Technical committee submits proposed symbols of authority to SSLA

JUBA, 10 May 2011 – The technical committee working on the symbols of authority of the new Republic of South Sudan, which will be born on 9 July 2011, today submitted the proposals of the national anthem, coat of arms, flag, name of currency and name of the new country to the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly (SSLA) for deliberation and final approval.


The proposals were submitted to the SSLA by the chairman of the technical committee, H.E. Michael Makuei Lueth, who is also the minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS). H.E. Makuei reiterated that the proposed name of the new country is South Sudan while its currency will be called the South Sudan Pound.

 


H.E. Makuei presenting the symbols to the SSLA.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


He also explained that the committee adopted the flag which is currently being used by GOSS, which originally belonged to the SPLM/A. He further explained the symbolism of the colours of the flag. He said that black stands for the identity of South Sudanese; white for peace; red for the blood shed for liberation; green for the land of South Sudan which is rich in natural resources; blue triangle for the water and development while the star symbolizes the vision for the development of the new country.


H.E. Makuei also explained that the coat of arms consists of fishing eagle standing against a shield and spears. He said that the eagle signifies strength, resilience and vision; attributes that the new country desires. The shield and spears, on the hand, represents protection.

 


A choir performs the proposed South Sudan national anthem to the SSLA.
[Photo: Matata safi]


Brigadier Malaak Ayuen of the SPLA presented the national anthem which was performed live by the armed forces band and a choir. The anthem is a general prayer for blessings and protection of the new country. It is also an expression of gratitude for the rich natural resources the country is endowed with as well as a challenge to the patriotic citizens to develop and tend it.


The technical committee urged the august house to pass the proposed symbols of authority in time to smoothen the transition. The committee also emphasized that the symbols must be in place before the declaration of statehood in July.

 


The SPLA band performs the proposed South Sudan national anthem to the SSLA.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


Reported by Matata Safi

 


South Sudanese off for training in Japan

JUBA, 9 May 2011 – A group of senior South Sudanese journalists and communication managers will later this week travel to Tokyo, Japan for a two week advanced training in various elements of media management sponsored by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).


The journalists are drawn from the Ministry of Information, Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) and the Union of Journalists of Southern Sudan. This training is part of the ongoing technical media cooperation between GOSS and JICA.


Considering the importance of the role of the media towards the establishment of the new democratic Republic of South Sudan, this training aimed at enhancing professional journalism in South Sudan, is critical. The training comprises of lectures conducted by eminent Japanese professors and observation tours of the major media institutions in Japan.

 


The journalists and the JICA officials during the briefing.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


While briefing the media on the content of the training, Mr Yasuhiko Wada, the Resident Representative of JICA Sudan Office expressed hope that the exchange will enable the journalists from both countries to interact and network. He explained that South Sudan featured prominently in the Japanese media during the referendum but regretted that the situation has changed and there is hardly any Sudanese item in the Japanese press. He said that this trip will play a big role in cementing the relationship between the two countries and lead to prominent reciprocal media coverage.


On his part, Mr. George Garang, the Undersecretary in the Ministry of Information who is leading the journalists, thanked the government of Japan and JICA for sponsoring the training. He expressed confidence that the journalists will garner requisite skills to enable them improve the media landscape in South Sudan.


Reported by Joseph Garang Deng

 


Troika countries call for amicable resolution of pending CPA issues

JUBA, 7 May 2011 – The development ministers of Norway, United Kingdom and the United States have called for amicable resolution of outstanding CPA issues including the status of Abyei, border demarcation and oil wealth sharing before South Sudan becomes independent on 9 July 2011, barely two months away.


This was announced by Mr. Erik Solheim, Norway’s minister for Environment and International Development; Mr. Andrew Mitchell, the United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for International Development; and Dr. Rajiv Shah, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator, after holding talks with President Salva Kiir Mayardit at the Presidential Palace (J 1) in Juba today.


