SSCCSE launches 2010 statistical yearbook for South Sudan

JUBA, 10 March 2011 – The Southern Sudan Centre for Census Statistics and Evaluation (SSCCSE) yesterday launched the 2010 statistical yearbook for South Sudan. The statistical yearbook is published annually by the SSCCSE and is intended to be a reference document providing statistical information for each year.


In his opening remarks, the Vice President of the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS), H.E. Dr. Riek Machar Teny, who was the guest of honour at the launch, congratulated the SSCCSE on the preparation and launching of the Statistical Yearbook 2010. He also expressed great pleasure in the presentations delivered by the SSCCSE senior officials and the directors of the GIS information system, and Economics and Statistics. The Vice President acknowledged the importance of the SSCCSE in providing vital information to government agencies as well as to NGOs.


He said that knowledge is power and is important for targeting interventions and choosing (development) priorities adding that the centre offered a signal service to the government. “Without information no direction can be reached neither can the national goals be achieved”. He also said that the data is also an important tool for the media and all the people of Southern Sudan.


The Vice President reiterated the need for statistics in every sector of the economy saying that quantifiable data is to some degree a measure of progress or failure. He reiterated that no sector was outside the purview of statistics and every sector was quantifiable to a degree. He added that statistical data collection enhances the measurement of the government’s actions and plans and is important as food security is central to development.

 


H.E. Machar addressing guests at the launch.


He said that decades of long wars had deprived Southern Sudan of the opportunity of development in various fields and it deserves to see quick realization of development and the peace dividend. He encouraged the SSCCSE to continue providing a sound base of information for Southern Sudan. With regard to the GIS, he said that the South had previously been denied GIS because it was an American technology owing to the sanctions on Sudan. He said that now that it is available, it should be taught in institutions of higher learning. He emphasized that there should be greater utilization of GIS in government and that it should be available in all units dealing with statistics such as Ministry of Health and others. He said that this would help reduce the workload of SSCCSE as line ministries would also be conducting their own surveys. He concluded that as Southern Sudan becomes a state, the Centre should consider a new name in the light of the fact that independent nations have (statistical) bureaus. He also suggested that the name should be shorter.


On his part, the chairperson of the SSCCSE, H.E. Isaiah Chol Aruai said that the 2010 Yearbook is more detailed than the previous editions. He also said that the current edition also contains information on the Food and Nutrition Security Assessment in Sudan and highlights a variety of food security indicators including undernourishment, dietary energy consumption and the depth of hunger.


The chairperson also said that capacity building is one of the greatest challenges the centre faces. He explained that it takes a long time and costs a lot of money. He clarified that low human capacity was not the issue but low levels of skills. He said that SSCCSE staff had proven that given the skills they were able to rise to the challenge and perform. He said that when many of the staff joined the centre they were not trained to produce maps, prepare complex statistical syntax or design sample surveys which are some of the highly technical tasks being carried out by SSCCSE staff.


The chairperson also thanked the Government of Southern Sudan which assisted the Centre with budgetary allocations; the UNDP for funding the production of the Yearbook; and other organizations which helped in data collection as well as FAO which furnished the Centre with data on the food security report.


Reported by Barnaba Mabor Mayom

 


Summary of decisions of the SPLM/NCP negotiations of the Finance, Economic and Natural Resources Cluster

JUBA, 10 March 2011 - The two parties to the negotiations duly represented by their appointed representatives discussed diligently the issues tabled for negotiations and made the following decisions:

 

  1. The debt relief shall be jointly carried out by the two parties through an appeal letter to the creditors only if the outstanding CPA issues are squarely resolved, namely, oil related matters, redemption of the SDGs by the CBOS once the South Sudan state introduces its new currency, border demarcation, Abyei and security.
  2. The oil sub-cluster of both parties discussed a range of issues on oil after July 9th 2011. There were no agreements on access to oil and the ownership to the pipeline and other related assets such as refineries.
  3. The sub-cluster on banking and currency managed to agree on setting up technical committees to follow up banking related matters but failed to agree on currency redemption by CBOS.
  4. The sub-cluster on debt and assets agreed on a joint letter to the creditors but conditioned such joint approach with substantive progress on issues stated in resolution (1) above.
  5. Both parties agreed for a follow up meeting scheduled for April 2011.


SPLM/NCP Heads of the Sub-Clusters:


- H.E.Pagan Amum, Lead Negotiator
- H.E. Idris Abde Kadir, Lead Negotiator.
- H.E. Kosti Manibe, Head of the Cluster
- H.E. Saeed Al Katieb, Head of Cluster
- H.E. Paul Mayom Akec, Head of Sub-Cluster (Oil)
- H.E. Al Fatih Al- Nour, Head of Sub-cluster (Debt)
- H.E. Dr. Sabir Ahmed, Head of Sub-Cluster (Banking and Currency)
- H.E. Changson Lew Chang, Sub-Cluster (Banking and Currency)
 

Mediation & Facilitation: AUHIP, USA, NORWAY.
Prepared by: SS2011 Taskforce, Observer Status

 


Second reading of GOSS 2011 budget

JUBA, 8 March 2011 – The GOSS Annual Budget for the Fiscal Year 2011 in its second reading was presented by Hon. Prof Barri A. Wanji, the Chairperson for Committee of Development, Economy and Finance to the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly (SSLA) yesterday.


In the Second Assembly /2011/second session /2011 during an ordinary Sitting No: 6/2011 dated Monday 7th March, 2011 at the SSLA Main Hall in Juba. The Hon. Prof. Barri A. Wanji presented the report of the Annual Budget of GOSS for the Fiscal Year 2011 in its second reading. The report is comprised of 30 pages. The total estimated budget for 2011 is 5.7 billion compared to 5.6 billion for 2010.

 


Prof Wanji presenting the budget.
[Photo: Marchelo Leopoldo]


Hon. Prof Wanji indicated that the Ministry of Finance and Economy Planning in the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) should come up with key areas of economic growth. The Committee has also examined the strategy for macroeconomic management which includes monetary policies on the southern Sudan economy, social deliveries to the people of southern Sudan and policy of decentralized system. The Committee has come up the following general recommendations:

 

  1. Improved public finance management; the committee requested the ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to comply with the 2011 Appropriation Act;
  2. Requested the Ministry to release funds to various ministries to enhance performance;
  3. Requested all spending agencies including the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to submit to SSLA quarterly reports of performance for accountability, transparency and for common good of the people of Southern Sudan;
  4. MFEP to submit Budget Implementation report to the SSLA in accordance with the Appropriation Act and the Constitution;
  5. Additional SDG 10,000,000 (ten million) be given to the ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare;
  6. Requested the ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to pay contractors who transported the IDPs from the North and Diaspora;
  7. Immediate implementation of the development of hydroelectric power for industrialization of Southern Sudan;
  8. Revival of key industries of Nzara Agro–industrial Complex, Wau Fruit Factory, Wau Brewery, Tonj Kenaff, Mongala Agro-complex, Kapoeta and Managayat Cement, Upper Taalanga tea and coffee projects, Aweil Rice Scheme, Melut Sugar Factory, Iron Industry in Wau, Malakal Tannery, Gum Africa and Yirol Oil mill. The mentioned industries should be implemented under the Public Private Partnership initiative or foreign direct investment;
  9. Assembly directed the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to ensure that all spending agencies to close their accounts at the end of the financial year to enable the Audit Chamber to undertake auditing;
  10. Assembly requested the MFEP to brief the SSLA leadership on reserves; and
  11. Assembly requested the Bank of Southern Sudan to invest on reserve and participate in the budgeting process by making decisive proposals on monetary policies.


The Sitting was chaired by Right Hon Speaker of the SSLA. It was attended by 116 honorable members, GOSS ministers, senior officials of the ministries, local and international media. After the presentation, the floor was given to opposition leader to comment on the report of Annual Budget of GOSS 2011.


By Clement Aturjong Kuot


Correction on the advert of vacancies at the GOSS Ministry of Human Resource Development

JUBA, 8 March 2011 -  The email address provided in the advertisement of vacancies in the Ministry of Human Resource Development is not correct. Please note that the correct address is:

 

mohrdvtgoss@gmail.com


We sincerely apologize for the mistake and the inconvenience occasioned to applicants by this oversight on our part. Kindly accept our apology.

 

Angeth Acol de Dut
Undersecretary


Zimbabwe is also willing to send teachers to South Sudan

JUBA, 7 March 2011 – More support is flowing in for the education sector of South Sudan after in readiness of its independence. Zimbabwe has become the latest country to offer support for the new country.


The pledge of the Zimbabwean government was received today by the minister for Education, Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS), H.E. Dr. Michael Milli Hussein during a meeting between him and the Zimbabwean Consul General, Mr. Kufa Chinoza, in Juba.


Addressing the press after the meeting, the minister said that they discussed ways of collaboration between the two countries in the educational sector. He said there are many educational lessons to learn from Zimbabwe which is one of the countries with high literacy levels in Africa.

