“We are confident we can win the war against HIV and AIDS”, Dr. Machar

JUBA, 29 September 2011 - The Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan Dr. Riek Machar Teny yesterday asserted as an independent state, the Republic of South Sudan is capable of winning the war against HIV and AIDS.


While addressing a meeting of stakeholders attending a three days’ workshop on the launch of HIV/AIDS strategic framework and other guidelines organized by the South Sudan HIV and AIDS Commission in conjunction with the Ministry of Health (RSS) and development partners at the New Sudan Hotel in Juba. The Vice President stated that the government is aware of the deadly epidemic and is ready to support all the efforts to fight it.


He said what is today the HIV and AIDS Commission was started way back in the SPLA/M “bush” days as a department and added that when peace came, the government of Southern Sudan was able to underline the importance of the department in fighting the disease and quickly moved in to form the South Sudan HIV and AIDS Commission.

 


Dr Machar addressing the participants.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


He said the purpose of the conference was to compare notes at all levels beginning from the local, national, regional and international, on the best approaches in trying to deal with this global epidemic, share experiences on what has worked and what has not in order to avoid mistakes that have been made elsewhere in the efforts to prevent the HIV and AIDS scourge.


The Vice President also said the government is on the forefront in the fight against the epidemic and explained it is the reason the government was able to allocate 35million South Sudanese Pounds (SSP) in its 2010/2011 budget to the HIV AIDS Commission. He further said a successful fight against HIV and AIDS can only be possible if combined efforts from the civil society, academia and international partners is realized.


“We call on all leaders including religious leaders to include HIV and AIDS messages in their work”, he said adding that this will help instill a positive attitude amongst the population who may not be aware of the prevalence of this epidemic.

 


Dr Novello addressing the participants.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


Dr. Machar called on all stakeholders to scale up their HIV and AIDS awareness services as per this year’s theme “Forging strategic partnerships in the HIV response in South Sudan” to reach the rural areas where, he said, the majority of the population is and with no or little knowledge about HIV and AIDS.


He lauded the work of the South Sudan HIV/AIDS Commission in creating awareness among the population and also appreciated the contributions of all other partners who have stood by the Commission to develop, expand and implement its projects.


The chairperson of the Commission Dr. Esterina Novello underscored the importance of the workshop. She said the workshop had drawn partners from region, and indeed, the whole continent. She explained that the participants were invited from the United States and other countries to come together to share the timely information on the HIV and AIDS epidemic.

 


Some of the participants at the workshop.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


She said that even though South Sudan has come a long way, it still has a long way to go. She further stressed that there are challenges of stigma which hamper people living with HIV and AIDS from accessing medical help. Dr. Novello stressed that access to healthcare is a fundamental right as is stipulated in the Interim Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan and urged all people to exercise this right.


She further said she was grateful to the wise leadership of the President of the Republic HE Salva Kiir Mayardit for his support towards the activities of the commission. She called on all the people from all walks of life to actively participate in the campaign in their official and individual capacities. She reported that 1st December 2011 which is the World AIDS day is around the corner. She said this is the day to remember friends and relatives who have been lost through the epidemic.


The workshop, which is being attended by over 200 participants including HIV and AIDS activists; politicians; community, religious and opinion leaders; from within and outside South Sudan.


Reported by Matata Safi


USAID pledges support to teacher training institutes in South Sudan

JUBA, 29 September 2011 - Maridi, Malakal and Mbili Girls’ teacher training institutes will soon experience a facelift in an attempt to provide better learning environment and a modern training institute for teachers in South Sudan.


This was revealed yesterday by Mr Kelvin J. Mullally the Mission Director of USAID in South Sudan after his meeting with the minister for General Education and Instruction Hon Joseph Ukel. The two discussed the urgent need to renovate or even reconstruct the three teacher training institutes that were been devastated by the war.


Mr. Mullally echoed the support that the government of the United States of America and their willingness to support education in the new Republic of South Sudan. He said the USA will continue its support to the Ministry of General Education and Instruction, particularly in its pursuit to provide basic education to the people of South Sudan.

 


Mr Mullally talks to the press as Hon Ukel (left) listens.


He further said his government through USAID will continue to work with the ministry as they move to develop the curriculum for teacher training and added that they are working with other donors to see how they can extend the support to the ministry in order to address other priorities of the country.


Hon Ukel appreciated the kind gesture and said it was a good choice made by the USAID administration to support teacher education. “Work must begin immediately in these three schools because we desperately need teachers”, said the minister. He further said the government is ready to provide whatever assistance it takes in support to USAID in achieving this goal.


Reported by Gisma Shaban Suleiman


Efforts to stop child labour in South Sudan in top gear

JUBA, 29 September 2011 (NASS) – The Government of the Republic of South Sudan through the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare in partnership with the International Labour Organization, International Programme on Elimination of Child Labour, and Tackling Child Labour Through Education are working on strategies to monitor and eliminate child labour in South Sudan by fully applying the Child Act, 2008.


The partners held a workshop in Juba this week whose objective was to develop a framework to tackle child labour in South Sudan by building protective environment for the children; advocacy by the civil society on the participation of the children; creation of appropriate attitudes, customs and practices coupled with the relevant reintegration programmes safeguarding the interests of children; asserting that all children have rights regardless of their gender, race, religion; and bringing to an end the employment of children in bars, lodges and other entertainment premises.


Opening the workshop, the advisor in the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare Mr Peter Sokule Buni urged all South Sudanese to protect their children by giving them the right education; protecting them from violence, kidnapping, injuries, diseases, sexual exploitation, child trafficking, abduction, and harmful socio-cultural practices. He emphasized that empowering the children is critical if they have to become useful citizens of the new country.


The Director General of Child Labour Ms Regina Ossa said that some of the causes of child labour stem from early marriages and alcoholism. She called on the communities to discard such practices.


The Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare is also partnering in these efforts with the ministries of Interior; Justice; Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development; General Education and Instruction; as well as the Judiciary, UN agencies and Non-Governmental Organizations.


Reported by Simon Akol, News Agency of South Sudan (NASS)


South Sudan working to manage animal diseases

JUBA, 29 September 2011 (NASS) – The Republic of South Sudan has upped its efforts to manage animal diseases so as to maximize the benefits of its vast livestock resources to the economy of the country, Hon Dr Martin Elia Lomuro, the minister for Animal Resources and Fisheries, has announced.


The minister emphasized that animal disease control is part of the 100-days priority programme announced by President Salva Kiir Mayardit recently. He said the priority in the livestock sector is to ensure that all the diseases are eliminated before focusing on marketing the animal products. He emphasized that only quality products will attract markets.

 


The minister poses for a photo with the participants of the workshop.


Hon Dr Lomuro made these remarks in Juba yesterday when he opened a workshop on animal diseases sponsored by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The workshop, attended by veterinary officers, was to develop a strategy for animal disease control. The minister pledged that the recommendations of the workshop will be implemented faithfully by the ministry.


