunciation of a single word. Therefore, don’t get it wrong when you see two letters together in the Alphabetical lists, just remember that the two letters are, but one single Alphabetical word in Acholi language.
Below is the Alphabetical order:
The missing letters:
As explained above, Acholi Alphabet doesn’t include all the 26 English Alphabetical letters. There seven missing letters, they are listed below;
“F, H, Q, S, X, V and Z”
However, this doesn’t mean that acholi language; written or spoken doesn’t use these letters at all, No, they are used occasionally when references are made to nouns known in other Languages which are not of Acoli/Luo (acholi) origin.
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Lesson -2. Beginners Introduction to Times and Days Phrases.
|Cawa, Kare, nino||Time, periods||Saa, wokit||Quelle heure est-il ?|
|Cawa adii, caa adii?||What is the time?||Saa Kam||l’horloge, la montre
|cawa, Caa||clock, watch
|dakika||minutes||Dekika, Dagiga||la seconde|
|(me aryo)||second||Sha’niya||le matin, la matinée|
|Odiko Odiko con||Morning, Early Morning||Sabaah Sabaah Bedir||midi|
|cwiny dye ceng||midday, noon||Nus’Nahaar||l’après-midi
le jour, la journée
|Na’haar,||le soir, la soirée|
|otyeno, obwara||evening||Fil Misa, Mis’aan||la nuit|
|dye wor||night||Lehl, Bilehl||minuit|
|cwiny dye wor||midnight||Nus’Bilehl||avant-hier|
|Lawo maca, laworo maca,||day before yesterday||Awel umbaarhi,||hier|
|lawo, laworo, oworo||yesterday||Umbaarhi||aujourd’hui|
|tin||today||Alela , Alehla||demain|
|diki maca||day after tomorrow||Bahd Bukhura||la semaine|
|cabit||week||Usbuh, Usubuh||le mois|
|kare||season||Ayam, yom, Mosem||l’an, l’année|
|mwaka||year||Sana, Sena||le cadeau|
|mic, mot, pwoc||gift||Hadiya|
|mukwongo, me acel||before Firstly||Awel, Al Aweil, Al Uula||français|
|ingeye, inge …||after||Baaden, baad,||avant|
|kobedi, kombedi||now||Asi, Asha, Asa’de||après|
|Kulu, Matwal, kwak, kwit, pe, peke, twere koo||Never,
impossible, forget it
|cawa mukene, Caa Mogo,||sometimes||Baad mara, Baad Marat||jamais|
|kare ki kare,||often||-baad marat||parfois|
|nino ducu, caa weng, jwi jiw||always
|Daiman, kulu wokit,||souvent|
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Part.1C. Intoduction to Pronouns and other phrases.
|An, ane||a- (aa- sounds )||I||ana||je|
|In, ine||i- ( ee- sounds)||you||Inta, ita||tu|
|En||e- / o- (ae- sounds)||he
|Wan, wane||o- (aa-sounds)||we||Naa’nu, nina||nous|
|Wun, wune||u-(uu-sounds)||you||Intum, iitu,||vous|
English – Acholi.
- Me – An, or Kom an, or Koma.
- Me Myself – An Gikoma.
- You: – In (sing.) wun(plural)
- You Yourself – In Gikomi or Kom in.
- He/She/It – En or Kome,
- Himself/Herself/Itself – En Gikome. or Kom en.
- They – Gin
- Themselves – Komgi or Kom gin.
- They Themselves – Gin gikomgi.
- We – Wan or wane(other accent)
- We ourselves – wan gikomwa.
Ourselves -. Komwa
- Mother – Mego or Min
- Mumy – maa, or mama,
- My mum/mother – Mama na, Maa,
- Your Mum/Mother – Meru, or meni, or Mama ni.
- His/her/it Mum/Mother – Mine, or min…(..name of the person). eg: Min Okot.
- T heir Mother – Min gi or Meg’gi.
- Our Mother – Min wa, or Meg wa.
- Father – Wego or won
- Dad/Daddy – Baba, aba/oba.
- My Dad/Father – Wora or Won An, Baba na.
- Your Dad/Father – Woru or Won In, Baba ni.
- His/her/its Dad – Wone, or Won en.
- Their Dad/Father -Won gi, weg gi
- Our Dad/Father – Wonwa, or weg wa
….To be Continued
Next Lesson to cover – Brothers, Sisters, Cousins,, Uncles and Aunts.
African’s Best Performing Troupe
The Acholi Troupe(From South Sudan) of the Luo cultural dancers won the Meritorious Award as the best performing troup with their dance mixture of Dingidingi, Otole, Ndere and Laraka heart-shaking African music beats which rocked the events
The six days colorful Afro-Chinese Arts & Folklore Festival in Cairo, Egypt participated in by 18 different African countries and Chinese groups was marked by a memorable skillful Arts and folklore performance. The festival which includes film screening, folkloric dance performance as well as cuisine from the different countries and handicrafts was aimed to strengthen ties between African countries and China, celebrateing the cultural heritage of the participating countries.
The Acholi – Who are they?
The Acholi are the Luo/lwo or Joluo(Jaluo -sing). They belong to the vast ethnic group of the Nilotics (Jonam – people of the nile) . The Acholi mainly occupy Estern part of South Sudan and Nothern part of Uganda. (read more here)
The Acholi Troup in Cairo Egypt- Brief Background
These Acholi traditional dancers who performed at the Afro-Chinese Arts & Folklore Festival are among the few minority residents of Cairo, Egypt. While others are temporary residents, just coming only for study purposes, others have been living here for decades now (those registered as refugees).
Living away from their homeland mean no access proper equipment needed for traditional dances, they no backing of fund to support their activities from any external sources that would help them secure necessary materials and costumes for their dancers. They never gave up, waver or cave in to fear of performing. with the support of contribution from their community (ACE), they organize themselves for the event. With no traditional equipment like drums, flutes, cymbal and many others available for such arts and folklore events, they took advantage of a well recorded traditional music of their people back home. They carefully selected and trained 15 young ladies to perform and represent their traditional flavor of dance and music to the rest of the performing African countries and the world. Yes! they made, and more so they emerge the winner.
The ACAF colorful event in picture:
More updates coming soon…
Luo -Acholi Troup
Participating at the Afro-Chinese Arts & Folklore Festival Cairo Egypt.
Folklore can be described as traditional art, literature, knowledge, and practices that are passed on in large part through oral communication and example. The information thus transmitted expresses the shared ideas and values of a particular group.
Elliott Oring states that folklore is that part of culture that “lives happily ever after”. Folklore can be classified by ethnicity, region, religion, occupation, and many other categories. Folklore can be a reflection and expression of a group’s concerns. Ethnic folklore is a significant indicator of a groups’s traditional values.
How about Folk culture? This refers to the unifying expressive components of everyday life as enacted by localized, tradition-bound groups.