Sudanese nationals entering South Sudan to use visas

JUBA, 11 April 2012 - The Republic of South Sudan has declared that as of 9th April 2012, all Sudanese nationals living in South Sudan are foreigners and therefore will have to legalize their stay there.


This announcement came after Khartoum government yesterday started implementing an earlier decision they (Khartoum) reached that set 9th October 2012 as the deadline to strip South Sudanese nationals living in North Sudan of North Sudanese nationality.

 


Hon Magaya addressing the press. He is flanked by the Inspector General of Police Gen. Acuil Tito Madut.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


“This decision we have taken is a good one because there are some Sudanese who still think one day South Sudan will be part of Sudan”, said Hon. Gen. Alison Manani Magaya, the minister for Interior. He asked the public to be calm saying that these are normal international procedures of immigration.


Click here to read a press statement on this.


Reported by Matata Safi


RSS media team meets Chinese assistant minister for Foreign Affairs

BEIJING, 11 April 2012 - The Chinese assistant minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Zhang Ming stated that China has a special spot for the Republic of South Sudan as a young nation that needs urgent help. He described the expected visit of the President of the Republic H.E. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit to China as a very important visit.


Mr. Ming said this in a meeting he held on Monday April 9th, 2012, with RSS government and independent media delegation. The meeting was attended by the RSS Charge de’ Affairs to China Mr. Balentino Bak who briefed the assistant minister and his team during the meeting on the future plan of the government to establish diplomatic relations with some countries in the world including China.

 


The media team leader, Thomas Kenneth, listens to clarifications from the Deputy Director of Information in the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
[Photo: Philip Dhil]


Ambassador Bak explained to the meeting that the current generation of South Sudanese was born in war, grew in war, became leaders in war and do not want to leave the war for the coming generation.


Mr. Ming appreciated Republic of South Sudan’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for sending the media team officially to visit China to explore the role media can play in promoting the relationships between South Sudan and China. He urged Republic of South Sudan to establish a media organization in China.


When answering questions of the team regarding the position of the Chinese government on the decision of South Sudan government to build alternative pipelines for exporting South Sudan oil through Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti, Mr. Ming said South Sudan has the right to its own decisions on economic development and the Chinese government respects that. He added, however, that the building of the alternative pipelines will take time due to geographical and environmental factors.

 


The team in a closed door meeting with Chinese Foreign Affairs assistant minister.
[Photo: Philip Dhil]


“If the two states can settle their differences over the Oil they can use the existing pipe lines”, Mr. Ming stressed.


On the question whether China was aware when President El-Bashir took unilateral decision to construct new pipelines for stealing the oil of South Sudan, Mr. Ming declined to give detailed answers for the question. However, he said China was not aware and does not understand the reasons why El-Bashir did that. Mr. Ming explained that China does not want to see differences between the two brotherly countries for it is not conducive for the economic development and regional peace.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth


Machar on peace mission to Lakes, Unity and Warrap

JUBA, 9 April 2012 - The Vice President of South Sudan, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, has traveled to the three bordering states of Lakes, Unity and Warrap, for peace mission and reconciliation process between the communities in the states.


The three bordering states have been embroiled in cross-border cattle raiding between communities as well as internal conflicts between clans within the state.
Dr. Machar who left Juba on Saturday for Unity state’s capital, Bentiu, is also scheduled to visit Lakes and Warrap states in the next few days.


The three triangular states share long common borders involving 16 counties in the border areas. He is expected to visit a number of locations in the three states to urge the populations to stop counterattacks and begin to reconcile.


Dr. Machar visited Mayom County of Unity state on Monday and was accompanied by the governor, Taban Deng Gai and Warrap state governor, Nyandeng Malek as well as members of parliament from the two states. Mayom County which shares borders with Warrap state has been experiencing cross-border conflicts with the communities in Warrap. The Vice President urged the bordering community of Bul-Nuer to make peace with their neighboring Warrap communities.


The visit follows his tour of the volatile Jonglei state for the last two weeks during which he visited 16 locations covering all the eleven counties of the state. During his tour he urged all the Jonglei state’s communities to surrender their weapons to the organized forces and begin to reconcile among themselves.


The Vice President also visited the location of the proposed new capital, Ramciel, in Lakes state, on Friday during which he enlightened the inhabitants of the area about the next phase of conducting ground survey in the area.


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


RSS media team meets Chinese special envoy on African Affairs

BEIJING, 9 April 2012 - The Chinese government’s special envoy on African Affairs, Ambassador Zhong Jianhua has assured of the Chinese commitment to improve bilateral relationship with the Republic of South Sudan.

 


The team in a general photo with the special envoy on African Affairs.
[Photo: Philip Dhil]


Amb. Jianhua made the remarks in a meeting he held on Monday 8 April, 2012 in his office at the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing, with the Republic of South Sudan government and independent media delegation currently in China under the leadership of Mr. Thomas Kenneth Elisapana.


Amb. Jianhua outlined to the delegation the Chinese strategic policy of strengthening the bilateral relationship with South Sudan in the fields of economy, capacity building, infrastructure projects, and enhance delivering of basic services. Amb. Jianhua pointed out that China is also committed to improving agricultural activities in South Sudan for self-sufficiency.

 


Media team leader Mr. Thomas Kenneth meeting the Chinese envoy for African Affairs.
[Photo: Philip Dhil]


Regarding the oil clashes between Juba and Khartoum, Amb. Jianhua disclosed to the team that China supports the African Union High Implementation Panel’s (AU/HIP) efforts under the chairmanship of former President of South Africa H.E. Thabo Mbeki to resolve the outstanding issues between the two neighbouring countries amicably. He expressed hope that the crisis between Juba and Khartoum will be resolved for the two states are friends of the People’s Republic of China.

 

Reported by Thomas Kenneth


Media team from RSS arrives in China

BEIJING, 9 April 2012 - The seven-person team of government and independent media sent by the Republic of South Sudan’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for an official visit to the People’s Republic of China has arrived in Beijing on Saturday 7th April, 2012, and was received at the Beijing International Airport by the deputy director of Information Department in the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) Mr. Zhang Xianghua who was accompanied during the reception by Ms. Liu Jing, the desk officer in the department.

 


The team and the two officials from MFA Mr. Zhang (left) and Ms Liu (right)


Besides Beijing, the capital city of China, the team is expected to visit other cities of China which include Shanghai and Suzhou. The purpose of the visit is to explore ways of the best role that the media of the two countries can play in strengthening the existing bilateral relations between China and South Sudan.


During the visit the team is expected to meet officials of the MFA among whom are Chinese assistant minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Zhang Ming, and Chinese government special envoy on African Affairs Ambassador Zhong Jianhua. The team will also meet the Director General of Department of West Asia and North America in the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mr. Chang Hua and the Deputy Director General of Information Department Mr. Ma Jisheng.

 


The team arrives as a family in China.


The team is also expected to visit some important companies and historical places in China like the great wall and imperial city also known as Forbidden City. The team will visit Chinese National Petroleum Company (CNPC), and will attend the regular briefing in the International Press Center in MFA and will visit CCTV.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth Elisapana


President Kiir sends Easter message to all South Sudanese

JUBA, 5 April 2012 - The President of the Republic H.E. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit has sent to all the people of South Sudan a verbal message of a happy Easter holidays and called on all the South Sudan citizens to celebrate it with their entire families in peace.

 

President Kiir said this today when addressing the workers in his office and wished them a happy holiday.

 


H.E Kiir wishes all a South Sudanese happy Easter.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]

 

President of the Republic said he will celebrate Easter with his people in Juba hoping that God may bring this joyful day again next year. He emphasized that in spite of all the problems going on with Khartoum, South Sudan will soon come out of it and nobody should worry. Pointing out that those in Khartoum who think that they may come to South Sudan by military attacks are dreaming. He assured that the SPLA will maintain security during the holidays.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth


Advance team from government and independent media to leave for China

JUBA, 5 April 2012 (NASS) – An advance team from both government and independent media houses in the Republic of South Sudan to leave for the People’s Republic of China as part of the President’s first official visit after independence.


This was announced today by the minister for Information and Broadcasting, Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin shortly after briefing the crew of the necessary arrangements for the coverage.

 


Dr Marial addressing the media.


He said the visit of the President to the People’s Republic of China is the first of its kind and the journalists are to behave as ambassadors to have a good impact on China. He added that part of the team is to travel as from tomorrow to receive the President of the Republic Salva Kiir Mayardit in China.


Similarly, four reporters are expected to leave for Egypt and China soon on capacity building cooperation with the respective countries.


The deputy minister for Information and Broadcasting, Hon. Atem Yaak Atem advised the reporters going for training to take it very seriously so as to improve the image of the media from the stage it is in.


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


South Sudan set have own national air carrier

JUBA, 4 April 2012 - The Republic of South Sudan is set to have its own national carrier if all goes as planned, a government official has announced.


The deputy minister for Transport Hon. Mayom Kouc Malek said plans are at advanced stages for the landlocked country to have her own national carrier. He added that as a landlocked country, South Sudan needs many airlines to connect itself with the rest of the world.


Hon. Malek announced that the government will have 20 percent shares in the South Sudan National Air Carrier, 31 percent of the shares will be for the public whereas the remaining 49 percent shares will go to an internationally recognized aviation company that will operate the airline on a commercial basis.


The deputy transport minister said the government of South Sudan believes in competition and he added that economic and social developments can only take root in a country like South Sudan when there is room for free competition. “We are not going to restrict our airspace to monopolies, we want many companies to come in and compete freely”, said Hon. Malek.

 


Hon. Malek giving a speech at the launch of Safari Air Limited.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


Hon. Malek was quick to add that civil aviation in South Sudan to date is still faced with many challenges. He explained that the aviation industry in South Sudan has been long controlled by Khartoum to the independence of South Sudan. He observed that as a result, there are many unworthy aircrafts operating in South Sudan.