On his part, Dr George Okege, the Head of FAO in South Sudan, acknowledged that South Sudan is rich in animal resources. He said that the priority now is to improve the livestock by controlling their diseases. He announced that livestock vaccination all over the country will be launched soon in furtherance of these efforts.


The function was also attended by the Deputy Minister for Animal Resources and Fisheries, Hon Dr Nadia Arop Dudi.


Reported by Abdulrazig Juma, News Agency of South Sudan (NASS)


President Kiir meets Dr. Lam Akol in Nairobi

NAIROBI, 28 September 2011 - The President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit today in his residence in Nairobi met Dr. Lam Akol the Chairperson of the SPLM/DC. Shortly after the meeting President of the Republic told the press that Dr. Akol decided to join the new nation building journey in ticket of his party SPLM/DC, and he will soon come to Juba. “We welcome his decision”, H.E Kiir said.


In an intensive interview today at the Serena Hotel in Nairobi, Dr. Akol said he has not come to Juba since the independence of South Sudan for a number of reasons some of which are personal while some are connected to the political atmosphere in the country. He explained that in his meeting with H.E the President, they discussed some political issues and now he is ready to come to Juba; he will not continue to keep away from his own country.

 


H.E Kiir meets with Dr. Akol in Nairobi.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth.


Dr. Akol also sent a message to the people of South Sudan calling for unity. “We should push together as South Sudanese and be united for a common objective of building the new state in a democratic, political, religious and cultural diversity”, he said. He urged his party to push forward with the program of building South Sudan and act as a mirror for correcting mistakes for the government since the opposition and the ruling party are complementary. “We are joined together by the new country, only the way of serving people is being seen differently from each other”, he emphasized.


The opposition leader described the speech delivered by the President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit to the UN/GA in New York, as a good speech, for it came at the time when the newly born state of South Sudan is in need of the goodwill of the international community. He said UN and AU did not take long to recognize South Sudan. “As we are now applying to the regional organizations, we expect smooth welcoming”, he predicted. He said further that the theme of the speech was that the new state is facing a lot of state building challenges needs to determine which areas it needs assistance in.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth Elisapana from Nairobi


France to train South Sudanese French teachers

JUBA, 28 September 2011 – The government of France will support the training of South Sudanese French language teachers.


This was revealed to the press yesterday by the minister for Education in the government of the Republic of South Sudan Hon. Joseph Ukel after meeting Christian Bader the ambassador of France in his office in Juba.


The minister said the government of France through its ambassador has extended willingness to start training teachers in France whom after the training will be deployed to various schools to start teaching the language. The project, according to the minister, will first take 12 teachers who will undergo a 6-month intensive training on the language in France. He said the number of teachers going for this training is expected to increase with time.


He further stated that many Sudanese scholars who are now teaching in various universities were taught in French language. He further underscored the importance of French language in the region saying that some of the neighboring countries to South Sudan speak French and stressed the importance of the inclusion of this language into the South Sudan school syllabus.

 


Hon Ukel (left) meeting the French delegation.


Whereas the French ambassador said that the idea of teaching French in schools in South Sudan is to provide opportunity for people in the country interested in learning French to do so. French is spoken all over the world; even South Sudan. He further reiterated the keenness of the government of France to support the new government. “My government is keen to provide whatever we can to help the government of South Sudan”, he said.


French language that has been one of the optional languages in taught in secondary schools in South Sudan as early days of the Sudan independence of 1956 is yet to be reintroduced into the secondary school syllabus.


In another education event last week, a teacher training institute funded by the government of Japan and implemented by the United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees in Aweil opened its doors to the public in a colorful ceremony officiated by the deputy minister of General Education and Instruction Hon. Rebecca Joshua Okwaci last week.

 


Hon Okwaci (second right) and Mr Wada (left) stand with other leaders during the opening.


Hon Okwaci said the opening of the teacher training school came at the right time as South Sudan desperately needs teachers in providing quality knowledge to the children of the country. She also lauded the support of the government of Japan in strengthening education in South Sudan.


In the handover speech Akiniro Wada the ambassador of Japan to Sudan said the construction of the teacher training school is been part of Japan’s programme of improving educational facilities in South Sudan for integrating returnees and empowering the host communities through the UNHCR.


Ambassador Wada said Aweil teachers institute will act as a model institute to deliver tangible peace dividends to the children of South Sudan. He said Aweil being one of the states that has received the greatest number of returnees will greatly benefit from the institute. The ambassador also said that the government of Japan has actively been supporting education in South Sudan through JICA. Also present at the occasion were the governor of Northern Bahr el Ghazal Hon Paul Molong Awan, the Undersecretary of General Education Mr George Justin Achor.


Reported by Gisma Shaban Suleiman


South Sudan training anti-terrorism unit

JUBA, 28 September 2011 – The Republic of South Sudan is training an anti-terrorism unit within its security agencies to deal with any potential terrorist threats, the minister for Interior Hon Alison Manani Magaya has announced.


The minister explained that even though no actual terrorist threats have been detected so far, the country needs to have systems to deal with it in place. He also explained that the presence of illegal foreigners in the country exposes it to security threats. He said that the ministry will screen foreigners and create a database containing their details. He said this database will help in preventing criminals from coming to the country.


The minister also reported that crime regimes unknown in South Sudan such as armed robbery, breaking into houses and shops, counterfeiting of money, and drug trafficking are lately being registered in the country. He said that intelligence reports indicate that these crimes are being introduced by foreigners hailing from the neighbouring countries and West Africa. He reported that some of those counterfeiting money have been arrested and a number of machines used for counterfeiting have been confiscated.

 


Hon Magaya (left) stresses a point during the media forum. He is flanked by Hon Marial, the minister for Information and Broadcasting.


Hon Magaya also said that such economics crimes are affecting the country’s young economy greatly. He asserted that the ministry is taking the situation seriously and has mobilized adequate resources to counter it. He also reported that the Ministry of Justice and the Judiciary have been requested to accelerate judicial processes and set up special tribunals to tackle the cases promptly as they come up.


Nonetheless, Hon Magaya said that the security situation in South Sudan is generally calm save for sporadic criminal activities here and there especially among the pastoralists in Jonglei, Lakes, Warrap and Unity states. He also reported that in the past two weeks, disarmament exercises have been going on in Warrap and Lakes states and that another will commence in Warrap state this week. He emphasized that the disarmament exercise is voluntary and that the people are responding very positively to it. He added that plans are in place to establish permanent points of presence in high risk security areas. He announced that auxiliary police forces will be deployed to those areas to maintain law and order and prevent insecurity incidents.


The minister also said that another area of security concern which is currently being addressed is the presence of the LRA in Western Bahr el Ghazal and Western Equatoria. He added that the LRA together with some armed groups are still active and are getting arms from Khartoum to destabilize South Sudan. However, he said that whilst some internal rebels are already responding to the President’s amnesty, others are adamant. He expressed hope that the adamant rebels will think seriously about taking this amnesty offer because they cannot continue harming their own people.


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


Reported by Rosemary Chacha


South Sudan to issue visas, not travel permits

JUBA, 28 September 2011 - The Minister for Interior Hon Alison Manani Magaya has announced that the process for issuing visas for entry into the Republic South Sudan is being changed from issuance of travel permits to stickers.


