President Kiir directs immediate deployment of SPLA in Jonglei and Warrap

JUBA, 25 August 2011 - The President of the Republic of South Sudan H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit has directed the security organs and the organized forces in the country to take immediate measures to stop revenge attacks being carried out by the communities in Jonglei and Warrap states which has resulted in the loss of many lives in those areas.


This was disclosed yesterday by the caretaker minister for Interior Gen. Gier Chuang Aluong. The caretaker minister said that following the serious security situations in Jonglei, Warrap, parts of Upper Nile and Unity states, the Security Council of the Republic of South Sudan held an urgent meeting yesterday Wednesday 24th August, 2011 under the chairmanship of the President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit, and resolved that the SPLA forces must be rapidly deployed in the areas to restore peace and security.


He added that the Security Council condemned, in the strongest terms, the loss of lives in the three counties of the Lou Nuer. Similarly, the previous attack by Lou Nuer in the Murle areas was also condemned by the Security Council.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth


Government’s response to the Jonglei State atrocities

JUBA, 25 August 2011 - The following statement was issued on 23 August 2011 by the Spokesman for the Government of the Republic of South Sudan, Hon Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin, the Caretaker Minister for Information and Broadcasting, in response to the Jonglei State atrocities:


“On Saturday I visited the communities affected by these atrocities where I had the opportunity to learn first-hand from survivors about their horrific ordeal. The Government of South Sudan condemns such mindless violence that has left so many innocent men, women and children dead or injured, their homes and livelihoods in ruin. There is no place for anything like this in South Sudan and the Government and people of South Sudan will not tolerate it.


“Responding to these events, Members of the National Assembly called the Minister of Internal Affairs to the Assembly on Tuesday morning to explain the atrocities and outline the Government’s response. Assembly Members engaged in an extensive debate about what had happened and why, and what initiatives might prevent future conflicts. They then passed a series of resolutions:

 

  1. That the Government should send troops to the area to prevent revenge attacks and an escalation of violence
  2. That a committee of Assembly Members should be appointed to visit the area and report back to the Assembly with their findings
  3. That a reconciliation process should be started to identify long term solutions
  4. That measures should be put in place to address local infrastructure needs, including the provision of new security roads, improved water facilities such as damming and the dredging of blocked streams


“The Minister of the Interior was instructed to take these resolutions to a meeting of the National Security Committee which will be chaired by the President this afternoon.


“On behalf of those that I met when I visited Jonglei on Saturday, I would like to express my gratitude to the many groups and individuals throughout South Sudan and across the world who have sent messages of support and offers of practical assistance. The Government is particularly grateful to the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General Hilde F. Johnson for her swift offer of support. We also thank representatives of the church who will be lead by Archbishop Daniel when they visit Jonglei later this week. The purpose of their mission is to urge restraint from all sides and resist any form of reprisal or escalation. We thank the Archbishop for his leadership and offer him the Government’s wholehearted support in this important initiative.


“In the days, weeks and months ahead of us, the Government of South Sudan will continue to work with State and county officials to apprehend and have punished the perpetrators of these terrible crimes. We will work with agencies, NGOs and others to alleviate the immediate and long-term suffering of the victims of last week’s attacks. The Government will work hard to consider measures that can be adopted to prevent further such incidents happening again in the future.”


For further information, please contact: Rev Gatquoth Chol Bol, +249 912 280 981/ +249 923 303 723


Justice Minister tables “Badges and Insignias Bill 2011”

JUBA, 25 August 2011 – Hon John Luk Jok, the caretaker minister for Justice yesterday tabled the “Badges and Insignias Bill 2011” before the National Legislative Assembly (NLA). In his presentation, the minister underscored the significance of the bill to the new Republic.


According to the provisions of Article 98(3) of the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly (SSLA) Conduct of Business Regulations 2011, the Clerk at the table read the short title of the bill before it was referred to the relevant specialized house committee.


The caretaker minister also presented the Taxation Act Amendment Bill, 2011 which is deemed as urgent by the government. The Clerk also read the short title of the bill before it was similarly referred to the relevant specialized house committee.


During the same sitting three caretaker ministers appeared before the house to explain the dura project. These were Hon John Luk Jok the caretaker minister for Justice, Hon Michael Makuei Lueth the caretaker minister for Parliamentary Affairs who is also the former minister for Legal Affairs and Constitutional Development, and Hon David Deng Athorbei the caretaker minister for Finance and Economic Planning. The caretaker ministers appeared alongside the former minister for Finance and Economic Planning Mr. Kuol Athiang Mayuen.


Mr. Mayuen explained in details how the dura supplies started and how the contracts were granted by two ministries. He stated that the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning paid for the supplies based on the recommendations of the governors. He showed the members the documents to prove that the food was delivered to the states. He also said that some of the contractors were paid 30 percent of the total cost of constructing the dura stores in advance to enable them begin the work.