He announced that the South Sudan civil Aviation laws have already been enacted. He cautioned that all the aircrafts operating in the country will be subjected to the South Sudan aviation laws.


Hon. Malek further stated that another challenge facing the aviation industry in South Sudan is the state of its airports in the country. He said most of the airports in the country need rehabilitation. “Most of our airports need to be rebuilt. Today Juba International Airport which is undergoing construction is the only airport we can talk of having”, he said. He called for support from development partners to help develop some of South Sudan’s airports in the other states.


Hon. Malek made these remarks yesterday in Juba at Da Vinci Hotel while officiating at the launch of a new aircraft service provider, Safari Air Limited that has joined the aviation industry in South Sudan. It initially intends to connect the country with itself before going international.


Reported by Matata Safi


Kenya and Uganda to persuade UN and AU to halt bombardment of South Sudan

JUBA, 4 April 2012 (NASS) - The minister for Information and Broadcasting, Hon Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin announced that the Republics of Uganda and Kenya have pledged to persuade both the UN and African Union to halt the ongoing bombardment in the border of Sudan and South Sudan.


Dr Marial made this statement today at the Juba International Airport following his four-day visit to Uganda and Kenya after being dispatched by the President of the Republic H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit.


He explained that they had been sent to Kenya and Uganda to inform the respective governments of the current political and security situation in the country after the rampant bombardment of the region by the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF).


Dr Marial said the leadership of both Kenya and Uganda were satisfied with the briefing they delivered and promised to persuade the UN and African Union as members of IGAD to halt the Sudan-South Sudan conflict.


As the official spokesperson of the government, Dr Marial reiterated that his government will not be dragged into a senseless war but will defend its territorial integrity in case of any aggression.


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


President Kiir talks with President Obama

JUBA, 3 April 2012 - The President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit briefed President of the United States of America H.E Obama on the current political situation with Khartoum, recent clashes along the border between SAF and SPLA, status of the negotiations between Juba and Khartoum and the expected summit with President El-Bashir.


This was in a phone conversation yesterday evening. In his briefing President of the Republic appreciated steps taken by the US administration in providing assistance to the people of South Sudan and for pushing the negotiations forward for peace and stability in the two neighboring states.


President Kiir told his counterpart H.E Obama that he is still expecting President El-Bashir on 3rd April, 2012, in spite of the fact that El-Bashir announced publicly that he will not come to Juba, adding that if President Bashir proposed any place for the summit he is ready to go there. H.E Kiir disclosed that the summit was for signing the agreement on citizenship and border demarcation, and it was also for discussing some issues to be recommended by the negotiating team. H.E Kiir also explained to President Obama that SAF is invading oil fields so that Khartoum can export the oil of South Sudan by force. The SPLA repulsed SAF and captured Hijlij on self-defense. SPLA Forces were ordered immediately to pull out from Hijlij and they are now away from Hijlij by 10 km. President Kiir assured President Obama that until yesterday SAF aerial bombarding in the territories of South Sudan has not ceased.

 


President Kiir speaking on phone with President Obama.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


“South Sudan is for peace and is not ready to go back to war, the people of South Sudan have suffered much and this is time for them to enjoy the fruit of peace with the resources they have”, he said.


Concerning the situation in South Kordufan and other areas in the north, he said it was created by the Khartoum Government and it can be resolved. “Should our support is needed we are ready provide it”, H.E Kiir explained.


President Kiir also told his US counterpart that he is ready to cooperate with the USA Ambassador on all these issues. President Kiir called on President Obama to put pressure on President El-Bashir saying that of President Bashir accepts not to take unilateral decision of taking South Sudan oil, then South Sudan is ready to resume oil production. H.E Kiir also called on President Obama to provide technical people to help building South Sudan institutions.


In conclusion H.E Kiir told President Obama that disarmament is going well in Jonglei state and that the process will cover all the ten states of South Sudan.

 

Reported by Thomas Kenneth


South Sudan's VP launches peace initiative in Jonglei state

JUBA, 3 April 2012 – A long awaited peace initiative aimed at reconciling all the rival communities in the volatile Jonglei state will be launched today Tuesday, April 3, 2012, in Bor town, the Office of the Vice President has announced.


Thousands of people, mainly women and children, have been killed for the last six years as a result of inter-communal conflicts in the state.


The President of the Republic, Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit last month formed a committee chaired by Bishop Daniel Deng Bul of the Episcopal Church, to initiate peace and reconciliation conferences between the communities in the state.


The peace initiative will be launched today, Tuesday, in the state’s capital, Bor during which the Vice President of the Republic, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, who is currently in Bor town, will address the occasion.


The launch of the peace initiative comes after the Vice President toured, for the last two weeks, all the eleven counties of Jonglei state including Poshalla, Pibor, Akobo, Uror, Nyirol, Duk, Bor, Twic East, Pigi, Ayod and Fangak counties. During the visits he urged all the respective communities to surrender their guns to the organized forces that carry out the disarmament and prepare for peace conferences that will reconcile them.


The launch of the peace initiative will open the door for the peace committee under the chairmanship of Bishop Daniel Deng Bul to begin organizing mini conferences by various respective communities before conducting a joint major peace and reconciliation conference to include representatives of all the communities.


The Tuesday’s launch will be witnessed by the national ministers, deputy ministers and chairpersons of commissions, members of parliament and elders who hail from Jonglei state, among others.


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


Latest Presidential Decrees


Hai Gabati-Jevel water-point road to get a facelift

JUBA, 2 April 2012 - The UNMISS Engineering Unit consisting of the Japan Ground Self Defence Force (JGSDF) today launched the rehabilitation exercise of Hai Gabat road that leads to Jevel, a major water collection point for most Juba residents.

 


Hon. Atem marking the ground breaking occasion at the launch.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


Speaking at the launch, Hon. Atem Yaak Atem lauded the government of Japan for its support to the nation-building efforts of the government of the Republic of South Sudan. Hon. Atem explained that the rehabilitation of the aging Juba Bridge that was built in 1972 is one of the key contributions of the government of Japan to the people of South Sudan. The government earlier on had announced that Japan was set to build another bridge on the River Nile to reduce traffic on the already old bridge.


He further stressed that Japan through Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. He said Japan in the MOU promised to strengthen the media in South Sudan.

 


Akira Chiba the Japan Special Representative and Head of Office giving his speech at the launch.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


Hon. Atem said the war has had great impact on the people of South Sudan. He said right from the declaration of independence of South Sudan, the government has been looking for friends to help it in building peace and stability. “Our people have high expectations and the government needs friends to deliver to the expectations of our people”, said Hon. Atem.


Meanwhile Akira Chiba the Japanese Special Representative and Head of Office in Juba said his government recognizes the importance of good infrastructure which he said is key to peace, stability and prosperity.

 


Japan Ground Self Defense Forces pose for a photo with government officers and JICA officials.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


He said the upgrading of Hai Gabati road is part and parcel of the many contributions of the government of Japan towards the nation-building efforts of the newly-born Republic of South Sudan. He further said as peacekeepers, Japanese have not only cooperated with the international community under the auspices of the United Nations but also engaged in activities that benefit the local people on the ground.


It is feared that the 1.5 kilometres Hai Gabat road condition will worsen with the rain season just at the corner. This rehabilitation work is expected to improve the road condition in the area and provide access to water supply for the people of Juba and the UNMISS.


Reported by Matata Safi


President Kiir meets leader of the late Athor’s rebel group

JUBA, 29 March 2012 - The President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit met at the State House on March 28th, 2012 evening, with a six-person delegation of the late George Athor’s rebel group which is known as South Sudan Democratic Movement (SSDM) led by Mr. Peter Kuol Cho Awan.

 


President Kiir (right) and Mr Awan (left) during the meeting.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


The delegation came to Juba to meet the President after impressing that peace is the way forward for the young nation of South Sudan to avoid the deaths of vulnerable and innocent people.


Shortly after the meeting, the chairman of the SSDM Mr. Peter Kuol Chol Awan told the press that the young nation of South Sudan faces many challenges which needs all to join hands and remain behind the President in the journey of development.

 


The meeting in session.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


Mr. Awan sent a strong message of peace to all rebel groups who have remained behind to put down their differences and join the peace process. Mr. awan appealed to all citizens of South Sudan to forgive them for they may have harmed anyone directly or indirectly during their struggle.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth


Juba Summit on course despite Sudanese attacks on South Sudan border

JUBA, 28 March 2012 – The minister for Information and Broadcasting who is also the Official Spokesperson of the government of South Sudan, Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin, said his government still expects President Bashir to visit South Sudanese capital Juba despite SAF’s overnight attacks on the borders of South Sudan.


Dr Marial said his government was receiving information that Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) has launched attacks on SPLA positions at Jau and Panikwach areas of Unity state since yesterday morning. “As we speak now I was informed by the state minister for Information of Unity State Hon. Gideon Gatpan Thoar that SAF is still carrying attacks”, he reported.


The minister said the attacks on the SPLA positions may be an intentional move by elements in the National Congress Party (NCP) who are opposed to disrupt President Bashir from attending the upcoming Juba Summit.


“Our position as a government is the summit is still on, we do not know what the position of Khartoum has taken. But one thing is clear, that Khartoum is divided over this summit. Some elements in Khartoum who are opposed to the peace initiative”, he explained.

 


Dr Marial.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


The newly independent Republic of South Sudan reached two major agreements on post independence issues recently on the on-going negotiations in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa under the mediation of the African Union High Implementation Panel (AUHIP) headed by the former president of South Africa Mr. Thabo Mbeki.


The two agreements covered the social status of nationals of both countries living in either country to which four major freedoms have been agreed upon. These include the freedom of residence, freedom of movement, freedom to undertake economic activities in both countries and the freedom to acquire and dispose of property. And they also reached onto agreement to demarcate the boundaries between the two countries.


These two agreements would on the occasion of the summit be signed by the two heads of state and also the summit was intended to avail opportunity for other remaining issues of oil, the remaining 20 percent disputed border demarcation as well as Abyei.


Dr. Marial reechoed the position of government of South Sudan saying South Sudan can never be dragged to war with north Sudan and will only react if its territorial integrity is compromised with.


“The government of the Republic of south Sudan strongly condemns the act of the SAF. We are currently engaged in organizing the summit which we view as the way forward to solving the problems facing the two states, we get bombed. We should all adhere to the agreement reached in Addis Ababa”, said Dr. Marial.

 


Col Aguer.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


Phillip Aguer the spokesperson of the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) said that SAF attacked on the morning of 26th March, SPLA positions in Panikwach and Jau Pariang County, Unity State with Anti-Nov and Mig Jet fighters. He added that the air bombardments were followed by an attack by a ground battalion.


He said the SPLA forces in the area repulsed the SAF force towards Heglig as is the commitment of SPLA to defend the territorial integrity of the Republic of South Sudan. He further said there seems to be a lack of credibility and concern in the option of peace in the military headquarters of Khartoum.


He said besides being under constant bombardments from SAF, the SPLA will keep to the principle of the government that says “NO TO WAR”. However he reiterated that they will not compromise with any threat to its territorial integrity.


Although he did not give figures of death cases, he said it is possible that lives might have been lost but said it was still earlier to come up with figures. He added that the civilians in the affected area have moved south wards for Safety.


Reported by Matata Safi and Martin Jada (NASS)


India’s special envoy visits Juba

JUBA 27 March 2012 - H.E Amarendra Khatua India’s special envoy to South Sudan arrived in Juba yesterday for a two-day visit.


On the first day of his visit he had meetings with Hon. Nhial Deng Nhial the minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Hon. Elizabeth James Bol, the deputy minister for Petroleum and Mining of the Republic of South Sudan.


The dignitaries exchanged views on matters of bilateral ties and international relations. H.E Khatua said the people and the government of India is fully behind the independence of South Sudan. He explained that South Sudan and India have a traditional and very friendly relation.


H.E Khatua said India is committed to strengthen and diversify bilateral ties with South Sudan. He said his country is seeking cooperation in the areas of human resource development, social and economic fields, technical assistance and development of agriculture.


He announced that India would be establishing a Vocational Training Centre, an agricultural seed production, a rural technology park, among others, soon in South Sudan. H.E Khatua is scheduled to have a meeting with government officials today.


SPLM National Liberation Council meeting kicks off in Juba

JUBA, 27 March 2012 - The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) National Liberation Council (SPLM/NLC) kicked off its second meeting in Juba on Monday March 26th, 2012 at the Nyakuron Cultural Center conference hall.

 


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


The meeting was officially opened by the President of the Republic and Chairperson of the SPLM H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit, in the presence of his two deputies Dr. Riek Machar and James Wani Igga, and in the presence of the United Nations representatives and diplomatic corps in South Sudan.


In his key remarks to the opening session, the SPLM Deputy Chairperson Dr. Riek Machar said the SPLM is proud for it has led the people of South Sudan to the promised land and achieved referendum. He emphasized that the challenge ahead is how to build a free, peaceful and democratic South Sudan.

 


Some of the participants at the meeting.
[Photo: Garang Thuc]


Mr. Pagan Amum, the SPLM Secretary General explained that the National Liberation Council meeting will look into the structure and organization of the SPLM. SPLM failed to hold the NLC meeting in the last three years due to a number of difficulties that the SPLM was going through, and SPLM was struggling for the implementation of the CPA and realization of the referendum.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth


A joint taskforce to smoke out Kony commissioned in Juba

JUBA, 26 March 2012 - It may not business as usual for Joseph Kony and his group as a joint taskforce comprising of Uganda, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Central Africa Republic (CAR) was launched on Saturday the 24th of March in Juba to militarily end LRA’s atrocities in the region.


Mr Kony who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) along side his two commanders Okot Odiambo and Dominic Hongue rebelled against the Ugandan government in 1987 and since then has been terrorising not only Uganda, but also the DRC, the Republic of South Sudan and the Central Africa Republic.


The Regional Cooperation Initiative (RCI) has brought together the four countries affected by the LRA insurgency to end its atrocities. It is an African Union initiative supported by the government of the United States of America and the European Union.

 


Dr Machar addressing the launch ceremony.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


Under the initiative, a contingent of 5,000 soldiers, led by senior commanders from Uganda, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Central African Republic (CAR) will embark on a mission to hunt down the elusive LRA leader whose exact location remains unknown.


“Kony was never interested in peace, not interested in ending the conflict; he is not a man at all. Joseph Kony is a monster, a clever monster that used borders to avoid capture; Kony you will face justice”, warned Christopher J. Datta, the Charge d’Affaires at the United States of America (USA) Embassy in South Sudan.


Mr Datta said with the world community coming together, Kony sooner or later will be brought to justice. “Kony you will face justice, this is going to happen soon for we are stronger than before”, said Mr Datta.


The AU Special Envoy in-charge of the RTF Ambassador Francisco Madeira said during the launch that with the deployment of the RTF, the Commander and his Deputy as well as the Chief and the Deputy at the joint operation center, Yambio, the AU is now ready to begin operation and put pressure on the LRA. Ambassador Madeira explained that the 5,000 troops that will operate in three main sub-headquarters; Bungu in DRC, Obo in CAR and Nzara in South Sudan with a general headquarters in Yambio, is a new regional force contributed by the four countries.

 


Abou Moussa, the special representative to the UN secretary general decorates an SPLA officer with the UN symbols.
[Photo: Matata Safi]
 


“The mission of the RTF is to eliminate LRA. These includes neutralizing, capturing, arresting or forcing Mr. Joseph Kony and his two indicted commanders Okot Odiambo and Dominic Ogwen to surrender,” Ambassador Madeira said.

 

Dr. Riek Machar South Sudan Vice President who officially launched the military operation of the RTF reiterated South Sudan’s efforts to cooperate with the AU’s RTF but decried the poor infrastructure that may hinder the RTF’s operation.


Kony's LRA has kidnapped an estimated 20,000 children for use as fighters or sex slaves. As part of their initiation, these children are often required to kill their own parents, so they'll have no homes to return to. It's not clear which of the Ten Commandments Kony's strategy is based on. Tens of thousands of people have either been killed or displaced in the four affected countries. Children abducted are always used to carry LRA supplies until they are too weak to walk, at which time they are killed or simply left to die.


Reported by Matata Safi


South Sudan discusses bilateral relations with the State of Israel

JUBA, March 25, 2012 – South Sudan and Israel on Friday discussed bilateral relations and cooperation in the wake of the publicly declared diplomatic relations after the independence of South Sudan.


South Sudan said it will establish its embassy in Jerusalem, the Holy city, instead of Tel Aviv, the political capital, following the recent visit of the President, Salva Kiir Mayardit, to the Jewish state.


On Friday the visiting Israeli Ambassador, Dan Shaham, met with the Vice President of the Republic, Riek Machar, and discussed issues pertaining to the bilateral cooperation between the two friendly states.


The issues included the support the Israeli government would provide to the new state as well as the status of some 1,500 South Sudanese currently residing in Israel as economic migrants.


On the South Sudanese refugees in Israel the diplomat assured of his government’s effort to train them in various skills in order to make them self-reliant once they return to South Sudan.


Machar also stressed the importance of establishing a special school for Hebrew language in the South Sudan’s capital to facilitate learning of those who had been to Israel as well as others who would want to learn the language for competitive purposes.


They also discussed the plans of pilgrimage to the Holy Land by South Sudanese Christian leaders.


The Vice President and the Israeli diplomat also discussed the ongoing disarmament of civil populations in Jonglei state. They also touched on the situation in the Middle East, particularly with the current violent events in Syria.

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


Japanese army contingent to start work on 2nd of April

JUBA, 25 March 2012 (NASS) – The 300 Japanese army engineering contingent that arrived in Juba last February will start work by the 2nd of April this year.


This was revealed on Friday by the special representative of the Japanese government to South Sudan, Mr. Akira Chiba during a meeting with the minister for Information and Broadcasting Hon Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin.

 


Dr Marial meeting the Japanese army coontingent.
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]


Shortly after the meeting, Dr Marial said the engineering contingent will start their program by constructing the road coming from UNMISS then follow it with water supply in the capital city of Juba.


Dr Marial stated that the engineering contingent of the Japanese army is part of Japanese support to the peace keeping force and infrastructural development in the country. He also underscored that the presence of the engineering contingent of the Japanese army will help a lot in the encouragement of investors to South Sudan.


On his part Mr Chiba urged the government of South Sudan to work and cooperate with them to build the young Republic.


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


Undersecretary urges tripartite participation on workers’ trade union laws

JUBA, 25 March 2012 - The undersecretary for Labour in Ministry of Labour Public Service and Human Resource Development Madam Helen Achiro has called for tripartite participation to come up with workers’ trade union laws that will meet international standards. This was disclosed to media in a meeting of women representative of workers’ trade union today in her office.

 

Madam Achiro urged the workers’ trade union not to work alone but to involve the Ministry of Labour Public Service and Human Resource Development as well as inviting experts from the International Labour Organisation to help formulating laws that will meet global standard.

 


Madam Achiro meeting women representatives.

 

She assured South Sudanese women that the labour bill will be in the Council of Ministers in the middle of April this year. “The Ministry of Labour is working hard including consultants from ILO to see into it that the bill is out since we are in the final stages”, she said.

 

The representatives of the women trade union congratulated the Undersecretary for the post stating that women are now participating in 75% not 25% affirmative action. They urged the Undersecretary to work hard to ensured that the laws and regulation of public service are implemented for better service delivery to the people of the new nation.

 

Reported by Justin Jada Joseph


Ministry of Information sign MOU with JICA

JUBA, 22 March 2012 - A memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been signed between the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in the ministry headquarters yesterday. The MOU is focused on improving, equipping and training personnel of the South Sudan Television (SSTV) and South Sudan Radio (SSR) so as to meet standards of a good broadcasting corporation.


Dr. Keiichi Hashimoto, Senior Advisor, signed for JICA while the undersecretary Mr George Garang signed on behalf of the ministry.


Speaking to the press soon after the signing ceremony, the minister for Information and Broadcasting Hon. Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin who is also the government spokesperson commended the government of Japan through JICA for the continuous support to help the people of South Sudan.


“This support is an important milestone, the government of Japan continues to assist the people of South Sudan despite their own difficulties like the tsunami and their own priorities”, stated Dr Marial.

 


Dr. Hashimoto of JICA and Mr. Garang exchange the signed documents while Dr. Marial looks on.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


He stressed that information is very important in building a democratic society. He said Ministry of Information is the third arm of the government because he said without clear and good systems of communication between the government and its people, it would be very difficult for the civil population to know what their government is doing and what its challenges are in addressing their needs.


Dr. Marial appreciated the support of JICA in supporting and consolidating peace in South Sudan. He said Japan through JICA has been undertaking serious projects in South Sudan since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). He said one of the major and historic projects that JICA will undertake is the construction of a new bridge on the Nile to connect the Eastern and Western side of the Nile. The current bridge was built in 1973 soon after the Addis Ababa agreement was signed between Khartoum and South Sudan’s Anyanya rebel group led by Joseph Lagu.


Mr. Hanatani the Resident Representative of JICA to South Sudan said Japan having understood the important role that the media plays in society decided to support the sector in South Sudan to aid development.


He said in a post-conflict situation like of South Sudan when government institutions and general infrastructure is still weak, it is important for the media to be developed so as to act as an oversight to the government.

 


Senior officers who attended the ceremony pose for a group photo.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


He also said media is important in that it provides information to the citizens who do have a right to vital information. He further said it is the role of journalists that connects the country within itself and with its neighbours. Mr. Hanatani said its inline with this that they took the initiative to support and develop the media sector in South Sudan.

 

Meanwhile the Director General of Information Mr. Mustafa Biong Majak lauded the support of the Japanese government towards the newly independent country of South Sudan. He noted that last year a number of South Sudanese journalists from both the government and local media houses under this cooperation were taken to Japan by JICA for a study tour which he said benefited them a lot. He this four years support which covers training , equipping and improving the quality of services would prepare the SSTV and SSR to become a better public broadcaster with professional staff and programmes once the media laws are passed.


Present on the signing was the deputy minister for Information and Broadcasting Hon. Atem Yaak Atem, the Director of SSTV Moyiga Korokoto Nduru and many senior officers of the ministry of Information.


Reported by Matata Safi


Bashir’s presence crucial for peace summit

JUBA, 22 March 2012 (NASS) - The minister for Information and Broadcasting who is also the official spokesperson of the government of South Sudan, Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin has reiterated the government’s commitment to host President Omar al-Bashir in the upcoming summit in spite of critics from the civil society groups.


The minister said this yesterday while briefing the British ambassador on the upcoming summit and the disarmament happening in both Jonglei and Warrap states.
President Bashir who is expected to visit Juba in the first week April for the summit was seriously condemned by the civil society group because of the alleged crime caused against civilians in Darfur.


Dr Marial said the government understands the position of the civil society organizations but without President Bashir in the upcoming summit peace process will not be achieved.


However, the British ambassador to South Sudan Dr Alastair Mcphail advised the government of South Sudan to keep the momentum they had in the Addis Ababa meetings saying that the coming summit needs positive environment.


He also advised the government that the disarmament process be done concurrently to avoid insecurity claiming that some areas like Unity state was not disarmed while the exercise was done in Warrap state.


In a separate development, the ambassador of Egypt to South Sudan Mr. Moayad El Delie revealed that the Egyptian project of building school in Jonglei is completed. He said that what is remaining in phase two is the building of hostels. He also disclosed that, the courses extended to South Sudanese in Egypt had resumed.


Dr Marial appreciated the effort made by the government of Egypt and extended condolences to the people of Egypt on the death of Pope Schnuda.


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


H.E Kiir meets Tony Blair

BRUSSELS, 21 March 2012 - President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit met this morning in a presidential suite at Conrad Hotel in Brussels with Mr. Tony Blair the former Prime minister of UK.

 


H.E Kiir, Mins. Nhial and LoWilla in a meeting with Tony Blair.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]

They discussed the general situation in the country in terms of basic needs which he described as a huge challenge the young nation is facing. Mr. Blair told the press after the meeting that the visit of the President to Brussels has a very important political meaning, for Brussels is the center of everything happening in Europe. He pointed out that H.E Kiir has the opportunity to meet EU important institutions, and the visit will plug the Republic of South Sudan into the European system.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth Elisapana from Brussels.


EU earmarks 285 million Euros for development projects in RSS

BRUSSELS, 21 March 2012 - The President of the Republic H.E. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit and the accompanying delegation on Tuesday 20th March, 2012, held a series of productive meetings at the EU Headquarters in Brussels with EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid Ms. Kristina Geogieva, EU Commissioner for Development Mr. Andris Piebalgs and High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Ms. Catherine Ashton.

 


H.E Kiir shakes hands with President of EU Council Mr. Harmann Van Rompuy.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


In his meetings with the commissioners President of the Republic discussed conditions of refugees in South Sudan and he exchanged views on the developmental challenges in South Sudan.


President of the Republic after that held separate meeting with President of the European Council Mr. Hermann Van Rompuy and with President of the European Commission Mr. Jose’ Manuel Barroso. The meeting discussed means of strengthening the South Sudan EU cordial relationships which began long time ago before the independence of RSS, and how best the EU and RSS can work together to ensure the viability of RSS as an independent state, and RSS also expresses desire of seeing that Republic of Sudan achieve the same viability. The meeting also focused on the role that the EU can play in resolving the tensions between Sudan and South Sudan, for the EU is in a unique position of influence due to its political relationship with both South Sudan and Sudan.

 


H.E Kiir and the delegation in a meeting with President of European Commission Mr Barroso.
[Photo:Thomas Kenneth]


In a joint press briefing between the two principals after the meeting, President of the Republic said the progress made in Addis Ababa to resolve the issues of citizenship and border demarcation is a critical first step in moving beyond the impasse that RSS has been experiencing since December. In light of this, he added, “I’ve invited President Bashir to Juba so that we can further discuss these issues and continue to negotiate with the aim of reaching a comprehensive agreement soon”.


President Kiir announced that EU reiterated commitments for humanitarian assistance in RSS to ensure internal stability. President Kiir also announced that EU earmarked 285 million Euros for development projects in South Sudan, which will be prioritized to areas of food security, education and healthcare. President Kiir declared to the press that RSS has submitted the letter of intent to join membership of COTONOU organization, which will be beneficial to the new state and its coming generations.

 


H.E Kiir shakes hands with EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid Ms. Kristina Georgieva.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


On his part, President of the European Council, Mr Hermann Van Rompuy said, EU with all members of the international community remains committed to support RSS to establish itself, reduce poverty, and improve healthcare. He emphasized that the EU will assist the efforts of the young nation to consolidating democracy, respect of human rights and the rule of law. Besides the good progress made in Addis Ababa on citizenship and border demarcation President of the EU Council encouraged both sides to settle all the remaining issues including oil and Abyei area.


Mr. Van Rompuy expressed concerns over the ongoing violence at the border areas and worsening of humanitarian situation. He called on the two sides to immediately cease hostilities and find solutions for the crisis through peaceful dialogue. Concerning the crisis of South Kordufan and Blue Nile, President of EU Council appealed to Khartoum to urgently allow access of the international humanitarian aid to those two areas, to avoid any humanitarian crisis. He also expressed concerns on the situations in Jonglei state and urged H.E Kiir to address the root cause of the clashes and restore security in the area.

 

 
H.E Kiir shakes hands with Vice President of EU Commission and High representative for foreign and security policy.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


President of the European Commission Mr. Jose’ Manuel Barroso welcomed the decision of the RSS to join COTONOU agreement which he affirmed that will allow further mobilization for development assistance from EU for the periods of 2014 – 2020 and free marketing access with EU.

 


The two principals in a joint press briefing.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


Reported by Thomas Kenneth from Brussels


President of the Republic in Brussels for a two-day official visit

BRUSSELS, 20 March 2012 - The President of the Republic H.E. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit and the accompanying delegation of three ministers, namely minister for Foreign Affairs Hon Nhial Deng Nhial, minister for Finance Hon Kosti Manibe and Hon. Emmanuel LoWilla, the minister in the Iffice of the President arrived yesterday evening in Brussels for a two-day visit.


The visit came as a result of an invitation extended to H.E. Kiir by the European Union administration in Brussels as disclosed by the minister in the Office of the President at Juba international Airport. EU is a long-standing friend for South Sudan and EU is committed to have a strategic developmental partnership with the new born state.

 


H.E Kiir arrives in Brussels.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


President of the Republic in his two-day visit to Brussels is expected to discuss development issues with top leaders of the EU and he will brief them on the general political, security and economic situations in the country.


H.E Kiir will hold separate meetings with President of the European Union Commission, President of the European Council, High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and EU Commissioner for Development. President of the Republic is also expected to meet Mr. Tony Blair, former Prime minister of the UK and Founder of the Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative. Besides that he is expected to meet with President of the EU Parliament.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth from Brussels – Belgium


Netherlands to set up internet service provider in South Sudan

JUBA, 20 March 2012 (NASS) – The Netherland telecommunication company INISI b.v. has promised to build establish an nternet service provider in south Sudan.


This was announced today by the director of the company, Mr. Erik-Jan Klijn after a consultative meeting with the minister for Information and Broadcasting Hon Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin.

 


Dr Marial (right) listens as the team stresses a point.
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]


The minister welcomed the idea saying the government of South Sudan is even planning to change its system from the oldest style of keeping files in the cupboards to an electronic one. He also reiterated that genuine investors are what the government targets claiming that South Sudan is starting from the scratch and the territory is virgin.


On the other hand, the director of the company said they will kick off the project once the green light is provided.


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


Lou-Nuer communities ready to handover their guns to authorities

JUBA, 19 March 2012 – Chiefs from the Lou-Nuer communities have expressed their readiness to handover their guns peacefully to the authorities in response to the comprehensive disarmament exercise all over Jonglei state.


Last week South Sudan’s President, Salva Kiir Mayardit, launched the disarmament process in Jonglei state’s capital, Bor, and authorized the deployment of 15,000 troops and police to carry out the exercise.


The exercise started in Bor town with the governor Kuol Manyang Juuk as the first person to hand over his two rifles to the disarming forces commanders, Lt. Gen. Kuol Deim Kuol and Major General Peter Gatdet Yak. More than 4,000 illegally owned rifles are already collected from the civil population inside the state’s capital, and the disarmament is continuing in the other payams of Bor community.


On Sunday the country’s Vice President, Hon Dr Riek Machar Teny, visited Akobo County and Uror County, urging the two major Lou-Nuer communities of Mor and Gon sections, respectively, to handover their guns peacefully and expeditiously.


Dr Machar was accompanied to Lou-Nuer counties by the state governor Kuol Manyang Juuk, national ministers in the security sector and state ministers and MPs from Jonglei state as well as the defense minister, John Kong Nyuon and the SPLA Chief of General Staff, James Hoth Mai.


Chiefs from the both sections of the Lou-Nuer community commended the deployment of the forces to collect the guns from the civil populations. The chief of Uror county was the first to hand over his PKM machine gun and all its ammunitions to the Vice President, saying the rest of his people were also ready to hand them over when the process begins soon.


The chiefs however criticized the government for not protecting them after their guns were collected twice, leaving them vulnerable to the Murle armed community. They also asked for assurance from the government to make sure that the Murle community is fully disarmed, informing that the Murle are not in their villages but living in the jungle with their arms.


Dr Machar passed condolences to the people of Akobo for the last week’s attack by the Murle which killed 303 people mainly women and children, according to the report presented to him on Sunday by the Akobo County’s commissioner, Goi Jooyol.


Dr Machar assured that the army and police deployed all over Jonglei state will carry out the disarmament and will stay in Jonglei as long as it takes to make sure that all the communities are disarmed.


He urged all the communities of Jonglei state to learn to live together in peace and harmony as the same people of South Sudan. “South Sudan is a nation of different tribes and should learn to interact peacefully and love one another,” he told them.


He told the chiefs to make sure that all the weapons each person or household illegally owns are handed over, warning them not to only handover one and keep the other hidden.


He also warned the civil populations against resorting to violence with the organized forces, but should cooperate in the disarmament process which he said will afterwards bring in development to the state.


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


VP underscores the importance of safe storage of fire arms and ammunition

JUBA, 19 March 2012 - The Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan Hon. Dr. Riek Machar Teny has stressed the importance of safe storage of firearms and ammunition in the country if people are to minimise the dangers associated with poor storage of arms and ammunitions.

 


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


In his opening remarks at a one-day high level conference on the management of arms and ammunitions at Home and Away Business Centre organized by the Bureau of Small Arms Control, Dr. Machar said that the conference has come at the right time as the government is engaged in disarmament of the civilian population. He added that once the population is disarmed, there will be need to safely store the arms and ammunitions using the best internationally recognized standards.


He further said that safe storage of arms and ammunitions would prevent damage from un-intended explosion due to unsafe storage facilities. He cited the 2005/6 incidents were explosions occurred in the then general headquarters of the Sudan Armed Force in Juba which he said was a serious security scare. “If we establish safe storage facilities, we can avoid explosions like what happened in 2005 and 2006 in then SAF general headquarters in Juba. These incidents can be so dangerous to the population”, he said.

 


Some of the participants at the high level conference.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


He lauded the bureau for having conducted a fact-finding assessment and said the facts of the assessment would help to improve the storage of firearms and ammunitions in the country. Dr. Machar called on the bureau to involve the private security companies as they also carry arms. He mentioned KK Security and the VSS, among others.

 

The workshop was attended by regional and international participants. The conference that was attended by regional and international participants is funded by the German Foreign Office and presentations are to be delivered by two German staff officer and Small Arms Survey.


Reported by Matata Safi


Ministry of Agriculture holds value chain training of trainers

JUBA, 19 March 2012 - Ever wondered what your best resource is? Well if you are still guessing, it’s you yourself. This was the strong message at the closure of a five-day workshop on value chain organised by GIZ, a German organization in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry at the Juba Grand Hotel in Juba over the weekend.


Speaking at the closurer of the workshop, Mr. Afeworki Yohannes, a consultant in value chain development told the participants that the aim of the workshop was to equip them with knowledge and skills so as to make the most needed change in society. “Human resource development is the best resource”, he said.


Mr. Yohannes explained that value chain approach to agriculture links and connects input providers, farmers, processors, traders and final consumers of agricultural products so as to increase and improve production that subsequently would result in increased income for the farmers.


He stressed that talking of value chain means tackling the need to transform farmers from purely subsistence farming to a more commercialised type of farming so that farmers can take farming as a business.

 


Mr. Yohannes (L) and Wangi of Giz looks on while a participant admires his certificate.


He said one of the questions that the workshop answered is capacity building. Mr. Yohannes explained that value chain is a new approach in South Sudan and that GIZ which is the key supporter of the project is nearing its projected time frame. He therefore said to have sustainability on the project, there is need to transfer knowledge to the local people or experts so that they can spread the skills to others by conducting more trainings. “This Training of Trainers was organised with the mindset that when the project comes to an end, the concept of value chain must continue”, said Mr. Yohannes.


He said due to the importance of value chain in agriculture, the University of Juba has taken the initiative to include value chain development in the curriculum such that the future graduates of agriculture may be aware of value chain program and take it forward.


“This country has massive opportunities given the fertile arable land, good rainfall, the Nile River, hardworking people. All that is needed is to maximise the effects and develop agriculture”, said Mr. Yohannes. He further observed that agriculture, if well tapped, can sustain the economy of the new country and oil could only be a boost.


Meanwhile the representative of GIZ Sanyangi Wangi lauded the participants for their tireless efforts adding that GIZ has given them the “starter”. “The skills and knowledge that you have acquired here must be a starting point for you, put them into practice and will yield results”, said Wangi.


The workshop was attended by farmers, cooperatives experts who are consultants with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry at both state and national levels, representatives from the Chamber of Commerce and Juba University representatives. The participants were awarded certificate of attendance.


Reported by Matata Safi


President launches disarmament operation in Jonglei state

BOR, 14 March 2012 - The President of the Republic and Commander in Chief of the SPLA Forces H.E. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit has officially launched disarmament operations in Joglei state in a special ceremony organized by the SPLA General Headquarters on Monday 12th March 2012, in Bor football stadium.

 

The operation is known to be a very difficult task and about fifteen thousand SPLA forces are prepared to carry out the task under the command of Lieutenant General Kuol Diem Kuol, the SPLA Deputy Chief of Staff for Ooperations. And the operation will take a quite long time until it is confirmed that the civilian populations of the state are all disarmed.

 


President Kiir addressing the gathering.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


In his key remarks when launching the operation, President of the Republic called on the citizens of Jonglei state not to resist the operation, cooperate and facilitate the mission of the disarmament forces. He directed all the state assembly members, executives to go down to their respective constituencies and enlighten their people in the grassroots on the importance of the operation.

 

President of the Republic urged all the top political, military and community leaders to hand over their guns to the disarmament authorities. H.E Kiir directed the disarmament operation forces not to use force in the operation, respect human rights and avoid tribalism spirit in the operation.

 

Meanwhile, the governor of Jonglei state Lt. Gen. Kuol Manyang during the launching ceremony gave his own guns to the commander of the operation Lt. Gen. Kuol Diem Kuol, and by this he became the first South Sudanese top leader to hand over his fire arms voluntarily. He strongly urged the leaders in the state to do the same, saying that his security is in the hands of police forces.

 

On his part the minister for Defense and Veterans’ Affairs Gen. John Kong assured that the operation of the disarmament will be conducted peacefully, and will not be bloody as it was stated by some people.

 


SPLA troops at the disarmament launch in Jonglei.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


The SPLA Chief of General Staff Gen. James Hoth Mai announced to the public when addressing the ceremony that fifteen thousand SPLA and other organized forces will participate in the operation, and the forces are going to be distributed in one same time into three hubs in Jonglei state. Gen. Hoth said the operation will be carried out successfully through a collective effort between the executives and legislatures with the help of the UN. Gen. Hoth declared that everyone who violates human rights during the operations will face military justice.

 

Inspector General of Police, General Acuil Tito urged the disarmament operation forces to carry out the operation responsibly. He called on the youth and civil society organizations in the state to cooperate with the forces for the success of the operation.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth


RSS receives grant from the World Bank to boost private sector development

JUBA, 14 March 2012 - The Republic of South Sudan today signed a grant agreement of US$ 9 million with the World Bank to help create jobs and increase access to finance for entrepreneurs.