The minister said that the stickers will be issued at all South Sudan embassies abroad and where there are no embassies, arrangements will be made with other consulates. He also announced that the stickers will also be issued at border points.


Hon Magaya also reported that the Ministry is also in the process of creating procedures of issuing entry visas as is the practice in other countries. For instance, he explained that foreigners entering on a visitor’s visa will not be allowed to work but will be expected to obtain work permits and thereafter be issued with a resident’s permit.

 


Hon Magaya (left) addressing the media forum in the company of Hon Marial (right).

 

On the issuance of passports, the minister said that the first generation of passports had mistakes and that the corrections were underway. The new passports were expected to be in place in November this year. He also reported that the machines for processing national ID cards are also expected to come and added that issuance of these documents will be decentralised. He also said that the process of issuing passports will also be decentralised to the states but clarified that the production will be done in Juba. He also explained that the process of issuing diplomatic passports will be very strict to prevent abuse.


The minister made these announcements yesterday when he addressed the weekly media forum hosted by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The forum was facilitated by the minister for Information and Broadcasting Hon Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin. The Deputy Minister for Information and Broadcasting Hon Atem Yak Atem and the Acting Undersecretary Mr Mustafa Biong Majak also attended the forum.


Reported by Rosemary Chacha


Construction of Audit Chamber’s headquarters to begin

JUBA, 28 September 2011 (NASS) – The South Sudan Audit Chamber last week signed a contract with M/s Macdowel Limited for the construction of its headquarters.

 

Speaking during the signing ceremony in his office, the Auditor General Ambassador Stephen Kiliona Wondu called on the contractors to observe high quality standards and complete the project on time. He also noted that this is first of the major construction projects following the independence of South Sudan.

 

 

Ambassador Wondu also thanked the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare for coordinating the pre-construction project activities including the architectural and engineering design as well as the procurement of the works contract stages.


The project is jointly funded by the Government of the Republic of South Sudan and the Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) administered by the World Bank under the Rapid Emergency Project. The site of the building works is at the Ministry Complex in Juba.


Also present at the signing ceremony were the Projects Coordinator Mr Santino Majak Director General of Administration in the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare and Eng. Peter Magambo the Managing Director of Kagga & Partners Consulting Engineers, the project consultants, and the other staff of the South Sudan Audit Chamber.


Reported by Simon Akol, News Agency of South Sudan (NASS)


Consultations on Road Transport and Safety Bill ongoing

JUBA, 28 September 2011 – Consultations on the Road Transport and Safety Bill 2011 is at advanced stages to pave way for the enactment of the legislation, the Deputy Minister for Transport Hon Mayom Kuoc Malek has said.


Speaking yesterday at a one-day workshop organized by the ministry at the New South Sudan Hotel to deliberate on the bill, the deputy minister said the bills have taken too long since 2008 to be enacted because of differences in views from different stakeholders. He said among these stakeholders are the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Roads and Bridges. Hon Malek stressed the importance of the bill in providing guidelines of safe road usage.


He, however, acknowledged that consultations have increasingly taken place between the various stakeholders and encouraged the participants to actively engage on the discussions so as to make progress.

 


Hon Malek addressing the participants.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


General Tiot of the UN police (UNMISS) said in enacting laws that will help minimize road accidents, stakeholders and lawmakers have to take into account so many aspects that contribute in one way or the other in maintaining road safety. For instance, he cited the need to involve all the necessary institutions that are involved in drawing and implementing policies of road safety.


Present at the workshop were the deputy minister for Justice Hon Paulino Wanawila Unango, the deputy minister for Interior Hon Salva Mathok Gengdit and participants from the various ministries of the Government of the Republic of South Sudan


Reported by Matata Safi


President Kiir meets head of RSS Mission in London

LONDON, 27 September 2011 - On his way back to Juba coming from New York, the President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit was briefed in London on the activities being carried out by the South Sudan Mission in London. This came in his meeting yesterday Monday September 26th, 2011 with the Republic of South Sudan Head of Mission in London Dr. Daniel Peter Othol. The meeting was also attended by the Deputy Head of Mission Mr. Paul Akaro and the entire staff of South Sudan mission in London.

 


President Kiir and Hon Luwilla in a meeting with staff of RSS Mission in London.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


Shortly after the briefing, Dr. Othol said in a press statement that the mission staff members, and indeed all South Sudanese, are impressed by the comprehensive and well constructed speech delivered by the President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit to the 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on 23rd September 2011.

 


H.E Kiir with the staff of RSS Mission in London.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


Dr Othol also pointed out that the speech came at the right time when the people of South Sudan wanted to convey a message to the world about what they are and what they expected to be done by the international community. Dr. Othol urged South Sudanese to show the world that South Sudan is able to set off their development agenda so as to attract the help of the international community.

 


H.E Kiir and the RSS Head of Mission (center) in a general photo.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


He emphasized that the role expected to be played by the South Sudan ambassadors is to follow the speech delivered by the President and echo it to the world from time to time. He called on Southese not to leave any stone unturned especially in the fields of development, sustainable peace and stability.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth from London


“Houses for Africa” to build houses in South Sudan

JUBA, 27 September 2011 (NASS) – Houses for Africa (HFA) in partnership with the Zimbabwean Ministry of Public Construction and National Housing has proposed a plan to build affordable houses in the Republic of South Sudan.


According to Mr Edward Galante, who is the Chief Executive Officer, the HFA builds houses at USD 20,000 per house. He also explained that when they have projects in any country, the company employs the local citizens of the country after training them. He reported that this approach enables the company to complete its projects on time. Mr Galante also reported that HFA has experience on similar projects in Eastern Africa and Western United States of America.

 


Dr Marial (left) welcomes Mr Galante (right) and the other members of the delegation.


The proposal was disclosed yesterday during a meeting between the representatives of the company the Zimbabwean ambassador, and Hon Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin, the minister for Information and Broadcasting who is also the Official Government Spokesperson.


Dr Marial welcomed the proposal especially the USD 20,000 price tag per house. “We are fed up with the Malakia housing system and we would like to transform this environment; this company offers a feasible proposal of developing low-cost housing units”, he said. The minister also pointed out that affordable modern housing is one of the priorities set up by the President in the 100-days targets.


Reported by Martin Jada, News Agency of South Sudan (NASS)


Ministry of Gender’s headquarters construction set to begin

JUBA, 27 September 2011 (NASS) – The construction of the new headquarters of the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare on Yei road is set to begin in due course, the minister Hon Agnes Lasuba has announced.


Speaking in her office in Juba during the signing of the contract, the minister explained that even though the capital of the Republic of South Sudan is set to move to Ramciel, such projects which are already lined up for implementation have to proceed since they contribute to the building of the nation.

 


The proposed headquarters.


The minister thanked the Project Coordinator Mr Santino Majak and M/s Kagga Consulting Engineers for steering the project this far. She also congratulated M/s Mellech Engineering and Construction Ltd for successfully bidding for the contract.