 


Mr. Kufa Chinoza during the meeting.
[Photo: Emmanuel Gai Maker]


Dr. Hussein also lauded the support offered by the people and government of Zimbabwe to Southern Sudanese during the struggle. He expressed confidence that educational sector will definitely provide a new platform of collaboration.


On his part, Mr. Chinoza said that Zimbabwe has a surplus of trained teachers some of whom are currently spread in many Diasporas. He said that a meeting between the two ministers from both countries will discuss a framework of collaboration in this regard in due course.


Mr. Chinoza also said that the country opened a consulate in South Sudan early this year, just before the referendum. He said that he was very impressed with the conduct of the referendum. He said his country has a lot to learn from and share with Zimbabweans.


Reported by Emanuel Gai Maker


Foreign ministry delegation to visit Juba today

KHARTOUM, 6 March 2011 (SUNA) - A delegation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, chaired by the Undersecretary of the Ministry, Ambassador Rahamtalla Mohamed Osman, will leave for Juba today to meet with the officials of the Ministry of the Regional Cooperation of the Government of South Sudan (GOSS) and other senior officials.


The spokesman of the Ministry said that the two-day visit aims for reviewing the means of cooperation between the two ministries and boosting the relations between them. He said that the delegation will convey to the GOSS officials the Foreign Ministry's desire to extend experiences and training to South Sudan as well as reviewing the issue of the southern diplomats in the ministry.


He said that the establishment of two embassies in Khartoum and Juba will also be discussed.
 


South Sudan explores oil export options

JUBA, 4 March 2011 (UPI) - Officials in South Sudan said they are exploring alternative export options for their oil reserves as Juba moves closer to independence.


H.E. Pagan Amum, secretary-general of the southern ruling party Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), said South Sudan would become a landlocked country once it gains independence later this year.


"If there are more oil finds that will justify building new pipelines, then those will be built," he was quoted by Emirate newspaper The National as saying. He said the southern government could look to its neighbours like Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo for help in reaching ports in the Indian and Atlantic oceans.


Most of the 500,000 barrels of oil produced each day in Sudan comes from southern territories. Currently, both regions split oil revenue evenly with oil from the south headed northward through a pipeline owned by the national government in Khartoum. Khartoum has its own oil ambitions, the newspaper added. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has ordered his oil ministry to work on exploring the region for reserves.
 


Huge numbers of antelope move across the plains of Southern Sudan's Boma National Park

BOMA NATIONAL PARK, 3 March 2011(Global Post) — For hours the four-seat plane flew over a burned landscape of blackened earth and browning grass. A thick haze thrown into the sky by bushfires shortened the horizon obscuring the Boma Escarpment and, beyond it, the Ethiopian highlands.

 

The landscape in this part of Sudan is startling: patches of pasture and sparse forest, curving river bends and swampy lakes, and, in the distance, mountains erupting out of the endless flatness of the un-peopled savannah, their high rocky domes circled by vultures and thick green forest huddling in the gullies on their steep slopes. And there are animals.

 

“When we first came up here after the war there was a real sense of discovery,” said Paul Elkan of the Wildlife Conservation Society, a USAID-funded organization working with the new South Sudan government to protect the animals and establish this vast and remote chunk of southern Sudan as a tourist destination.

 

“People were saying there were no elephants, that there was nothing left. But on the first day we saw a bull elephant, giraffe, oryx," he added. The big discovery, however, was one of the world’s largest animal migrations as 1.3 million antelope follow a continuous circuit across the landscape.

 

Experts say the movement is on a par with Tanzania’s famed Serengeti wildlife migration and the government here hopes that tourists will be drawn to this undiscovered wilderness bringing in much-needed income to one of the poorest countries on earth.

 

“If we manage and plan it well tourism can inject a lot of money — maybe more than oil — into the economy of southern Sudan,” said Daniel Wani, undersecretary of the Ministry of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism in Juba, the southern capital. For now, oil accounts for almost the entire budget of South Sudan. But it is a finite resource. “Oil will get depleted but tourism will be there. The animals, if we conserve them well, will be there,” Wani said.

 

The government, which in July will celebrate its independence from the North after a referendum on secession held last month, is seeking operators and investors to open up what Wani calls its “world class parks” to high-end tourism: fly-in safaris to luxury tented camps. Wani hopes that “within the year”, tourists might begin coming to southern Sudan again, a country that only six years ago emerged from decades of civil war that killed an estimated 2 million people and scattered 4 million more.

 

Sudan’s wildlife held on, barely. Elephant populations were decimated, buffalo came close to extirpation and just 1,000 hartebeest (a large horned antelope) remained in Boma park, down from 40,000 in the early 1980s. A handful of zebra survived, rhinos have yet to be spotted. The damage was devastating but the war also stunted development so that roads were not built, urban centers did not sprawl and vast areas of this huge country were left almost untouched. Boma National Park — one of six in the southern Sudan territory — covers 5 million acres.

 

“The contiguous Boma-Bandigilo-Jonglei plains is one of the largest pieces of intact, roadless savannah in Africa, and is the home of this migration,” said Elkan, whose field camp wraps around the foot of Nyat hill on the eastern edge of the park. The two-hour low altitude flight from Juba crosses just one barely-used dirt road.

 

The seasonal antelope migration is made up of 750,000 white-eared kob, 300,000 mongalla gazelle, 150,000 tiang and 60,000 reedbuck. During the dry months of November-April, the migration splits moving northwards toward the Ethiopian border and the swamps of the Sudd; in the wet season the animals congregate further south in Boma and neighboring Badingilo National Park.

 

Elkan has seen herds of tiang 30,000 strong and white-eared kob stretching to the horizon. “It’s one of those things where you say, ‘My God, you cannot see this anywhere else in the world.’ It’s a tremendous wilderness experience,” he said.

 

There are also up to 600 elephant in Boma and as many as 4,000 in the Sudd, a hard-to-reach swamp where animals found refuge from wartime hunters and continue to find safety there from post-war poachers who supply a thriving commercial bushmeat trade that has emerged in recent years.

 

Anti-poaching operations by the government, supported by the Wildlife Conservation Society, have arrested illegal hunters, confiscating their weapons and bushmeat. A key aspect to the long-term, anti-poaching strategy is to provide information to local cattle-keeping and farming communities about the benefits of wildlife conservation and tourism.

 

“We talk to the elders and the chiefs, and they talk to the youth,” said Michael Lopidia, a community outreach worker for the Wildlife Conservation Society. “We tell them, ‘Imagine if this was your cattle being slaughtered like this! You would just take a rope and hang yourself.'" The dangers of poaching and of the wilderness being chopped up and destroyed up by new roads means that for animals that survived years of war the threat is not over.

 

With multi-million dollar funding from USAID, the ministry and the Wildlife Conservation Society are working to manage the protected areas and secure safe migratory corridors for the animals across the vast savannah. Wani said that fighting poaching and educating the local people about conservation were top priorities. “The past has been difficult and there are challenges, but I can see a bright future for southern Sudan," he said. “We have potential here, nature has been very kind to us and has given us everything that we need.”


By Tristan McConnell


Egypt to send teachers to South Sudan

JUBA, 4 March 2011 – The Egyptian government will send teachers to support secondary school education in South Sudan as a stopgap measure while the new country trains its own.


This was decided in a meeting between the minister for Education, Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS), H.E. Dr. Michael Milli Hussein and the Secretary General of the Egyptian Technical Cooperation for Africa, Dr. Fatima Jalal yesterday in Juba.


Addressing the press after the meeting, Dr. Hussein announced that apart from sending the teachers, the Egyptian government will also support teachers’ training by establishing a training college in South Sudan and through exchange programmes. He also said that the Egyptian government will also establish and equip computer laboratories in secondary schools in the country.

 


Dr. Hussein (left) meets the Egyptian delegation led by Dr. Jalal (second left).
[Photo: Emmanuel Gai Maker]


The minister also reported that the Egyptian delegation also agreed to support technical education by funding the training of technical teachers. He said technical education is important to develop skills necessary for the labour market in the new country. Dr. Hussein also said that he lobbied the team for the recognition of the educational certificates from South Sudan by neighbouring countries and the international community.


On her part, Dr. Jalal reported that Egypt will support the mainstreaming of girl-child education, educational programmes evaluation, education for special needs, and logistical aid for educational programmes. She also said that her team was in the country to assure South Sudanese that the projects Egypt support will proceed as planned even when South Sudan declares independence. She also said that they were assessing what has been achieved so far in a bid to ensure that the projects accomplish the goals for which they were initiated.


In another event, Dr. Hussein met Dr. Laurence Clarke, the manager of the World Bank Programme in South Sudan. Dr. Clarke briefed the minister on education projects funded by the Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) which is managed by the World Bank. He said that the World Bank is happy with the progress of a number of projects in Jonglei, Northern Bahr el Ghazal and Warrap states. He also said that he has noticed a high number of new school projects in most parts of South Sudan. He said this is encouraging and lauded the progress being realized in the education sector as well as the keenness of the communities to send children to school.


