Abyei community condemns SAF invasion

JUBA, 24 May 2011 – The members of the Abyei Community in Juba have condemned the invasion of their home town and demanded immediate withdrawal of the Sudan Armed Forces from there. They have also called on the international community to intervene and stop what they described as genocide instigated by the National Congress Party (NCP). Click here for the full communiqué.


GOSS denounces attacks on Abyei by SAF

JUBA, 22 May 2011 – The Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) today denounced the attacks on Abyei and stated that it stands by the provisions of the Abyei Protocol on the fate of the region and will not be drawn to the sideshows by the National Congress Party (NCP).


Responding to the latest attacks on the area by the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the unilateral dissolution of its administration and sacking of the administrators, the official GOSS spokesperson who is also the minister for Information, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, said that even though the NCP seems to be in a fighting mood the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and Army (SPLM/A) will not be dragged into war.


He reiterated the position of the SPLA spokesperson, Col. Philip Aguer, that the SPLA has no presence in Abyei. He explained that the SAF has attacked the area and can now attest to the fact. He said that had there been SPLA forces in Abyei, the SAF would not have merely walked into the town and captured it without a fight as they did yesterday.


Dr. Marial also regretted any injuries that may have been caused on the members of the UNMIS unit as a result of the confusion caused by the unexplained shot. He said that such mistakes occur in similar situations elsewhere. He said that the SPLA has been friendly to the UNMIS unit and has never attacked it before and will remain so.


He appealed to the UNMIS force and the international community to take charge of the situation in Abyei and protect the civilians. He said that the SAF soldiers have run amok in the town and are looting or destroying property besides committing other crimes against humanity. He also said that the innocent people have been displaced and are now vulnerable to diseases and other atrocities coupled with the hostile weather. He appealed to the international community to treat the situation with the urgency and seriousness it deserves before it deteriorates further.

 


Dr Marial (right) addresses the media accompanied by Col. Aguer (left).
[Photo: Matata Safi]


Dr. Marial also wondered why President Omar al-Bashir decided to unilaterally dissolve the Abyei administration without consulting other members of the Presidency as required by the CPA and the Interim Constitution. He said such decisions would normally be made by consensus by the President of the Republic; His First Vice President, Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit; and Second Vice President, Ali Osman Taha. He wondered what constitutional authority President al-Bashir used in dissolving the Abyei administration.


The minister also explained that the way the SAF is ruining Abyei is a clear indication that there are no Misseriya in the region otherwise it would not commit such atrocities on the harmless people it is supposed to protect. He said that what the soldiers are doing in Abyei is not even acceptable under the Sharia law. Dr. Marial also appealed for humanitarian support to the area residents who have now been displaced.


Dr. Marial also assured the South Sudanese that the situation will be managed. He appealed to them to remain calm and concentrate on preparations for independence. He also clarified that the ongoing talks between the NCP and the SPLM on post-referendum arrangements in Addis Ababa will continue and will not be derailed by the latest incident. He also reiterated the SPLM’s commitment to peaceful resolution of the outstanding issues.


“We want to maintain cordial relations with the North but now we recognize the fact that we have an unpredictable partner”, he said.
 


“SPLA did not ambush SAF in Abyei”, spokesperson

JUBA, 22 May 2011 – Col. Philip Aguer, the spokesperson of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) has denied allegations that its members had ambushed a Sudan Armed Force (SAF) unit withdrawing from Abyei.


Col. Aguer explained that a gun-shot at the SAF, whose source has not been established to date, could not have been fired by the SPLA who were part of the UNMIS unit escorting the SAF unit from Abyei. He also explained that this incident is not the real cause of the invasion of the area by the SAF. He said that the national government and army seems to have decided to invade the area and was just looking for an excuse to attack. He explained that it is possible that even the said withdrawal may have been planned to evacuate the SAF component of the Joint Integrated Unit (JIU) from Abyei in readiness for the attack.


He said that ordinarily the real source of the shot would have been investigated and established after which appropriate actions would have been taken to remedy the situation. He explained that the fact that the SAF has unilaterally declared war in Abyei can only be understood against the bigger picture.