Hon Lasuba also urged all parties involved in the project to work diligently and ensure that the project achieves the best quality standards possible and is completed within the stipulated contract period, that is, before the end of 2012.


The contract was signed by the ministry’s Undersecretary Ms Margaret Mathiang and the contractor’s Chief Executive Officer. The contract is funded by the Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) administered by the World Bank under the Gender Support Development Project.


Reported by Simon Akol, News Agency of South Sudan (NASS)


Media bills will improve work environment for journalists

JUBA, 27 September 2011 (NASS) – The work environment for journalists in the Republic of South Sudan will improve once the media bills are enacted, the Acting Undersecretary of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Ustaz Mustafa Biong Majak has said.


Addressing information officers today at the ministry’s headquarters, Mr Majak acknowledged that the conditions under which the journalists currently practise are challenging but expressed optimism that the situation will improve for the better when the media bills are operationalized.


“I know how hard it is to practise journalism in an environment that lacks the requisite legal framework, especially for those working in the private media houses”, he said. However, he explained, that journalists working with the public media institutions and the government are protected under the public service regulations.
Ms Agatha David, the Acting Director of Publications Bureau in the ministry also advised the information officers that Journalism is a challenging profession and requires commitment, dedication and single-mindedness. She said that those having divided attention cannot succeed in the profession.


One of the information officers, Ms Rhoda Charles complained that most journalists working in government institutions are disdained and lack basic tools of trade. She also reported that some top government officers tongue-lashed the information officers if their events and news items are not broadcast. She urged all government officers to collaborate with the information officers to report government activities and policies.


Reported by Martin Jada, News Agency of South Sudan (NASS)


“Your salary will be improved”, Interior minister assures security forces

JUBA, 26 September 2011 - The minister for Interior Hon Alison Manani Magaya has revealed that the issue of poor payment of the security forces especially the Police, Prison and Fire Brigade officers has been noted and is currently being addressed at the highest levels of government and will be improved in due course.


The minister explained that the improvement of the salaries of the security forces will be in line with the streamlining of taxation in the country. He said that following the streamlining process, the taxes will no longer go to individual pockets through unlawful taxes but to the government’s chest managed by the Ministry of Finance Economic and Planning.


“Unlawful taxation is a crime and is now prohibited because the country benefits nothing from the unlawful taxation within and at the border checkpoints”, he explained.


Hon Magaya made these remarks yesterday when he and his deputy Hon Salva Mathok Gengdit visited the Fire Brigade premises in Juba. During the visit, Hon Magaya urged all the Police, Prisons and Fire Brigade officers to focus on their core function which is maintaining the rule of law and order in the country and desist from performing functions which are outside their job responsibilities.


The minister explained that the purpose of the visit was to familiarize with the needs of the brigade and share ideas as the ministry embarks on the transformation of the forces seriously. “We came here to work with you hand in hand but not to distance ourselves away from each other in order to see what we can do better for the betterment of our country,” said Magaya.


The minister explained that the ministry’s policy of transformation will cover all police units and will encompass training to instil professionalism, discipline and accountability to the law enforcement forces. He also reported that the screening process of manpower in the forces is ongoing and that the DDR will work together with the ministry to ensure that those who are not qualified are demobilized.


Hon Magaya also assured the security forces that the ministry understands the challenges they face in the conduct of their duties. He identified one of these as illiteracy amongst the officers which he explained is attributable to the consequences of the many years of liberation struggle. He pledged that these challenges will be addressed using resources under the new budget which has been presented to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.


The Deputy Minister Hon Salva Mathok Gengdit said that a good leader is one who cares for his people and always visits and shares ideas through interaction with them. “We have noticed some few problems in Fire Brigade such as over-establishment, the high number of old people in the unit and illiteracy rate which we will work to minimize”, he said.


The Commissioner of Fire Brigade, Aru Mien highlighted some of the problems the brigade faces and pointed out that the budget allocated to the department is insufficient and a huge component of it is spent on salaries. He also identified the other problems as lack of equipment such as trucks, fire extinguishers, communication devices, uniform and rescues systems and asked the Ministry to address these by allocating the department a higher budget.


Reported by Ater Garang Ariath


Statement of the Health minister during a meeting with UNFPA executive director

JUBA, 26 September 2011 - Please, click here to download the summary of the statement made by Hon. Dr. Michael Milli Hussein, the Minister of Health, Republic of South Sudan during a meeting with Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, the Executive Director of the United Nation’s Population Fund (UNFPA) on 21st September 2011, in New York, United States of America.


President Kiir interviewed by the Voice of America radio and T.V.

NEW YORK, 25 September 2011 - The President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit has sent a strong message to the people of the new nation of South Sudan saying that “You the generous people of South Sudan since you have waited for long time with patience and you are expecting more from us in the fields of health, education, safe water dinking, food security, physical security and infrastructure, we are ready to do that, with your patience”. H.E the President conveyed the message during an interview with the Voice of America T.V. and Radio in New York yesterday evening of September 24th, 2011.


President Kiir affirmed that after returning from the USA, he will visit Khartoum to meet President El-Bashir personally and discuss with him the remaining issues of the CPA and post-independence arrangements.

 


President Kiir during an interview with the VOA Radio and T.V Channels in New York.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


President of the Republic also echoed his speech to the UN/GA during the interview that “the main backbone of the economy of the new Republic of South Sudan is agriculture; oil revenues will be used for refueling agricultural activities in all parts of South Sudan”. He said South Sudan is able to build itself and become stronger based on its available renewable and non-renewable resources, and with some basic support from friends and well-wishers all over the world.


H.E Kiir said the conflicts in some parts of South Sudan such as Upper Nile, Jonglei and Unity states are not deeply rooted conflicts but are conflicts which have been manufactured by the enemies of South Sudan who are trying to prove to the world that South Sudan is a failed state and trying to distracting the people of South Sudan from concentrating on developing their country.


Meanwhile, the President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit yesterday evening of September 24, 2011 in New York met a number of heads of states among them President of Eritrea H.E Isaias Afewerki; Prime Minister of the Republic of Kenya H.E Raila Odinga; and the Indian Prime Minister H.E Manmohan Singh. President Kiir briefed them about the future of the new nation of South Sudan and the challenges ahead.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth Elisapana from New York


President Kiir's speech at the UNGA

JUBA, 24 September 2011 – Please, click here to read the speech of H.E. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit, the President of the Republic of South Sudan on the occasion of the United Nations General Assembly, New York, Session No. 66 September 23, 2011.

 


President Kiir addressing UN General Assembly.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


ADB to support animal and fisheries sectors

JUBA, 24 September 2011 (NASS) – The African Development Bank (ADB) will support the development of the animal and fisheries sectors in the new Republic of South Sudan.


This was revealed yesterday during a meeting between the minister for Animal Resources and Fisheries, Hon Dr Martin Elia Lomuro and a delegation of the ADB. The ADB delegation disclosed that the purpose of the meeting was to familiarize with the priorities of the government as well as the planning cycles in the animal and fisheries sectors. The delegation explained that this understanding is critical to enable the bank to launch and implement projects which resonate with the needs of the people and their environment.