Reported by Emmanuel Gai Maker and Gisma Shaban Suleiman


Vacancies - GOSS Ministry of Human Resource Development

JUBA, 3 March 2011 - The Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of Southern Sudan is inviting qualified Southern Sudanese nationals to apply for the following positions in the ministry:

 

  1. Director General for Institutional Development and Training – Grade 2
  2. Director General for Administration and Finance – Grade 2
  3. Deputy Director for Database Management – Grade 4
  4. Deputy Director for Establishment – Grade 4
  5. Deputy Director of Accounts – Grade 4
  6. Deputy Director of Procurement and Supplies – Grade 4
  7. Senior Public Relations Officer – Grade 7
  8. Senior ICT Officer/Technician – Grade 7
  9. Executive Secretary – Grade 7


For details on the job descriptions, requirements and application procedures, visit “Career Opportunities” page.
 


Southern Sudan HIV/AIDS prevalence lowest in the region

JUBA, 3 March 2011 – The prevalence rate of the HIV/AIDS in Southern Sudan is much lower than it is in the neighbouring countries such as Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the chairperson of the Southern Sudan HIV/AIDS Commission, Dr. Esterina Novello has said.


Dr. Novello said that at about three percent, the prevalence rate has improved tremendously as a result of the extensive awareness of the disease as a result of massive campaigns by the commission as well as the Ministry of Health in the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS).


She reported that the last campaign to get people tested was very well received. She said that senior government officers including the GOSS minister for Health, Dr. Luka Monoja; minister for Humanitarian Affairs, H.E. James Kok; the SPLA chief of staff, Lt. Gen. James Hoth; representatives of the United Nations; as well as several ministers from the Central Equatoria state government turned up on the World AIDS Day and were tested publicly. She said that the number of ordinary citizens seeking VCT services increased tremendously after this.


Dr. Novello also explained that the commission has embraced the peer counselling approach in which peers educate each other on how to prevent the disease, its treatment and the need to know one’s status. She reported that these peer educators are effective because they go door-to-door.

 


Dr. Novello during the interview.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


She also explained that the public testing has reduced the stigma of those living positively. She said that initially anyone spotted near the VCT centres would automatically be suspected of being immoral or already infected. She also said that the commission also provides pre and post-testing counselling to enable the people to cope with the results. She also reported that the commission offers medication to those who have reached the treatment stage. Dr. Novello also explained that the commission refers those who are positive to psycho-support groups which she said are in almost all the states of South Sudan. The chairperson also emphasized that the associations are very instrumental for awareness creation and home-based care provision.


Dr. Novello also reported that prevalence rates are lowest in rural areas. Among the states, she said that Western Equatoria has the highest prevalence rate at 7.6 percent followed by Central Equatoria (specifically Juba) at 3.7 percent and Eastern Equatoria at 3.1 percent. She also said that the prevalence rate is highest in the border areas. She reported that a project by IGAD countries is working to contain cross-border infections. She said that the commission has identified several hotspots in the country and is providing requisite services at the localities. She identified some of the hotspots as Kaya, Nimule, Nasir and Kajo Keji.


She reiterated the commitment of the Government of Southern Sudan to manage the disease saying that it would still be concerned even if the prevalence rate was lower than one percent. Dr. Novello spoke to GOSS.ORG editor in her office in Juba this morning.
 


Public appeal for information

JUBA, 2 March 2011 - The Ministry of Information, Government of Southern Sudan, is planning to publish a special booklet featuring all aspects of life of Southern Sudan to celebrate the independence of South Sudan on 9th July 2011.

 

Therefore, the Ministry of Information is kindly requesting any persons with information and photographs on the historical Southern uprisings, martyrs, heroes and heroines to bring them to the ministry. Some of the uprisings may include:

a) Azande uprising;
b) Nuer “Ngundeng” uprising;
c) Dinka (Kon Anok and Arithdit) uprising;
d) Anyanya movement; and
e) The SPLM/A.

 

We also appeal for any other important information related to the liberation struggle in Southern Sudan. A token of appreciation will be given for any substantive information received.

 

Mr. Mustafa Biong Majak
For the Undersecretary, Ministry of Information
GOSS – Juba

 

For more information, please contact either Ms. Agatha David on 0995-304282/0477-117888 or Mr. Santino Okanyi on 0912-898922/0477-106173. You can also send information to gossbooklet@yahoo.com.
 

 


President Kiir meets the World Bank VP

JUBA, 1 March 2011 - The First Vice President of the Republic and President of the Government of southern Sudan Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit yesterday met the Vice President of World Bank for International Financial Corporation Ms Rachel Kyte in his office at Presidential Guest House J-1.


During the meeting, the President and Ms Kyte discussed the need for supporting the private sector and the role to be played by the private sector in creating job opportunities for the people of Southern Sudan.

 


President Kiir with Ms Kyte.


Ms Kyte who was accompanied by the minister for Investment H.E Oyay Deng Ajak told the press after the meeting that the World Bank group and the International Financial Corporation (WB/IFC) will work closely with GOSS ministries of Finance and Investment to improve the investment climate for small businesses in Southern Sudan by providing opportunities of investment from regional and international companies.


Ms Kyte said that investment priorities will include infrastructure, agriculture and eventually power generation so as to make the small and medium size companies of Southern Sudan get access to finance, business training and capacity building.

 


President Kiir and Ms Kyte pose with other leaders after the meeting.


By Thomas Kenneth


Consultations on capital city still ongoing

JUBA, 1 March 2011 – The ministerial committee dealing with the possible relocation of the capital of the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) is still consulting the leaders and communities concerned before a concrete decision can be made on whether and where to relocate the city.


Addressing the weekly media forum hosted by the Ministry of Information, the GOSS minister for Investment, H.E. Gen. Oyay Deng Ajak, who is also the chairperson of the committee, reported that they are considering four options for the capital. The first option is to relocate the government of Central Equatoria state and leave Juba as the seat of power for the Government of Southern Sudan.

 


General Oyay addressing the media.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


The second option is for the communities in Central Equatoria to identify and give GOSS a new location east of the Nile to build the capital. Alternatively, the Central Equatoria communities can give GOSS any other location suitable for a capital.


The fourth option is to relocate the capital city of the Government of Southern Sudan to Ramciel which is considered as the geographic centre of the new country. Gen. Oyay explained that the consideration of Ramciel is based on the decision of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) during the war to build the capital of Southern Sudan at the location. He explained that the decision was shelved because the interim constitution recognized Juba as the capital city.


Gen. Oyay also explained that this is not the first time the government is consulting with the Central Equatoria state over the capital. He reported that a committee under the chairmanship of H.E. John Luk Jok engaged the state in 2006 but reportedly with no success.

 


Mr. David Nok Marial making a point.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


The minister explained that the need to get ample space for the new capital is paramount. He said that Juba, in its current status, is unplanned, disorganized and congested. He reported that some developments have been shelved because there is no land to execute them on. He said the situation is worse now in light of the new expectations and needs of the new country. For instance, he said that there are many consulates which would like to build embassies in Juba but they cannot because there is no space in the city.


He announced that his team is awaiting the feedback from the Central Equatoria state government and the community leaders. He reported that they have requested for one month beginning last week to consult. In the meantime, he said, his team will visit Ramciel to consult with the concerned governments, leaders and people in the course of this week.


Gen. Oyay also clarified that the decision will be made by the GOSS but with consultations. He also said that the process will be transparent and will go through the requisite stages required by the law. He reiterated that the process will not be executed hastily.


Responding to questions from the journalists, the minister allayed concerns that investors in Juba will incur heavy losses if the capital is relocated. He said that in case of relocation, the new capital will offer greater opportunities for investment. He also explained that Juba will remain as the commercial capital if the government sets base elsewhere.

 


Some of the senior ministry officials and journalists who attended the forum.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


The minister admitted that the relocation of the capital will be expensive. However, he clarified that even if it remains in Juba, the city will have to be planned and built afresh. He said that the design of the city has not been formalized and stated that any designs currently being circulated are just suggestions. On whether the location of Juba near the border will pose a security threat, he said that the position is not unique as many other cities are in similar locations. He cited Maputo, Luanda, Kinshasa and even Washington DC as being on coasts of their countries.


Gen. Oyay said that regardless of where the city will be located, the government is keen to build a modern city which is suitable for a new country born in this century. He said that it will not be built in one day but gradually, perhaps by different generations.


The forum was chaired by the Advisor to the minister for Information, Mr. David Nok Marial who also appealed to the citizens not to fear the challenge. He said that the project requires determination and courage, which he expressed confidence the people and government of Southern Sudan have. The forum was attended by senior officers of the ministry led by the Undersecretary, Mr. George Garang Deng. Journalists from several local and international media institutions were present.
 


Ministry of education trains staff on leadership

JUBA, 28 February 2011 – The Ministry of Education in the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) last week concluded a two-week intensive course on leadership for the directors, deputy directors, supervisors and inspectors of educational programmes in Southern Sudan.


