Global climatic changes threatening South Sudan’s food security

JUBA, 6 October 2011 - The minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management Hon Joseph Lual Acuil has said that a food security crisis caused by the global climatic changes is looming in South Sudan and warned that a positive intervention is urgently needed to stop it from deteriorating into a famine situation similar to that in the Horn of Africa.


The minister sounded this warning yesterday during the weekly media briefing at the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting chaired by the minister for Information and Broadcasting Hon Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin who is also the Official Spokesperson of the government of the Republic of South Sudan.


Hon Lual was quick to clarify that this situation does not mean that there is a crisis of famine in the country. He said the climatic changes have affected South Sudan in both floods and droughts. He said rainfall that was supposed to have started early this year was delayed. He also said this change in rainfall patterns has led to repeated planting for instance in Central Equatorial which he said was tedious for farmers and costly in labor and seeds. The minister said in other parts of the country planting was started in April and with the dry spell in June the production could not be relied on. He said this scenario has caused food shortage.


The minister said the current heavy rainfall that started in September is most likely to continue up to December this year as per the report of the IGAD Centre for Climate Information. He said this will most likely affect crops and subsequently result into floods as has been witnessed in Torit in Eastern Equatoria State where recent floods washed away crops and homes.


Hon Lual explained that a survey carried out in September by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry indicates that there is a food gap of 300,000 to 400,000 metric tons to keep the country up to February 2012 when the next rainy season is expected. He said currently about 1.3 million people are vulnerable. The minister said this group includes the IDPs, returnees as well as the farmers who lost their crops to the dry spell or floods. He said this may increase or decrease. He also reported that another assessment is on that is expected to publish its results mid this month. He explained that it is this second study which will show the exact food deficit in the country.

 


Hon Lual (left) addressing the media as Hon Marial (centre) and the deputy minister for Information and Broadcasting Hon Atem Yaak Atem (right) look on.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


The minister further said the states most affected are Jonglei, which he said is completely under water; Unity state; Upper Nile; Warrap; Northern Bahr el Ghazal; parts of Western Equatoria; and parts of Eastern Equatoria. The minister said that in Upper Nile the situation is critical due to the high presence of the IDPs and returnees.


Hon Lual said that his ministry, and indeed the government, is working on a roadmap to address to this looming crisis. He said the President of the Republic H.E Salva Kiir Mayardit has already donated some money through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management to mitigate the situation in Warrap State and that some food has already been distributed there. He said humanitarian organizations like World Food Program (WFP), ICRC, and SSRRC and the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs have already been to Kwajok and reported that the situation is now being managed.


He further said there is food in store and that the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and the World Food Program are looking for a plane to airlift it to Uron in Jonglei State which has witnessed inter-clan clashes early last month in which food and animals were raided.


The minister said he will lead a delegation together with the head of UNDP, Liz Grande, to New York in the first week of December to appeal to donors for support. He said once the report is out, they will present it to the donors. He asserted that if the international community is able to donate just a part of what is required then the government and the local community will have to meet the balance.


He said there are also plans to preposition food stores in 110 locations across the country in areas expected to experience food shortages. This would, he said, would ensure that if a crisis occurs, then food is available within reach as opposed to the current situation where food supply is limited due to limitations of transportation systems.


He further called on all South Sudanese to exercise patience towards this situation and said the government is working hard to address it. He called on leaders to take up the lead in agriculture to show the rest of the population how to be self-reliant.


Reported by Matata Safi


South Sudan becomes ITU’s 193rd Member State

GENEVA, 5 October 2011 – The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is proud to announce that the world’s newest country, South Sudan, has joined ITU to become the Union's 193rd Member State, effective from 3 October 2011.


The country, which gained its independence on 9 July, 2011 has already been allocated the international dialling code +211 by ITU, following the country’s recognition by the UN General Assembly. The dialling code became active on 28 September.


"We are delighted to be able to welcome South Sudan as an ITU member state so soon after attaining full nationhood. The government of South Sudan clearly recognizes the importance of information and communication technology (ICT) as an engine of social and economic development. We will work alongside the national authorities to leverage the power of technology, to help lift the country to new levels and fulfil the national motto of ‘Justice, Liberty, Prosperity’,” said ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré.