The three countries, called Troika because of their longstanding humanitarian and development partnership with Sudan and their role in brokering the CPA, have committed to continue supporting both the South and North Sudan in the future. They also reiterated their continued support for the development of two economically viable and peaceful states in the South and the North.

 


President Kiir (centre) poses with the Troika leaders and Dr. Cirino (right).
[Photo: Matata Safi]


The Troika also emphasized that principles of good governance, respect for human rights as well as assistance to those affected by conflict, natural disaster and population movements should be pivotal in the emerging two sovereign states. The three Troika leaders clarified, however, that the exact nature of the constitution as well as the type of socio-political systems applied by the countries should solely be home-bred and chosen by their own citizens through transparent civic processes.


The leaders also emphasized that the donors are keen to ensure that funds are used appropriately. They pledged to offer practical support in strengthening anti-corruption institutions to facilitate accountable and transparent management of public and donor resources for the benefit of the citizens. They lauded the policy of zero-tolerance to corruption that the Government of Southern Sudan is executing and promised to support it by all means possible.


They also commended President Kiir for his visionary and steadfast leadership which has held the country together through the transition period and ensured that it did not revert back to war. They called on the political leaders in the region to reign in proxy forces and maximize the goodwill the country currently enjoys from the donors and international community in general.

 


Mr. Mitchell addresses the media as Dr. Shah (left) and Mr. Solheim (right) look on.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


Dr. Shah reported that the USAID met development stakeholders in Juba yesterday and renewed its commitment to support the improvement of agriculture to bolster food security in South Sudan. He said that the USAID is harnessing resources from the donors to support economic, social welfare and justice development in the new country. He announced that the USAID will host a donor conference in September 2011 which it hopes will give South Sudan an opportunity to present its development priorities to the donors. He also emphasized the need for a thriving private sector to generate job opportunities for the people.


The three leaders will take the same message to the political leadership in Khartoum tomorrow. They also pledged support for the African Union initiative led by the former South African President Thabo Mbeki and urged the parties to negotiate honestly in good faith and be ready to compromise so as to break the deadlock on the outstanding CPA and other issues.


The three leaders made these remarks while addressing the local and international media at the Press Centre in J1. The session was coordinated by Dr. Cirino Hiteng Ofuho, the minister in the Office of President, Government of Southern Sudan.
 


Juba Teachers’ Training Centre ready

JUBA, 6 May 2011 – The Juba Teachers’ Training Centre which has been under construction since 2008 is now ready for occupation and commencement of the training programmes.


This was announced by the minister for Education, Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS), H.E. Dr. Michael Milli Hussein, yesterday after visiting and inspecting the facilities at the new centre, located at Kafuri about 50 miles north of Juba.


The centre which has been constructed by the UNHCR with funds from the Japanese government has the capacity to train 360 primary school teachers every year. It also has three primary schools nearby in which the trainee teachers will practise.


The minister expressed satisfaction with the high standards of the construction works at the centre and commended the project managers involved for a job well done. He emphasized the dire need of qualified teachers to enhance the reach and quality of education in the new country. He appealed to all well-wishers to support the ministry in this pursuit.


The UNHCR has constructed a similar training centre in Aweil, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, which has the capacity of training 700 teachers per year. Other six teachers’ training centres sponsored by diverse donors are also operational in South Sudan.


Reported Emmanuel Gai Maker

 


Request for Expression of Interest - GOSS Ministry of Commerce and Industry

JUBA, 5 May 2011 - The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MC&I) is in receipt of a fund from the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) to support the feasibility study of Yirol Oil Mill, a defunct project located in the western part of Yirol town in Lakes State, Southern Sudan.


The objective of the feasibility study is to assess and evaluate prospects for the revitalization of the project. It is envisaged that this project can stimulate growth by creating job opportunities and help improve the economy of the state and that of GOSS by leveraging locally grown oil seeds and other indigenous crop species. It is intended that part of the proceeds of the fund will be applied to eligible payments under the contract for a feasibility study to be undertaken by a Consulting Firm. The Consulting Firm must have a mix of the relevant expertise based on the objectives of the project.


