HATE SPEECH MONITORING AND CONFLICT ANALYSIS IN SOUTH SUDAN

Report #5: September 24 – October 9, 2017

This report is part of a broader initiative by PeaceTech Lab to analyze online hate speech in South Sudan in order to help mitigate the threat of hateful language in fueling violence on-the-ground. Hate speech can be defined as language that can incite others to discriminate or act against individuals or groups based on their ethnic, religious, racial, gender or national identity. The Lab also acknowledges the role of “dangerous speech,” which is a heightened form of hate speech that can catalyze mass violence.

Summary of Recent Events

This reporting period is highlighted by developments on both diplomatic and military fronts. In terms of diplomatic efforts, IGAD’s release of the revitalization forum timetable put forward an October 13-17 period for consultations with South Sudanese leaders and citizens on the peace process. Consistent with this timeline, IGAD foreign ministers have begun their consultations with opposition leaders. On October 5, Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour and Ethiopian Foreign Minister Workneh Gebeyhu met with former first vice president Riek Machar in South Africa, and on October 9, Ghandour and IGAD Special Envoy Ismail Wais met with National Democratic Movement (NDM) leader Lam Akol in Khartoum.

Meanwhile, new online narratives are forming around these discussions. The approach adopted by IGAD includes consulting with various stakeholders as individual groups, instead of an all-inclusive conference. While some factions welcome this approach, others, such as Taban’s SPLA-IO wing, oppose it. In response, social media users are taking sides. Those who support the new IGAD approach are bombarding those opposed with inflammatory comments. In addition to using well-established terms such as “Nuer wew,” “Jienge,” or “cowards” during the reporting period, a wider range of terms such as “traitor,” “idiots,” and “dogs” have also been trending in this context.

At the same time, violent conflict continued in numerous regions of the country, including Nuer versus Nuer atrocities in Upper Nile, Equatorian competition for influence within the rebel camps and inside the government, and a government crackdown on Dinka Bor youth in Juba. On the latter point, on September 27, several Dinka Bor youth were arrested in Sherikat on the outskirts of Juba. This action, attributed to government forces, reflects long simmering tensions between the Dinka of Bahr el Ghazal and the Dinka Bor. Politically, these divisions were also evident in the split between Defense Minister Kuol Manyang (the most senior official from Bor), and former Chief of Staff Paul Malong (a Dinka from Aweil).  Contrary to mainstream media reports that only 9 Bor youth were arrested, Dinka youth in the diaspora claimed more than 90 youth are being held in undisclosed locations. This incident further exposes the tensions between the two major Bor sub-clans of Twi and Bor South, with some from the Bor South accusing the Twi of instigating the arrest.

Meanwhile, government-led military actions against the rebels in Upper Nile continue to capitalize on internal divisions among the Nuer. Pro-government opposition forces under First Vice President Taban Deng Gai seem determined to demonstrate their legitimacy and influence in the region while rebel forces loyal to former First Vice President Riek Machar claim the Upper Nile as their territory. For example, in late September, the rebels captured a county commissioner and several officials in the town of Waat in Bieh State. This volatile situation was exacerbated by First Vice President Taban Deng Gai’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, which was criticized by many South Sudanese (including pro-government supporters). Social media users were actively deriding Taban for his assumption of SPLA-IO leadership against Machar by equating him with a dog that ran away with the bone, only to suffer from biting a bone that lacks flesh.

In Greater Equatoria, some actors have struggled to decide whether to join the SPLA-IO, NAS or to support the government, resulting in violent confrontations. In addition to road attacks and the intimidation of weaker rebel groups, some disgruntled Equatorian groups have resorted to targeting Equatorian government officials and their associates. For example, the recent killing of Imatong State Governor Tobiolo Alberio’s bodyguard in Torit could be attributed to this kind of politically motivated targeting. Some observers contend that Tobiolo, Patrick Zamoi, and Cabinet Affairs Minister Martin Elia Lomoro have been politically vocal because they want to assert themselves as leaders, but this has had consequences for their colleagues. Similar to the killing of Tobiolo’s security guard, Martin’s relative, Kennedy Laki, was also killed, possibly as a warning to Martin.