On his part Dr Lomuro expressed the gratitude of the government for the support of the ADB and other development partners who continue to sponsor development projects in the country.


In another event, the Council of the Internally Displaced Returnees’ Chiefs in Central Equatoria State on Thursday congratulated Dr Lomuro and his deputy for their appointment. The council explained that the appointment is a demonstration of President Salva Kiir Mayardit’s commitment to unify the country. The chiefs also denounced tribalism and called for patriotic and peaceful coexistence between all the people of South Sudan.


Reported by Abdulrazig Juma, News Agency of South Sudan (NASS)


Warrap governor meets commends Gender minister

JUBA, 24 September 2011 (NASS) – The Governor of Warrap State Hon Nyandeng Malek yesterday paid a courtesy call on the minister for Gender, Child and Social Welfare Hon Agnes Lasuba.

 


Hon Nyandeng (left) and Hon Lasuba during the meeting.


During the meeting, the governor commended the minister for her tireless efforts to empower the women in all the states of the Republic of South Sudan. The governor also appealed to all South Sudanese to rally behind President Salva Kiir Mayardit and support his vision for the new country.

 

In another event Hon Lasuba met a delegation from UNICEF led by Pelucy Mtambirweki, the Deputy Representative of Child Protection, and discussed the modalities of relocating homeless South Sudanese children from Khartoum back to the Republic of South Sudan. They also discussed how to accommodate the children once they are back in South Sudan and how to provide to them basic social services such as education and health.


Reported by Simon Akol, News Agency of South Sudan (NASS)


Environment minister warns against cutting of trees

JUBA, 24 September 2011 (NASS) – The minister for Environment Hon Alfred Ladu Gore yesterday cautioned all South Sudanese to desist from cutting or burning of trees as this would destabilize the environment and lead to other losses including deforestation, desertification and prolonged droughts.


The minister underscored the role of forests in maintaining favourable ecosystems by attracting rainfall and purifying the air. He called on all the people to conserve the available forest cover for the future generations and continued wellbeing of the country.


The minister spoke at St Matthew Parish, Lobonok where a renovated Catholic chapel was being inaugurated. Speaking at the same event, the Speaker of the National Legislative Assembly Rt Hon James Wani Igga called on the people to unite on community projects.


On his part, the Catholic Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Juba His Grace Paulino Lukudo Loro, while appointing Rev Father Charles Tombe, urged clergymen to be committed to their calling and serve the people with diligence and commitment.


Reported by Francis Oliver Kenyi, News Agency of South Sudan (NASS)


President Kiir meets Israeli PM

NEW YORK, 23 September 2011 - In his third day of staying at the UN Millennium Plaza in New York, President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit and the accompanying delegation continued to hold series of meetings with some heads of states in the margins of the UN/GA meetings.

 


H.E Kiir shakes hands with the Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Natanyahu.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


H.E Kiir held an important meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister H.E Benyamin Netanyahu at the Regency Hotel. The meeting searched for possible means of strengthening the relations between South Sudan and Israel. President Kiir briefed Mr. Netanyahu on the political situation in the country and the efforts being exerted by the government towards realizing good governance, respect of human rights and the fight against corruption.

 


H.E Kiir shakes hands with the President of Labanon H.E M. Suleiman.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


H.E Kiir also met the President of Lebanon, H.E. Gen. Michael Suleiman as well as the President of the Republic of Slovenia H.E Dr. Danilo Turk.

 


H.E Kiir meets with President of Slovania H.E Danilo Turk.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


The three heads of states welcomed South Sudan to the international community and expressed readiness of supporting the new state of South Sudan.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth Elisapana from New York


Angola, Ghana and Kenya pledge support to South Sudan’s sport

JUBA, 23 September 2011 - South Sudan sports have received a boost from many African countries in building its sports. Top among this countries are Angola, Ghana, Mozambique, Kenya and Uganda, among many others.


Speaking to the press on his arrival at Juba International airport today from a one week’s trip to Maputo in Mozambique, the minister for Youth, Sports and Culture in the Republic of South Sudan Dr. Cirino Hiteng has expressed the readiness to work with these countries in uplifting the sporting standards in the new Republic.


He said that while in Maputo attending a tournament organized by the supreme council of sports in the continent, he had meetings with his counterparts from Angola, which he said is the best in basketball in the continent; Ghana best in soccer; Kenya which he said is the best in athletics and has the best training facilities; among many others pledged to train and support sports in the new country.

 


Dr Hiteng addressing the press at the Juba International Airport.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


He said it was the first time for South Sudan to be invited and admitted as a member of the sporting association. He added that this admission has paved way for South Sudan to participate in the regional games like the East and Central African games, continental and international levels. Dr. Hiteng said South Sudan, being barely two months old, received a roaring welcome. He said this is important in the sense that it gives the country room to prepare and participate in regional, continental and even international tournaments.


He however decried the lack of better sporting facilities in the country. “This is a challenge not only to the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture but also to the government”, said the minister. He further stressed that to succeed in sports requires investing money in sports. “South Sudan should be ready and must be ready to put money in sports such that we can be able to develop our sporting facilities and utilize the potential of South Sudanese cultural values”, added Dr. Hiteng.


He also called on the donor communities to help in developing sports in South Sudan as he said the government cannot be able to finance all the projects.


Repoted by Matata Safi


Google puts South Sudan on the map following campaign

JUBA, 23 September 2011 (BBC) - Google has recognised the newly independent nation of South Sudan by including it on Google Maps. The online separation from Sudan followed a campaign by 1,600 members of the group Change.org, calling for the new nation to be marked on web maps. Please, click here to read the article on BBC.


Water storage dam to be constructed in Wau

JUBA, 23 September 2011 – The Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation will construct a dam in Wau to store water for deomestic, agriculture and other purposes, Hon Paul Mayom Akec, the minister, has announced.


Hon Mayom said that the dam will preserve water for irrigation to boost food production and reduce the country’s overreliance on food imports. He also explained that the water stored by the dam will provide the means for hydroelectric power generation to be supplied in Wau and to the other states in the south Sudan.


Hon Mayom also called for mutual utilization of the Nile water for the benefit of all. He announced that the ministry will pursue membership in the Nile Basin Authority and get involved in the Nile water agreement.

 


Hon Mayom (right) addressing the participants of the worshop.


The minister was speaking when he opened a consultative workshop on the feasibility of the Wau Dam. The workshop was organized by the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation of the Republic of South Sudan and the Ministry of Water Resources of Egypt. It drew participants from the two countries and representation from both local and international organizations, and the development partners or agencies.


Onn his part, the Egyptian minister of Water Resources, Husham Mohamad Ghandil conveyed his government’s readiness to cooperate with the government of the Republic of South Sudan in the development of the new nation. He said the provision of clean drinking water, training, hydroelectric power generation, establishment of irrigation in agriculture to improve food productivity, are among their top projects in South Sudan.