Visit the "Tenders" page for the full description of the services, extent of the services, selection method as well as submission details.
 


CMI to support GOSS peace building initiatives

JUBA, 5 May 2011 – The Crisis Management Initiative (CMI), a Finnish non-profit organization working on conflict resolution, will support the peace building programmes of the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS). The CMI will collaborate with GOSS Ministry of Peace Building and CPA Implementation to ensure that sustainable peace prevails in South Sudan especially as its independence draws nigh.


To institutionalize their collaboration, a CMI delegation led by its head for Africa Programme, Kirsi Joenpolvi, met and held discussions with the minister, H.E. Pagan Amum. The delegation thereafter signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the terms of engagement with the ministry. The Undersecretary, Madam Beatrice Khamisa Wani, signed the MOU on behalf of the ministry.

 


Ms Joenpolvi (left) and Madam Khamisa (right) sign the MoU as the other staff members watch on.


The delegation also held a familiarization meeting with the heads of departments in the ministry and exchanged ideas on peace building programmes. They also set peace building priorities for the years 2011 – 2013. They also discussed the challenges the ministry faces in peace building and how to bridge the existing priority gaps.


The parties emphasized the role of countrywide dialogues to build sustainable peace. Madam Khamisa reiterated the government’s commitment to building and nurturing peace in the country. She said that peace building programmes will be spread down to the state and county levels adding that the approach will ensure that every citizen is engaged in building and protecting peace.


Ms Joenpolvi appreciated the warm welcome the CMI has received from the government. She also said it is an honour for her and the CMI to contribute to the peace building efforts in South Sudan especially at this critical time of nation building.


Reported by Lindri Godfrey Alex

 


National Labour and Employment Tripartite conference kicks off in Juba

JUBA, 4 May 2011 – The first National Labour and Employment Tripartite conference has kicked off in Juba, capital of Southern Sudan. The conference aims to address issues connected to decent work programme, training and immediate operational capacity building for human resource to meet the demand of the emerging independent Republic of South Sudan (RoSS) come 9th July.

 

In his closing remarks, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, the Vice President of the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) enumerated the challenges ahead in terms of integrating the other civil servants working in the North and those in Diaspora.

 

He explained that the tripartite conference was very important at this moment to enable the government, workers and trade union to hold a social dialogue to attain the common goal of the emerging Republic of South Sudan, which is development. Dr. Machar urged the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to support South Sudan and award it membership in the organization.

 

The Ministry of Labour and Public Service in the Government of Southern Sudan in organized the conference in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation. The conference drew together ten state ministers for Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development and other 80 participants.

 


Participants at the conference.

 

The main purpose of the conference was to provide a platform to engage the government, workers, and employers’ association in the preparing for and championing inclusion of South Sudan as a member of the ILO to ensure it participates in the organization’s annual International Labour Conference.

 

The conference also provided the basis for adoption of the decent work programme for South Sudan, and developed policies and strategies as well as to put all ILO instruments at the service of the constituents for the people of Southern Sudan.

 

Madam Awut Deng Acuil, the minister for Labour and Public Service in the Government of Southern Sudan applauded the effort of the government, workers’ federation, trade union and the facilitation of the ILO in making the conference an historic event for Southern Sudan.

Social dialogue which remains a key milestone in solving labour problems was discussed at length during the conference. The conference ended with a number of resolutions which the tripartite bodies signed.

 

The Minister for Labour Public Service in Central Equatoria State, Stephen Lemi who was representing State ministers of Labour and Public Service urged GOSS and citizens to take the lead in addressing the issue of security that remains an obstacle for development and investment in South Sudan. “The government will not employ all Southern Sudanese but the large group [will] be employed in the private sector,” Mr. Lemi said.