Hon Makuei stated that the former minister for Finance should not be blamed because he was instructed by the governors to pay the companies which they claimed had delivered the supplies. On his part, Hon Athorbei explained that a team was set up to investigate whether the actual stores were constructed. He urged the house and the executive to come up with a solution in order to pay off the SSP 2.7 billion outstanding bill.


Most of the honourable members agreed with the statements of the three ministers on issue. The sitting was adjourned to facilitate further investigation and verification of the evidence tabled. The sitting was chaired by Hon Deputy Speaker Gen. Daniel Awet Akot.


Reported by Clement Aturjong Kuot


President Kiir meets USA Commander of Africom

JUBA, 24 August 2011 - The President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit has commended the role being played by the United States of America in facilitating peace and security to the people of South Sudan.


The President made this commendation during his meeting today with the USA military delegation headed by the USA Commander for Africom Gen. Carter F. Ham, who was accompanied by Ambassador Barrie Walkly the American Charge d’Affairs in South Sudan. President of the Republic called on the USA to build military capacity of the new nation of South Sudan.

 


President Kiir (right) receiving the symbol of partnership from Gen Ham.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


Shortly after the meeting, Gen. Ham said in a press statement that the meeting discussed principle topics on military partnership between the United States of America and the Republic of South Sudan. Gen. Ham added the partnership would provide the USA forces and the forces of South Sudan a framework for close collaboration in addressing the security concerns in the future. He described the meeting with President Kiir as great and productive and disclosed that appropriate action resulting from the meeting will be taken soon.


Gen. Ham also presented to the President of the Republic a symbol of military partnership between the Republic of South Sudan and the United States of American. The symbol was in form of silver Jar.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth


SPLM decries mistreatment of Southerners in the North

JUBA, 24 August 2011 – The authorities in the Republic of Sudan are intimidating and mistreating South Sudanese in the North and preventing them from returning to their country, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) has said.


Addressing the media at the party’s headquarters in Juba today, the SPLM Spokesperson Mr. Yien Matthew Chol, said that the authorities in the North have constantly made life difficult for the South Sudanese in their territory while also preventing them from coming home.


Mr. Chol narrated several incidents in which individuals suspected to be associated with the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) have attacked, arrested or tortured South Sudanese attempting to return to South Sudan. He said that recently, drivers of 18 buses which had been hired by South Sudanese to bring them home from the North were attacked and beaten mercilessly for cooperating with the Southerners.


He also reported that three South Sudanese girls were abducted during the buses’ attack and that their whereabouts is still unknown. He explained that the girls were prevented from coming to South Sudan on allegations that were North Sudanese on account of their light complexion.

 


Mr. Chol addressing the media at the SPLM headquarters.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


Mr. Chol explained that the NCP is unpredictable and perennially reneges on its pledges. He said that the government of the Republic of South Sudan has been seeking avenues to resolve the impasse only for the NCP to dishonour its commitment.


He described the treatment of the Southerners in the North as inhuman and explained that even the Sharia Law cannot condone it. He wondered why the authorities were using uncouth methods to detain the people while at the same time making their lives unbearable.


He appealed to the international community and especially the United Nations to investigate these incidents and take appropriate measures to mitigate the suffering of the innocent Southerners. He also urged the members of the South Sudan National Legislative Assembly to deliberate the issue and recommend suitable remedial actions.


He reiterated that South Sudan is firm in its pursuit of sustainable peace with its neighbour. He also said that the SPLM is concentrating efforts on its second and third objectives now that the first, freedom of South Sudan, has been achieved. He identified sustainable peace and prosperity as the second and third objectives of the party respectively.


Government launches educational loan repayment scheme to attract Diasporas

JUBA, 24 August 2011 – The Embassy of the Republic of South Sudan in Washington, DC last week announced its plan to formally launch a pilot South Sudan Student Loan Forgiveness Program (SSSLFP) for South Sudanese Diaspora in the USA. The SSSLFP is a financial aid program that the Government of the Republic of South Sudan has initiated to encourage and maintain skilled South Sudanese Diaspora professionals and graduates to contribute to development at home.


This program was initiated by the Government of the Republic of South Sudan through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning. Under the SSSLFP, the Government of the Republic of South Sudan will repay student loans based on the duration of the employment as reflected on the service agreement. This program is aimed to pay the loans incurred during the pursuit of an educational training; bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD.


Loan repayments will be made on the condition that all eligible applicants show proof of the following criteria: South Sudanese nationality; educational attainment and; student loan information. Additionally, all applicants must commit to work full time in South Sudan for a period of time commensurate with the amount of loan to be repaid. The work commitment will be in the areas of, but not limited to, public service; federal, state and local agencies; nonprofit organizations; public health; military service; and public interest organizations.