Reported by Alex Amin John


Government to work with business community to check skyrocketing prices

JUBA, 23 September 2011 – The Government of the Republic of South Sudan is working together with the business community to minimize the effects of frequent hike in commodity prices all over the country.


This was announced yesterday during a press briefing by the South Sudan Business Union. The briefing was facilitated by Hon Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin the minister for Information and Broadcasting who is also the Official Government Spokesperson.


The minister reiterated the government’s commitment to collaborate with the business community in their efforts to manage rising commodity prices in the country. He also underscored the role of the private sector in socio-economic development of the country, for instance through the provision of job opportunities. Dr Marial also acknowledged that the current prices of essential commodities are so high that most people can no longer afford the goods.

 


Dr Marial (right), Hon Atem (centre) and Mr Ayii (left) at the media briefing.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


The First Vice President of the South Sudan Business Union Mr. Aggrey Ezbon Idri said the union which comprises of business owners in the whole of the country contributes greatly in creating jobs and “putting money into many peoples’ pockets in South Sudan” is shaken by the current trend of market prices which, he said, have increased by over 100 percent in the past three months.


He mentioned an example of cooking gas which, he said, is mostly imported from Khartoum. He said that commodity is sold at 17 Sudanese Pounds in Khartoum compared to 150 South Sudanese Pounds charged in the markets in Juba. This, he said, constitutes over 800 percent which is a profit margin which has never happened anywhere in the world. He explained that the other commodity prices have also increased by between 100 to 200 percent.


Mr. Aggrey attributes this to the current global inflation and said that South Sudan takes the greatest burden of this because it is importing almost everything from outside. “Commodity prices in the neighbouring countries are between 30 to 40 percent and because we in South Sudan are net-importers of everything including ‘sukuma wiki’ we are very much affected than the neighbouring countries”, he said.

 


Mr Aggrey (centre) addressing the media forum.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


He further applauded the government initiative of removing the numerous checkpoints where unnecessary taxes have been levied at the border point and inside the country. He said the business community had suffered a lot and said that this government intervention will contribute substantially to the reduction of prices in the market. “We as the business union are going to work as a group in order to reduce prices through the forces of demand and supply; we must supply as much as possible so that our market prices can easily come down”, he said.


He also called on the government to support the union through the provision of hard currency. Mr. Aggrey added that the union is pleased to hear that there is a plan underway in the Central Bank of South Sudan in helping the local private sector in providing basic services. This, he said, will play a central role in making goods readily available in the market. He further added that this will prevent the tendencies by some individuals from hoarding goods to make a kill during a time of crisis. He stressed the importance of some goods such as petroleum whose scarcity can have suicidal implications on both the government and the population at large.


Mr. Aggrey called on the government to actively involve the union in its drive to deliver basic services to the people of South Sudan through the President’s 100-days action plan. He further called on the government prioritize agriculture as a lasting solution to the current price trends. “The ultimate and final solution rests with us in producing as much as possible to feed the nation and have surplus, then we can export the rest. In so doing we can be able to have control over our currency against the dollar”, he said.

 


Dr Marial (centre) posing for a photo with SSBU members.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


The media briefing was also attended by the Deputy Minister Mr. Atem Yaak Atem, the Acting Undersecretary Mr. Mustafa Biong Majak as well as the representatives of the union led its President Mr Ayii Duang Ayii.


Reported by Matata Safi


H.E Kiir meets President Obama

NEW YORK, 22 September 2011 - The President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit today Wednesday September 21st, 2011 met his counterpart, the President of the United States of America H.E Barack Obama.

 


President Obama shakes hands with President Kiir.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


The meeting primarily centered on a range of issues of mutual concern between the United States of America and the Republic of South Sudan; issues pertaining good governance in South Sudan; the peace process; the need to resolve the remaining issues of the CPA; and post-independence arrangements.


Shortly after the meeting, the minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hon. Nhial Deng Nhial told the press that the President of the United States of America H.E Barak Obama assured H.E Kiir that USA will continue to support South Sudan as a friendly state until South Sudan stands on its feet.

 


The two Presidents Obama and Kiir and their delegations in a joint meeting.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


Hon Nhial revealed that H.E Kiir briefed President Obama on the post-independence arrangements and that South Sudan remains committed to cooperate with Khartoum in resolving the remaining issues. Hon Nhial said H.E Kiir briefed President Obama on the measures taken by the Government of the Republic of South Sudan for minimizing corruption and enhancing good governance in the country. President Kiir also stressed the commitment of the new state to the respect of human rights.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth Elisapana from New York


President Kiir arrives in New York

NEW YORK, 21 September 2011 - The President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit arrived yesterday Tuesday September 20th, 2011 afternoon in New York heading a very high delegation of the Republic of South Sudan to participate in the sixty sixth session of the United Nations General Assembly scheduled to commence on September 21st, 2011.


In the delegation are Hon. Nhial Deng Nhial, minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Hon. Emmanuel Lowilla, minister in the Office of the President; Hon. Stephen Dhieu, minister for Petroleum; Hon. Garang Diing, minister for Commerce, Industry and Investment, among others.

 


H.E Kiir being received by the South Sudanese in New York.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


Before the UN/GA session President Kiir will on September 22nd, 2011 participate in a mini-summit in cooperation with member states on preventing and responding to sexual violence. H.E Kiir is expected to address the sixty sixth session of the United Nations’ General Assembly on 23rd September 2011 at the UN General Assembly meeting hall. In the margins of the UN/GA session, H.E Kiir will meet some heads of states.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth from New York


Government and UNMISS strengthening collaboration

JUBA, 22 September 2011 (NASS) – The Government of the Republic of South Sudan and the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) are working on modalities of collaboration on political stability, development and democratization of the new country.


During a meeting yesterday with Hon Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin, the minister for Information and Broadcasting who is also the Official Government Spokesperson, the UNMISS delegation led by the Head of Political Affairs Ambassador Hiruy Amanuel, urged the Government of the Republic of South Sudan to establish clear and open communication channels with the UNMISS as a way of strengthening the relationship between them.

 


Dr Marial (right) meeting the UNMISS delegation.


In his remarks after the meeting Dr Marial assured UNMISS of the government’s commitment to cooperate fully with it in the pursuit of peace, security and political stability in the region. On his part Ambassador Amanuel affirmed the UNMISS’s commitment to support the government in delivering its pledges to the people of South Sudan.


In another event, Dr Marial pledged to support the Government of Eastern Equatoria State to disseminate its information widely both within the state and countrywide. The minister specifically promised to facilitate increased news coverage, capacity building of information management personnel in the state, as well the acquisition of modern communication equipment.

 


Dr Marial (right) meeting Hon Loluke.


Dr Marial made these pledges when he met the Deputy Governor of Eastern Equatoria Hon Nartisio Loluke in his office on Tuesday this week. Hon Loluke welcomed the kind gesture of the national government in supporting state governments. He also reported that security has improved in the state.


Reported by Martin Jada and Taghrid George, News Agency of South Sudan (NASS)


“We are committed to regional peace”, Dr. Machar

JUBA, 21 September 2011 - The Vice President of the Government of the Republic of South Sudan Hon. Dr. Riek Machar Teny has reasserted the commitment of the government of the new Republic of South Sudan to supporting peace in the region.