The course was conducted by professors from the College of Education at the University of Juba. According to the Acting Dean of the College, Dr. Daniel Thabo Nyibong, the course focussed on imparting skills on various elements of leadership, educational planning, monitoring and evaluation of educational programmes, inspection, reporting, and records management.

 


Mr. Wandu addressing the workshop participants.
[Photo: Emmanuel Gai Maker]


Dr. Nyibong also explained that the course was interactive and gave the participants opportunity to learn from each other through group discussions and assignments. He also reported that the facilitators were able to address the real concerns of the participants given that they are conversant with the educational environment in Kenya.


Closing the training, Mr. Lino Grikpio Wandu, the Director General of Administration and Finance said that the course was critical in building the capacity of the staff to perform their duties well especially with the birth of a new independent South Sudan. He also explained that the course was cost-effective because it was offered by local professionals.


Vibrant education sector is one of the pillars of socio-economic development in emerging countries so the course came at the most opportune moment in South Sudan’s history. It was held at the Oasis Hotel in Juba.


Reported by Gisma Shaban Suleiman and Emmanuel Gai Maker


Government to generate electricity from waste

JUBA, 27 February 2011 (SCR) - The Government of South Sudan (GOSS) is studying the possibility of turning Juba’s waste into energy to produce 50 megawatts of electricity.
This was announced to the media on Friday by the GOSS spokesperson, H.E. Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin following the day’s cabinet meeting in which a proposal by the finance minister to convert Juba’s waste into electricity was discussed.


Dr. Marial said the Council of Ministers agreed that the government should issue a tender for private investors to establish appropriate technology to process waste in order to generate 50 megawatts of electricity for the residents of Juba. The minister reported that Juba’s powerhouse is currently producing 10 megawatts of electricity which is not enough for the needs of the city which is growing rapidly.


Dr. Marial also reported that the cabinet allotted seven million Sudanese pounds for a pension fund. He also clarified that Juba will host the celebration of independence of South Sudan. Meanwhile, no report of the preliminary studies for the new capital of South Sudan can be given at this point in time because the process is still ongoing.
 


UNESCO to support education in South Sudan

JUBA, 25 February 2011 – The United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will support the government of independent South Sudan to revamp its education system in the context of education for development initiative.


This was announced yesterday in Juba following a meeting between H.E. Dr. Michael Milli Hussein, the minister for Education in the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) and Mr. Ibrahim Sidibe, the UNESCO Representative in Sudan.

 


H.E. Dr. Hussein addressing the media after the meeting.
[Photo: Emmanuel Gai Maker] 


The minister said that their meeting focused on the future plans for education in independent South Sudan which would be radically different from the earlier plans. He explained that in 2005, the plans were for a region emerging from war which was only interested in expanding the reach of education. He said that this time round, the country will focus on improving the quality of education and mainstreaming it in national development.


He said that UNESCO has kindly agreed to support the ministry in developing its strategic plan, developing the capacity of education managers, and sponsoring the education sector conference to be held in Juba in May 2011 in preparation for an international education conference scheduled for October 2011 in Paris. He said that South Sudan will capitalize on the Paris conference to lobby for educational support from the international community and the development agencies.

 


Mr. Sidibe talks to the journalists after the meeting.
[Photo: Emmanuel Gai Maker]


On his part, Mr. Sidibe underscored the need for proper planning for the education sector at this time when South Sudan is becoming an independent state. He emphasized that UNESCO is keen to be part of the post-CPA education planning. “We want to bring the best of our experts to come and help in planning and supporting education programmes in South Sudan”, he said.


Once again, the minister urged UNESCO to upgrade its satellite office in Juba to become a fully-fledged office once Southern Sudan declares independence and joins the United Nations.


Reported by Emmanuel Gai Maker


Vacancies in the GOSS Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation

JUBA, 25 February 2011 - The Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation in the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) invites eligible applicants to fill vacant positions in general administration; planning; hydrology and survey; management and development of water resources; design, construction, installation and operation of irrigation and drainage infrastructure; water quality, hygiene and sanitation; drilling and construction of boreholes; establishment of water processing, supply and distribution; and operations and maintenance. Visit the “Career Opportunities” page for more details.
 


Maridi inaugurates electricity supply

JUBA, 25 February 2011 - Maridi’s power supply was inaugurated on Wednesday and the Western Equatoria town can now experience the benefits of electricity. The project was funded by USAID in collaboration with governments of South Sudan and Western Equatoria.


Officiating at the function, the minister for Transport and Roads, Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS), H.E. Anthony Lino Makana, said the electricity supply will improve education, health services and businesses. He commended the government for its commitment to rural development. “If someone tells you your government is not working, [know] that it is a lie because we work day and night”, he said.


The United States general consul Barrie Walkley told the people during the inauguration that his country’s support of the electricity project aims at supporting Dr. John Garang’s vision of taking the town to the villages. Ambassador Walkley said Maridi’s power plant is ready to serve 725 customers with a 21-kilometre line and another 175 people will be connected later. He added that the electricity will help small scale businesses in the region.


The Governor of Western Equatoria, H.E. Joseph Bakosoro said the project is a unique because it is the first of its kind in an area which has never electric power supply.


The function was also attended and addressed by GOSS minister for Energy and Mining, H.E. Garang Diing Akuong as well as several members of the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly and the regional assembly.


Maridi is the third town to be connected to electricity grid under the Southern Sudan Rural Electrification Programme supported by the USAID. The Maridi community participated effectively in the construction of the lines by providing free labour. The power project which commenced in 2008 cost USD 3.9 million.


Drive to eradicate polio gives hope to returnees in Southern Sudan

JUBA, 24 February 2011 – The first round of the 2011 Polio National Immunization Days in Southern Sudan began this week and is expected to reach an estimated 3.1 million children. Thousands of vaccination teams will spread across Southern Sudan - a region the size of Eastern Europe - and administer two drops of the polio vaccine to all children under the age of five.


Norah Abdelnabi, 24, couldn’t hide her joy when her two-year-old son, Steven Kulang received the ‘two drop’ vaccine for the first time. Kulang was born at home in the slums of Khartoum city in Northern Sudan where his family had lived after being displaced by the war in the south which ended in 2005. Two months after he was born, his parents decided to return to the South.


“I have always been afraid that my son could be attacked by polio because he was not vaccinated but today my fear is relieved. I have seen people crippled for life by polio,” said an emotional Ms. Abdelnabi.


More than 180,000 Southern Sudanese are streaming back from the north of the country following a recent referendum which is expected to split Sudan and lead to the formation of a southern independent country this July when the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed in 2005 ending two decades of a North-South war comes to an end.


The polio vaccination campaigns being coordinated by the Government of Southern Sudan’s Ministry of Health, WHO and UNICEF are designed to get rid of the polio virus which re-emerged in Southern Sudan back in April 2008. Since then, vaccination has been intensified and no new cases have been reported since June 2009.


“These campaigns will continue until Southern Sudan is declared polio-free and all children are safe from polio. The polio vaccine is safe and even sick children can be vaccinated,” said H.E. Dr Luka Monoja, Minister of Health in the Government of South Sudan.


Last year four successive rounds of the polio immunization were carried out with the last round conducted in December. Across Southern Sudan, parents and guardians of children less than 5 years of age are being urged to ensure that their children receive the vaccine.


“Polio is a dangerous disease that cripples children and can kill. Until polio is completely eradicated, all children in Southern Sudan are at risk of life-long polio paralysis or death. I urge all communities and their leaders to ensure that all children under the age of five are immunized,” said Dr. Yasmin Haque, Director for UNICEF Southern Sudan Area Programme.


By Bismarck Swangin


Sudan to be the first to open embassy in South Sudan

JUBA, 24 February 2011 (Xinhua) - Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Karti on Tuesday said Sudan will be the first country to open an embassy in Juba, capital of South Sudan which opted for separation in the recent self-determination referendum.


"Sudan will work to be the first country to open an embassy in Juba to mark the establishment of positive diplomatic ties with the newly born South Sudan State," Karti said in a statement presented to Sudanese National Assembly (parliament) on Tuesday.


"The newly born state will not be a barrier between us and the current neighbouring countries in eastern and central African but it will be a gate and a model for the distinguished relations with these countries," he added. The Sudanese minister further described his country's relations with the neighbouring African countries as "positive."


He reiterated the importance of reactivating Sudan's relations with its Arab and African surrounding, saying "Sudan's relationship with the African Union will remain as one of the most important guarantees for positive interaction and support. We should also continue the joint action within the Arab League."


Around 98.83 percent of the southern Sudanese have voted in favor of the region's separation in the recent referendum on self- determination for South Sudan, where the newly born state would be officially announced on July 9, 2011, which is the end of the transitional period stipulated by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), inked between north and south Sudan in 2005.
 


Joint borders demarcation team continues meetings

KHARTOUM, 23 February 2011 (SUNA) - The joint political committee comprised of the representatives of the National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) for demarcation of the borders between north and south Sudan continued its deliberations on Tuesday at the Council of Ministers.