The Government of the Republic of South Sudan has acknowledged the student loan financial obligations as a matter that prevents some South Sudanese graduates and professionals from returning back home to participate in the development of their country. Therefore, it intends to use the SSSLFP as a method to ease student debt burden and to attract skilled South Sudanese professionals back home.


Please, click here for more information on the South Sudan Student Loan Forgiveness Program; and here for the eligibility criteria. Those interested can also contact the Office of Student Loan Forgiveness Program through the following points of contact:


Mr. Peter Konday Muon: 202-293-7940 Ext. 29
Mr. Reec Akuak: 202-293-7940 Ext. 29
Mr. Julius Nyambur Wani: 202-293-7940 Ext. 29


“RSS relation with Kuwait is cordial”, Dr Marial

JUBA, 24 August 2011 – The caretaker minister for Information and Broadcasting Hon. Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin yesterday reiterated that the Republic of South Sudan has no problem with Kuwait or any other country on the surface of the earth. He noted that Kuwait has had good relations with South Sudan since the liberation struggle and emphasized that the situation has not changed.


During an interview with Mr. Adnan Khalifa al-Rashid, an editor of the Kuwaiti Gulf Press on Monday, the caretaker minister said that South Sudan is a secular country and is seeking to build mutually beneficial relationships with countries that can support its development. He emphasized that the Government of the Republic of South Sudan is secular and includes persons from all religions.


The caretaker minister also explained that South Sudan is one of the countries in which doing business is becoming increasingly easier. He said that it is now possible to register a business in the country in less than 48 hours.


He explained that South Sudan is a virgin country with vast investment opportunities and urged the Kuwaiti media to inform their citizens and government accordingly.


On his part, Mr. Khalifa expressed confidence that the fact that the Republic of South Sudan is secular will enable it to attract many investors from all over the world. He said that the Arab countries will particularly find the country a suitable investment destination given that Arabic is spoken widely by the populace.


Reported by Martin Jada Gabriel


Arabic to be phased out from secondary schools in three years

JUBA, 23 August 2011 – The caretaker minister for General Education, Hon Dr Michael Milli Hussein has announced that Arabic will be replaced by English as the sole medium of instruction in secondary schools in the Republic of South Sudan within the next three years.


He reported that the ministry is already working on mainstreaming English language in its syllabi. He said that the ministry is currently reviewing 240 English book titles from Kenya. “We have chosen a panel of English teachers to review the books and advise on which ones can be acquired”, he said. The panel of teachers, he said, is currently meeting in Maridi for this exercise and is expected to report in the next one month.


Dr Hussein made this announcement on Saturday at Lobonok in Central Equatoria State when he opened Yapa Senior Secondary School which has been constructed through the concerted efforts of the local community.


The caretaker minister commended the community for complementing the government’s efforts in extending the reach of education. He announced that the ministry has already begun the process of constructing 30 primary and 4 secondary schools within the next 100 days as pledged by the President. He said this is being done with the support of the DFID. He also said that the government will sponsor a similar number of schools to be distributed in all the states of the Republic.

 


Dr Hussein (centre) flanked by other dignitaries during the ceremony to open Yapa Senior Secondary School on Saturday.
[Photo: Emmanuel Gai Maker]


He also explained that all the new secondary schools, including Yapa, will be national boarding institutions to enable the students to concentrate fully on their education. He also said that the schools will be used to cement the unity of the nation by mixing students from all the states.


Dr Hussein also said that the government is committed to uplifting the standards of education in the country. He explained that one way this can be achieved is by employing qualified teachers. He announced that all secondary school teachers will henceforth be university graduates. He declared that there is no way secondary school students can be taught by a teacher holding a similar certificate. He wondered how such a teacher can prepare students for the university yet they had not made it to the institutions of higher learning themselves. The caretaker minister also decried the lack of Maths and Science teachers in South Sudan. However, he reported that the government is already training more than 300 Maths and Science teachers in Juba and Aweil.


He also said that lack of adequate learning spaces and materials are also bedevilling education in the country. He reported that the DFID has committed to support the purchase of 6.5million books for the South Sudan’s schools. He said that the ministry is now working with the stakeholders to identify the books to be purchased. He said that the books will be updated to reflect current realities in the country.

 


Dr Hussein (centre) receives a painting from the representatives of Misereor, a German NGO, yesterday. Misereor's Director Prof Soyer is on the minister's left.
[Photo: Emmanuel Gai Maker]


The caretaker minister also delivered a cheque worth SSP 496,003 from the government to Yapa Senior Secondary School to cater for the completion of the remaining construction works and feeding of the students for the rest of the year.


The event was also attended by the Speaker of the National Legislative Assembly Right Hon James Wani Igga, the GOSS caretaker minister for Finance and Economic Planning Hon David Deng Athorbei, the deputy governor of Central Equatoria State, the Central Equatoria State minister for Education, and chiefs of Lobonok, among other community leaders.


In another event yesterday, Dr Hussein met representatives of Misereor, a German Catholic development organization led by its Director Prof Josef Soyer. During the meeting the NGO pledged to work with the ministry to leverage the efforts of the government in improving education levels in the country.


Dr Hussein said that Misereor has been working in the education and health sectors in South Sudan for over thirty years. He said South Sudan is keen to learn how Germany managed to emerge from the ashes of the Second World War to become a leading world power. On his part, Prof Soyer underscored the need for educated workforce for the development of the new country. He said that that skilled labourforce can only be developed through relevant education.


Reported by Gisma Shaban Suleiman


Government committed to providing clean water to all

JUBA, 23 August 2011 – The Government of the Republic of South Sudan is committed to providing clean and hygienic water for all the citizens. This was revealed during a planning and coordination workshop of the water resources stakeholders in the country held in Rumbek, Lakes State over the weekend.


The participants at the workshop urged the government to allocate more funds to the water and irrigation projects in the country. They urged the organizations installing water points all over the country to train the communities, especially women, to use the facilities responsibly and in a hygienic manner.


While closing the workshop on Sunday, the Deputy Governor of Lakes State Mr Daniel Ayual Makoi reiterated the commitment of the Lakes State government to work hand in hand with other state governments and the central government to implement water and irrigation projects to benefit the new country. He also assured the development partners working in the water sector of improved security in the state. Noting the critical role water plays in the very existence of living things, the deputy governor said there will be no turning back on the commitment.

 


Participants at the workshop.
[Photo: Michael Abraham]


Mr Joseph Makir Madit, the Lakes State minister for Housing and Physical Planning described the meeting as educative. On his part the minister for Housing in Eastern Equatoria Mr Mark Akio called on all the participants to apply the knowledge they had acquired from the workshop in spite of the challenges that they may face.


Mr Muki Batali Bulli, the commissioner of Kajo Keji who was representing the Local Government Board at the meeting urged the government of the Republic of South Sudan to implement the recommendation of the participants that the workshop be held twice a year.


The UNICEF representative at the workshop, Mr Ken Maskall, reiterated his organization’s commitment to support the Republic of South Sudan in building essential infrastructure to enable it to deliver services such as the provision of clean drinking water. He commended the unity of the people in seeking solutions to the challenges the communities in the country face.


The three-day workshop was organized by the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation of the Government of the Republic of South Sudan and hosted by Lakes State at Rumbek.


Reported by Alex Amin John


New Office of the President opens in Juba

JUBA, 22 August 2011 - The new Office of the President of the Republic of South Sudan H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit was officially opened today Monday August 22nd, 2011, in a very special ceremony organized by the President's office.


The new office was redesigned and constructed by Makover Construction Company under the supervision of the Ministry of Housing and Physical Planning.

 


President Kiir cutting the tape to open the new office.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


The caretaker minister in the Office of the President Dr. Cirino Hiteng described the new facility as meeting international standards making it “a real Office of the President of the state”.


On her part, the caretaker minister for Housing and Physical Planning Mrs. Nunu Kumba said the next step, to be taken soon, is to build a big Presidential Palace for the Republic of South Sudan.

 


The new office in Juba.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


In his key remarks when addressing the opening ceremony, President Kiir congratulated Makeover Construction Company for having done a very good job by redesigning and standardizing the office.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth/P.P.U/RSS


The NLA passes provisional order of Bank of South Sudan

JUBA, 22 August 2011 – The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) of the Republic of South Sudan today unanimously passed the Provisional Order No. 18 of the Bank of South Sudan in its second reading through acclamation. The provisional order had been presented to the house by Hon. Dengtial A. Kuur the chairperson of the Committee of Legislation and Legal Affairs of the NLA.


During the same sitting, the NLA also resolved to form a committee to vet the recent Presidential appointees to the positions of Chief Justice and Governor of the Bank of South Sudan as well his deputies. Justice Chan Reec Madut has been appointed the Chief Justice while Mr. Kornelio Koryom Mayiik has been appointed the Governor of the Bank of South Sudan with Mr. John Dor Majok and Mr. Jamal Abdallah Wani as the Deputy Governors.


The matter was brought to the house by Hon. Michael Makuei Lueth, the caretaker minister for Parliamentary Affairs. The NLA agreed to form a 17-member committee to vet the appointees and present recommendations to the house. It also agreed that 14 members of the committee should come from the SPLM while the other three should come from the other political parties represented in the NLA.