Speaking during the celebrations to mark “International Peace Day” at the Nyakuron Cultural Centre in Juba today Dr. Machar said South Sudan has affirmed her commitment to regional peace and stability by joining the regional body of African Union. “We have joined the regional body of African Union; we are committed to maintaining regional peace not only within the Republic of the Sudan but also with our neighbors”, said Dr. Machar.


Dr. Machar cited the recent fighting in the two areas of Blue Nile and South Kordufan and said there were lots of statements in Khartoum accusing the Republic of South Sudan of supporting the rebellions there. He asserted that these reports are untrue and unfounded. In an attempt to clear this rumour, Dr. Machar said, the President of the Republic of South Sudan sent a high-level delegation led by the minister for Defence and Veterans’ Affairs Gen John Kong Nyuon to Khartoum last week. He explained that the delegation also sought to push forward the pursuit for lasting peace between the Republic of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan.

 


Dr Machar addressing the gathering.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


He added that although there are problems in the two areas, South Sudan’s stand is always for a peaceful resolution of conflicts. He explained that this is the reason why South Sudan is supporting the initiative of the AU under Mr Thabo Mbeki in getting a lasting roadmap in addressing the issues of the two areas. He further added that South Sudan and the Sudan have a lot of interdependence which he said cannot be ignored.


On the Ugandan rebels of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) Dr. Machar said that South Sudan has tried to mediate a peace agreement between the government of Uganda and the LRA to resolve the conflict that affected livelihood and caused human suffering in northern Uganda, parts of South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and Central African Republic. He regretted, however, that the final documents were not signed. “We are still hosting the Ugandan troops in our soil, giving them necessary access and information to bring the LRA menace to an end”, he explained.


Furthermore Dr. Machar underscored the importance of internal peace which, he said, should begin with one’s immediate neighbour. He called on the people to desist from the culture of hostility. He said most of the population in South Sudan grew up during the struggle when they were exposed to “seeing guns” all the time. “Our people are still dying in our own hands mostly because of tribal conflict or cattle rustling; the time to fight is over; it is now time to make peace a reality”, he asserted.

 


Participants at the celebrations.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


He said the International Peace Day means a lot to South Sudanese than any other citizens of Africa because of its history of more than 50 years fighting for freedom. “We had been denied peace for too long; we are now beginning to see peace and most of our people who are displaced across the world, including those who went to the northern part of the country, are beginning to come back”, he said.


Speaking at the same event the representative of the African Union, Ambassador Nakaha Stansilaus said that the overwhelming recognition by the rest of the world of the sovereignty, will and choice of the people of South Sudan to get independence, including the government of the Sudan, is an extremely important contribution to regional peace and stability.

 


Ambassador Nakaha Stansilaus addressing the celebrations.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


He said peace needs not to be a mere concept or even an aspiration but a reality and a way of life. He said it is regrettable that when a day of peace is celebrated, there are still too many sufferings in different parts of the world. He further said the theme of the day “make your voices heard” reflects the desire for concrete action for peace. He said an occasion to celebrate peace should be an opportunity to reflect on one’s responsibilities to advocate for sustainable peace, which he said, should strive for ensuring not only the end of violence but also enjoyment of full human rights.


He also appealed to the South Sudanese who took up arms to fight the then Government of Southern Sudan to lay down their arms and embrace the amnesty declared by President Salva Kiir Mayardit. “I want to solemnly appeal to all South Sudanese who took arms against their own people and government to respond positively to the executive pardon extended to them by the President of the Republic of South Sudan”, he said.


The occasion was also attended by representatives of the UN, AU, NGOs, and government officers, among others.


Reported by Matata Safi


Ministry of Gender signs off Rajaf project

JUBA, 21 September 2011 (NASS) – The Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare yesterday signed a contract with Straightline International Limited for the second phase of the construction of the Rajaf School for the Blind and Deaf.


This phase of the project will entail the construction of an office block, dining hall, kitchen, washrooms, manager’s house, workshops and a hall at the school. The school has been funded by the government to demonstrate its commitment to alleviate the challenges the blind and deaf South Sudanese face and to empower the persons with special needs.

 


The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare (left) exchanges the contract with a representative of the Straightline International Limited (right).


The objective for the establishment of the school is to rehabilitate children with special needs in all the ten states of the Republic of South Sudan. The school will give them the equipment and learning materials which will aid their livelihood without having them to rely on others for their daily needs.


The learners in the school will be trained in agriculture, handicraft, use of Braille and white cane, simple arithmetic through the use of abacus, among other skills. When complete, the school will be of international standards.


Reported by Simon Akol Malangdit, News Agency of South Sudan (NASS)


Japan reaffirms its support for the Republic of South Sudan

JUBA, 21 September 2011 – The government of Japan has reaffirmed its commitment to support the development of the Republic of South Sudan.


The reaffirmation was made yesterday during a meeting between Hon Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin, the minister for Information and Broadcasting with Mr. Akinori Wada, the ambassador of Japan in the Republic of South Sudan.

 


Dr Marial (right) in discussions with Mr Wada (second right).


Speaking to the News Agency of South Sudan (NASS) after the meeting Dr Marial appreciated the continued support that South Sudan has received from Japan. He expressed hope that the South Sudanese private sector will interact freely with their Japanese counterparts and learn from each other and build mutually beneficial relationships.


On his part, Mr Wada said that Japan is committed to promote mutual trade and investment in the Republic of South Sudan. He emphasized that political and security stability is important for the creation and sustenance of an environment which is conducive for private sector development.


Reported by Martin Jada and Taghrid George, News Agency of South Sudan (NASS)


President Kiir's message on accountability and transparency

JUBA, 20 September 2011 - Please, click here to read President Salva Kiir Mayardit's message to all South Sudanese on accountability and transparency.

 


Government's response to attack on UNMISS staff

JUBA, 20 September 2011 - Please, click here to read the government's response to the unwarranted attack on Mr Benedict Sannoh, a member of staff of UNMISS.

 


Ministry of Water to build reservoirs

JUBA, 20 September 2011 – The Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation is planning to build water reservoirs and drainage systems to supply water to the rural areas where it is needed most.


This was revealed by the minister, Hon Paul Mayom Akec during a meeting he held in his office yesterday with the United Nations Special Envoy to South Sudan Ms Hilde Johnson.

 


Hon Mayom (right) meeting with Ms Johnson.


In a statement to the press after the meeting, Ms Johnson explained that they discussed the security challenges resulting from water scarcity. She said that scarcity of water is one of the factors that trigger violence especially among the nomadic communities. She said that a long-term solution to water scarcity need to be worked out.


She said that even though the UNMISS is not a development agency she will use her office to lobby donors to support development projects in South Sudan. Increasing the access to water remains a top priority of the government of the Republic of South Sudan.


Reported by Alex Amin John


Ministry of Gender to screen staff

JUBA, 20 September 2011 (NASS) – The Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare will screen its entire staff from the level of Undersecretary to the lowest cadres.