The accession of South Sudan as an ITU Member State implies its adhesion to the Radio Regulations, the international treaty which governs the use of radio communications among the world’s nations, giving it full access rights to the frequency spectrum and satellite orbit resources managed by the ITU.


A high-level ITU delegation led by Brahima Sanou, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, recently met with government ministers in South Sudan with the aim of acquiring first-hand information on the country’s needs and challenges in the area of ICT development. The first such visit by the ITU, the mission paves the way for the delivery of focused assistance to the country as it embarks on its development path.


140 South Sudanese female inmates in Khartoum handed to RSS

JUBA, 6 October 2011 - A total of one hundred and forty Southern Sudanese women who have been charged under the Islamic sharia laws on different counts including brewing of local alcohol, stealing, and murder, among others in north Sudan have been handed over to the government of the Republic of South Sudan.


This was revealed to the media yesterday by the minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management Honorable Joseph Lual Achuil in the weekly media briefing at the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting headquarters.


Hon Lual said that on a recent visit to Khartoum, he was commissioned by the President of the Republic of South Sudan H.E Salva Kiir Mayardit to take a letter to the President of the Republic of Sudan H.E Hassan Omar El Bashir regarding the fate of South Sudanese in northern jails.

 


Hon Lual (left) addressing the media as Hon Marial (right) watches on.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


He said the response was very positive leading to the release of the 140 women whose crimes mostly were brewing local alcohol and other minor crimes.


The minister, who did not mention the exact number of Southerners in northern jails, said some of the inmates with serious crime like murder, stealing will be transferred to the prisons in South Sudan to complete their sentences.


He said that of the 140 women, 47 will come to Juba next week and the rest at a later date as they had asked to rejoin their family members who are still in Khartoum before coming to South Sudan. The minister said that among those released is a lady who was sentenced to jail after she had killed a man who had attempted to rape her while holding a knife. He said she had served six years in jail and he was grateful to the authorities in the North for her release saying the lady had no intention to kill but did so in self defense.


Reported by Matata Safi


“Use the media wisely”, advises information minister

JUBA, 6 October 2011 (NASS) – The minister for Information and Broadcasting, who is also the Official Government Spokesman, Hon Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin yesterday advised political parties to use the media wisely for the benefit of the nation.


Dr Marial made this appeal yesterday in his office when he met leaders of the opposition party, the SPLM-DC, led by the Official Opposition Leader in the South Sudan Legislative Assembly Hon Onyoti Adigo Nyikwec.


The minister reiterated the non-partisan position of the government in as far as the media is concerned. He asserted that the government has no problem with the opposition parties since they play a pivotal role in the democratization process in the country. He also underscored the government’s commitment to work effectively with the opposition for the benefit of the country.

 


Hon Marial (right) and Hon Atem (left) poses for a photo with the SPLM-DC delegation led by Hon Onyoti (centre).


On his part, the deputy minister for Information and Broadcasting Hon Atem Yaak Atem, himself a renowned journalist, said that as opposed to most African countries where the opposition is viewed with suspicion, the government of the Republic of South Sudan is committed to work with the opposition to serve and meet the aspirations of the South Sudanese.


Hon Onyoti underscored the role of information in this age and suggested that it should be given first priority, even ahead of security. He pledged that his party will support the creation and dissemination of credible information through the mass media and other channels to ensure that all the publics of South Sudan are adequately informed.


“I know we are a minority party but we are part and parcel of this government; if anything goes wrong, we will all share the blame”, he said.


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


President Kiir meets Speaker of East African Legislative Assembly

JUBA, 5 October 2011 - The President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayrdit today in his office received the Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly Hon. Abdirahim H. Abdi.


Hon Abdi briefed H.E Kiir about the activities being carried out by the East African Legislative Assembly and on the resolutions passed by the assembly to welcome the new Republic of South Sudan to the East African Community.

 


The speaker of the EALA (left) handing over the invitation to President Kiir (right).
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


Hon. Abdi told the press after the meeting that the East African Community is ready to welcome South Sudan if the new Republic of South Sudan applies for membership. He said he came to Juba to congratulate the people of South Sudan for the independence and to invite H.E the President to address the East African Legislative Assembly by the end of November 2011. President Kiir welcomed the East African Legislative Assembly resolution.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth


Miss South Sudan to contest Miss World in London

JUBA, 5 October 2011 (NASS) – The recently crowned Miss South Sudan will represent the Republic of South Sudan in the Miss World international beauty pageant in London later this year.