Some honourable members suggested that persons appointed to senior government offices should possess the relevant technical skills of the respective offices, good moral track record and physical fitness in accordance with Article 57(8) of the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011.


The sitting was chaired by the Right Hon. Gen. James Wani Igga, the Speaker of NLA. It was attended by 224 members including GOSS caretaker ministers and the Government Chief Whip.


Reported by Clement Aturjong Kuot
 


Agriculture minister advocates modern farming methods

JUBA, 22 August 2011 - The caretaker minister for Agriculture and Forestry Dr. Anne Itto has called on the farmers in the Republic of South Sudan to use modern farming methods to produce high quality crops capable of competing with crops from the rest of the world in the global marketplace.


“Grow your crops according to the emerging market trends and standards”, said Dr. Itto.


While encouraging the local farmers to embrace new agricultural techniques, the caretaker minister singled out the production of mangoes which she said is still traditional leading to poor harvests in spite of the country’s huge potential for the fruit.


The caretaker minister stated that much as South Sudan is blessed with a lot of mangoes, the local varieties are not the best and cannot sell in the international markets. “Most of our mangoes are of poor quality; they grow tall and straight making it difficult to harvest them”, she said adding that most of the mango harvests are done by crude methods such as hitting resulting in the fruit being damaged on landing.

 


Dr. Itto (right) explains how mangoes are grafted when she visited Nyeli Odema demonstration farm.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


She further explained that the farm intends to produce good quality mangoes in next three years. “The mangoes you see here are not just ordinary mangoes but grafted mangoes”, said Dr.Itto. She went on to explain that this type of improved mangoes matures within three years compared to the traditional ones which take many years to bear fruits. She also added that the grafted mangoes produce big succulent fruits and are generally short and umbrella-shaped making it easier to harvest without damaging the fruits.


On how to get grafted mangoes, Dr. Itto explained that these can be produced through intermarrying of two different varieties of mango seedlings on a single mango plant with the disease-resistant one as the root mango and the one giving high quality fruits, but is not disease-resistant as the fruit bearer. To do this, she said, a farmer has to slice a “wound” on the young stem of the mango seedling that is resistant to diseases and chop off the stem of the other mongo seedling that produces good fruits and bandage it on the first one until when the two become one.


The minister called on the farmers to apply these modern methods of farming that can enable them to become a leading global producer of mangoes, among other fruits and fruit products.


Dr. Itto made this appeal on Saturday while addressing the media at Nyeli Odema demonstration farm 45miles along the Juba-Nimule road where she had gone to witness the first crop harvests from the farm established in March this year.


Reported by Matata Safi


President’s office to be opened tomorrow

JUBA, 21 August 2011 - The new office of the President of the Republic of South Sudan H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit, which was constructed by Makeover Construction Company, will be officially opened tomorrow Monday, August 22nd, 2011.

 


The new Office of the President of the Republic of South Sudan-Eastern side.
[Photo: PPU]
 


The new Office of the President-Western side.
[Photo: PPU]

 

Reported by Thomas Kenneth/P.P.U/RSS


President Kiir promises to improve Muslim conditions in South Sudan

JUBA, 21 August 2011 – The President of the Republic of South Sudan H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit has reiterated his commitment to address the challenges facing the Muslim community in South Sudan and will double efforts to improve their conditions in the country.

 


President Kiir addressing Muslim Community at Presidential Palace.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]
 


President Kiir made the remarks when addressing Muslims yesterday evening of Saturday 20th, August, 2011 on occasion of Presidential Ramadan Breakfast organized at the Presidential Guest House in Juba. President of the Republic called on South Sudanese to refrain from practising religious corruption and also not to politicize religion.

 


Muslims Praying Ramadan.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]
 


H.E Kiir said the SLPM struggled for religious freedom. The President also castigated the Akhir Lahza newspaper publishing from Khartoum, which published a false story against him that his son from a fourth wife called John Salva Kiir has become a Muslim before the declaration of South Sudan independence. President Kiir said he has neither a fourth wife nor a son called John.

 


Muslim Women Praying Ramadan at J-1.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]
 


On his part, the Chairperson of the Muslim Council Gen. Tahir Bior narrated many challenges and problems facing the Muslim Community in the region and called on the President to intervene and redeem the situation. Gen. Bior also called for returning of Maulit Square back to the Muslims.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth/P.P.U/RSS


“Replicate Nyeli Odema demonstration farm”, urges Dr Itto

JUBA, 21 August 2011 – The caretaker minister for Agriculture and Forestry, Hon Dr Anne Itto has urged the country and the community of Nyeli Odema in particular, to learn and practise what they have witnessed at the Nyeli Odema demonstration farm, Lokiliri Payam, Central Equatoria.


The caretaker minister made this appeal yesterday when she witnessed the first maize crop harvest from the demonstration farm. The farm which is located 45 miles along the Juba-Nimule road produces almost all crops ranging from maize, cassava, groundnuts, beans, sweet potatoes, carrots, cabbages, water melons, okra and grafted quality mangoes.

 


Dr Itto addressing the media at the farm.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


Dr Itto explained that the idea of the demonstration farm was conceived in March this year when it became apparent that the community living in the area had abandoned agriculture for charcoal burning. She said that the situation may be the same in the other parts of the country. She appealed to the community to focus on agriculture which is more profitable and environment-friendlier than charcoal burning.


“This place is only one-hour’s drive from Juba. With this demonstration farm I want to show everybody that there is no reason why we should be importing food from Uganda or Kenya. There is no reason why we should be going hungry and no reason for languishing in poverty”, she said. She also urged the people not to be discouraged by the challenges of agriculture explaining that some of the crops at the demonstration farm were affected by the dry spell but others survived and produced a good harvest.

 


Dr Itto (right) and the Undersecretary for Agriculture Mr Beda Machar (left) sampling groundnuts at the farm.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


The caretaker minister decried the common negative attitude of the people towards agriculture where it is considered as “a job of the un-educated”. She urged the people to embrace farming and produce food for subsistence and trade both locally and regionally.


Dr Itto called on the people to embrace mechanized agriculture to boost agricultural produce. She explained that there is already a tractor hire scheme in the ministry which the farmers should take advantage of when preparing farms.

 


Maize harvesting.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


She also explained that improving the farmers’ access to quality seeds is the key to attaining good crop production. “The seeds I used here are improved seeds though some were not drought-resistant. This is why we lost the beans. Next time we want to research on and plant drought-resistant seeds so that our farmers do not keep losing their crops due to the unpredictable climatic conditions’, she said.


The caretaker minister also emphasized that another area for potential investment in agriculture is water harvesting. She called on the people not to helplessly watch their crops being ravaged by floods at one time and then drought shortly thereafter. “The issue of climatic changes seem not to go away; it calls for seriousness in managing it either by growing drought-resistant crops or harvesting rainwater”, she said. Dr Itto also called on the farmers living along the River Nile to engage in irrigation. She expressed the readiness of the government to help in purchasing water pumps.

 


Dr Itto harvesting maize at the farm.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


Dr Itto also underscored the role of research in leveraging agricultural production through innovation and modern technology.

 


Succulent kales (sukuma wiki) growing at the farm.
[Photo: Matata Safi]

 

Reported by Matata Safi


Presidential decree establishing national ministries of the RSS

JUBA, 21 August 2011 - The President of the Republic of South Sudan H.E. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit yesterday issued Presidential Decree No. 26/2011 for the Establishment of the National Ministries of the Republic of South Sudan.

DECREE AND DATE OF COMMENCEMENT:

The Decree shall be cited as the Presidential Decree No. 26/2011 for the Establishment of the National Ministries of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011 and shall come into force upon its signature.

The following National Ministries shall be established in the Republic of South Sudan; and they are:

1 Ministry of Cabinet Affairs
2 Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs
3 Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
4 Minister, Office of the President
5 Minister for National Security, Office of the President
6 Ministry of Justice
7 Ministry of Interior
8 Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs
9 Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning
10 Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development
11 Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment
12 Ministry of Information and Broadcasting
13 Ministry of Health
14 Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
15 Ministry of Roads and Bridges
16 Ministry of Transport
17 Ministry of General Education and Instruction
18 Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology
19 Ministry of Environment
20 Ministry of Housing and Physical Planning
21 Ministry of Telecommunication and Postal Services
22 Ministry of Petroleum and Mining
23 Ministry of Electricity and Dams
24 Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare
25 Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management
26 Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation
27 Ministry of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism
28 Ministry of Animal Resources and Fisheries
29 Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports

 

Reported by Thomas Kenneth


AU hands over health centre in Eastern Equatoria

JUBA, 19 August 2011 – The African Union Liaison Office in Juba, the Republic of South Sudan, in partnership with the South Sudan Reconstruction and Development Fund (SSRDF), handed over a health centre to the Haforiere village, Torit County, Eastern Equatoria State, on Wednesday this week.


The AU Liaison Office in South Sudan and the SSRDF were represented respectively by Ambassador Nakaha Stanislas, Head of AU Liaison Office in South Sudan, and Engineer Alikaya Aligo Samson, Chairperson of SSRDF.