Visualization and Analysis of Conflict Events

Violent Events: September 23 – October 7, 2017

The visualization and table below use data from the Armed Conflict Location and Events Database (ACLED) to portray incidents and trends in conflict-related events in South Sudan from September 23 – October 7, 2017. This is the most recent two-week period for which we are able to generate event data for South Sudan.

Data Source: Armed Conflict Location and Events Database

Date

Event Type

Location

Description

Fatalities

9/28/2017

Violence against civilians

Awerial

Armed cattle raiders allegedly from Yirol attacked a cattle camp in Nyinmayar, Awerial North County, Eastern Lakes State, leaving seven killed and ten others injured. The attackers took 58 heads of cattle and killed 30.

10

10/1/2017

- 10/4/2017

Battle-No change of territory

Waat

SPLA-IO rebels led by Machar attacked government forces allied to SPLA-IO under FVP Deng Gai in Waat from their base in Akobo. Clashes reportedly spread over 1-4 October. Authorities rejected claims by the rebels that the town was divided between the two parties after the clashes. SPLA claimed that the rebels were supported by members of the White Army. They claimed to have killed 150 rebels (including 91 on 1 October) and injured another 200, while four died on their side on 1 October and 20 others were injured. Shelling was reportedly heard during an ICRC mission to evacuate the wounded after the fighting on 4 October.

154

Data Source: Armed Conflict Location and Events Database (events in South Sudan with 5 or more fatalities)

 

 

Early Warning of Violence – Predictive Analytics

PeaceTech Lab is collaborating with partners to develop an early warning system using predictive analytics. Using a combination of data sources including the Armed Conflict Location and Events Database (ACLED), the Global Database of Events, Language, and Tone (GDELT), and social media content from Crimson Hexagon, the Lab has built a statistical model for predicting violence in South Sudan before it occurs. Over time, the Lab plans to refine and improve our model’s accuracy.

 

ACLED publishes new updated data every Monday. Each update covers the violent events that occurred up until the Saturday prior to the Monday that data is released. Our statistical model is re-trained every Monday with this updated data and then produces predictions for the upcoming week. The most recent ACLED data was published on October 9, 2017, for the week ending on October 7, 2017 (Week 40). We used that data to train our model and then forecasted for the following week of October 9-15 (Week 41).

The maps below visualize this system in practice. The model outputs a probability of violence for Week 41 – illustrated by shades of red in the map on the left. Using a probability threshold we then make predictions of which states will experience violence for Week 41– the red states in the map on the right.

Based on our predictions for week 40, compared to the real data that was released for week 40, our models accuracy increased to 80%.

 

Predicted Violence against Civilians for Week 41

 

 

 

 

 

 

Predicted Battles for Week 41

 

 

Visualizations – Overall Hate Speech¹

Volume of Hate Speech

The visualizations below show trends surrounding social media content identified as hate speech surrounding the South Sudan conflict. Content sources include: Facebook, Twitter, blogs, forums, new comments, and YouTube.

Dates: September 24 – October 9, 2017

280 comments, 54 shares on Mirayafm Facebook page post, which mentions how Salva Kiir cried while laying the foundation stone for Luri County headquarters, and is upset over the way South Sudan is being dragged backwards, and never wanted to get in to war. Source

76 comments, 32 shares on Mirayafm Facebook page post, which updates readers on a speech that Salvar Kiir gave in which he condemned the behaviors of the security forces in South Sudan. Source

Number of posts: 91

Content Sources for Hate Speech                            Top Sites for Hate Speech

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] This section and the next display content from hate speech categories, which were produced using a combination of hand coding and machine learning using social media data. Crimson Hexagon’s ForSight platform was used to filter for content of interest and train posts to categories. Posts that contain the terms identified through the lexicon and include inflammatory language were categorized as “hate speech”.

The visualization below shows top-level and sub-level themes in content identified as hate speech.

Topic Wheel of Hate Speech                                Word Cloud of Hate Speech

The visualization below shows recurring words and themes in content identified as hate speech.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cluster of Terms in Hate Speech

 

The cluster visualization below shows connections between terms in social media content identified as hate speech.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hate Speech Terms

 

Nuer Wew/Nuer Weu

The term “Nuer Wew” is still actively trending on social media. As initially identified in the Lab’s research, the term has variations in spelling and is most often used by Nuer (and some Equatorians) in the SPLA-IO to insult those Nuer who either stayed in, or rejoined, the SPLA-In Government, such as first vice president Taban Deng Gai. The term portrays the Nuer loyal to President Kiir and his government as money-minded or money-lovers. 

Currently, “Nuer Wew” is widely used as the fight for control of the Nuer community and territory by current Vice President Taban Deng Gai and former Vice President Riek Machar and their factions continues. For example, social media users reacted to an incident on September 24 in which SPLM-IO rebels in Akobo allied to Riek Machar were reported to have captured 14 members of a peace delegation, and then refused to release them despite government demands (see sample posts below). This term, at its core, refers to the intended targets’ selfishness and betrayal at the expense of the broader Nuer community.

Additionally, the term “Equatorian Wew” has also emerged online as a variation of “Nuer Wew.” In this case, the term applies in an inflammatory way to Equatorians working in the current political regime. One of its earliest online references can be traced back to 2015. In the comments of one online post, ethnically targeted variants of “Nuer Wew” were used, including terms such as: Chollo wew, Balanda wew, Jur wew and Wurun wew. Although the frequency of the term “Equatorian Wew” is not high, it can gain traction given current tensions between Equatorians who are defecting from the SPLM-IO to Thomas Cirillo’s NAS, and some Nuer who view them as traitors. This term is also considered dangerous when it refers to  individuals by name, thereby making those individuals and their relatives, friends or family members potential targets for violence.

“Nuer Wew” can be considered inflammatory because it portrays those loyal to the government as tools rather than individuals following their conscience. It also trivializes complex grievances and concerns that people may have by labeling them as people who are motivated by money or paid to betray the Nuer community. Use of the term can indicate that all Nuer think alike and are therefore responsible for the government’s actions.

Sample Posts:

 

Date: September 25, 2017

Source: Sudan Tribune

 

To Kush and Kwacha
My dear friends you’re dream of their release by force. It can not and will never happen that you will release them by force. They must be investigated of their interfering of Akobo activities which they were not involve to do. Peace for what?? do your peace in Juba with Dinka and Nuer wew don’t attempt to Lou Nuer land or promise land. Torturing them properly they will learnt.

 

 

 

 

Date: September 26, 2017

Source: Sudan Tribune

 

Kush/slave

You talk like you can fight without Nuerwew/UPDF right???? Well, we accept your second option. Come and release them at your own risk!!!!

 

Top of Form

 

 

 

 

 

Date: September 25, 2017

Source: Facebook (Post has since been removed)

 

People are alway called us Nuerwew because we refuse to follow this woman called Nyariek machar. Then follow field marshal able leader general Taban Deng(liberator). Those who called like that fuck you see how she dress. Wife of jacop juma of south Africa. Hahahaha man in Ayod Gawaar centre.

 

                                   

Top of Form

 

 

 

Date: October 4, 2017

Source: Sudan Tribune

 

Fucks all Kiir n jce insects in this forum.. No need for Kiir resignation but three thing must be involes.
1- secessions for Nuer and equotoria co Dinka’s prove that they re just insects n animals who don’t deserve to lives with human.
2- all Dinka’s insects plus their Nuerwew foods n stomach fighters n their equotoria jce worshippers who involvesin butchering civilians cross the country must be t

 

 

 Top of Form

 

Food Lovers

The phrase “food lovers” can be used alongside, or as an alternative to, terms such as “nyam nyam” or “cowards[1]” in reference to the multi-ethnic groups in Equatorian states. “Food lovers” was originally used to portray the Equatorians as cowards who cannot withstand the war. Collectively, the three terms were mostly utilized by Dinka and Nuer social media users to depict the Equatorians as people who are too soft to confront injustices through violence. When the term first emerged, it referred to Equatorians as people whose sole purpose is simply to work, eat, and enjoy life.

More recently, this term is being used by opposition supporters to refer to politicians serving in the government (but mostly Nuer) who are “filling their stomachs” or seen to be personally benefitting from the conflict while oblivious to the suffering of their communities. This term is now more commonly used on social media together with the terms like “Nuer Wew” and “traitor,” while also targeting Equatorians in government. “Food Lovers” also targets President Salva Kiir’s Nuer allies and Taban Deng Gai’s supporters. The term can also be used to differentiate these groups from “freedom fighters” by referring to them as “food fighters” who enter armed combat against their own communities for their personal gain.

“Food Lovers” is contextually similar to “Nuer Wew” because it targets ideology and political affiliation rather than ethnicity. This term is inflammatory as it does not allow neutral or alternative political opinions. Use of the term squeezes the Nuer community into a binary system in which they are either pro-Machar, and therefore worthy of being called Nuer, or pro-Taban Deng Gai, and thus betrayers of their community.  

Sample Posts:

 

 

Date: September 30, 2017

Source: Facebook

Location: Oslo, Norway

 

My message goes to Ato Thokwath Pal .please uncle Thokwath don't lie on media tells nonsense news about army of Dr Riek are in Pagak are against Ethiopia Government. Those food lovers led by Bol Ruach Roam and Thokwath Pal shouldn't get rich because of blood of Gaatjaak children's. You caused Dr Riek Machar and Nuer community a great deal of damage in favour of Dinka leadership under Salva Kiir Mayardit whom you are materially benefits from him. Believe me you will pay dearly.

                 

 

Date: September 22, 2017

Source:  Facebook

 

Great men speak from heart, your my friend now. We will suffer from this day to that day but time will come when Nuer will rise against their food lovers and then they will face their enemy. We will get there Thank you very much. Great speech.

 

 

 

 

 

Date: September 29, 2017

Source: Facebook

 

"Ahah haha haha" They will get only Nuer food lovers from their planning. Dinka government will be end very soon

"Intercepted"- 
Jieng Neutralization plan on opposition (s):
13, November 2014
It seems like the war is not going to end in our favour unless we take more steps in switching the end results on our favour (Neutralization plan on opposition).

 

 

 

 

Date: October 9, 2017

Source: Facebook

Location: Kampala, Uganda


I want to repeated my statement of last three Year ago " Nuer Wew( food lovers) are like condom that been accustomed during sex and malpractice after all" 
We will never be slavery of certain citizens of SS!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tabanist

Derived from the name of First Vice President Taban Deng Gai, this term is mostly used as a derogatory reference to his Nuer followers and supporters. One of the first online mentions of “Tabanists” dates back to a post from 2016 which says: “To the Tabanists, personal motivations such as wealth, power, privileges, etc. override all else while the Jieng Council of Elders intends to accomplish their project of hegemonic tendency and recolonization.”

 

On social media, an animal analogy has also been drawn to describe “Tabanists”
as naïve gazelles whose motivation is political survival, protection and access to resources. Meanwhile, they are unaware that their own destruction is imminent because they are partnering with lions (The Jieng Council of Elders) whose nature is to devour gazelles. The Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) is believed to the brains behind most of President Salva Kiir’s political and military decisions, while attempting to consolidate power and resources for Dinka throughout South Sudan.

 

“Tabanist” is also used to differentiate between Nuer loyal to Riek Machar versus those who support Taban Deng Gai. It has been used online to warn Taban’s Nuer supporters that they have no place in Nuer areas and must be ready to move into Dinka territory.

 

This term is used against Nuer people who are perceived to have betrayed the Nuer community by siding with Taban Deng Gai for the benefit of government money. The term is considered inflammatory because it reduces the space for dialogue and individual expression within and across political lines by labeling supporters of Taban Deng Gai as blind followers of their leader.

 

Sample Posts:

 


Date: October 1, 2017

Source: Facebook

 

There is no mercy for Tabanist people and Nuer betrayal food lovers both Western World and Africa. wherever they go we will get them. IO Viva the war still continue

 

 

 

 

 

 

Date: October 8, 2017

Source: Facebook

 

WOW SHAMEFUL ON TABANIST GROUP OR GENERAL THAT ARE BEEN INTERGRATED By juba regime badly and KIIR HAVE CALL U DOGS,

 

 

 


 

Date: October 7, 2017

Source: Facebook

 

When you deserted your community for piece of bread, you began to grow a big stomach and uploading a lot of photos thinking that, your future is bright than those brothers of yours whom you have betrayed, my brother you are developing stupid strategy...

IO is coming home soon... 
Tabanist and kiir's cohorts must go!!!!! 
Viva splm IO
Viva Dr. Janus

 

 

 

Top of Form

Date: October 7, 2017

Source:  Facebook

 

Tabanist need to understand that their circus of trickery is out of date, their Crown Hotel movement remains merely a meal ticket. 
No more to sell out.

 

 

 

Kokora

A term identified in the Lab’s lexicon, this term means “division” in Bari. It originated in the 1972 Addis Ababa agreement at the end of the First Sudanese Civil War, which called for re-organization of three southern provinces—Bahr el Ghazal, Equatoria, and Upper Nile—into one southern region. Equatorians subsequently agitated for autonomy, while the other provinces preferred unification. In 1983, Nimeiri responded with a decree that disbanded the union in favor of three provinces and ordered non-Equatorians back to their regions. Consequently, non-Equatorians use this term to disparage Equatorians as not liking people from other regions. Bari-speaking Equatorians use this term to describe Dinkas as land-grabbers, or to refer to land-grabbing grievances more generally.

 

More recently, the term has been used online to support or push back against Thomas Cirillo’s NAS rebel movement. Since the formation of the NAS movement, some opinion writers have accused Cirillo of being Salva Kiir’s spy, and his movement a tool to destabilize the SPLM-IO. Shifting alliances by Equatorians who feel underrepresented in the government and in opposition groups could cause wider rifts between Equatorians and Nuer, potentially resulting in violence.

 

Some social media users have employed “Kokora” to advocate for the move of both the Dinka and Nuer out of Equatoria. Some Dinka and Equatorians oppose this usage by claiming that such division did not work historically and left the southern region weak against Khartoum. Supporters of Kokora are portrayed as anti-South Sudan and anti-unity. Dinka who have previously spoken out against the idea of Kokora have been accused of being afraid to return to their hometowns because they are lazy, or because they rely on other South Sudanese communities to survive. Some Equatorians have utilized the term to warn other Equatorians that the Nuer are also a threat to their communities, and that the Nuer will not allow Equatorians to live in peace once the Dinka are pushed out (suggesting that Equatoria will turn into “Nuertoria”). However, some Nuer have insisted that the main threat is the Dinka, and that Nuer have no need to be in Equatoria.

 

According to the Lab’s research, “Kokora” can be considered hateful language since it inflames tensions based on historic lessons of division and weakness in the southern region of the country. Furthermore, “This (term) is used to target non-Equatorians, especially Jieng/Dinka. It’s used to initiate violence against non-Bari-speaking people. It’s a term that can be used to turn Equatorians against people in Bahr-el Ghazal or Upper Nile.”

 

Sample Posts:

 

 

Date: September 27, 2017

Source: Facebook

 

I know him (Gasim) personally even if he did not joint any arm movement. Salva(tore) and the Jenje Council of Elders are finish. Sava(tore) Is crying in public with tears now blaming his tribal army of the killings, rapings, looting, all short of what Dinka tribe did to other tribes of South Sudan. He was thinking the. Ugandan president Mr. Museveny will live for ever as president of Uganda, to save him. But nothing like that. Museveny's days are numbered. Dinka will soon go out of Equatoria States, if UN did not intervene, and make them move out of Juba as UN had suggested in 2015 peace deal between Dr. Riak Machar Teny, UN, IGAD, and their stakeholders. They are Dane. SPLA I.O Greed to be out of Juba and they had wanted to do so, but the JENGE Elders refused. OK let us see. Hon Abel Alier knows better from 1986 the kokora era.