The reigning Miss South Sudan Ms Atong Demach made this announcement on Monday when she paid a courtesy call on Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin, the minister for Information and Broadcasting. She said that she will leave by the 19th of October to attend the international pageant.

 


Dr Marial (left) posing with Ms Atong (centre), the reigning Miss South Sudan.


Ms Nyanut Ring, the Chief Excutive Officer of Nile Style, the company which is responsible for organizing Miss South Sudan pageant said that this is the first time in its six year history that a winner from South Sudan will participate in an international pageant. She explained further that this year, South Sudan has been invited as a country and that the country’s flag will be hoisted during the occasion. She called on South Sudanese to pray for the contestant.


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


Ministry of Health finalizes arrangements for anti-malaria campaign

JUBA, 5 October 2011 – The Ministry of Health has finalized the arrangements for the delivery and distribution of anti-malaria drugs to all the ten states of South Sudan, the minister, Hon Dr Michael Milli Hussein, has announced.


The minister made the announcement yesterday when addressing the media after a consultative meeting with the Population Service International (PSI) South Sudan Program Advisor Ms Abigail Pratt and the head of World Health Organization (WHO) Mr Adebi Adam Muhammad in the ministry’s headquarters in Juba.


He explained that they had discussed ways of distribution anti-malaria drugs to the ten states of South Sudan and added that there are eight cars and a track arranged to deliver the drugs to the states which are accessible. He also said that the drugs will be lifted by air by the WHO to the places which are not accessible by road.


Meanwhile, Ms Pratt program said that the PSI is donating 1.2 million long-lasting mosquito nets to the Ministry of Health. She reported that the nets will arrive in Juba from Mombasa soon. She added that the nets will be given to the vulnerable people especially the pregnant women and children. She called on the people to keep their environment clean since prevention is better than cure.


Reported by Lindri Godfrey


IGAD countries to second 120 civil servants to South Sudan

JUBA, 5 October 2011 - Memorandum of Understanding to second one hundred and twenty highly qualified civil servants to mentor and coach South Sudanese civil servants as part of skills transfer was signed recently at Home and Away Business Centre in Juba between the Minister for Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development (MoLPS & HRD) Hon. Awut Deng Acuil with her counterparts in Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya.

 

The civil servants were recruited under the Republic of South Sudan and IGAD/ Regional initiative to ensure effective and efficient service delivery in the new nation. The Government of Norway funded the initiative and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for South Sudan remains the facilitator in collaboration with the MoLPS & HRD.

 

Hon Awut has lauded the initiative. She asserted that the public service should not be politicized and clarified that the IGAD civil servants are not coming to take jobs but to support South Sudan. She assured the gathering that the IGAD civil servants are paid by their own respective countries and not with the budget of South Sudan.

 


Some of the dignitaries who attended the ceremony.

 

Earlier this year in February the Kenya government had taken lead by sending forty five civil servants from Kenya to mentor and coach civil servants in various line ministries in the Republic of South Sudan in which tremendous changes has been realized in the last few months.

 

The Minister for Information and Broadcasting Hon. Barnaba Benjamin highlighted the tremendous job done with the IGAD civil servants in the last few months in the country. He explained that this arrangement should be considered as desk training adding that the IGAD civil servants come to strengthen and build the capacity of South Sudanese civil servants to stimulate sustainable development.

 

The occasion drew together top leadership in the nation, the United Nation and Donor Countries to witness the signing ceremony.

 

Reported by Justin Jada Joseph & Alnour Ango


SSNLA's draft conduct of business regulations tabled

JUBA, 5 October 2011 – The South Sudan National Legislative Assembly (SSNLA) today in its Sitting No. 18/2011 held at the main hall, received a presentation of the report of the select committee of the draft of Conduct of Business Regulations, 2011 in its first reading by Hon. Kom Kom Geng.


The report is in accordance with the provisions of Article 73 (1) of the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan, 2011 and pursuant to the resolution No. 4/2011 dated 15th August, 2011 of the South Sudan National Legislative Assembly in its sitting No. 2/2011 dated 15th August, 2011 in which the select committee of 27 honorable members, Justice Edward Modesto, legal advisor to the SSNLA and other two staff SSNLA was mandated to draft the National Legislative Assembly Conduct of Business Regulations, 2011 in order to replace the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly’s conduct of business regulations.


The report of the select committee of the draft of Conduct of Business Regulations, 2011 is summarized in 11 pages with attachment of the National Legislative Assembly which is comprised of 89 pages. After the presentation some of MPs discussed and deliberated on the draft and agreed that the members of the August House should be given more time to read for it to facilitate effective discussions and deliberations which is scheduled for next week. The sitting was chaired by Right Hon. Speaker Gen. James Wani Igga; the quorum was 208.


Reported by Clement Aturjong Kuot


Extraordinary council of ministers passes universities policy paper

JUBA, 4 October 2011 - The Council of Ministers in its extra-ordinary meeting held today on Tuesday October 4th, 2011, under the chairmanship of the President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit, discussed issues related to the South Sudan’s five national universities and the private ones.


That was after a memo presented to the council by Prof. Peter Adwok Nyaba, the minister for Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, on the policy statement of his ministry. The policy statement intended to develop higher education and improve its institutions.


According to the minister for Information and Broadcasting Hon. Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin the policy includes loans to the students and possibilities of seeking international loans for building South Sudan’s national universities. After a long discussion, the council commended the minister and passed the policy paper.

 


The Council of Ministers meeting.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


Dr Marial who is also the Government Official Spokesman also announced to the press after the council of ministers’ meeting that the President of the Republic informed the council that he will visit Khartoum with a good number of ministers within this week to discuss outstanding issues of Abyei, border demarcation, oil and economic issues with President Omer El-Bashir.


Regarding the issue of opening South Sudan universities, Prof. Adwok told the press that the universities had a ministerial order for opening the universities on October 1st, 2011. He assured that the universities have started to open with the process of supplementary examinations after which the academic year will begin.


Prof Adwok appealed to the students to be patient, remain calm and consider the difficulties the young Republic of South Sudan is facing in repatriating the universities back to South Sudan. He also appealed to the students not to take the law into their own hands and put pressure to the university administrations because the South Sudan government, with the help of the President of the Republic, is looking seriously into the issues facing the universities.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth


President Kiir meets Hon. Speaker Igga

JUBA, 4 October 2011 - The President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit today in his office met the Speaker of National Legislative Assembly Rt. Hon James Wani Igga and his deputy Hon. Daniel Awet Akot.


The Hon Speaker told the press after the meeting that the Assembly has passed the speech delivered by the President during the inauguration of the National Legislative Assembly at Nyakuron Cultural Center. He said that the speech is now being compiled to be presented to the President in the presence of the Speaker of Council of the States.


Rt. Hon Igga added that their meeting with President Kiir discussed some administrative issues in the Assembly besides political affairs within and outside the country.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth


SSNLA continues deliberation of SPLM-DC activities in Upper Nile State

JUBA, 4 October 2011 – In its Sitting No. 17/2011 today, the South Sudan National Legislative Assembly (SSNLA continued to discuss the urgent motion on the formation of a committee to study the SPLM-DC activities in Upper Nile State which was raised by Hon. Agnes Nyok Peter and seconded by 45 honorable members.


The motion is requesting the August House to approve the formation of a select committee to scrutinize and investigate the violence activities of the SPLM-DC party in the Republic of South Sudan since its inception.


Hon. Nyok quoted the report of the Secretary General of the United Nations (UN) dated 12th April 2011 that the SPLM-DC’s connection with the armed militia. Specifically she quoted paragraph 40 of the report. She also quoted several press reports linking the SPLM-DC leader Dr Lam Akol to the renegade General George Athor.


After long debate and deliberations on the issue Hon. Henry Odwar (SPLM) from Eastern Equatoria raised the motion to terminate the debate pending more facts from the ministries of Interior and National Security. He proposed that the ministers should be summoned to brief the August House accordingly.


During the sitting, the urgent and important matter of food shortage in the Republic of South Sudan was also tabled but was postponed in order to give the concerned ministries ample time to collect information on food security and brief the August House.


Similarly, the Conduct of Business Regulations, 2011 which was to be tabled to the August House was not e presented because some members did not obtain the copies of the Proposed Conduct of Business Regulations, 2011. The tabling was postponed to tomorrow.


The sitting was chaired by Right Hon Speaker Gen. James Wani Igga.


Reported by Clement Aturjong Kuot


Turkey to train South Sudanese medical doctors

JUBA, 4 October 2011 – The government of Turkey will train South Sudanese medical doctors in hospitals in Turkey, the minister for Health Hon Dr Michael Milli Hussein has announced.


The minister made this announcement yesterday after a meeting he held at the ministry’s headquarters with the Consul General of Turkey to the Republic of South Sudan Mr Ahmed Ergin.


Dr Hussein explained that they had also discussed possible areas of cooperation between the governments of Turkey and South Sudan especially in the health sector. He also said that Turkey will send health specialists to handle cases of eye diseases in an effort to bridge the human resource gaps in sector.


Meanwhile, Mr Ergin said that Turkey has experience in the health sector and would to share the same with South Sudan.


In another related development, Dr Hussein also met a team from the World Bank led by Mr. Benjamin Loevinsohn. Addressing the press after the meeting Dr Hussein said that the team had come to brief him on their areas of intervention and how they can co-ordinate for best results in these areas of interest.


He said they also discussed issues of pharmaceutical procurements which, he reported, the World Bank will help in next year. Mr Loevinsohn said they also discussed the new World Bank’s finance operation which the ministry will implement to strengthen primary health care provision particularly in Jonglei and Upper Nile states.


Reported by Lindri Godfrey


National assembly discusses Taxation Bill in its second reading

JUBA, 4 October 2011 – The National Legislative Assembly of the Republic of South Sudan yesterday discussed the Taxation Act (Amendment) Bill, 2011.


During its Sitting No. 16/2011 held at the assembly’s main hall, the house received a joint report of the committees of Economy, Development and Finance; and Legislation and Legal Affairs on the bill presented by Hon. Dengtiel Kuur, the chairperson of the Legislation and Legal Affairs committee.


The bill had been referred to the two committees for scrutiny by the assembly during its Sitting No. 6/2011 dated 24th August 2011 after its first reading. In accordance with the regulation 133(4) of the SSLA Conduct of Business Regulations 2010, the committee scrutinized the bill and presented a number of observations and recommendations to the house. Some of the changes recommended include the definition of small, small and large businesses, among others.


The committee also recommended the deletion of the word “small or medium” and inserted “business organization” which means any organization that is required to be registered pursuant to the provisions of this Act such as insurance company, an individual or organization of individual liability for tax under chapter XI of this Act.


The second schedule of the principal Act was also amended by replacing the schedule with table two. The committee has also recommended that in the principal Act all terms and errors shall be amended to comply with the Interim Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan.


The August House deliberated and discussed the report and summoned the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning; Minister for Interior; and Minister for Commerce, Industry and Investment, to attend the sitting in order to explain and answer the questions raised by the honorable members.


The sitting was chaired by the Speaker of the South Sudan National Legislative Assembly the Right Hon. James Wani Igga. 167 members attended the sitting.


Reported by Clement Aturjong Kuot


President Kiir directs the Ministry of General Education to investigate student crisis in Rumbek

JUBA, 3 October 2011 - The President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit has directed the minister for General Education and Instruction Hon. Joseph Ukel to immediately send an investigation committee to Rumbek, the capital of Lakes State, and investigate reasons which led the Secondary School students to stage demonstrations and find solutions for the crisis.


This came during an urgent meeting the President held today Monday October 3rd, 2011 with a delegation from the Ministry of General Education and Instruction led by the minister Hon. Joseph Ukel. The meeting was also attended by the deputy minister Hon Rebecca Joshua Okwaci and the Undersecretary of the ministry Mr. George Justin Achor.



President Kiir meets with delegation from Ministry of General Education and Instruction.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


Shortly after the meeting, Hon. Ukel told the press that the delegation came to brief the President on the situation which arose this morning in Rumbek that led the students to stage demonstrations and causing distraction in schools and state ministry of Education in the Lakes State.


Hon Ukel said that in connection with the state Government, the ministry of General Education and Instruction decided to close down the schools in Rumbek until the situation is arrested. He assured the public that the ministry will soon send an investigation committee as directed by the President to look into the reasons of the crisis. He explained that if the finalists think that the closing down of the schools will affect them and choose to remain calm, the ministry will direct the state authorities to let them continue with their studies.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth


President Kiir meets Rumbek East Commissioner

JUBA, 3 October 2011 - The President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit today in his office met the Commissioner of Rumbek East County Mr. David Marial Gumke. During the meeting Commissioner Gumke briefed H.E Kiir on the general situation in his county.


The Commissioner told the press after the meeting that the security situation in the county has become normal after all the youth from the different counties of Lakes State have been disarmed according to the directives given by the Governor of Lakes State Eng. Chol Tong.



President Kiir Shakes hands with Commissioner of Rumbek East County Mr. Marial Gumke.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


In the area of health, Mr. Gumke said the issue of malaria has become a general concern in the state and reported that he brought it to the attention of the President. He explained that his government is doubling its efforts to improve food security and education as directed by the Governor and in the framework of the 100 days policy of the Government of the Republic of South Sudan.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth


Housing minister joins procession marking Habitat Day

JUBA, 3 October 2011 - The minister for Housing and Physical Planning Hon Jemma Nunu Kumba yesterday joined a group that was organized by the United Nations Habitat to stage a peaceful procession to mark the International World Habitat Day that is celebrated annually on 3rd of October.


The peaceful procession was started from the Ministry of Housing and Physical Planning to Hai Zandia settlement where the office of UN Habitat is located.


Addressing the gathering, the minister called on the UN Habitat and the other donors to make available the funds for more housing projects. “The day is great and it is nice for me to celebrate together the International World Habitat Day which is the first of its kind for the Republic of South Sudan”, she said.


The minister also called on the public to be mindful of the issues of rapid changes in the climatic conditions that have now been a global phenomena as emphasized by the Under-Secretary General of the United Nations and Executive Director of UN Habitat on the occasion that climatic change has become an indispensable parameter of human life that deserves special attention to deal with.


“The Ministry of Housing and Physical Planning and the UN Habitat are great friends and we usually work closely on numerous issues, such as urbanization planning and standard town settlement where every citizen have equal access to housing including those with disabilities”, she said. The minster explained that climate change has contributed to economic and social setbacks and that the government will prepare a strategy of dealing with it through environmental conservation.

 


Hon Jemma Nunu Kumba (fifth from left) joins the procession.


She explained that after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement people moved to the major towns in South Sudan in which slum became the norm. She said the Ministry can work together with the other stakeholders for decent urbanization setup.


She said that Hai Zandia was established in the 1960s as one of the settlement centres in Juba. She said it is great for the UN Habitat to revive the historical background of the area alongside recently selected places for demonstration in Bor and Lakes states. She pointed out that lack of funds, inadequate capacity and basic services contribute to the poor housing standards and urged donors to support the UN Habitat adequately to realize better cities for the future.


The UN Habitat Programme Manager Mr Anthony Lamba delivered the message of Under-Secretary General of the United Nations Executive Director of UN Habitat which emphasized that the rapidly urbanizing world is the matter of great concern.


According to the UN Habitat, cities and climate change global report on human settlement estimated that by 2050 there would be as many as 200 million environmental refugees worldwide, many of whom will be forced from their homes by rising sea levels and the increased frequency of flooding or drought. These should be prevented through better urban planning and enforcement of building codes so that city residents, especially the poorest, are protected as far as possible against disaster.


Reported by Ater Garang Ariath


RSS Country Code +211 goes live

JUBA, 3 October 2011 – The country code "+211" for the Republic of South Sudan went live on Saturday, 1st October, 2011, two months ahead of the set deadline for the switchover which was 15th December 2011.


Please, click here to read the speech of the Chief Guest – The Minister for Telecommunication & Postal Services Hon. Maj. Gen. Madut Biar Yel – on the occasion of the new country code launch by GEMTEL, at the Quality Hotel, Juba.


UN supporting efforts to prevent clashes in Jonglei

JUBA, 1 October 2011 (NASS) – The United Nations has established air surveillance operations in Jonglei State to deter any potential attacks between the Lou Nuer and Murle communities, the UN Special Representative of the Secretary General in the Republic of South Sudan Ms Hilde Johnson has announced.


Ms Johnson asserted that the cycle of violence in the state must be stopped so as to save lives. She appealed to the community, religious and political leaders from the region to impress upon the people the need for peace and discourage them from waging retaliatory attacks on each other.