 


[L-R] SSRDF Chairperson Alikaya Aligo Samson, AU Liaison Office South Sudan Amb Nakaha Stanislas, Gender and Human Rights Advisor to the Governor Hon Zeinab Yassin


The Health Center will facilitate easy access to health services, health education and training in hygiene promotion in Haforiere and the surrounding communities of Kiyalla, Tirrangore and Mara. This is the 6th project out of a total of “Eight Quick Impact Projects” funded by the African Union, to be completed and handed over in the Republic of South Sudan.


Reminding all in attendance that the Government of the Republic of South Sudan emphasized healthcare as a high priority for the new nation, Ambassador Nakaha stated that “…the AU is happy to have been working to respond to the priorities of the Government of South Sudan”, adding that the AU shall continue to do so.

 


Also in attendance were Hon Zeinab Yassin, Advisor to the Governor on Gender and Human Rights; Hon Felix Siro, Commissioner of Torit County; King Vitale Aburi Lowiluk of Hujang Kingdom; Lt. Gen. Jadalla, the SPLA Division Commander; and other dignitaries from Eastern Equatoria.


Mrs Aminata Mansaray, Senior Officer of AU-PCRD and Mr Eric Ngandu, AUHIP Communication Officer, were also in attendance.
 


Public Service releases second edition of its magazine

JUBA, 18 August 2011 – The Ministry of Labour and Public Service, Government of the Republic of South Sudan has published the second edition of its magazine “Public Service Mirror”. Please, click here to read the edition.


The cover page of the current edition of the Public Service Mirror.


South Sudan school teams preparing for East African games

JUBA, 18 August 2011 – Several secondary school teams in the Republic of South Sudan have been selected and are preparing to participate in the forthcoming East African Secondary Schools tournament to be held in Mbarara, Western Uganda between the 28th August and 4th September 2011.


According to Mr. Wudu David Moses, a senior inspector of Co-Curricular Activities in the Ministry of Education, nine schools will participate in basketball (boys and girls), football (boys and girls), handball (boys and girls), volleyball (boys and girls), and netball (girls). He explained that the athletics track and field teams will be selected from all the schools in South Sudan.

 


Mr. Wudu David Moses.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


The education officer said that Bentiu Boys, Malakal Boys and Rumbek Girls will participate in basketball; Wau Day Secondary School and Yambio Girls’ Secondary School will participate in football; Juba Day Secondary School (boys) and Wau Comboni Girls’ Secondary School will present teams for handball; Bor Secondary School and Mbili Girls’ Secondary School will participate in volleyball; while Kajo Keji Girls’ Secondary School will present a netball team.


The officer said that all the teams are expected in Juba by next week to prepare for the tournament. He said that the country has high expectations on the team to win medals in the games.


Reported by Matata Safi
 


CNN features South Sudan wrestling

JUBA, 17 August 2011 – The CNN has published a feature on traditional wrestling in the Republic of South Sudan and how it can be used to unite the people.


"To bring peace among the tribes in South Sudan will take a lot of things but wrestling is an integral part of that process," Peter Ajak, an organizer of the wrestling matches, says. "It reminds people of their commonalities - what do they share in common - and through that they see that they are the same people and there is nothing else that can do that."


Please, click here to read the full feature.

 


Latest Presidential Decrees


President Kiir's message during the raising of RSS flag at the AU Hq

JUBA, 16 August 2011 - Please, click here to read the speech the President of the Republic of South Sudan H.E. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit delivered yesterday during the official raising of the flag of the Republic of South Sudan at the headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


Flag of the Republic of South Sudan officially raised by the AU

ADDIS ABABA, 15 August 2011 - The Republic of South Sudan was officially admitted today Monday August 15th, 2011 as a member of the African Union Commission.


That was in a very special sitting of the AU Commission held at the AU Commission conference hall in Addis Ababa, under the chairmanship of the AU/C Chairperson Mr. Jean Ping. During the sitting, the seat of the Republic of South Sudan was placed in the AU/C and was taken up by Ambassador Arop Deng. Members of the AU Commission in the sitting warmly welcomed South Sudan Representative to the Commission.

 


President Kiir addressing the AU Commission in Addis Ababa.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


Mr. Ping welcomed the membership of the Republic of South Sudan into the AU and described the welcoming ceremony as historic to the people of South Sudan and AU in general. He said the birth of the new nation of South Sudan came as a result of a peaceful referendum led by the two parties, the SPLM and NCP. Mr Ping said the AU voted overwhelmingly to admit South Sudan. He officially declared that South Sudan has now become an African Union member number 54.


In his key remarks when addressing the AU Commission meeting President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit said the independence of South Sudan has given hope to the people of South Sudan and the whole region. H.E Kiir commended the AU administration for admitting the Republic of South Sudan as country number fifty four in Africa.

 


The Flag of South Sudan is being raised among the AU flags.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


President Kiir reiterated that South Sudan will maintain a peaceful neighborliness with the North because the future generations of the two countries need peace and stability. He paid tribute to all African countries for their solidarity with the people of South Sudan since the time of struggle.


After the sitting, the flag of the Republic of South Sudan was hoisted among the African Union Commission flags in a very special ceremony organized by the AU Commission at the African Union commission Headquarters in Addis Ababa. The flag hoisting was conducted in the presence of the President Kiir, the Deputy Prime Minister of Ethiopia H.E Haile Marian Dastaly, and Chairperson of African Union Commission Mr. Jean Ping, besides other members of the AU/C.

 


President Kiir and other dignitaries witnessing the raising of South Sudan’s flag at the AU headquarters.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


Reported by Thomas Kenneth, P.P.U, from Addis Ababa-Ethiopia
 


Baseline survey on agriculture, forestry, animal resources and fisheries released

JUBA, 15 August 2011 – The ministries of Agriculture and Forestry, and Animal Resources and Fisheries have released a baseline survey on agricultural and animal resources in the Republic of South Sudan.


The survey provides a reliable, comprehensive and accurate source of baseline information about the current state of agriculture, forestry, livestock, and fisheries along with the food security situations. It also covers the available technical and advisory services from which indicators can be drawn and validated to guide the project implementation and to measure future project impact. It is envisioned that the survey results will inform and ensure whether the ongoing project interventions were appropriately designed as well as it attenuates a benchmark in which progress and impact measures of these and similar future projects will be assessed.


The report also provides illustration, real life examples and research methodologies which would assist the policy makers and planners to design strategic interventions and effective roadmaps for implementation of the food security and livelihoods programmes in South Sudan. Established investors, private sector, programme managers and planners may also use this survey report as a reference for policy development, effective planning, programme design, monitoring and evaluation.


The survey primarily targeted the rural farming households, state and county technical staff, and non-state actors involved in agriculture, forestry, livestock and fisheries development programmes, which are currently being implemented in the 10 states of South Sudan.


Please, click here to download the full the report. Kindly be patient as it downloads; it is about 2 MB.
 


Government to stop brain drain

JUBA, 13 August 2011 – The President of the Republic of South Sudan, H.E. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit today announced that the government will work tirelessly to attract and retain qualified citizens in the country and stop brain drain.


The President explained that South Sudan has lost its best educated people to other countries over the past several decades. He said that even though many of the people had fled the war they were able to learn and earn higher education degrees in the Diaspora. He said that it is now time that they returned home to rebuild their motherland.


“We will put our minds together and address the major challenges facing higher education in our country such as funding, accreditation of universities, physical infrastructure development, staffing, establishment of Research Councils, scholarships among others”, he said.

 


President Kiir addressing independence celebrations organized by the University of Juba.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


President Kiir underscored the role of universities in nation building. He said that universities and other institutions throughout the country will be the torchlight in rebuilding the independent country.


“As we have leaped into this new era, we must now mobilize our material and intellectual resources to develop. There are no other institutions more important than our universities that must become the basis of our strategy to build this country”, he said.


The President also said that his government will encourage the establishment and expansion of private institutions to expand the reach of education adding that the most important asset a nation should strive for is to have an educated population. President Kiir also announced that the government will form “Think Tanks” and professional institutions to critique and guide the government development agenda and policies.

 


Teaching staff of the University of Juba listening to the speech of the President.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]
 


“We cannot develop if we do not invest in the development of the human resource in order to meet the challenges of modernization, particularly the implementation of the program of rural transformation”, he said.


President Kiir acknowledged that the universities are in a sorry state and pledged that the government will expeditiously embark on construction of modern campuses to match international standards thus becoming destinations for both academics and practitioners worldwide. “This is very critical especially if we want to retain all students to acquire their basic degrees locally; this can and shall be done”, he asserted.


The President challenged the academia to conduct rigorous research focusing on the development of agricultural sector, physical infrastructure and the establishment of basic industries to meet the basic needs of the South Sudanese. He encouraged them to learn from their counterparts elsewhere in the world but admonished them not to be “copycats”.

 


President Kiir being honoured by the University of Juba's VC Prof Abate.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]
 


He also said that there is need to control the proliferation of private universities by setting standards that will determine the sustenance and quality of their establishment. He said that the Government of the Republic of South Sudan will assume its sovereign responsibility of providing the necessary support and guidance for the institutions of higher education.


Once again the President called on the people to embrace the culture of hard work. “I will continue to insist on you to work harder; I am already at work myself”, he said.


President Kiir made these remarks today when he addressed the students and staff of the University of Juba during a special occasion to celebrate the independence of South Sudan at the Main Campus in the city of Juba.