 

By Justin Jada Joseph and Alnour Ango


Women Vocational Training Centre opens in Lakes State

JUBA, 4 May 2011 – The Aluakluak Women Vocational Training Centre (AWVTC) officially opened in Yirol West County, Lakes State on Friday 28 April 2011. The centre aims at enhancing women’s capacity as well as to empower them to meet the demands of the labour markets.

 

H.E. Agnes Lasuba, the Minister for Gender Child and Social Welfare, Government of Southern Sudan, on behalf of the President of the Government of South Sudan, called on the state authority and the local people to take full responsibility of the vocational training centre. She pointed out that President Salva Kiir Mayardit has donated a bus to the centre. She also donated five thousand Sudanese Pounds to the students.

 

H.E. Awut Deng Acuil, the minister for Labour and Public Service in the Government of Southern Sudan, explained that the project construction cost 2.5 million US dollars. The funds were provided by the Government of South Sudan and the Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF). It was implemented by the Norwegian People Aid (NPA) and has been ongoing since 2008. Women across the ten states of South Sudan will benefit from the Centre which offers courses such as carpentry, automobile mechanics, computer studies, agriculture, catering and tailoring. The facility has the capacity to admit 200 students.

 


A section of the facility.

 

Citizens of Aluakluak expressed great joy dancing, applauding the step taken by the GOSS in “bringing towns to the people” through the project. The opening ceremony was attended by ministers, members of the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly (SSLA), top GOSS and Lakes state officers, representatives of UN bodies that are engaged in development projects in the country. Governor of Lakes State, Eng. Chol Tong, expressed readiness to protect and sustain the vocational training centre.

 

Meanwhile, the minister for Health in the Government of South Sudan, Dr. Luka Monoja, thanked the people of Aluakluak for availing the land to the government freely for the development. Dr Monoja urged all Southern Sudanese communities to do the same.

 

Mr Stephen Takunya, the Project Manager said that challenges such as poor roads network, as well as high cost of materials since most of them were procured from Kenya, Uganda and Northern Sudan delayed the completion of the project.

 

By Justin Jada Joseph and Alnour Ango


South Sudan special envoy calls on President Kibaki

NAIROBI, 3 May 2011 - President Mwai Kibaki today at his Harambee House Office received a special message from President Salva Kiir Mayardit, Head of the Government of South Sudan. The message was delivered by Hon. Gen. Nhial Deng Nhial who is the Minister of SPLA and Veterans Affairs.


South Sudan is scheduled to become a new state on 9th July 2011 after the January referendum that voted for secession and preparations to usher in their new Republic have since commenced.

 


President Mwai Kibaki shares a light moment with Hon. Gen. Nhial Deng Nhial, Minister of SPLA and Veterans Affairs who delivered a special message from President Salva Kiir at Harambee House.


During the meeting President Kibaki assured that Kenya would continue to support the people of Sudan in finding lasting peace and stability in the region. In attendance were assistant minister Orwa Ojode, Internal Security PS Francis Kimemia and other senior government officials.


On his part the special envoy was accompanied by the Minister for Roads and Transport Hon. Anthony Makana and Amb. Michael Majok A. Dor, Head of Mission Government of South Sudan in Kenya.
 


Egypt donates computers to South Sudan schools

JUBA, 29 April 2011 – The government of Egypt yesterday donated several computers and other ICT peripherals to the Ministry of Education, Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS). The equipment is meant for schools in the new country.


Receiving the equipment on behalf of the ministry, the minister for Education, H.E. Dr. Michael Hussein, said this donation is a major boost to the delivery of modern education in the country. He thanked the people and government of Egypt for responding swiftly to the appeal the ministry made to them about two months ago.

 


H.E. Dr. Hussein (left) receiving the Egyptian Consul General H.E. Moaied Aldalai (right).


The minister said that the 85 computers and 40 printers will be distributed to select schools to maximize their impact. He announced that the ministry is planning to purchase more computers and printers so as to reach as many schools as possible. He said that the ministry will use the donation to establish computer centres in the schools and equip the students with ICT and Computer Science skills which are needed for the development of the new country.