The committee has continued to receive the documents from the two parties on the five differential points in order to study and find solutions for them. The Presidential Advisor for Security Affairs, Gen. Salah Abdalla Gosh, is leading the NCP side while the SPLM Secretary General, H.E. Pagan Amum, is leading the SPLM side.


It is to be noted that the political committee has given the green light in its previous meeting to the technical committee on borders’ demarcation to embark on preliminary preparations that are necessary to start the border demarcation between north and south Sudan.
 


Possible change of capital will take time

JUBA, 23 February 2011 – The official spokesperson of the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS), H.E. Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin yesterday announced that the possible relocation of the capital will not happen overnight.


Dr. Marial who is also the GOSS minister for Information explained that the committee handling the matter has just begun its work. He said that a number of issues have to be considered carefully before the decision can be made.


The minister also clarified that Juba is still one of the cities being considered. He explained that the process may take 5-10 years to complete. He also said that in the event that the capital relocates from Juba then the city will still remain as a commercial hub. He cited several examples in Africa and elsewhere to demonstrate that the establishment of a new capital does not have kill the old one.


Dr. Marial also reported that the process will be executed with utmost care for the benefit of the entire country. He said that technical experts will be involved in the process to ensure that the new capital meets the expectations and needs of the new country.
 


“Beware of private universities”, cautions higher education minister

JUBA, 23 February 2011 – The minister for Higher Education, Science and Technology in the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS), H.E. Joseph Ukel yesterday warned the public to exercise caution when seeking admission in the private universities operating in the South.


H.E. Ukel explained that some of the institutions are not approved by the ministry. He cautioned that any courses offered by such institutions as well as the certificates awarded will not be recognized by the government.


He reported that the ministry is currently in the process of accrediting the private universities and invited the members of the public to consult the ministry when in doubt about the credentials of any private university.


The minister also announced that the ministry will establish constituent colleges and campuses of the five public universities in all states of Southern Sudan in an effort to expand the reach of the institutions and facilitate access to higher education.


He also reported that the ministry will review the courses offered by the universities to make them more market-driven. He also said that the ministry will pursue specialization amongst the institutions where one university may only offer a limited number of courses to avoid duplication and enhance quality.
 


Company to grow corn in Mundri

JUBA, 23 February 2011 – The minister for Agriculture and Forestry in the Government of Southern Sudan, H.E. Dr. Anne Itto Leonardo, accompanied by senior officials from the ministry on Saturday paid an inspection visit to Geria Agricultural Scheme in Mundri, Western Equatoria state.


Dr. Itto and the accompanying delegation witnessed the signing of a contract between the Muru community and Were Holding Company Limited. Mr. Simon Siddiq Alexander, the head of the committee supervising the community land in Madiba area, signed for the community while Mr. Aggrey Edri Ezbon, the Executive Director of Were Holding Company signed on behalf of the company.


The scheme plans to use the twenty-five-kilometre square piece of land to produce corn over a period of sixty-six-years. Under the terms of the agreement, the area will have seven percent of the agricultural output, and gain educational support from the scheme. The signing ceremony was also witnessed by the state minister for Agriculture and Forestry and a number of senior officials from the Government of Southern Sudan.

 


Sacks of corn produced in Mundri.


The delegation later inspected the Ambalabi Agricultural Scheme and Farmers’ Training Centre on the Yei River bank in Mundri East. The scheme owned and administered by Dr. Legesey Kunene is engaged in vegetable and fruit production. Dr. Kunene briefed the delegation on the challenges the farm faces key of which is transport of the produce to market centres such as Mundri, Juba and Lui.


Dr. Itto commended the work the centre is doing in building the capacity of the famers and raising awareness on the importance of agriculture for the economy. She promised to organize to dispatch young university graduates to be attached at the centre in order to gain practical experience.


Reported by Gabriel Lawrence


25,000 students registered in Southern Sudan universities

JUBA, 22 February 2011 – Estimated 25,000 students are registered in the Southern Sudan universities, the minister for Higher Education, Science and Technology in the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS), H.E. Joseph Ukel has said.


The minister also reported that nearly 80 percent of the students and staff members in the Southern universities which used to operate from Khartoum have been repatriated to their original locations in the South. The universities include University of Juba, University of Upper Nile and University of Bahr el Ghazal some of whose colleges were based in Khartoum.


H.E. Ukel also said that GOSS will take up and support four universities created by President Al-Bashir during his campaigns for the presidential elections last year. The minister identified the universities as University of Eastern Equatoria, Torit; University of Western Equatoria, Yambio; University of Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Aweil; and University of Unity State, Bentiu.

 


H.E. Ukel (left) addresses the forum accompanied by H.E. Dr. Marial (right).
[Photo: Matata Safi]


The minister also reiterated the government’s commitment in supporting university education in the country. He affirmed that the government pays for the tuition and accommodation fees for all the students in public universities. He also underscored the role that education will play in the development of the new country.


He also reported that the government is facing several challenges in its efforts to develop higher education sector in the country. He identified some of these challenges as lack of inadequate physical facilities such as laboratories, libraries and workshops. He also said that the national government has taken over the physical assets of the University of Juba which used to be in Khartoum. He reported that negotiations are ongoing to get them back. He expressed hope that the assets will be restored to the university and brought to the South.


H.E. Ukel also explained that the ministry is currently developing the Higher Education Act to govern tertiary education in the country. He also said that the ministry is harmonizing the curricula of the various courses and faculties. Admitting that the education systems are still far from being perfect, he asserted that the ministry is working to remedy this situation.

 


Mr George Garang (left), Undersecretary of the Ministry of Information takes notes during the forum.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


The minister also announced that the universities will open on 15 May 2011. He said that in the ministry will use the time between now and then to prepare for the opening. It will also process the pending intakes during the period. He appealed to qualified Southern Sudanese in the Diasporas to come back home and participate in nation building by teaching and researching in the Southern universities. He also called on the international community to support the sector through appropriate technical assistance.


The minister made these remarks when he addressed the weekly media forum hosted by the GOSS Ministry of Information in Juba today.
 


Media laws to be enacted soon

JUBA, 22 February 2011 – The minister for Information, Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS), H.E. Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, today announced that the media laws will be enacted soon, preferably before the declaration of statehood on 9 July 2011.


Dr. Marial reported that the draft laws were withdrawn and reviewed to address certain concerns of some members of the industry. He emphasized that all stakeholders in the sector, including the government, are keen to get the legislation.


The minister also reiterated that GOSS is committed to the freedom of the press. He was responding to enquiries of the journalists into an incident in which the Citizen Newspaper offices were reportedly invaded by alleged security officers. He reported that he has spoken with the editor-in-chief of the publication and assured him of the government’s commitment to the freedom of the press. He also said he has consulted with the minister for Internal Affairs and obtained his assurance that the ministry was not involved in the raid.


“Freedom of expression is our priority as a government and we expect that all our organs will comply”, he said.
 


The National Legislature endorses referendum results

KHARTOUM, 21 February 2011 (SUNA) - The National Legislature, chaired by its Chairman and Speaker, Ahmed Ibrahim El-Tahir, Monday endorsed the final results of the referendum of South Sudan.


The Presidency of the Republic affirmed in a statement read over by the minister of Presidency, Gen. Bakri Hassan Salih, its respect to the choice of the people of the South and reiterated its acceptance to the result that was handed over by the National Legislature.


The minister of Presidency said that the Presidency in its second meeting on February 7, 2011 announced its respect to the choice of the people of south Sudan and renewed its determination to go ahead in the way for sustainable peace and development.


The Presidency explained that the vote for separation in North Sudan reached 85% in North Sudan and 99% outside Sudan, while it reached 99.5% in the South, explaining that that the South has opted for separation to meet its aspirations.


The minister said that self-determination has been demanded in each dialogue between the North and South Sudan since the Conference of Juba in 1947 and that the national governments in Sudan had been reluctant to adopt that option under various pretexts. The minister explained that the referendum was a decisive historical development and that the Presidency confirms its full acceptance and recognition to the result of the free voting process.


It is to be noted that the National Legislature has agreed on a proposal by the Chairman of the National Congress Parliamentary Caucus, Dr. Ghazi Sallahuddin on the ground that the National Legislature took note of the statement of the President of the Republic that the result of the referendum is separation based on the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and the articles 219,220 and 222 of the interim constitution.


Meanwhile, the Chairman of the National Legislature, Ahmed El-Tahir, affirmed that with the Referendum on self-determination of Southern Sudan, the Sudan has fulfilled all its commitments. He explained that the coming phase necessitates establishment of cordial relations between the two states and forgetting the bitterness of the past.
 


Workshop calls for greater community involvement in education

JUBA, 18 February 2011 – A workshop on the role of education in peace building in fragile nations has underscored the need for greater community involvement in education systems of emerging states.