 


A section of the media and members of the Abyei community follow the proceedings of the press conference.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


Col. Aguer also explained that the SAF seems to have decided to take Abyei by force since the beginning of this year. He cited the SAF’s alleged mobilization of the Popular Defence Forces (PDF) to attack and displace civilians along Abyei and Unity borders; movement of the Janjaweed force from Darfur to the borders of Southern Kordufan, Abyei and South Sudan; militarization of the borders with heavy mechanized units and additional divisions from Rodoom, Muglad and Defra, as some of the indicators of the premeditated attacks on Abyei.


He explained that the SAF is arming militia groups associated with Peter Gadet and George Athor to destabilize South Sudan and join it (SAF) to “liberate” Abyei. He said that some of the militia have also been given landmines with which they are now maiming and killing civilians.


Col Aguer also stated that the SPLA has no presence in Abyei. He explained that only the SPLA JIUs were deployed to Abyei as part of the CPA. Thus, he said, the SAF cannot claim to have defeated the SPLA in Abyei. “We [wish] to inform the public that the SPLA was not defeated in Abyei...what has happened is that Khartoum had planned a coup against the Abyei Administration and used a full division to attack”, he said.


He stated that the SPLA has been patient and remained calm against all manner of provocations from the SAF. He said that these attacks will not distract the SPLA and South Sudanese from concentrating on the preparations for their independence in July 2011.


Col. Aguer made these remarks today when he addressed a press conference at the Ministry of Information, Government of Southern Sudan, headquarters in Juba.


SSRDF to visit bio-gas projects in Uganda

JUBA, 20 May 2011 – The Southern Sudan Reconstruction and Development Fund (SSRDF) will send a team of eleven delegates led by its chairperson H.E. Alikaya Samson Aligo to Uganda to tour bio-gas project sites in the country.


The SSRDF has been working on bio-gas project proposals in partnership with international organizations such as the African Union (AU). Therefore, the main purpose of the tour is to expose the delegates to the management of bio-gas projects so as to empower them to replicate the same here in South Sudan. The delegates will also use the skills obtained through the tour to coordinate the rollout of bio-gas projects in all the ten states of South Sudan.


The SSRDF is the government’s agency that solicits and manages funds for reconstruction and development projects all over the country. Particularly, the SSRDF works to alleviate poverty in the rural areas through projects implemented in partnership with community-based organizations and the civil society.


It also works in collaboration with Building Resources Across Communities (BRAC) to coordinate the funding of hygiene, water and sanitation, and income generating projects. The agency also conducts development sensitization outreach all over the country. In March 2011, a combined team of SSRDF and BRAC visited Warrap, Tonj South, Twic East, Turale, Wunrok, Malakal, Mundri, Magwi, and Torit.


The delegation leaves for Uganda tomorrow and will be there for about three weeks. They return home on 13 June 2011.


Reported by Achudi Ukidi


Southern Sudan Development Plan Conference ongoing in Juba

JUBA, 20 May 2011 – A two-day conference to deliberate the South Sudan Development plan is ongoing in Juba.


While opening the conference yesterday, H.E. David Deng Athobei, the minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) said that it will discuss ways of developing a strong, stable and prosperous South Sudan. He said that the conference will also discuss the establishment of effective institutions capable of stimulating and managing economic development in South Sudan.


The minister also emphasized that South Sudan is implementing an economic system which prioritizes rural development. He explained that this economic approach is part of the vision of the late Dr. John Garang of “taking cities to the villages”. He said the economic priorities include infrastructure development and improvement of social services such as basic education and primary health care.


H.E. Athorbei said that the government is keen to harness the natural resources the country is endowed with. He said that it is sad that in spite of its rich natural resources, South Sudan still remains one of the poorest countries in the world. He challenged all the stakeholders and the people in general to maximize the benefits of the natural resources.


The participants urged the government and other stakeholders to guarantee investor protection, ready access to investment information, and development of requisite investment infrastructure such as electricity. They also raised the need to streamline issues relating to land-ownership, taxation and trade policies. The participants identified agriculture, construction (roads and housing) and tourism as some of the sectors in the country which have vast investment potential.


The conference is attended by GOSS ministers, state governors and ministers, representatives of the international community, African Development Bank, United Nations, World Bank, Joint Donor Team, civil society, private sector as well as local and international investors.


Reported by Clement Aturjong Kuot


Southern African leaders expected to grace independence celebrations

JUBA, 19 May 2011 – Heads of governments of South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Angola and Zambia have pledged to come to Juba to grace the South Sudan independence celebrations in July.


This was announced by the minister for Information, Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS), Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin, today at the Juba International Airport when he arrived from an extensive trip to these countries where he had delivered a special message from President Salva Kiir Mayardit.

 


Dr. Marial addressing journalists on arrival at the Juba International Airport.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


“It was a pleasure for me to carry congratulatory messages on a successful referendum from the leaders as well as good wishes for independence”, he said.


He appealed to the citizens to prepare to receive and host guests during the celebrations. “It is our duty as Southern Sudanese to receive the guests with open hands and hearts, when they come for the celebrations”, he said.


Dr. Marial also called on all the citizens to maintain law and order and display good behaviour and extend warm welcome to the guests who will join them to celebrate their independence.


Reported by Rosemary Njeri Chacha


45 qualified civil servants due in South Sudan in June

JUBA, 19 May 2011 – 45 highly qualified civil servants from Kenya, recruited under the GOSS/IGAD initiative, are expected to join various ministries in the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) at the beginning of June 2011.

 

This was announced today by the Undersecretary in the GOSS Ministry of Labour and Public Service, Madam Rebecca Joshua Okwaci, in Juba.

 

She said that the 45 form the first batch of the 80 public officers expected from Kenya. Others will join the team at a later date. She also said that more civil servants are also expected from Uganda and Ethiopia under the same initiative which aims to twin 200 qualified staff from the region with their counterparts in GOSS. Madam Rebecca also clarified that these civil servants are not coming to take jobs from the citizens but to train them on various areas of public service.

 

She explained that the goal of the initiative is to build the capacity of GOSS workers so as to enhance service delivery to the people. She called on all the ministries expected to receive the group to prepare adequately so as to maximize the potential of the programme.

 

Madam Rebecca also revealed that 20 of the advance group are healthcare workers who will join various departments in the GOSS Ministry of Health. The Undersecretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Olivia Lomoro, lauded the programme and expressed confidence that these professionals will help improve the delivery of health services to the people.

 

The programme is funded by the Norwegian government and is being implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Southern Sudan.

 

Reported by Justin Jada Joseph


Rehabilitation of the Juba Multipurpose Training Centre begins

JUBA, 19 May 2011 - The rehabilitation project to improve facilities and equipment at the Juba Multipurpose Training Centre (MTC) commenced early this week. The initiative aims at improving the standard of the centre to meet the demand of the locals for training in various fields and to increase the pool of skilled workforce required for the development of the independent Republic of South Sudan come 9 July 2011.

 

The project which is costing eleven million dollars is being funded by the Japanese government as part of the special assistance to promote peace building and human capacity in South Sudan.

 

The Director General for Labour and Industrial Relations in the GOSS Ministry of Labour and Public Service, Helen Achiro, lauded the initiative and thanked the Japanese government for the assistance which, she said, has come at the most opportune time.

 

She urged the contractor to employ local people to work hand in hand with the engineers so as to gain the skills and reduce the country’s dependence on human resource imported from the neighbouring countries.

 

On the other hand, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) representative pointed out that the MTC will train the youth and reduce the problem of unemployment levels in South Sudan which may cause social unrest if left unchecked. The development of capable local workforce is therefore one of the urgent issues for the economic growth and peace building.

 

Reported by Justin Jada Joseph


Swedish government to support peace initiatives

JUBA, 18 May 2011 - The undersecretary in the Ministry of Peace and CPA Implementation, Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS), Beatrice Khamisa Wani, today met the Swedish Ambassador to Sudan, Jan Sadek, in her office in Juba.

 

During the meeting, they discussed issues pertaining to peace building and reconciliation as well as how the Swedish government can support the ministry’s peace building initiatives.

 

They also deliberated on how the Swedish government can support the ministry’s efforts in constructing peace halls in all the states of South Sudan. The Undersecretary also briefed the ambassador on the various MOUs the ministry has signed with other organizations such as ACORD and Crisis Management Initiative (CMI) to support peace building in the country.

 

The two also shared notes on the preparations for the declaration of South Sudan’s independence in July 2011.

 

Reported by Lindri Godfrey Alex


Labour and Public Service minister meets states counterparts

JUBA, 18 May 2011 – H.E. Awut Deng Acuil, the minister for Labour and Public Service in the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) recently met the ten state ministers of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development and discussed issues pertaining to reform programme, electronic payroll system and capacity building.

 

Madam Awut called on the state ministers to implement the labour laws and regulations so as to delivere effective and efficient services to the people. She pointed out that her ministry was working hard to support capacity building in the ten states.

 

She also explained that the GoSS/IGAD initiative to contract highly qualified civil servants from the IGAD countries of Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia will help mentoring and coaching civil servants in South Sudan various fields so as to enhance professionalism in the public service.

 

The state ministers expressed concern in handling the labour issues relating to the fate of South Sudanese civil servants working in Khartoum and those in the private sector. They called on the government to address these issues.

 

Reported by Justin Jada Joseph


GOSS has improved business environment

JUBA, 17 May 2011 – A new report from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the World Bank released today has revealed that the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) has made strides in improving the business environment for small and medium enterprises.


The report, entitled “Doing Business in Juba 2011” is the first assessment of business regulations in Southern Sudan’s capital, Juba. It shows improvements in eight laws on business registration, operations and land ownership.


The report also shows that 9,000 businesses have been registered since the government launched the process in 2006. It further shows that several commercial banks have been established while the basic infrastructure is being rehabilitated.


It also shows that starting a business, dealing with construction permits, and registration of property takes about fifteen days in Juba. This is relatively fast compared to the 13.8 days in developed countries. However, the report shows that the cost of starting a business is quite exorbitant; more than twice the average in Sub-Saharan Africa.

 


H.E. Dhieu (right) luanching the report.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


The report also identifies Juba’s three different legal framework, poor infrastructure, complex administrative processes, limited access to credit and lack of a collateral registry as hampering trade in the capital.


The report was formally launched by H.E. Stephen Dhieu, the GOSS minister for Commerce and Industry who is also the acting minister for Investment at the Rockcity resort in Juba. He lauded the report and outlined the plans of the government to improve the business environment further by enacting more legislation, creating more institutions and mainstreaming business registration.


“Reforms that cut red tape, clarify property rights and streamline regulatory compliance can yield big payoffs”, said Mierta Capaul, Lead Private Sector Development Specialist of the World Bank Group. “There is an opportunity for Southern Sudan to build the strong foundation necessary for a vibrant formal private sector”, she added.

 


Some of the business people who attended the launch.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


Mr. John JaraMogi Oloya, the World Bank acting manager for South Sudan, said that the report is a valuable source of information that will help GOSS and other stakeholders to find ways of promoting the growth of small and medium enterprises in South Sudan.


The report examines business regulations from the perspectives of the small and medium enterprises and benchmarked nine regulatory areas, namely starting a business, dealing with construction permits, registering property, getting credit, protecting investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and closing a business. The study was conducted in partnership with the GOSS Ministry of Investment with funding from the United States Agency for International Aid (USAID).


The launch was also attended by several senior GOSS, IFC and World Bank officers as well representatives of the private sector.
 


Officials call for unity during SPLA anniversary celebrations

JUBA, 17 May 2011 – Officials of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) yesterday urged the South Sudanese to remain united. They made this appeal when they addressed throngs of people who attended the SPLA Anniversary celebrations held at the Nyakuron Cultural Centre in Juba. The theme of the celebrations was “United to build a free independent Southern Sudan”.


Addressing the occasion the SPLM Secretary for Political Affairs and Organization, Antipas Nyok Kucha, who was the guest of honour, asked the mammoth crowd to pay tribute to the fallen heroes and heroines including the SPLM Secretary for Lakes State Samuel Mr. Mathiang Kiir who passed away recently in Australia while receiving medical treatment.

 

“The SPLA anniversary is a historical moment, a day when our gallant soldiers threw away the chains of slavery, oppression and marginalization and said “enough is enough” for all forms of subjugation of Southern Sudanese”, Mr Nyok said.

 

He explained that the Southern Sudanese, along with other marginalized groups, took up arms for nothing but to rescue themselves from being gulped down the “Sudan monster and big python”. He commended the gallant soldiers who waged the successful liberation war which has now brought freedom to South Sudan. He called on the people not to retreat to their tribal cocoons but to forge national unity to defend and develop the new nation.

 

He also called on the people to be patient to give the new nation time to grow and thrive. He appealed to the politicians to nurture unity amongst the people. He pointed out that nation building requires no miracles but hard work.


The Central Equatoria Acting Governor, Stephen Lemi Lokure, said that the Khartoum government is smarting from humiliation because it failed to lure the South Sudanese to vote for unity as it had hoped. He said that the independence of South Sudan is not the end but the beginning of the struggle for total freedom from hunger, disease and ignorance. He assured the families of the fallen heroes that the government will support them in the best way it can.

 

The SPLA Representative, Deputy Chair of Staff, Mabuto Mamur, on behalf of SPLA General Headquarters, asserted that the SPLA is the national army whose members are from all communities. He appealed to all the members of the army to remain united for the full realization of the goal it has championed through the years. He urged the army to show solidarity on the pending issues of border demarcation, fate of Abyei and popular consultations in the transitional areas. “We are always ready to defend the territory of South Sudan”, he asserted.


The SPLM Secretary for Information and Culture, Bol Makueng, said the party will not recognize the results of the elections in South Kordufan which he claimed had been rigged by the National Congress Party (NCP). He maintained that the SPLM will not participate in administrative structures in South Kordufan unless the election is nullified and conducted afresh. He appealed to the international community and organizations such as the African Union, European Union and United Nations to provide leadership on the issue.

 

Reported by Ater Garang Ariath


UNSC to visit Southern Sudan and Abyei

JUBA, 15 May 2011 – H.E. Deng Alor Koul, the minister for Regional Cooperation, Government of Southern Sudan, yesterday announced that the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is scheduled to visit South Sudan and Abyei area on 23 May 2011 to review the situation and press for political settlement on the future of Abyei as well as the other outstanding CPA issues.

 

The minister made these remarks when he addressed journalists at the Juba International Airport on his way to the United States of America. He announced that the UNSC members will meet various stakeholders during the visit and expressed optimism that these issues will be resolved once and for all.


H.E. Alor also explained that the UNSC’s visit to Abyei area will enable the members to experience the situation in the volatile region firsthand. He said that the meetings with the stakeholders such as the civil society and members of the public will further unveil the public opinion on the major issues of concern.


The minister also announced that Security Council will hold important talks with the Government of Sudan (Khartoum) and the Government of Southern Sudan, especially President Salva Kiir Mayardit, on 24 May 2011 to engage the two parties to work out a consensus on the outstanding CPA issues as well as the post-referendum arrangements.


H.E. Alor emphasized that the visit has come at the opportune time because the issues need to be resolved. He also said he would meet various individuals and officials in the United States of America regarding the 9th July declaration of statehood. He called for the unity of South Sudanese as they celebrate independence and beyond.


Reported by Ater Garang Ariath

 


Ethiopia to strengthen trade ties with South Sudan

JUBA, 15 May 2011 – The government of Ethiopia has reiterated its commitment to facilitate the strengthening of trade ties with the new state of South Sudan, H.E. Simon Kuon Puoch, the governor of Upper Nile State, announced yesterday.


The governor, who had just arrived back in the country from Ethiopia yesterday, had delivered a special message from President Salva Kiir Mayardit to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia on the need to strengthen trade ties between the South Sudan’s Upper Nile state and Ethiopia.


H.E. Puoch explained that the two countries will establish road networks to facilitate the transfer of commodities and business people between the countries. He said that the establishment of this relationship is necessary because the Khartoum government has stopped Northern traders from delivering commodities to the state. This, he said, has adversely affected the livelihoods of the residents of the state.


The governor reported that during the trip, he met Ethiopian officials including the deputy prime minister and discussed several bilateral trade issues such as development of electricity supply infrastructure, road networks and boosting of borderline security to enable free movement of goods and people between the countries.


“Historically, Southern Sudan and Ethiopia have been tightly connected, culturally and traditionally and we need to be tied up economically and politically to stimulate mutual development”, he said. He said that they also discussed the need for capacity building for individuals and institutions in South Sudan to facilitate seamless business transactions between the states. The governor also revealed that roads connecting Upper Nile and Ethiopia are under construction adding that some bridges are already completed.


H.E. Puoch also called on the Government of Sudan to support trade ties between the Northern and Southern regions. He said, the country is still united and that such stoppage is not only unjustifiable but also affects both regions. He said maintenance of good relations, including trade relations, between the regions is inevitable for the development of two independent viable states once South Sudan declares statehood in July.


Reported by Ater Garang Ariath


Extensive clean-up of Juba ongoing

JUBA, 13 May 2011 – There will be a cleaning exercise in Juba every Saturday until the Independence Day, 9 July 2011. The exercise is being coordinated by the Ministry of Health, Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) and is aimed to keep all areas of Juba tidy.


In a memo to all ministries and GOSS agencies, Dr. Olivia Lomoro, the Undersecretary, Ministry of Health urged all the officers and members of staff to participate voluntarily in the exercise which is being undertaken in collaboration with the Office of the Mayor, Juba City Council and other stakeholders.


Dr. Lomoro urged all the residents of Juba to mobilize each other and clean up the city. The exercise targets business premises, government buildings, residential areas, roads, markets and other public facilities. Apart from sprucing up the city, the exercise will also improve its sanitation and reduce health threats to the residents.
 


Engineers’ conference kicks off in Juba

JUBA, 12 May 2011 – A one-day conference on the registration and licensing of professional engineers, architects and technicians under the theme “The Engineer is Cornerstone to Development and Prosperity” kicked off in Juba this morning.


While opening the conference, the minister for Human Resource Development, Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS), H.E. Mary Jervas Yak, lauded the idea of registration of engineers. She explained that South Sudan has only had one registered professional council, that is, South Sudan Health Council. She explained further that the purpose of the engineers’ council is to set up professional standards and lock out quacks who misuse the title “engineer”.


She explained that the need for professional standards in South Sudan is acute because of the massive reconstruction projects going on. Unfortunately, she observed, the construction industry has been operating without requisite professional standards, codes of conduct and licenses. This situation has led to losses by customers who have fallen prey to the unscrupulous “engineers”.

 


H.E. Mary Jervas Yak addressing the conference.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


The minister underscored the mandate of the government to regulate the construction sector so as to protect the unsuspecting customers. “If you look around you will see many houses which are collapsing; these are the houses which have been built by the quacks masquerading as engineers”, she explained.


She issued a directive that all engineers in public or private practice will have to register with and be cleared by the council. “If you are an engineer, you should register; if you don’t then know that you will be operating outside the law”, he cautioned.


According to Engineer Thomas Kedini Legge, the Secretary General/Registrar of the Engineering Council of Southern Sudan (ECOSS), the conference is a general assembly for engineers to mark the beginning of registration and licensing of all professionals working in the engineering field. He explained that the registration will help them develop an inventory of the professional engineers in South Sudan and eliminate the quacks.


The conference is taking place at the Nyakuron Cultural Centre in Juba. It will be closed by H.E. Dr. Riek Machar Teny, the Vice President, Government of Southern Sudan.


Reported by Matata Safi


Miss Malaika marketing South Sudan globally

JUBA, 12 May 2011 – The Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) through the Ministry of Culture and Heritage has been sending winners of the Miss Malaika beauty pageant to strategic countries as cultural ambassadors for the country since 2006.


H.E. Gabriel Changson Chang, the GOSS minister for Culture and Heritage reported today that so far South Sudan beauties have been sent to Japan, China and Vietnam and have done a superb job in marketing the rich cultural heritage of the South Sudanese.


He asserted that the liberation war was partly motivated by the need to defend the rich cultural values and attributes of the people of South Sudan. He reiterated the commitment of the government to support such cultural exchange programmes. He also lauded the efforts of the initiators and managers of the Miss Malaika beauty pageant and urged them to maintain transparency in selecting winners of the pageant.


He made these remarks in his office this morning when he received Ms Atong Ajak de Mach, the 2010 Miss Malaika winner who has just returned from Vietnam. Ms Atong said she has learned a lot through the programme and expressed confidence that it is of great benefit for the individuals and the country at large.


Reported by Joseph Garang Deng


Vacancies - Fiscal Allocation and Monitoring Commission

JUBA, 11 May 2011 - The Southern Sudan Fiscal Financial Allocation and Monitoring Commission is an independent commission established by the Presidential Decree No. 53/2006 in Juba in accordance with the wealth sharing protocol of the CPA to ensure transparency and fairness in regard to allocation of funds collected at the level of the Government of Southern Sudan to the states and local government in Southern Sudan. The commission is seeking for qualified industrious South Sudanese to fill the positions below:

 

  1. Director of Administration and Finance – Grade 3
  2. Deputy Director for Fiscal Allocation – Grade 4
  3. Deputy Directors of Monitoring for the three greater regions of Southern Sudan (Equatoria, Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile) – Grade 4


Click here the full job descriptions, requirements and application details.
 


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