During the screening exercise, the certificates, job descriptions and work experience of the staff will be reviewed vis-à-vis what they do on a day-to-day basis. The screening began today and will continue for the next one month.


This plan was revealed by the deputy minister Hon Dr Priscilla Nyanyang Joseph Kuch during a meeting she held with the Establishment Officers in the presence of the Undersecretary and other top ministry officers.


The deputy minister said that the objective of the screening is to harmonize the structures in the ministry. She emphasized that the exercise is important for effective service delivery and called on all the staff to participate in it fully by filling and submitting the relevant forms.


She said that staff who are either underemployed or are holding the wrong positions will be redeployed. She also announced that any vacancies arising from the exercise will be advertised and filled competitively.


Reported by Simon Akol, News Agency of South Sudan (NASS)


President Kiir donates 50,000 USD to students union in Uganda

JUBA, 19 September 2011 – The President of the Republic of South Sudan (ROSS) His Excellency Salva Kiir Mayardit has donated USD 50,000 to the South Sudanese Students Union in Uganda.


The President had been invited by the South Sudanese Students in Kampala to join them in celebrating the Independence of the Republic of South Sudan. In a speech presented on his behalf by the minister of Higher Education Science and Technology Republic of South Sudan Dr Peter Adwok Nyaba, the President appealed to the huge number of South Sudanese students gathered at “Wonder World” over the weekend to shun tribalism.


The minister also urged the youth to lead in the process of discarding repugnant traditional practices such as cattle rustling which lead to the death of many youth. He called on the youth to be at the forefront of reconciliation and nationalism among their communities so as to build a better Republic of South Sudan.


Dr Adwok also encouraged the idle South Sudanese youth in Uganda to go back home and pursue education in any of the country’s five universities – University of Bahr el Ghazal, Upper Nile University, Dr John Garang Memorial University, University of Juba and Rumbek University.


Meanwhile the Student Union’s President Abraham Thon Chagai presented the challenges which the students are facing in Uganda. Some of these include delay in remission of tuition fees and other financial problems. He said that the donation of President Kiir will go a long way to helping alleviate some of these problems.


The celebration was also attended by several South Sudanese dignitaries in Uganda.


Reported by Peter Gai Manyuon from Kampala


The AUHIP welcomes the inaugural meeting of the joint political and security mechanism

JUBA, 19 September 2011 – Representatives of the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan concluded the inaugural meeting of the Joint Political and Security Mechanism (JPSM) in Khartoum yesterday. The JPSM was established as a mechanism by which the two states would cooperate on security and political issues, particularly in relation to their common border.


The first meeting was convened, jointly, by Sudanese Defense Minister, Lt. Gen Abdulrahim Mohammed Hussein and his South Sudanese counterpart, Gen John Kong Nyuon, Minister for Defense and Veteran’s Affairs.


At the request of the two Co-Chairs of the JPSM, H.E. Thabo Mbeki, the Chairperson of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), chaired the meeting, which was also attended by H.E Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, member of AUHIP, as well as the Force Commander of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei, Lt Gen. Tadesse Tesfay.


The meeting received and discussed a report from Gen Tesfay and also adopted the texts of five previous agreements and documents as reference instruments of the JPSM.


Yesterday’s meeting also took steps to make the JPSM operational by agreeing on the composition of several committees and location of various bodies established under previous agreements. The meeting also acknowledged the central role of the JPSM in ensuring that the two countries have a safe and secure border.


The chairperson of the AUHIP welcomed the formal commencement of the work of the JPSM and congratulated the co-chairs of the JPSM for the conclusion of a constructive and successful first meeting. The Panel also notes that the JPSM is of particular importance for constructing peaceful and mutually supportive relations between the two states and looks forward to its work in the management of joint security concerns and the promotion of good neighbourliness between the two states.


The next JPSM meeting will be held on 18th October, 2011 in Juba, South Sudan.


President Kiir meets AU/HIP delegation

JUBA, 17 September 2011 - The President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit today in his office met the AU/HIP delegation led by the former President of South Africa Mr Thabo Mbeki.


The meeting was also attended by some prominent figures in the SPLM among them Mr. Pagan Amum Okech, the SPLM Secretary General, Hon Nhial Deng Nhial, the minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon Kosti Manibe, and the minister for Finance and Economic Planning, among others.

 


President Kiir meeting the AU/HIP delegation.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


Shortly after the meeting, Mr. Amum said the meeting focused on the way forward for the negotiations between the Republic of South Sudan and the Republic of Sudan on the outstanding issues of Abyei, oil sector and oil arrears owned by South Sudan to be paid by the Sudan, contribution of South Sudan to assist in filling financial gap of the Sudan, the security situations between the two countries, returning of South Sudan IDPs from the North and the issues of payments of post-independence benefits by the Khartoum government to the South Sudanese people who were working in the North.


Mr Amum stated that during the meeting President Kiir expressed commitment of continuing with negotiations on the remaining issues with the Khartoum government to reach a comprehensive final agreement, which can put a base for good relations between Juba and Khartoum. Mr Amum explained that South Sudan is looking for a fair commercial agreement with Khartoum in the oil sector so that the Republic of South Sudan can export its oil through the Republic of Sudan based on pipeline fees payment that meets international standards. He revealed that President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit will present his positions on all the remaining issues within one week as requested by the panel.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth


President Kiir receives credentials of UK and Norway ambassadors

JUBA, 16 September 2011 - The President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit has today on Friday September16th, 2011 received the credentials of two ambassadors accredited to the Republic of South Sudan, in a special accreditation ceremony organized at the Presidential Guest House in Juba.


The ambassadors are: Mr. Alaster Mcphail Ambassador of United Kingdom to South Sudan who is considered to be the first ambassador accredited in South Sudan and has taken the Ambassadors Deanship in the new nation. The second ambassador to present her credentials to the President was Mrs. Ingrid Osfstad, the ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway to South Sudan.

 


President Kiir receives the UK ambassador.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


Shortly after the accreditation ceremony, the minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hon Nhial Deng Nhial told the press that the Republic of South Sudan has started the process of receiving credentials of the diplomatic envoys of different countries to South Sudan. Hon. Nhial also disclosed that the President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit assured the two ambassadors of his full cooperation with them in facilitating their mission of establishing a strong and beneficiary relationship with the new nation. He also explained that the two kingdoms have a long term relationship with the people of South Sudan since the struggle and they will help the new nation in standing on its own feet.


The British ambassador to South Sudan Mr. Alsater Mcphail said his appointment and accreditation as the first ambassador to South Sudan is a signal of a continuous commitment of the United Kingdom to help the new nation. The ambassador also said that the UK looks forward to seeing South Sudan join the commonwealth.

 


The Norwegian ambassador presenting her credentials to President Kiir.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


The ambassador of Norway to South Sudan Mrs. Ingrid Osfstad expressed her appreciation to the President for accrediting her to be the first ambassador of Norway to South Sudan, and she said Norway will always be on the side of the people of South Sudan in capacity building, economy and petroleum sector.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth