“Jonglei state is a humanitarian disaster area”, Council of Ministers

JUBA, 5 January 2012 – The national council of ministers held an extraordinary meeting on Wednesday 4th Jan. 2012 under the chairmanship of the President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit to discuss two serious agendas: the insecurity situation in Jonglei state and issues of exporting Oil of South Sudan.


According to the minister for Information and Broadcasting who is the official spokesman of the government Hon. Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, the council resolved to declare Jonglei state as a disaster area in terms of humanitarian affairs. He further said the council asked all the international relief agencies including the UN agencies to take an urgent humanitarian assistance to the Lou Nuer, the Murle and other affected areas in the state.

 


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


Dr. Marial also said the council resolved to deploy more forces in the state to guarantee full security in the area and a concurrent disarmament to be carried out in all parts of the state. He further reported that the council resolved to establish a high level committee to bring reconciliation among the two ethnic communities of Lou Nuer and Murle. The council also considered issues of infrastructure in the state.


Dr. Marial also said the council of ministers directed the two ethnic groups to return all the abducted women and children of the both sides and reunite them with their communities. The council has confirmed that the national forces are now in a full control of Pibor.


The spokesman also said the council of ministers discussed some issues facing the oil export from South Sudan and resolved that South Sudan government should build its alternative pipeline and refinery to supply the national needs of the new nation as well as the need of the neighboring countries.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth


President Kiir meets with delegation of pupils from Usratuna Basic School

JUBA, 4 January 2012 – The President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit today in his office met a delegation of pupils from Usratuna Basic School led by Hon. Elizabeth Enoka the chairperson of Parents/Teachers Council-Usratuna Basic School.

 


H.E Kiir in a general photo with Usratuna pupils.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


During the meeting, the delegation of Usratuna Basic School pupils acknowledged the leadership of H.E Kiir for leading the people of South Sudan to real freedom, and presented him with a gift of good wishes. The delegation briefed the President about the challenges and problems facing one thousand and eighty seven pupils and thirty teachers of Usratuna Basic School, and urged H.E Kiir to intervene and rescue the situation in Usratuna Basic School.

 


Usratuna pupil presents a gift to H.E Kiir.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


President of the Republic commended the efforts of the South Sudanese teachers in preparing the pupils for a bright future of the new nation. H.E Kiir called on the parents and the guardians to join hands with the teachers and take responsible steps of establishing a suitable atmosphere for the future of South Sudan pupils. President of the Republic donated fifty thousand SSP to Usratuna Basic School and promised to pay a familiarization visit to the school soon.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth


H.E Kiir launches center for issuing of national documents of RSS

JUBA, 4 January 2012 – The President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit yesterday officially launched the National Registration Center for the nationality certificate, identity cards and passports of the Republic of South Sudan. H.E Kiir also at the same time launched the issuing of the three national documents in a special ceremony organized by the Ministry of Interior at the main office of nationality, immigration and ID cards in Juba, under the theme: “The New National Identity for the New Nation”.

 


President Kiir launches the national registration center.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


During the launching ceremony, President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit received a new passport of the new nation as the first South Sudanese citizen to receive the new passport.


In his launching remarks, President of the Republic extended his sincere gratitude to the minister for Interior Hon. Alison Manani Magaya and his team in the ministry for a quality work done in issuing the national documents. He also appreciated the two ministries of Foreign Affairs and Finance for joining hands with Ministry of Interior to set up mechanisms for issuing the national documents.

 


President Kiir addressing the participants at the launching ceremony.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


President of the Republic strongly directed the two ministries of Interior and National Security to identify all the foreigners in the country and investigate those who entered in the country without work and residence permits and take any necessary measures against them. President Kiir warned authorities in the ministry not to issue diplomatic and special passports to the citizens who do not deserve them. H.E Kiir also warned government officials intimidating police officers issuing the passports and giving them bribes for diplomatic and official passports. He ordered the officers to report such cases to the authorities.


President of the Republic appealed to the politicians having hands in the crisis between Lou Nuer and Murle in Jonglei state to stop instigating tribal crisis between the two ethnic groups and work for peace and stability in the area. He reaffirmed that the government will not allow the two ethnic groups to continue killing themselves.

 


Hon Magaya stresses a point during the ceremony.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


On his part the minister for Interior Hon. Alison Manani Magaya announced to the public that the nationality certificate is the key document to the other official documents through which ID cards and passports can be issued. Hon. Magaya declared that the new national documents of the new nation will be very restricted to make sure that they do not reach non-South Sudanese. He called on the citizens to cooperate with the authorities in the process of issuing the documents adding that the first generation passport of RSS will be slowly withdrawn while the second generation is being issued. Hon. Magaya emphasized that the Ministry of Interior has set up mechanisms for recognizing the presence of foreign nationals in the country and make sure that they have work and residence permits.


The two ministers of Finance and Foreign Affairs Hon. Kosti Manibe and Hon. Nhial Deng Nhial who is responsible for diplomatic and special passports expressed readiness for facilitating the issuing of national documents to a deserve citizens.

 


Mr Koler speaks during the ceremony.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


The Vice President of Muehlbauer a Germany based company which manufactured the new RSS passport Mr. Mattauis Koler said when addressing the ceremony that the Republic of South Sudan passport is a first class electronic passport. He appreciated the Government of South Sudan for supporting the company in preparing the new passport.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth


“General security situation calm”, Col Aguer

JUBA, 4 January 2012 – The spokesperson of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) Col. Phillip Aguer yesterday in his address to the media said the general security situation in the country is normal and calm.


Col. Aguer while briefing the media forum at the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting headquarters hosted by the government of the Republic of South Sudan spokesperson Hon. Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin said there are no major events except for the reported movement of Sudan Armed Forces along the border with the Republic of South Sudan.


He said that the SPLA is closely monitoring their movements and maintained that so long as they don’t enter into the territories of the Republic of South Sudan, they will only be monitoring their activities. “We are strictly implementing the policy of the government of the Republic of South Sudan and that is to be on the defensive position”, asserted Col. Aguer.

 


Col Aguer addressing the media forum.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


He said Jua payam, in Unity state, is now under the control of the SPLA after being invaded by the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF). He said that in Unity State and Southern Korodofan SAF is still maintaining their presence as opposed to their supposed withdrawal from these locations explaining that SAF are about 6km from SPLA positions in Jua.


Col. Aguer also said Maban, parts of Blue Nile and the borders of Unity state are relatively quiet from the remnants of the late rebel leader George Athor.


On Jonglei communal clashes Col. Aguer said the SPLA is sending more troops alongside police officers. He said these forces were already on the way to Janglei. He said the by yesterday the reports emerging from the affected area of Pibor was that the Lou Nuer youths were already vacating Pibor towards their territories. He said this is a good gesture that the President of the Republic of South Sudan H.E Salva Kiir’s massage to the two communities is being implemented. President Kiir in his New Year message had asked the Lou Nuer to leave Pibor Murle area. The President had also assured that their cattle, children and wives allegedly taken by the Murle would be returned. He also asked the Murle to return the alleged cattle they had taken.


Col. Aguer decried the state of roads that he said have been a major setback for the SPLA in averting such clashes. He called on the government to prioritize the construction of roads so as to provide easy access to save lives in the future. He lauded the support of the UNMISS saying that they are helping with air patrols to see the movement of the communities hence helping SPLA to plan better in stopping the clashes.


Reported by Matata Safi


Juba dispels Khartoum’s allegations on JEM presence in territory

JUBA, 3 January 2012 (NASS) – The authorities in Juba have dispelled the accusations made by Khartoum that the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) vehicles have entered the Republic of South Sudan.


According to the available reports, Khartoum officials had announced on Radio Omdurman that Juba has been supporting JEM which is the strongest rebel group in Darfur that lost its leader Khalil Ibrahim late December 2011.


The minister for Information and Broadcasting who is also the official spokesperson of the government of the Republic of South Sudan, Hon Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin condemned the allegations today during the weekly media forum hosted by the ministry.


Dr Marial refuted the claims made over Radio Omdurman that JEM’s vehicles had entered the Republic of South Sudan and described it as a complete lie. He explained that the government of the young nation doesn’t have any hand on the move by JEM.


“It is very irresponsible for Sudan to be accusing a country like South Sudan which is only six months old over the issue like supporting the JEM”, Dr Marial said. He asserted that there is no presence of JEM forces in the Republic of South Sudan. He explained that in the converse the government is working hard to strengthen its relations with Khartoum.


He stated that the government of South Sudan is committed to the letter and spirit of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and that President Salva Kiir Mayardit made this very clear during his first foreign trip to Khartoum after the independence on July the 9th last year.


“We are expecting the President of Sudan to make an official visit to South Sudan after President Kiir’s visit to Khartoum, so how can we also act like enemies”, he wondered.


In a related development, the SPLA spokesman Col. Phillip Aguer accused Khartoum of supporting the conflict between Lou Nuer and Murle group in Jonglei. Col Aguer made this accusation while answering questions from the journalists during the forum.


“The heavy guns at the hands of both Murle and Lou Nuer have been supplied by the government in Khartoum through the late renegade George Athor to destabilize security in South Sudan”, he said.


At the same time Hon Marial appealed to the government in Khartoum to stop sending heavy guns and ammunitions to South Sudan instead of creating good relations. He stated that Khartoum is bound to lose because the weapons they will be sending will be confiscated by the SPLA.


Hon Marial also called on the remnants of Athor loyalists especially his deputy Pastor Paul Awan to come back home and continue with spiritual activities rather finding ways to killing innocent civilians in South Sudan. He pointed out that pastors are well known of giving Holy Communion to congregations in the churches but not taking guns to kill.


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


“Sudan is taking the oil of South Sudan without permission from the authorities”, H.E Kiir

JUBA, 2 January 2012 – The President of the Republic, H.E Salva Kiir Mayardit said the Republic of Sudan has been violating the airspace of the country and carried out military incursions in to the sovereign territories of the Republic of South Sudan at the borders.


In a New Year Message to the people of South Sudan, President Kiir pointed out that the Republic of Sudan is taking the oil of South Sudan without any permission from the authorities, an act he believes amounts to looting in a broad day light.


According to President Kiir, at the negotiations table between the Government of South Sudan and the Sudan, the government of the Republic of South Sudan had made substantial offers that would improve the economic and financial gaps of the Republic of Sudan in the spirit of Comprehensive Peace Agreement and to ensure mutual viability of the two states as a good gesture.

 


President Salva Kiir Mayardit


He was blunt that the hostile attitude from Khartoum towards the Republic of South Sudan should stop and added that the national government will continue with its diplomatic avenues to address a range of issues between South Sudan and the Sudan.


President Kiir urged the Khartoum government to recognize the futility of its current aggressions and stop the spirit of war. He also appealed to the Republic of the Sudan that South Sudan is not its enemy and that the people are still have much to share in common. President Kiir said the people of the Sudan are always free to come to South Sudan and will always be welcomed by the people and government of the Republic of South Sudan.


Reported by Yousif Michael/SSR and Thomas Kenneth


Dr Machar calls on Lou-Nuer youth not to advance towards Pibor town

JUBA, 31 December 2011 – The Vice President of South Sudan, Hon Dr Riek Machar, has called on the defying Lou-Nuer youth to implement the verbal agreement he reached with them on Wednesday last week to withdraw back to the Nuer territory, warning them not to advance towards Pibor county headquarters of Murle community.


Early last week, several thousands of armed Lou-Nuer youth marched to Murle land and captured a strategic payam called Likwangole, which is about 25 kilometers from the county headquarters and announced that they would continue to capture Pibor headquarters and other payams and villages until the Murle community was completely “liberated and disarmed.”


The group claimed that they were carrying out a revenge attack for the killing in August of more than 700 of their members, mostly women and children, by armed youth from the Murle community in a village called Pieri in what officials say was the first major surprise attack one month after the region gained independence on 9th July 2011.

 

 


Dr Machar speaking to the youth at Likwangole.


Last Wednesday Dr Machar flew to the isolated affected payam of Likwangole to try to convince the Lou-Nuer youth who captured the town to withdraw and move back to their territory. The youth, who first refused to meet with the Vice President, finally reluctantly agreed to withdraw and gave condition that their wounded be evacuated first before they could withdraw back to Lou-Nuer areas.


However, after their wounded were evacuated on Thursday, on Friday they told the Vice President, who was spending the night with them in the area, that they were withdrawing back but instead diverted the route towards the Pibor county headquarters.


The governor of Jonglei state, Kuol Manyang Juuk, told the BBC on Friday that the youth have come up with a new demand that their abducted women and children be handed over to them by the Murle community before they could stop the attacks.


The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said they have intercepted about six thousand armed Lou-Nuer youth moving toward Pibor county headquarters on Friday burning villages and taking cattle on the way. Also tens of thousands of civilians have already fled from Pibor town on Friday to the bushes in fear of imminent attack, according to the UN report. UNMISS has already deployed a battalion of its troops in Pibor town to protect the civilians in addition to the SPLA forces on the ground.


Jonglei state governor Kuol Manyang, however warned that the deployed UN forces were insufficient and will not be able to contain the situation or stop the matching Lou-Nuer youth from attacking the town.


On Friday, the Vice President, Machar, who is still in the affected Murle area of Likwangole has been trying to stop the youth from further movement into the interior Murle land. On Friday he spoke on Thuraya phone with the leader of the youth, Bor Doang, who assured the Vice President that he would order his group to stop moving toward Pibor town and return back to Lou-Nuer.


It is not yet clear whether or not the youth leader would hold to his words despite the fact that the attack on Pibor town did not occur as feared on Friday.


Reported by the Vice President’s Press Secretary, James Gatdet Dak


South Sudanese Diaspora vow to end Jonglei’s conflicts

JUBA, 2 January 2012 (NASS) – The South Sudanese Diaspora from the United States of America has vowed to put an end to the vicious Jonglei’s conflict. This announced today by a group of South Sudanese Diaspora called ‘ambassadors group for peace’ after a meeting with the minister for Information and Broadcasting, Hon Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin.


According to Mr Dhieu Deng Leek who is the leader of the group, the group comprises members from all the tribes in Jonglei state, with the vision of creating peace among the tribes in the state and their neighbors across the country.

 


Hon Marial (second right) posing with the group after the meeting.
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]


Shortly after the meeting, Mr Dhieu stated that the people in the Diaspora know that the government is working hard to fix the problems shaking Jonglei state but added that the government alone cannot do all these because it is still young and has many challenges to overcome.


Mr Dhieu who recently came from Jonglei state pledged to contribute much in ending the conflict in the state and urged the people in the Diaspora to join hands with the government to realize lasting peace in Jonglei.


Hon. Marial commended the group for the initiative and assured them that they have the full support of the government. He also urged them to extend the same initiative across the Republic of South Sudan.


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