Hon. Kosti Manibe Ngai, the national minister for Finance and Economic Planning signed the agreement on behalf of the government of the Republic of South Sudan whereas Luara Kullenberg, the Bank’s Country Manager signed for the World Bank.


“This intervention supports the much needed economic diversification of the economy by promoting private sector development in the non-oil sector”, said Hon. Ngai.


Please, click here for more details on this.


Reported by Matata Safi


Students finding difficulties in Juba can now go to Khartoum

JUBA, 14 March 2012 (NASS) – The minister for Higher Education, Science and Technology, Prof Peter Adwok Nyaba has today announced that the South Sudanese students facing difficulties to study in Juba can from go to Khartoum.


Prof Adwok announced this today while briefing journalists on what happened in his recent visit to Khartoum. Addressing the journalists at the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting conference hall, Prof Adwok said they signed a memorandum of understanding with Khartoum to adequately cater for those who want to study in the Republic of Sudan.


The minister explained that the MoU signed will allow the South Sudanese Arabic oriented students to study in Khartoum without any problem. He as well said the MoU allows the young nation’s students who were transferred to the new formed Bahri University after the relocation of both Juba and Upper Nile universities to graduate with the certificates of those who admitted them.

 


Prof Adwok (right) addressing the media. He is accompanied by Hon Atem Yaak Atem (left), the deputy minister for Information and Broadcasting.
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]


He added that the South Sudanese students who are supposed to finish in Khartoum will continue with the tuition fees they were paying previously. “Arrangements are underway to send a team from the government of South Sudan to provide passports to the students studying in Khartoum so that they are regularized”, said Prof Adwok.


He also disclosed that Khartoum has offered scholarships to South Sudanese who are interested to study in the north. However the minister strongly warned South Sudanese Arabic oriented students to take English very serious since the country’s official language is English underlining that they will have a problem with work in the future. The minister said 7000 South Sudanese students are still in Khartoum because of education.


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


South Sudan has huge agricultural potential

JUBA, 14 March 2012 - The Republic of South Sudan has a huge potential in agriculture that the government is embarking on especially after the temporary shutdown of oil production Hon Atem Yaak Atem the deputy minister of the national Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has said.


Briefing a delegation from the Federal Republic of Germany led by the country’s ambassador to South Sudan Peter Felten, Hon. Atem said South Sudan like many African countries whose economies rest mainly on agriculture, has good arable soil, receives enough rainfall and above all river waters that the government is directing its energy on. Hon. Atem added that South Sudan has the potential to become the food basket of the region.

 


Hon Atem.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


Hon. Atem said what needs a shift is the culture of only growing crops in small scale to only feed families. The deputy information minister told the German delegation that the government is working to resume production in the old schemes like Aweil rice scheme, and the sorghum production in Upper Nile among others.


The deputy minister further said another potential area of agriculture is fisheries. He noted that the industry is still struggling because production is still being carried out with traditional methods. He said the Nile River that runs across the country has a lot of fish. He mentioned Terekeka in Central Equatoria and Bor in Jonglei being the main local market suppliers of fish. He urged investors to invest in the fishing industry.


“The government is encouraging foreign investors to partner with it to unlock some of these potentials the country has”, said Hon. Atem. He announced that in line with this Juba will on the 20th of March 2012 host an international investment conference.


However, Hon. Atem stressed the numerous fronts of service delivery that the new country is facing. He said what the country needs at the moment is assistance to come out of the effects of the long war. “We can stand on our own once we have solid foundation of systems that can ease the delivery of services and development”, said Hon. Atem.

 


The German delegation.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


Hon. Atem listed the urgent areas of attention as health which he said is faced by limited doctors, limited health facilities that, he said, are at times ill-equipped.


He said another area of concern to the government is the education sector. He explained that due to the long civil war, many South Sudanese took refuge in northern Sudan and a great number went to East Africa with two different languages being used as the medium of instruction. The languages were English in East Africa, while Arabic in Khartoum. He said that has been affecting most of the returnees coming from North Sudan since South Sudan has adopted English to be the official national language.


To address this he said there is need to have a unified system of education. In addition to this he said the minister for Higher Education in the government of the Republic of South Sudan made a successful trip to Khartoum a week ago where the government in Khartoum has accepted to receive South Sudanese students who would want to complete their studies in the various universities in Khartoum. He said the two governments agreed that the students from the South will pay normal tuition fee like any other student from north.


Reported by Matata Safi


South Sudan Public Grievances to be restructured

JUBA, 13 March 2012 - Justice Deng Biong Mijak, the chairperson of the South Sudan Public Grievances Chamber has stressed the need to restructure the chamber if it is to rise to the occasion in delivering its mandate.


Justice Mijak who was speaking at a one-day strategic planning workshop at Home and Away Business Centre organised by the chamber observed that the current organizational structure provides only for the commissioners and the administrative structures leaving out key directorates such as the directorate of investigations and the directorate of civic education and public awareness which he said are pivotal to the functions of the chamber.

 


Justice Deng Biong Mijak.
[Photo: Matata Safi]
 


“The previous structure of the chamber does not answer or make it possible for it to fully discharge its functions. That is why we want to revisit the chamber to create the relevant and most important directorates”, he said.


He explained that one of the key functions of the chamber is to receive complaints from the public and without investigating the cases reported to it the chamber would not be doing its work.


Justice Mijak noted that besides the objective of restructuring, the workshop seeks to introduce and elaborate to the public about not only the existence but also the mandate of the chamber which he said many are still unfamiliar with. He observed that there is limited knowledge from the public about the existence of some government institutions. He added that the public needs to be informed of the existence such a body such that they know where to go when the need arises.


He also said the workshop tends to input and gather consensus on the chambers’ proposed strategic planning of 2012 to 2015. Justice Mijak furthermore said another major setback that is cutting across the board in many government institutions is financing plans especially after the historic decision reached to shut down oil production. He said this will definitely affect the achievement some of the targets set for his chamber. “We will not only suffer from getting more funds but loosing what we were having”, he said.

 


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


Meanwhile, the Deputy Chief Justice Ruben Madol Arol applauded the chamber taking such a bold move. He noted after the attainment of independence of South Sudan, most government institutions find themselves in need to restructure to suit to the demands of a sovereign country.


He recorded that as the chamber gears towards restructuring its national organizational structures, it is important to extend the same drive up to the state levels where the majority of the population is.


The workshop was widely attended by participants drawn from within government, the UN and above all Hon. Justice Mrs. Tujulane Chizumila from Malawi’s Office of Ombudsman. The South Sudan Public Grievance Chamber is an independent constitutional body that is mandated to address public grievance in the country.

 

Please, click here for the full speech of Justice Mijak.


Reported by Matata Safi


South Sudan urged to tackle child labour

JUBA, 13 March 2012 - The national, regional and lower levels of government should address child labour through education, social protection and strategies to eliminate child labour in the republic of South Sudan, Ms. Helen Achiro, Undersecretary of Labour in the Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development has urged.

The Undersecretary made this appeal during the National Steering Committee on Child Labour meeting held in the ministry. She urged the line ministries of Education, Gender, Social Welfare and Labour and Public Service to work hard to identify and tackle hazardous child labour as an essential means to make progress in the new nation.

 

She further added that building a strong tripartite action on child labour issues using international labour standards and experience of workers in the area of safety and health is essential as well as taking a collective responsibility to eliminate child labour in levels of the government.

 

According to the ILO’s representative Sophie De Coninck, the most recent global report estimates that about 115 million children are involved in hazardous work. The question engulfing the minds of many people is how to determine whether child labour is hazardous or not?

 

Ms De Coninck further added that it is impossible to distinguish the extent of hazardous labour without taking into consideration the context in which these children live and work. There may be instances where children wish to work, in order to provide for their families.

 


Ms Achiro addressing the meeting.

 

The main international standards on child labour are governed in the ILO Convention No.138, concerning minimum age work, and ILO Convention No.182, concerning the worst forms of labour. These international standards determine which work is hazardous for children. The standards require each member state to identify and tackle hazardous child labour.

 

She explained the term “Child Labour” as work that deprives children from their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is harmful to physical and mental development.

 

She asserted that the worse forms of child labour included all forms of slavery, offering of child for prostitution, illicit activities and work that harm the health, safety and morals of the children.

 

However, she concluded that it is up to the competent authorities, in consultation with workers’ and employers’ organisations, to determine what ‘hazardous’ implies in their national context. Many countries have now established lists of hazardous work for children, but many need to update their lists and others have yet to establish lists.


At the end of the meeting the National Steering Committee were tasked to work on a plan of action to address issues of child labour in the country.

 

Reported by Justin Jada Joseph and Alnour Ango


National Ministry of Health signs MOU with its Kenyan counterpart

JUBA, 12 March 2012 - A memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been reached between South Sudan’s national Ministry of Health and Kenya’s Ministry of Medical Services in Juba.


Speaking at the signing occasion at the South Sudan Palace Hotel this afternoon, the minister for Health Dr. Michael Milly Hussein said the memorandum of understanding his ministry has signed with its Kenyan counterpart is meant to promote technical cooperation in the areas of training and capacity building among many others.


He reiterated the readiness of his government in ensuring that the signed documents are translated into real action in the nearest time possible. Dr. Hussein appreciated the efforts of the Kenyan government in supporting the world’s newest nation.

 


Prof Nyong'o (left) and Dr Hussein (right) signing the MOU.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


Meanwhile Hon. Professor Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o, Kenya’s minister for Medical Services stressed the importance of the MOU saying it has given a sound framework for the two sisterly countries to work together. He observed that the cooperation between the two countries started soon after the signing of Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).


“I want assure you that we shall rise up to the occasion with the MOU by ensuring that it is followed by concrete action”, he said.