She said that the UN is monitoring the situation keenly and has put adequate measures in place to prevent further violence. Particularly, she said, the UN is working to prevent the abduction of women and children. She also said that the UN is working with UNICEF to facilitate the restoration of families which had been displaced from the region by the violence. She said the UN will provide non-food items and other support to the families in Pieri who bore the brunt of the last weekend attacks.

 


Ms Johnson (left) and Dr Marial (right) during their meeting.


The UN officer made these remarks yesterday when she paid a courtesy call on Hon Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin the minister for Information and Broadcasting, who is also the Official Government Spokesperson, to exchange notes on the security situation in Uror County of Jonglei State.


Dr Marial commended the support of the UN in supporting the nurture of peace in the Republic of South Sudan. He reiterated the commitment of the government to collaborate with the UN, the church and other neutral organizations in the pursuit of lasting peace in the troubled areas of Jonglei State.


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


Juba City Legislative Council drafts regulations

JUBA, 1 October 2011 – Please, click here to download the Conduct of Business Regulations of the Juba City Legislative Council.
 


Information minister challenges the church not to neglect Abyei

JUBA, 1 October 2011 (NASS) – Hon Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin, the minister for Information and Broadcasting and Official Government Spokesperson has urged the church to keep a keen eye on Abyei and support the peace building efforts in the area.


Addressing the International Ecumenical Conference of the Council of Churches in Juba yesterday, Dr Marial cautioned that the tension over Abyei will escalate if the church does not intervene. He said that the government is committed to a peaceful resolution of the Abyei debacle but needed the support of the religious institutions.

 


Dr Marial (right) addressing the participants at the conference.


“We went to the International Court of Arbitration in The Hague over Abyei before the South Sudan referendum and the court passed a fair judgment on the border issues but the government in Khartoum has ignored the judgment and has continued to attack the region”, he explained.


Dr Marial said that the government appreciates the role the church played during the liberation struggle. He encouraged the church to continue supporting the new government in its peace and development efforts. He said that the role of the church is exemplary in the issues of justice and peace building.


He reiterated the commitment of the government to the full implementation of the CPA signed in 2005. He also said that the government of the Republic of South Sudan is committed to facilitating peaceful coexistence with the neighbours in the North.


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


Vocational training centres critical for development

JUBA, 30 September 2011 – Vocational training centres are critical for the development of essential skills for the socio-economic development of the country, Hon Awut Deng Acuil, the minister for Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development has said.

 

Speaking during a visit to inspect Bentiu Vocational Training Centre in Unity State, the minister that vocational training centres provides courses that empower the youth making them independent productive citizens.

 

The minister revealed that most of the equipment at the VTC is ready and estimated that the vocational centre requires the sum of One Million South Sudanese Pounds (SSP) to complete. She urged the national government, donors and the state authority to mobilize the funds to enable the centre to open and begin to deliver services to the people through skilled transfer. The centre will offer courses in automobile-mechanics, electricity, welding, tailoring and others.

 


Hon Awut Deng talks at the Bentiu Vocational Training Centre.

 

Hon Joseph Arop Malual, the minister of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development in Unity State explained that the centre will help to create self employment which will reduce dependency, especially among the youth. He said that neither the national nor the state government can provide job opportunities to all South Sudanese. He explained that joint efforts by the private sector through vocational training centres can build the capacity of the youth to self-employ.

 

According to the Director General of the centre Mr. John Kuol Riek, its challenges include the lack of technical instructors and funds. He called on the South Sudanese in the Diaspora to come back home with the various skills to assist in the reconstruction of the new Republic of South Sudan.

 

Meanwhile, the deputy minister of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development Hon Kwong Danhier Gatluak held a meeting with Mr. Sachio Yamamoto, a JICA advisor to discuss issues related to the improvement of the Juba Multi-Purpose Training Centre.

 


Hon Kwong chairing the meeting with JICA representatives.

 

The deputy minister underscored the role of the vocational training centres in supplying skilled workforce for the nascent South Sudan’s labour market. On his part, Mr Yamamoto announced that the 3,860 people who have benefitted from the centre are already employed in the public, private and development sectors of the economy.

 

Reported by Justin Jada Joseph and Alnour Ango


“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