President Kiir attends African Union Summit

JUBA, 28 June 2011 - The President of the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS), H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit is attending the African Union summit on accelerating youth empowerment for sustainable development in Africa currently being held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.


The President is accompanied by several ministers, among them the minister for Finance, Deng Athorbei; Roads and Transport, Lino Anthony Makana; Telecommunication and Postal Services, Madut Biar; Internal Affairs, Gier Chuang Aluong; Education, Michael Hussein; and the minister in the Office of the President, Cirino Hiteng.

Addressing journalists, the GOSS Official Spokesperson and minister for Information, H.E. Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin said the President and his entourage is attending the African Union heads of state summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.


Dr. Marial explained that the meeting is critical given that it is coming on the eve of the South Sudan’s independence. “It will give the President an opportunity to interact with the other African presidents who will become his contemporaries after the 9th July 2011 when South Sudan becomes a sovereign state”, he explained.


He also said that President Kiir will get an opportunity to raise the outstanding CPA issues including the status of the Abyei protocol and the right of popular consultation in South-Kordofan and Blue Nile along with the border demarcation between the South and North.


“The continental heads of state summit is indeed an important event ahead of our independence because it will provide a good opportunity for our President to introduce the Republic of South Sudan to all the African Union members”, Dr. Marial explained.


Reported by Ater Garang Ariath

South Sudan - What comes next?

JUBA, 28 June 2011 - Independence Day, 9th July 2011, will be an inspirational day of events in the South Sudanese capital Juba, involving a Declaration of Independence, flag-raising ceremony and parade. The events will be attended by community, religious and government leaders from all around the country, 30 heads of state from Africa and other international dignitaries.


H.E. Dr. Marial shows the media one of the publications bearing the coat of arms of the new Republic of South Sudan.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


Thousands of South Sudanese citizens and international friends will bear witness to the day, alongside local and international media. Round the country, there will be locally-planned celebrations in many villages and counties. These will include ceremonies, music, dancing and other cultural festivities, to herald the birth of the new nation.


Please, click here to download information on what happens next.


SSLA passes six sovereignty bills

JUBA, 28 June 2011 – The Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly (SSLA) today passed six sovereignty bills during its Ordinary Sitting No: 24/2011 dated Tuesday 28th June 2011 10: 00 AM held at the assembly’s main hall in Juba.

The bills were presented to the August House by H.E John Luk Jok, the minister for Legal Affairs and Constitutional Development, Government of Southern Sudan. The bills were: the National Flag Bill (2011), the Nationality Bill (2011), the National Anthem Bill (2011), the National Coat of Arms Bill (2011), the Seal of the Republic Bill (2011 and the Passport and Immigration Bill (2011).

The honourable members then deliberated and discussed the six bills. After the long deliberations, observations and discussions, the August House came up with two motions which were put to voting. The first was to terminate the debate and pass the bills in their third reading. The other was to pass four bills and postpone two bills including the Passport and Immigration Bill (2011) for further deliberations and discussions.

After a long debate the six bills were tabled for voting. 81 members supported the termination of the debate, adoption and passing of the six bills in their third reading. The motion was opposed by 22 members while 6 abstained.

The sitting was chaired by the Right Hon. Speaker of the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly Gen. James Wani Igga. The sitting was attended by 101 honourable members.

Reported by Clement Aturjong Kuot

Independence committee newsletter

JUBA, 28 June 2011 - Please, click here to read the second issue of the "South Sudan Independence", a newsletter published by the South Sudan Independence Celebrations’ Committee for Information and Mobilization. Kindly, note that the publication is 695KB and may take a couple of minutes to download.


Western Equatoria to produce food for South Sudan

JUBA, 25 June 2011 – Western Equatoria will play a major role in bolstering food security in South Sudan, the minister for Agriculture and Forestry in the Government of South Sudan, Dr. Anne Itto has said.

The minister made these remarks when she addressed the media at the Juba International Airport shortly after returning from a two-day tour of the state. She emphasized that the government is transforming the sector from traditional to mechanized farming. She announced that this transformation is part of the priorities the government has set for 2012.

“We want to improve agricultural production from two thousand metric tonnes of maize to six hundred million metric tonnes and for this policy to be achieved we will target the states with conducive climatic conditions”, she explained.


Dr. Anne Itto.


The minister also reported that while she was in Western Equatoria, she met and consulted with various development agencies such as Farm Sudan, Food Crisis Project financed by the World Bank, farmers’ groups and grain millers. Several non-governmental organizations engaged in the sector in Western Equatoria assured the minister that the state has the capacity to produce adequate maize and rice for local subsistence and international trade.


“We will not depend on East African countries and northern Sudan for food imports; we want to establish our own food reserves. This can be achieved through the cooperation of all the stakeholders”, said Dr. Itto. She also emphasized that all the citizens should get involved in this process. She called on the South Sudanese to engage in farming to ensure self-reliance in food production and poverty alleviation.

Dr. Itto cautioned the citizens against destroying forestry resources. She reported that she met the state minister for Agriculture and Forestry and agreed on a mechanism to conserve the forests. She called on all the people to participate in this process.

The minister noted that the presence of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in the state hampers agricultural activities and reiterated that the government is doing all it can to root out the dissidents from South Sudanese soil.

Reported by Ater Garang Ariath

Civil society holds demo against human rights violation by Khartoum regime

JUBA, 25 June 2011 - South Sudanese civil society organizations and human rights activists yesterday held a peaceful demonstration in Juba to protest human rights violations committed by the Khartoum regime against the innocent civilians in Abyei area, Unity, Upper Nile, Northern Bahr el Ghazal and Southern Kordofan states.


Members of the civil society hold demonstration in Juba.
[Photo: Khamis Matata Safi]

The civil society and human rights activists demanded the immediate withdrawal of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) from the affected areas without any conditions. They also demanded that SAF should stop bombing and killing innocent civilians in Southern Kordofan, Pariang County in Unity State, and Kiir area in Northern Bahr el Ghazal.

They also urged the Khartoum government to bring the hostilities in Western Sudan region of Darfur to an end.

“We urge the government in the North to fully honour all the CPA protocols and the express political will to implement all these protocols. They must also respect all the treaties and human rights conventions signed”, they said.

Reported by Khamis Matata Safi

GOSS receives UN-members’ flags

JUBA, 25 June 2011 - The Ministry of Regional Cooperation in the Government of Southern Sudan last week received fifty two containers carrying one hundred and ninety two flags of the member-countries of the United Nations.


According to the undersecretary in the ministry, Mr. Majok Guandong, the flags received included that of the new Republic of South Sudan. Mr. Guandong said that this gesture signifies that the UN will recognize the new country.


“We in the Government of Southern Sudan, especially in the Ministry of Regional Cooperation, are extremely glad to receive the flags of the members of the United Nations as one step to our recognition”, he said.


He also said that all committees organizing the celebrations are working hard to ensure that the Independence Day is celebrated happily. He commended the South Sudanese private company run by Mr. John Duku which had been contracted to bring all the flags from China to Southern Sudan.


“The arrival of the flags on time has boosted our morale and we want to urge all South Sudanese to prepare themselves for the historic day”, he added.


The undersecretary also said that the South Sudan’s flag will be its new identity alongside its amazing national anthem that was launched last week at Nyakuron Cultural Centre. “We should be proud of our flag when it is raised”, Mr. Guandong said.


Reported by Ater Garang Ariath

Education minister meets “Save the Children” top official

JUBA, 25 June 2011 - The minister for Education in the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS), H.E. Dr. Michael Milli Hussein yesterday met the director for development policy of “Save the Children UK”, Mr. Patrick Watt in Juba.

Addressing the press after the meeting, Mr. Watt said that they discussed some of the educational challenges facing South Sudan. He also added that they discussed the role of education in enhancing the economic power of the new country.

Mr. Watt also said that during the meeting they discussed teachers’ recruitment, salaries and other incentives for teachers. He also reported that they discussed the review of the curriculum as well as the role of the international community in revamping the education sector.

He said that his organization is working with stakeholders and communities in Southern Sudan to ensure that every child enjoys all the rights due to them.

Reported by Gisma Shaban and Lindri Godfrey

Preparations for independence celebrations gather momentum

JUBA, 18 June 2011 –The preparations for the celebration of independence of South Sudan have gathered momentum.

Today, the army and other organized forces staged a rehearsal parade in Juba in preparation for the festivities. The marching began at the Buluk Police playground and ended at the Dr. John Garang Mausoleum. Members of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, which is bound to become the South Sudan Army as well as the Police, Wildlife, Prison, Fire Brigade, Women, Youth as well as scouts of South Sudan, participated in the parade.


Part of the parade.

The march was also attended by the chairperson of the parade committee, H.E. Dr. Michael Milli Hussein, who is also the GOSS minister for Education, as well as his Office of the President counterpart, H.E. Dr. Cirino Hitend Ofuho.

In a related event, Mr. Mustafa Biong Majak, the Director General of Information in the GOSS Ministry of Information who is also the chairperson of the Information and Mobilization committee led the members of the committee in inspecting arrangements for the international, regional and local media expected to cover the independence celebrations.

South Sudan will host several dignitaries during the independence celebrations scheduled for 9 July 2011. Several committees and sub-committees are coordinating various preparation activities for the event.

Reported by Clement Aturjong Kuot

SSLA Speaker urges the people to stand behind President Kiir

JUBA, 18 June 2011 - The speaker of the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly (SSLA) who is also the deputy chairperson of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), Rt. Hon. James Wani Igga has called on all South Sudanese to rally behind President Salva Kiir Mayardit and the Government of South Sudan.


He made the call this week at the Nyakuron Cultural Centre in Juba while addressing the participants at a function to commemorate the African Child Day.


This call comes at a time when the South Sudan is preparing to celebrate its independence.


Hon. Wani stated that the government has been lobbying for recognition from all countries. He said emissaries of the government visited many countries including the European Union (EU) and that all the countries expressed their readiness to recognize the country and even attend the celebrations in July.


The speaker also denied the allegation that an attack by the SPLA sparked off the current quagmire in Abyei. “The SPLA did not start bombing Abyei, it was a lie. The North wanted to mislead the international community”, he asserted adding that the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) had deployed their troops three weeks before the attack.

Reported by Ater Garang Ariath