H.E. Dr. Hussein also said that the Egyptian government will also support the construction of new schools as well as training of teachers in South Sudan. He also said that it will also provide teachers to bridge the existing gap before the new country can train its own teachers.

 


Some of the equipment.


The minister clarified that Arabic language will remain in the education curriculum of South Sudan. He said South Sudanese have no problem with Arabic as a language or Islam as a religion but with the injustices committed against the people by individuals and systems of governance.


On his part, the Consul General of Egypt, H.E. Moaied Aldalai reiterated the commitment of his government to support the people of South Sudan. He said more support for various sectors is in the pipeline.


Reported by Gisma Shaba Suleiman

 


SSDDRC and UNICEF welcome release of child soldiers

JUBA, 28 2011 – The Southern Sudan Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Commission (SSDDRC) and UNICEF have welcomed the release of children associated with the armed forces and groups in Southern Sudan.


Through a press release issued by the two organizations this morning, they commended the progress made so far. They reported that twenty-two children in Unity state and eight in Northern Bahr el Ghazal had been released and are now being reintegrated.


The organizations also said that they are working together with other stakeholders and partners to identify and register children in armed forces and support the process of their release and reintegration. “Access to education, vocational training, livelihood as well as strengthening the capacity for the provision of appropriate psycho-social care and support for children formerly associated with armed forces and groups are key areas in the re-integration process”, they said.


The organizations have also reported that the released children are grateful and are calling for the release of the others who might still be engaged. “Let’s leave the army to our fathers; it’s a job for adults, not children. Let’s go back to school”, says a recently released child.


While UNICEF and SSDDRC applaud these positive developments concern remains about renewed fighting which may lead to child recruitments, particularly in Greater Upper Nile States. They said that an increase in violence heightens the risk of recruitment or re-recruitment of children. Many challenges on the ground remain including limited access of released children to basic services, especially education and to income generating activities. Also the capacity-building of families and communities to protect their children from violence and abuse is an issue that needs attention.


The UN in Southern Sudan has been mandated by the Security Council to monitor and report on the recruitment and use of children in armed conflict with the intention to halt child recruitment and other grave violations by engaging and maintaining dialogue with parties and by developing action plans. This process began in 2005 and work is currently ongoing.


In November 2009, the UN signed a 12-month action plan with the SPLA to release all children from its ranks. Since then 210 children have been released. During the implementation period, SPLA has received support from UNICEF in partnership with Save the Children in Southern Sudan, to establish and train child protection units. The SPLA has committed to the extension of the action plan. However, while waiting for an official extension, the SPLA has agreed with the UN and SSDDRC to continue verification and awareness-raising missions in their barracks.

 

“The launch of the SPLA Child Protection Unit is another concrete sign of the commitment of the Government of Southern Sudan in general and the DDR Commission in particular to keep the protection of children, the future and hope of our country, a priority”, says William Deng Deng, Chairperson of the SSDDRC.


In the first quarter of 2011, SSDDRC and UNICEF together with UNMIS have created awareness through orientation sessions for some 2,000 SPLA soldiers and officers. In addition, child protection units within the SPLA are continuing trainings on child rights and child protection and have so far reached upwards of 1,000 SPLA personnel.

 

“Awareness-raising is the first step in this fight against the use of children in armed conflict,” re-enforces Dr. Yasmin Ali Haque, UNICEF’s Director of Southern Sudan. “These latest developments in the release and reintegration of these children in Unity and Northern Bahr Ghazal States point to positive progress in this area, and we hope to continue in this direction. It is critical that there is an immediate end to child recruitment and release of all children who are anticipated still to be in armed forces and groups”, she added.


As Southern Sudan moves towards becoming an independent nation, special efforts must be made to ensure that the national army is in full compliance with international standards for the protection of children in armed conflict