The areas outlined in the MOU include, training, supply chain in pharmaceutical and non pharmaceutical areas, investment in the infrastructure sector, health diagnostics and health care delivery systems and human development among others.


Reported by Matata Safi


Kenyan spokesperson asserts that LAPSSET project is on course

NAIROBI 11 March 2012 (NASS) – Kenya’s government spokesperson, Dr Alfred Mutua last week assured the people of the Republic of South Sudan that the Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia project (LAPSSET) is on course and that nothing will stop it.


Dr Mutua made this statement at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre when briefing the Kenyan press on the situation of the country after the doctors had gone for a strike.


The LAPSSET project which was officially launched about two weeks ago was reported to have generated some conflict between the Kenyan government and the locals of the area. Dr Mutua acknowledged that there is some conflict in the area but explained that such issues are unavoidable whenever a government is carrying out such major projects. He also explained that the government is addressing the issues and expressed confidence that the project will proceed as planned.

 


Dr Mutua (left) and Dr Marial (right) at the KICC.
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]


South Sudan last month closed its oil production claiming that exporting the oil through Port Sudan was no longer safe. It also accused Khartoum government of detaining and stealing South Sudan oil. Khartoum explained that it had taken oil from South Sudan as compensation since South Sudan had not paid transit fees for a long time. This standoff led the government of South Sudan to seek alternative routes to export its oil hence the LAPSSET.


Meanwhile the government of South Sudan spokesperson, Hon Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin has condemned the bombing of oil wells in Unity State. He, however, asserted that South Sudan will not be dragged into a senseless war. Nonetheless, he said that the country will defend its territory if there is any aggression.


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


Presidential decrees for the appointment of ambassadors

JUBA, 9 March 2012 - President Salva Kiir Mayardit has issued the following decrees:


1-    Presidential Decree No. 18/2012 for the appointment of grade (1) Ambassadors into the diplomatic and Consular service in the ministry of foreign Affairs and international Cooperation of the Republic of South Sudan, 2012 AD.

 

The Ambassadors are:

S/N

Name

1-

Mr. Majok Guandon Thiep

2-

Dr. Chol Deng Alak

3-

Mr. Mohamed Hassan Bakeit

4-

Mr. Makelele Nyajok

5-

Dr. Eluzai Mogga Yokwe

6-

Dr. Akec Khoc Acieu

7-

Mr. Sebit Abbe Alley

 

Directives are given to the minister of foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to transfer and assign the ambassadors so appointed in accordance with this decree forthworth.

 

2-    Presidential Decree No. 19/2012 for the appointment of Grade (1) Ambassadors in to the Diplomatic and consular service in the ministry of foreign Affairs and international Cooperation of the Republic of South Sudan. The Ambassadors are: -

 

S/N

Name

1-

Mr. Paul Macuel Malok

2-

Dr. Andrew Akon Akec Kuol

3-

Mr. Kuol Alor Kuol

 

The minister of foreign Affairs and international Cooperation is hereby directed to transfer and assign the Ambassadors so appointed in accordance with this decree forthworth.

 

3-    Presidential Decree No. 20/2012 for the appointment of Grade (2) Ambassadors into the Diplomatic and consular service in the ministry of foreign Affairs and international Cooperation of the Republic of South Sudan, 2012 AD.

 

The Ambassadors are:

S/N

Name

1-

Mr. Anthony Louis Kon

2-

Mr. Ajing Adiang Mariik

3-

Mr. Alier Deng Rual

4-

Mr. Akuei Bona Malwal

5-

Mr. Majak Philemon Majok

6-

Mr. Baak Valentino Wol

7-

Mr. John Andruga Duku

8-

Mr. Mariano Deng Ngor

9-

Dr. Francis George Nazario

10-

Mr. Joseph Moum Majak

11-

Mr. Parmena Makuet Mangar

12-

Mr. Philip Jada Natana

13-

Mr. Arop Deng Kuol

14-

Mr. Michael Majok Ayom

15-

Gabriel Gai Riak

16-

Mr. Bol Wek Agoth

17-

Dr. John Gai Yoh

18-

Dr. Daniel Peter Othol

19-

Mr. Ezekiel Lol Gathouth

20-

Mr. Samuel Luate Lominsuk

21-

Mr. Awad El Karim Ibrahim Ali

22-

Mr. Adam Saeed AbuBakr Kabawa

23-

Mr. Mustafa Lowoh Walla

24-

Mr. Aban Yor Yor

25-

Ms. Sittona Abdalla Osman

26-

Mr. Pidor Tut Pul

27-

Mr. James Ernest Onge

28-

Mr. Jwokthab Amum Ajak

29-

Mr. Paul Malong Akaro

30-

Mr. Deng Deng Nhial

31-

Mr. Lazaros Akoi Arou

32-

Mr. Ruben Marial Benjamin

33-

Abdon Terkoc Matuet

34-

Mr. James Pitia Morgan

35-

Mr. Dhanojak Obongo Othow

36-

Mr. Jokwen Yukwan Ayiik

37-

Mr. Michael Nyang Jok

38-

Mr. Michael Mayiel Chuol

39-

Ms. Abuk Nikonora Manyok

40-

Ms. Nyandeng Joshua Dei Wal

41-

Mr. Chol Mawut Unguec Ajonga

42-

Mr. Darius Garang Wol Mabior

43-

Mr. Joseph Ayok Ayok

 

The minister of foreign Affairs and international Cooperation is hereby directed to transfer and assign the Ambassadors so appointed in accordance with this decree forthworth.

 

4-    Presidential Decree No. 21/2012 for the appointment of Grade (3) Ambassadors into the Diplomatic and Consular Services in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and international Cooperation of the Republic of South Sudan 2012 A.D.

S/N

Name

1-

Mr. Thiik Agoth Giir

2-

Mr. Nickson Deng Peter

3-

Mr. Morris Batali Simon

4-

Ms. Mary Badoda Francis

5-

Mr. Hamilton Michael Lugor

6-

Mr. Akwoch Daniel Diing

7-

Ms. Jago Arop Yor

8-

Mr. James Kur Muorwel

9-

Ms. Sarah Victor Bol

10-

Mr. William Wani Ruben

11-

Mr. Wol Mayar Ariec

12-

Mr. David Buom Choat

13-

Ms Agnes A.O Oswaha

14-

Mr. Caesar Oliha Yanga

15-

Mr. Garang Garang Diing

16-

Mr. Kau Nak Maper

17-

Mr. Ambrose Raphael Tamania

18-

Mr. Kahmis Agar Wol

19-

Mr. Hassan Yousif Ngor

20-

Mr. John Simon Yor Kur

21-

Mr. Juma Dino Amoi

22-

Mr. Dominique Panthair Mading

23-

Dr. Riek Pouk Riek

24-

Mr. Martin Kahmis Tabia

25-

Mr. Raphael Nhial Kulang

26-

Mr. Kureng Akuei Pac

27-

Mr. John Samuel Bwogo

28-

Mr. Mayen Majak Malou

29-

Mr. Abel Moses Majok

30-

Mr. Gum Dominic Matiok

31-

Mr. Akec Chol Ahou

32-

Mr. Santino Fardol Watod

33-

Mr. Christopher Leonardo Jada

34-

Mr. Sebit Bullen Kaminde

35-

Ms. Natalina Edward Mou

36-

Dr. Mawein Makol Ariik

37-

Ms. Santino Sita Ndefu

The minister of foreign Affairs and international Cooperation is hereby directed to transfer and assign the Ambassadors so appointed in accordance with this decree forthwith.

 

 Reported by Thomas Kenneth


Dr Machar urges American business people to invest in the new country

JUBA, 9 March 2012 - In an effort to promote South Sudan to the world’s largest investors, the Vice President of the Republic, Hon Dr Riek Machar Teny, visited the New York Stock Exchange in the United States of America yesterday and held a number of meetings with the leading business people at the Stock Exchange.

Dr Machar told the investors that South Sudan is now a sovereign nation with business potential and is free from debts and sanctions as it is no longer part of Khartoum. He said the new nation has huge potentials in oil, agriculture, wildlife and tourism and urged the investors to do business in the region.

The Vice President while in New York also met with the American Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, and discussed a wide range of issues including the ongoing post independent negotiations between Juba and Khartoum in Addis Ababa as well as the shutdown of the oil production and the way forward.

He also met with the Chinese Ambassador to UN, Li Bidoang who expressed his country’s strong support to see Sudan and South Sudan share a harmonious relationship. Ambassador Bidoang described his country’s relations with South Sudan as “strong as stone.”

Dr Machar will end his two-day stay in New York on Friday.


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


Kenyan institutions of information and communication agree to support South Sudan

NAIROBI, 9 March 2012 (NASS) - The Kenyan institutions of information and communication have agreed to cooperate with and support the region’s new nation South Sudan in the areas of communication and information.


This was concretized this week by the minister for Information and Broadcasting, Hon Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin together with the ministry’s top officials during a tour of the Kenyan institutions of communication and information. This tour followed an assessment conducted by Kenyan government on the performance of SSTV and Radio.

 


Hon Marial being shown around at the Kenya News Agency (KNA).
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]


The minister and the officials also used the tour to see physically what areas of interest the government of Kenya can support them in terms of communication and information, though the assessment team had already identified these in advance.


The institutions covered during the tour were the Kenya News Agency, board of films classifications, Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC), the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication, the Government Printing Press, Nation Media Group and Royal Media Services.

 


The government delegation at the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication.
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]


The minister showed great interest in the rural press, mobile cinema, documentaries, media monitoring and training of the staff explaining that it is important because 90% of the population is rural and need effective communication to inform them about the government.