Speaking at the closing of the workshop at Juba Grand Hotel, the minister for Education in the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS), H.E. Dr. Michael Milli Hussein, said that the greater involvement of communities would leverage the efforts of the government and development partners in nurturing the nascent education sector in Southern Sudan. He said such involvement would enhance the impact of the sector on national development in general and peace building in particular.

 


H.E. Dr. Hussein addressing the media.
[Photo: Emmanuel Gai Maker]


The minister also announced that the findings and resolutions of the workshop will be incorporated to the Education Sector Strategic Plan which is currently under development. He also said that this plan, once completed, will also be integrated to the national development blueprint.


He also reported that the workshop brought together leading minds and organizations in the education sector from GOSS, state governments and ten donor organizations. He appealed to the donors to continue supporting the sector to enable the ministry to make education accessible to all the people through formal and non-formal programmes.

 


Some of the participants during a group discussion.
[Photo: Emmanuel Gai Maker]


Ms Kerstin Tebbe, the Education Coordinator for the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) said that peace building efforts in Southern Sudan will succeed better if the education sector needs are addressed in a way which is sensitive to the conflict dynamics in the country. She said that this workshop was the first step towards the development of a long-term partnership between the education sector stakeholders to facilitate peace building in Southern Sudan.


Reported by Gisma Shaban Suleiman


Report of the Southern Sudan 2011 Taskforce

JUBA, 18 February 2011 - H.E Dr. Riek Machar Teny, the Vice President of the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) and Chair of the Southern Sudan 2011 Taskforce (SS2011TF) presented a report of the work of the taskforce to the All Southern Sudanese Political Parties Leadership Forum on 16 February 2011.


Please, click here for the complete report.


Reported by Clement Aturjong Kuot 
 


SPLM Political Bureau meeting communiqué

JUBA, 18 February 2011 – The SPLM Political Bureau Meeting was held in Juba from 12th -16 February, 2011 to discuss the referendum results and congratulate the people of Southern Sudan as well as the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) in conducting a peaceful and successful Referendum in the history of Sudan and Africa. In the meeting, the road map for Southern Sudan was also among the items discussed. The meeting adopted the following recommendations:


1. The new state shall be named the Republic of South Sudan;
2. The currency shall be named the South Sudan Pound;
3. The current GOSS flag, which originally was the SPLM flag, be the flag of the new state.


On security issue, the meeting condemned the criminal acts committed by insurgency groups against innocent civilians in Malakal, outskirts of Bentiu and recent killings at Fangak. The bureau also salutes and pays tribute to the family members and relatives of the fallen martyrs of the SPLA and other organized forces who perished in line of duty defending the civilian populations in the affected areas. The bureau also called on the NCP and SAF to immediately disengage from sponsoring and reinforcing insurgency groups in the South in the interest of peace between the North and South.
 

Click here for the complete communiqué.


Reported by Clement Aturjong Kuot


President Kiir meets EU delegation

JUBA, 17 February 2011 - The President of the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit today met the European Union (EU) delegation led by the EU Special Representative for Sudan Ms. Rosalind Marsden in his office at Presidential Guest House, J-1.


The meeting detailed on the outstanding issues of the CPA and security developments in southern Sudan. The EU Special Representative for Sudan Ms Marsden told the press after the meeting that the main purpose of the EU delegation meeting with President Kiir was to express the strong support of the EU for southern Sudan.


Ms. Marsden said EU welcomes the successful outcome of the referendum and that the EU wants to develop a very close and long term partnership with southern Sudan. She also pointed out that the EU will soon send a large number of technical experts from Brussels to look for possible areas of support among which are the basic services and the security sector.


By Thomas Kenneth
 


NGOs to support agriculture in Southern Sudan

JUBA, 17 February 2011 – Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) operating in Southern Sudan have expressed readiness to support agriculture in the country.


Speaking during a visit to Dr. Anne Itto, the minister for Agriculture, Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS), yesterday representatives of the NGOs said that they are interested in bolstering food security in the new country through improved agriculture. They decried the current situation where most of the food is imported from the neighbouring countries.


The NGOs suggested that the country should adopt new farming methods and tools to enable the local farmers to produce good qualities and quantities of food for the country and for export. One of the NGOs, International Centre for Soil Fertility and Agricultural Development (IFDC) pledged to provide improved seeds to the farmers to ensure high yields.


Similarly, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) promised to support the farmers with skills and other materials to enable them to be self-sufficient. ADRA emphasized that initiatives to improve agricultural production should be executed in time for the rainy season so that the farmers can benefit optimally.


Dr. Itto thanked the NGOs for their support. She underscored the importance of food security and reported that the government is working to enable the farmers to produce at least three tons of food this year so as to reduce the dependence on food aid.


The minister also urged the private sector to join hands with the government and its developmental partners to support food production in the country. She emphasized that agriculture is the backbone of socio-economic development in the country. She said that the need to improve food production is now even more urgent given that Southern Sudan will become an independent country in just a few months.
 


Education can contribute to sustainable peace in Southern Sudan

JUBA, 16 February 2011 – Education can play a pivotal role in nurturing and sustaining lasting peace in the fragile new states which are emerging from conflict like Southern Sudan, educationists said today in a workshop in Juba.


Participants at the Consultative Workshop on Education and Fragility – Southern Sudan sponsored by the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) were unanimous that a thriving education sector can bolster peace building efforts in a new state.


According to the Mr. Joel Reyes of the World Bank, there exists a significant relationship between education and sustainable peace in any country. He explained that education in Southern Sudan should be enhanced to enable the new country to reap its benefits in peace building. He proposed that Southern Sudan should seek to address issues affecting the quality of and access to education so as to deepen its influence.


Dr. Utem Watba from the Ministry of Education, Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) explained that the workshop will enable the ministry to understand where the sector is and how it should move forward especially in light of the expected statehood.


The two-day workshop which is being held at the Juba Grand Hotel aims to provide in-country support in Southern Sudan to local stakeholders to further define education strategies which can mitigate fragility in different domains and to ensure that education contributes to efforts to ensure long-term peace and stability after the referendum.


The workshop will also seek to develop a consensus about how conflict impacts education sector in Southern Sudan; identify key conflict dynamics in Southern Sudan; analyse how education plays a role in key conflict dynamics in Southern Sudan; and to generate ways on how education could address the key conflict dynamics in Southern Sudan by incorporating appropriate strategies in the education sector plan.


The workshop was opened by the GOSS minister for Education, H.E. Dr. Michael Milli Hussein.
 

Reported by Emmanuel Gai Maker


South Sudan will not share its wealth with the North

JUBA, 16 February 2011 – The new independent state of South Sudan will not share its wealth with the North. Instead, it may give some grants to the North to help it to seal its budget gaps just like any other philanthropic donor.


According to the GOSS minister for Peace Building and CPA Implementation, H.E. Pagan Amum, current wealth sharing arrangements will cease after the declaration of statehood on July 9 this year. He said that discussions are ongoing on the nature of grants the South may extend to the North but asserted that it is in the interest of the South that the North remains stable and viable.


The minister also expressed confidence that the North will not object to the ending of the wealth sharing arrangement. “The reality is that South Sudan will not share its wealth; the North has no choice but to accept that fact”, he said. He also explained that the North will only get what the South chooses to give it under the former’s own terms.


H.E. Amum said that the North has shown willingness to support the new state in terms of capacity building and training. He said that discussions are underway to develop suitable frameworks for this support. He explained that provision of scholarship for South Sudanese students in Northern institutions of learning may be one avenue of such support.


He also explained that the two states will launch their own new currencies. He reported that GOSS is working on its own currency which will be called the Pound. He also said that current currency in circulation in South Sudan will be bought back by the Central Bank of Sudan.


The minister also reported that South Sudan will use new oil mining technology to ensure efficiency and boost production. He said that the technology used at the moment leads to the loss of most of the oil. He also said that the new country will seek different routes to the sea to enable it to export its oil directly. Some of these may include Mombasa and Lamu in Kenya as well as ports in Djibouti and Democratic Republic of Congo. In the meantime, he clarified, that oil will continue to be exported through the North.
 

The minister made these remarks yesterday when he addressed journalists during the weekly media forum organized by the GOSS Ministry of Information in Juba.

 


South Sudan will not be a failed state

JUBA, 15 February 2011 – H.E. Pagan Amum, the minister for Peace and CPA Implementation, Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) today reiterated that the soon-to-be sovereign South Sudan will not be a failed state. He denounced the prophets of doom peddling this view and asserted that the country will be one of the most peaceful and prosperous societies in the region and beyond.


H.E. Amum cited the prompt conduct of the peaceful referendum as a critical pointer to the fact that South Sudanese and their government mean business. “We are united and confident about what we want and how to get it”, he emphasized. He also appealed to the international community and any other doubtful segments of society not to underrate the resolve of the people of South Sudan for peace.

 


H.E. Amum and General Lagu at the forum.


He emphasized, however, that the country need not go on holiday after the successful referendum. He explained that like a student, passing one stage implies that the country has now moved up to a higher class and is facing new challenges which it must address.


H.E. Amum also said that the people of South Sudan will defeat the mischievous acts of their enemies. He said some of these acts include support for militia groups which are wrecking havoc in some parts of the country. He reported that GOSS has a clear strategy of dealing with this menace. He said that one of the strategies is healing, inclusion and reconciliation. He explained that those who respond favourably to this olive-branch will be embraced warmly. But he also warned those who are hell-bent to cause chaos in the new country that South Sudan has the means to defend itself and will defeat its enemies.

 


The Undersecretary and other senior Ministry of Information officers at the forum.


The minister also said that the government is determined to deal with the LRA menace in parts of Western Equatoria and Western Bahr el Ghazal states. He said that this “pain” cannot be tolerated any longer and reported that the government will deal with the matter conclusively.


H.E. Amum also reiterated that the government is keen to enforce the rule of law in the country as a means of facilitating peace and prosperity in its territory. The minister made these remarks when he addressed local and international journalists during the weekly media forum organized by the GOSS ministry of Information. The forum was also attended by the veteran freedom fighter, General (Retired) Joseph Lagu. It was chaired by the Advisor to the Minister of Information, Mr. David Nok Marial. Senior ministry officials led by the Undersecretary Mr. George Garang and Director General for Information, Mr. Mustafa Biong Majak were also in attendance.

This article was updated on Feb 15, 2011

GOSS prioritizes healing and reconciliation

JUBA, 15 February 2011 – The Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) is prioritizing the healing and reconciliation of the people of Southern Sudan who have been traumatized by several years of war, subjugation and discrimination, H.E. Pagan Amum, the GOSS minister for Peace and CPA Implementation has said.


Addressing journalists during the weekly media forum hosted by the Ministry of Information, the minister explained that Southern Sudan is emerging “broken” from these many years of turmoil and needs healing to root out the dominant culture of violence.


“We are in a transition moving from the past stage to become free and building a peaceful and prosperous society”, he said. He recounted the history of the liberation struggle and emphasized that the cost of freedom has been very high. “People killed and enslaved throughout the years of resistance are more than ten million”, said he.

 


H.E. Amum addressing the forum accompanied by the Advisor to the Minister of Information.


He said that the government is working to build peace and heal the society as well as remove the culture of violence. “We need to follow the process of holistic healing”, he said adding that the focus should not just be on the physical infrastructure but more on the human resource.


“For us to be here today in this state is a miracle; we were nearly destroyed”, he said. He appealed to all the people to contribute to this process. He also appealed to the media to use their influence to build peace in the country.


The minister explained that many lives have been lost as a consequence of this trauma even after the peaceful referendum. He cited the murder of the GOSS minister for Cooperatives and Rural Development last week as well as the killing of twenty-two people in Malakal and 197 people in Fangak as some of the incidents triggered by this psychological trauma. He said that the government is doing its best to ensure that such incidents do not occur again. He called on all the people to support this initiative.

This article was updated on Feb 15, 2011

WFP to continue supplying food to educational institutions

JUBA, 15 February 2011 – The World Food Programme (WFP) will continue to supply food items to the educational institutions. Particularly, it will deliver food to Lakes state and Malakal teachers’ training college which is currently facing food shortage.


This was announced by the Undersecretary in the Ministry of Education, Mr. George Justin Achor after a meeting with the head of the WFP and state officials today at the ministry headquarters in Juba.


Mr. Achor said that the meeting also discussed the extension of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the ministry and the WFP which expired on 31 December 2010. He said that the MOU is now ready and will be signed tomorrow.


The Undersecretary assured all the people concerned that food shortage in the educational institutions will now be a matter of the past. He thanked the WFP for its support and cooperation in ensuring that there is adequate food for the students.


In another event yesterday, the ministry received a delegation from UNESCO with which it discussed pertinent issues relating to education in an independent South Sudan. During the meeting, the ministry emphasized that it is committed to providing education opportunity for every child in South Sudan. To achieve this, it will need to construct more classrooms and schools; recruit and train more teachers; harmonize curricula; print adequate learning materials including textbooks; promote alternative education for the people who missed the opportunity earlier in life; and build the capacity of the managers of education systems in the country. UNESCO promised to support select training programmes through short courses and other capacity building processes. A follow-up meeting on this will be held next week.


Reported by Gisma Shaban Suleiman
 

This article was updated on Feb 15, 2011

North-South border demarcation begins on Sunday

JUBA, 15 February 2011 – The demarcation of the North-South border is set to begin this Sunday, the GOSS minister for Peace and CPA Implementation, H.E. Pagan Amum has said.


H.E. Amum said that the technical committee undertaking this process will table its action plan tomorrow. He also said that only twenty percent of the border is contested. He clarified, however, that all the borders will be mapped out including the contested areas which he said are all in South Sudan.


The minister also announced that a joint team of the SPLM and NCP will meet in Abyei on Friday and report back to the Presidency on a suitable action on the future of the area. He clarified, however, that the position of the SPLM is that the people of Abyei be given an opportunity to decide whether to return to the South or remain part of the North. H.E. Amum also said that the SPLM will continue to engage the NCP to resolve the other pending issues of the CPA.


He also disclosed that the party will split into two with an independent entity for each state. He said that the interim chairman of the party in the North is Malik Agar while Yassir Arman will serve as the secretary general until the party elects a new office. He also said that the party will be registered afresh in the South according to the constitution of the new country. He said the possibility of a change of name of the entity in the south has not been discussed but emphasized that the party will deal with the matter if and when it arises.

This article was updated on Feb 15, 2011

South Sudanese migrants hold independence party in TA Park, Israel

JERUSALEM, 15 February 2011 - Over a hundred south Sudanese migrants held a party in Tel Aviv’s Lewinsky Park on Monday to celebrate the coming independence of South Sudan, set to become Africa’s newest country on July 9.

 

The party took place in front of a stage set up in the middle of the park, near the local library and police station. The migrants waved Israeli and South Sudanese flags – the latter identical to the flag of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, which fought for decades against the north – and danced to a reggae band. A break-dancer spun in circles on the pavement following a blessing given by a South Sudanese priest reading from the New Testament.

 

One of the organizers of Monday’s rally, 29-year-old Sunday Chagkouts, told The Jerusalem Post that he and his soon-to-be countrymen were celebrating because “we have been fighting for this for more than 50 years. People are very happy and very confident of what the future will bring for us.”

 

Decked out in a brilliant, almost blinding white silk suit, Chagkouts, from the Upper Nile state of South Sudan, said he expected that he “and many other Sudanese in Israel and around the world will start going back to help build our country.” He added that there could be violence due to disputes over the demarcation of the border, but he was very optimistic about the country’s future.

 

Fighting between northern and southern Sudan has gone on for over half a century and turned it into one of the more battle-scarred countries in Africa. The first civil war, from 1955 to 1972, left an estimated half a million people dead, while the second, from 1983 to 2005, cost the lives of anywhere between 2 and 5 million who died from the fighting, disease and war-related famine.

 

William Akon, 25, from the city of Aweil in Southern Sudan, was beaming throughout the entire celebration Monday because, in his words, “I am very, very happy that this [independence] has happened after a very long time. It’s what we have been longing for and what so many of us have given our lives for.”

 

In Israel since 2007, Akon related the story of a harrowing journey from country to country since being kidnapped from his family home 17 years ago by a pro-government militia. He said he was able to flee three years later, moved to Khartoum, where he lived for six years, before arriving in Egypt, where he worked for seven years before making his way to Israel.

 

“I’ve been gone so long that my parents wouldn’t recognize me if they saw me,” he exclaimed. “I plan to go back though, at some point soon, and hopefully my parents will be able to come here as well.”

 

Akon added that he hoped to study for a degree in Israel, although he couldn’t afford the tuition. He said that he and many other Southern Sudanese hoped their new government would have friendly ties with Israel.

 

“The North sees Israel as an enemy, but we don’t,” he explained. “We hope that people from South Sudan will be able to come to Israel and have good relations with Israel and the Israeli people.”


By Ben Hartman 

This article was updated on Feb 15, 2011

Foreign diplomats commend the people of South Sudan for peaceful referendum

NAIROBI, 12 February 2011 - The Government of South Sudan Liaison Office to Kenya organized a thanksgiving party for diplomats from Kenya and the region to celebrate the successful completion of last month’s referendum.

 

The event held at the Serena Hotel in Nairobi brought together diplomats from Sudan, Kenya and South Sudan. Among the dignitaries from the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) were H.E Amb. Michael Majok Ayom, Principal Liaison Officer to Kenya and H.E Telar Deng, Legal Advisor to the president of South Sudan.

 

Sudanese ambassador to Kenya, H.E. Amb. Bedheredin Abdallah, has congratulated the people of South Sudan for the peaceful and transparent process during the referendum and promised that the North will continue to cooperate with the new State to ensure a peaceful coexistence and build strong diplomatic relationship.

 


H.E. Telar Deng addresses the event as Amb. Mayom looks on.