 

 

 

Date: September 27, 2017

Source: Facebook

 

my friend my mind is not sick to be examined, but my mind is sick of tribalism and Kokora dream, tribalism and kokora has no difference. some times Kokora is even more worst than tribalism. let us not deceived our selve,

 

 

 

Date: September 30, 2017

Source: Facebook

 

LOMORO.. KAKISTOCRACY THE GOVERNMENT BY THE USELESS AND INEFFECTIVE AND INEFFICIENT IDIOTCRATS...

SEE HERE THE THOMAS CIRILLO BUNCH OF KOKORA ADDICTS OR FANATICS....THESE ARE A BUNCH OF KOKORA ADDICTS WHO FEEL THAT EQUATORIA IS THEIRS AND THEY SHOULD IMPOSE THEIR CLOSET IDEAS ON A FREE NATION....

 

 

 

Date: September 25, 2017

Source:  Facebook

 

South Sudan is already a 3 countries with 3 executives, we just need to admit it. Some people are carrying heavy loads. Let us lighten the load by making KOKORA official.

Stand for your right Kurdistan!

 

 

 

Date: September 26, 2017

Source: Facebook

 

let us be straight in search for everlasting peace. To be honest, no ever lasting peace will come to that country through Dinka's and Nuer's or election of A dinka or Nuer president, neither through kokora . Dinka and Nuer will never be in peace due to their mentalities of revenge and counter revenge killing. However I believe that peace will only come to that country, if the leadership of the country is given to small tribe, but not also just any small tribes, with cultural relatioship with Dinka, Nuer or chronic mentalities of Kokora , but small and strong tribes with mentalities of treating everybody equal and can say no with equal force to any aggressive person who will be still harbarring hate and revenge killing. The mentalities of Dinka, Nuer and some chronic kokora mentalities communities with not allow ever lasting peace to flourished in that country even if the country go for confideration, mentalities of Nuer, Dinka and kokora communities will still cause problem that will lead to war and killing. Oh God have mercy on us (South Sudan)

 

 

 

 

 

Visualizations – Word Cloud by Term

The word cloud visualizations below show recurring words and themes in posts used alongside each of the terms we feature in this report.

 

Disclaimer: For the term “food lover” we were unable to generate accurate visualizations that properly depicted how the term was being used as hate speech, due to the common nature of the term. Our visualizations were pulling in data and information that was not relevant to our work, and would have been more distracting than helpful for our readers. Due to this, we have excluded the visualizations for “food lover”.

 

We are not yet able to provide visualizations for the term “Tabanist”, but will do so as more posts using the term become available.

 

Kokora

 

Nuer Wew

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visualizations – Content Sources by Term

The charts below show the type of platforms as percentage of overall content in which each of these terms is used during the reporting period.

Nuer Wew

 

 

Kokora

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visualizations – Top Sites by Term

The charts below show the top sites in which each of these terms has been used since the beginning of the reporting period.

 

 

Nuer Wew

Kokora

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes

 

The terms featured in this report were prioritized based on volume of posts from our social media monitoring and analysis. Please note that we are only able to collect and analyze public social media content, which limits our ability to access a significant amount of posts including hate speech. This is particularly true for South Sudan, given that many of the major platforms for inflammatory comments and posts are largely private, including Facebook and WhatsApp. In our own monitoring, we have seen examples of terms identified in our lexicon of hate speech terms that we have not been able to include as examples above since they are primarily used in private user pages.

 

For any comments or questions about this report, or to be removed from the distribution list, please contact Theo Dolan at theo@peacetechlab.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] For more information on hate speech terms such as “nyam nyam” and “cowards,” please refer to the Lab’s lexicon of hate speech terminology.

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