 

GoSS Principal Liaison Officer to Kenya, Amb. Majok Ayom, thanked the international community, in particular IGAD member states and the Kenya Government for their role in mediating and guaranteeing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. He in particular commended the government of Kenya for the roles played by former president, Daniel arap Moi, and the current one Mwai Kibaki.

 

He also praised the astute leadership of President Salva Kiir Mayardit and Omar el Bashir for maintaining the peace accord and initiated peaceful coexistence among the people of Sudan. He reiterated the commitment by Southern leaders to expedite reconstruction and the provision of services to the people of South Sudan.

 

Former CPA mediator Amb. Daniel Mboya said the new dawn of independence, which provides Southerners the opportunity to determine their destiny and develop as one people.

 

On his part, Telar Deng, legal advisor to the President Kiir, called upon the people of South Sudan to be focus on development of New State. He said that for the South to have effective leadership, politicians should put the country’s interests above their pursuits for power. “Our people expect more from us, and we can only deliver on those expectations if we unite to address their foremost challenges,” he said.

 

By Mabior Mayom
 

This article was updated on Feb 14, 2011

Internal Affairs minister meets top security organs, reviews security situation

JUBA, 14 February 2011 - In a bid to review the security situation in Southern Sudan, the Minister for Internal Affairs Lt. Gen. Gier Chuang Aluong has met with senior officers from the three security organs under his Ministry.

 

In his keynote address on Thursday, Lt. Gen. Gier called on security organs to immediately review their respective departments to conform to the security status of an independent state rather than an autonomous region within another state. “Southern Sudan is now an independent state as confirmed by results of the just concluded referendum exercise. With these changes, it’s important that the security organs reflect these changes in their activities and programs”, he said.

 

The Minister also called on security organs to do more to “protect citizens and their property” as a mandate of the security organs. Lt. Gen. Gier also decried “harassment” by security forces against citizens particularly in Juba and other areas across Southern Sudan. However, the Minister added “that some criminals disguised themselves as police officers in order to harass citizens”. He called on the police to bring these criminals to justice.

 

Lt. Gen. Gier Chuang further said that incidents of criminal activities committed in the name of the police and other security organs are tarnishing the image of security organs among international human rights organisations and the media. “Some of these negative reports really damage the image of security organs and eventually erode the confidence of Southern Sudanese in the police and other organised forces. We need to protect the image of security organs through our actions”, the Minister added.

 

He further called on the security organs to work together as a team in order to achieve the overall responsibilities of protecting citizens and their property.

 

The briefing was attended by the Inspector General of Police, Gen. Acuil Tito Madut, the Director General of Prisons Service, Gen. Abel Makoi Wol and Commissioner of Fire Brigade Service, Gen. Aru Maan Chot and other senior officers from the three departments. The Internal Affairs Minister will hold individual meetings with the respective units under the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

 

By John Agou Wuoi

This article was updated on Feb 14, 2011

Elders laud peaceful referendum

JUBA, 11 February 2011 - The Elders have commended Sudanese leaders for the smooth and orderly conduct of the South’s referendum on self-determination in January, the official results of which were announced this week. The Elders praised the authorities, in particular the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission, for overcoming significant logistical challenges to ensure a successful voting process.


Chair of the Elders, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, said:
“This referendum was a remarkable expression of hope by the people. I was very moved by their determination to vote; some walked for days to do so.” He added: “Everyone who took part should be praised for ensuring that voters were able to exercise their rights freely. I applaud the people for their peaceful participation and their remarkably high turnout to vote.”


Women's and children's rights activist, Graça Machel, said:
“The people of Southern Sudan voted for secession because they believed that it will lead to a better, more secure future. It is now up to the leaders in the South to manage the immense expectations of the people for better schools, healthcare and infrastructure and greater economic opportunities, especially for women and youth.”


Former US President Jimmy Carter who, along with fellow Elder and former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, led The Carter Center's observation mission for the referendum, said:
“While the world will join the people of Southern Sudan in celebrating the birth of Africa’s newest country, we should not turn away from the North where challenges of poverty, conflict and human rights abuses remain of great concern.


“The Elders also want to draw attention to the need to resolve the status of the Abyei area and the popular consultation processes in Blue Nile and South Kordofan states.”


Former Algerian foreign minister Lakhdar Brahimi said:
“Sudanese leaders from the North and South have the responsibility to ensure that there is an orderly transition in the coming months. The immediate priority is to resolve post-referendum issues such as on citizenship, security, oil, currency, debts and liabilities.


“The common interest of both North and South is to establish and develop strong, fraternal cooperation at all levels. The rest of the world should help them effectively to achieve that objective.”


Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said:
“While they will now go separate ways, North and South Sudan will remain mutually dependent on each other for their prosperity, stability and development.


“Without peace in the North, the South will not be able to address many of its development challenges. At the same time, development in the South is a prerequisite for economic and political stability in the North.


“We thus call on the international community, and particularly the neighbouring countries, to support the efforts of both sides to work together for the benefits of their citizens and the region at large.”
 

This article was updated on Feb 14, 2011

Internal Affairs Minister orders immediate investigation into minister's death

JUBA, 9 February 2011 - The Minister of Internal Affairs Lt. Gen. Gier Chuang Aluong has said the sudden death of Minister of Cooperatives and Rural Development, Jimmy Lemmi Milla who was shot dead in a cold blood on Wednesday morning in his office “was not politically-motivated but an isolated criminal incident”. He added that the preliminary investigations indicate that the killing of the Minister may have been motivated by “disagreement over private family matter”.

 

Addressing journalists on Wednesday, Lt. Gen. Gier also ordered an immediate investigation in to the death of the late Jimmy Lemmi Milla who was shot dead by Emmanuel David Lagu, a former driver and brother-in-law to the late Minister. Both the late Minister and Emmanuel are members of Pajulu ethnic group.

 

The investigation will be headed by Director of Public Prosecution, Filberto Mayuot Mareng and assisted by Director of Criminal Investigation of Southern Sudan Police Service, Maj. Gen. Ajang Reech Gak and three others. The committee is expected to submit its report to the Minister with immediate effect.

 

The Internal Affairs Minister added that his ministry with other security organs will immediately beef up security measures to ensure safety of ministers and other VIPS.

 

Meanwhile, the President of the Government of Southern Sudan, Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit has declared a “three-day mourning period during which the national flag will be flown at half-mast on all buildings and locations starting Thursday 10th February 2011”.
 

By John Agou Wuoi

This article was updated on Feb 14, 2011

“Minister’s killing not political”, asserts internal affairs minister

JUBA, 9 February 2011 – H.E. Gier Chuang Aluong, the minister for Internal Affairs in the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) has asserted that the killing of the Cooperatives and Rural Development minister was not a political assassination.


Addressing the press this afternoon in the company of his Information counterpart, H.E Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, the minister explained that this was a criminal act whose motivation is not yet established given that the assassin was a former driver of the minister and a relative.

 


H.E. Gier (right) addresses the media accompanied by H.E. Dr. Marial (left).
[Photo: Matata Safi]


H.E. Gier explained that the assassin broke into the minister’s car in the parking lot, took a gun, went upstairs to the minister’s office and killed his bodyguard before shooting the minister thrice killing him instantly. He explained that the killer had not been suspected because he used to work there and was considered a member of the ministry.


The minister also clarified that the assassin was arrested as he fled and refuted reports that he shot himself. He is now under lawful custody while investigation into the motive of the killing is ongoing. He also explained that the killer attended national services in 1986, way before the CPA.


He called on the people to remain calm as the security agents delve deeper into the matter. He also assured the people that security in the country is under control and that there should not be any cause for alarm.

 


Madam Awut reading the condolence message from the GOSS President.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


H.E. Dr. Marial reinforced his colleague’s statement and explained that this is an isolated incident which should not be used as a basis of generalization. He explained that security matters are delicate and complex and that even the most protected personalities, including the pope, have been accosted in spite of their elaborate security detail.


Meanwhile, the GOSS President, H.E. General Salva Kiir Mayardit has sent a message of condolence to the bereaved family and the entire country. The President has also declared a three-day mourning period during which the national flag will be flown at half mast on all buildings and locations starting tomorrow, Thursday 10 February 2011. The condolence message was read to the media by H.E. Awut Deng Acuil, the GOSS minister for Labour and Public Service.


Reported by Clement Aturjong Kuot

This article was updated on Feb 14, 2011

GOSS Cooperatives minister, H.E. Jimmy Lemi Milla is dead

JUBA, 9 February 2011 – The Government of Southern Sudan regrets to announce the death of its minister for Cooperatives and Rural Development, H.E. Jimmy Lemi Milla.

 

 
The late H.E. Jimmy Lemi


The late minister was shot dead this morning in his office by a certain Emmanuel David Luga, a member of the Pajulu ethnic group. The killer is a former driver and brother-in-law of the late minister.


The President of the Government of Southern Sudan, H.E. General Salva Kiir Mayardit and the entire GOSS leadership expresses deep sorrow over the assassination. Click here to read the condolence message from President Kiir.
 

This article was updated on Feb 14, 2011