Meanwhile his counterpart in the Republic of Kenya, Hon. Samuel Poghisio said Kenya is more than willing to support the Republic of South Sudan and if possible to extend the MoU previously signed. The Kenyan government earlier signed a capacity building MoU and agreement in Oslo-Geneva to assist South Sudan through the donor’s basket.

 


Hon Marial visiting the Kenyan Government Printing Press.
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]


The coordinator of Kenya-South Sudan cooperation program for capacity building, Suzan Njuguna revealed that USD 3.5 million was donated to South Sudan and at least 2,500 government officials trained.


She added that memorandum which was signed previously in 2006 is expected to expire by 2013.


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


RSS marks International women’s Day

JUBA, 9 March 2012 - Women across the new Republic of South Sudan yesterday marked the International Women’s Day with speaker after speaker praising the leadership of the government of South Sudan for involving and including women in key decision making processes.


Speaking at the occasion, Mama Mary Kiden who was a former minister for Gender and a member of parliament from Kajo Keji recalled that today women have achieved remarkable success in terms empowerment compared to the past. She said many women are holding key government positions, many girls are enrolling in schools, and a good number of women have access to medical facilities as opposed to the past.


She said the history of women empowerment in South Sudan dates back to Feb 1986 with the late Mama Juan Margret who organised a meeting in Nyakuron to address bottlenecks of women empowerment.

 


Mama Kiden.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


The late Juan was a director of Social Welfare, a grade three position by then. She was believed to be one of the first women in the history of South Sudan, and Central Equatoria in particular, to hold such a higher position in government.


She recalled that the issues they tabled included how women can break the wall to join politics, how more women can be educated, women involvement in income generating activities and reducing if not eliminating birth related deaths among women.


She observed that much as a lot has been achieved, a lot still stands on the women’s way of total empowerment. She noted that to date women still suffer from a number of violence ranging from domestic violence to organised violence. “Women suffer more from organized violence than domestic violence these days; we have seen it in most states of South Sudan”, she said.

 


Ms Emmerson.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


She recommended that the government should take bold stems to stop organised violence in the country. “Organized violence is what we must stop. South Sudan is already an independent county, we want all guns to be with the organised forces and not with civilians”, she said.


Mama Kiden said another uphill battle for women today is high school dropouts among the girl child. She reported that most girls across the country drop out of school after completing primary education just because they are pregnant or married off early. “Mostly parents are aware of the Child Act of 2008, but they don’t report when their children are put out of school because of early pregnancy”, she. She called on the mothers to be observant of the kids until when they are able to make it to high school.


Meanwhile, Natasha Emerson who is Information, Counselling and Legal Assistant with the Norwegian Refugee Council said the international women’s day means a lot for the women of South Sudan. She said it is a day for the women of South Sudan to celebrate their strength, courage, beauty and power. She further said it was a day for women to pose and look at where they are coming from, where they are and to see steps forward for better lives.

 


Women preforming a play during the celebrations yesterday.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


Ms Emerson said women constantly need to remind themselves that the struggle for empowerment is far from over. “Although we have many success stories, women empowerment cannot be reduced to individual success stories”, she said.


The day was celebrated at the Nyakuron Cultural Centre with the theme “Empowering rural women to end hunger”.


Reported by Matata Safi


President Kiir was briefed on security situation in JUBA

JUBA, 6 March 2012 - The President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit was today in his office briefed on the general security situation in Juba City following the clashes which took place in some parts of Gudele residential area and Kameru village over land disputes.

 


H.E Kiir being briefed.
[Photo: Garang Thuc]


This came in a meeting he held today on the issue with the minister for Interior Hon Alison Manani Magaya and his deputy Gen. Salva Mathiok, and the Governor of Central Equatoria state Hon Clement Wani Konga and his deputy Hon Manasi Lomule.


Shortly after the meeting Hon Magaya said they briefed the President on all the steps taken by the security organs to ensure stability in Kameru village and some parts of Gudele residential area, which are now under the full control of security forces.

 


Hon Magaya talking to the press.
[Photo: Garang Thuc]


Hon Magaya said President Kiir called on the parties clashing over the land issue to remain calm and respond to the government measures in maintaining order. He emphasized that the President of the Republic directed the authorities concerned to normalize the situation in the area. He also urged the citizens not to rely on rumors, saying that seven people were killed in the clashes, which he described as unfortunate. He called on the citizens who flew from the area to go back and start their normal life. He revealed that adequate security forces have been deployed in the area to support efforts of the state in preventing attacks by any group.

 


Governor Konga talking to the press.
[Photo: Garang Thuc]


Meanwhile, the Governor of Central Equatoria state Hon Clement Wani Konga announced that the demolition in Block 107 is suspended for a special arrangement to be carried out to relocate those who will be affected by the demolition to a new site. He called on the citizens to remain calm and refrain from the spirit of revenge to avoid flaring up clashes between the communities. He explained to the press that the clashes in Gudele and Kameru village came as a result of a land dispute between some individuals of Bari Community of Kameru Village, and some soldiers displaced from new site.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth


Lamu port project launched

NAIROBI, 4 February 2012 - As a joint venture between the Republic of South Sudan, Republic of Kenya and the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Lamu Port for South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) corridor project, located in the northern part of Mombasa was officially launched on Friday March 2nd, 2012 by the heads of the three states H.E Salva Kiir Mayardit the president of South Sudan; H.E Mwai Kibaki the President of Kenya; and the Prime Minister of Ethiopia H.E Meles Zenawi. The three heads of state also at the same time attended the ground-breaking ceremony at the Lamu port.

 


Presidents Kiir and Kibaki laying the foundation stone for the LAPSSET project.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


LAPSSET is one of Africa’s most ambitious infrastructure and economic development project. It consists of four major transport infrastructure components namely the highway, railway, oil pipelines and three airports.


A new transport corridor will be constructed from Lamu port to Isiolo where it branches off through Marsabit and Moyale to Ethiopia and another branch from Isiolo through Lodwar and Lokichoggio to South Sudan. Lamu port is positioned as an important transshipment hub poised to handle crude oil and oil products from the Republic of South Sudan.

 


The three heads of state raising their respective flags during the ceremony.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


In his key remarks during the ceremony, President of the Republic H.E. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit congratulated President Kibaki and all the people of Kenya, and congratulated Prime Minister Zenawi for making the dream to be realized. President Kiir emphasized that Lamu port will create a new venture for the people of the three countries and will create routes of trade to enhance the economic development in the region. President Kiir pointed out that the three nations are now ready to grow from friendship to more productive economic partners.


Meanwhile the President of the Republic of Kenya H.E Kibaki said Kenya will closely work with South Sudan and Ethiopia in the development projects of mutual interest. He said the presence of the heads of the two states in Lamu port was a testimony of the importance of the port which links the entire East and Central Africa region to the international markets and will promote economic activities of 167 million people in the region.

 


President Kiir shakes the hands of H.E. Zenawi and President Kibaki looks on.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


The Prime Minister of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia H.E Zenawi described the LAPSSET project as a new venture in the region and explained that the project will address transportation problems and will connect the eastern and western coast of Africa.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth from Nairobi


H.E Kiir in Nairobi to attend ground-breaking ceremony at Lamu Port

NAIROBI, 2 March 2012 - The President of the Republic H.E. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit arrived in Nairobi Kenya yesterday afternoon with a good number of ministers and senior officials from his office and from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to attend the ground-breaking ceremony for Lamu Port for South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Project, which will take place on Friday, 2nd March, 2012 in Mombasa.

 


H.E Kiir arrives in Nairobi on his way to Lamu Port.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


The ministers accompanying H.E the President are Hon. Kosti Manibe, minister for Finance and Economic Planning; Hon. Emmanuel LoWilla, minister in the Office of the President; Hon Stephen Dhieu Dau, the minister for Petroleum and Mining; Hon. Garrang Diing, the minister for Commerce, Industry and Investment.


The ground breaking ceremony for the Lamu Port for South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport corridor will be attended by the President of the Republic of Kenya H.E Mwai Kibaki and the Prime Minister of Ethiopia H.E Meles Zenawi. The three heads of state are expected to address the historic ceremony today.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth from Nairobi-Kenya


Madam Rebecca Garang and other officials declare assets and liabilities

JUBA, 2 March 2012 (NASS) – The Presidential Advisor for Gender and Human Rights, Madam Rebecca Nyandeng, ministers for Information and Broadcasting, and Water Resources and Irrigation, and the chairperson of workers trade union declared their assets and liabilities to the South Sudan Anti-Corruption Commission yesterday.


The declaration was made at the commission’s headquarters in the presence of its top officials.

 


Madam Rebecca receiving her compliance certificate.
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]


After receiving the certificate of confirmation, Madam Rebecca Nyandeng said this is the time she has been waiting for because the South Sudanese need to know how the national resources are being used.


Madam Nyandeng stated that she filled all her income, assets and liabilities clearly on the form mentioning that it is all about the money she got as compensation from the plane accident that kislled her later husband and national hero Dr John Garang de Mabior.


She also condemned the rumours circulating around the country about the ownership of White Bull Company. She declared that it is not hers adding that if she is to do something for South Sudan it will not be through a beer company.

 

 


Dr Marial receiving his compliance certificate.
[Photo: Ajang MOnychol]


Meanwhile the minister for Information and Broadcasting, Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin urged all the ministers and top officials of the government to be transparent in the exercise saying everybody should be accountable.


At the same time, the minster for Water Resources and Irrigation, Paul Mayom Akech asserted that they will assist the commission take tougher decisions to reduce corruption vowing that they did not fight to embezzle public funds.


On his part, the chairperson of the Anti-Corruption Commission, Justice John Gatwech Lul announced that whoever fills the form without declaring all the assets and later discovered will forfeit the assets which will then be transferred into government account.

 


Hon Mayom waits as the Commission chair reviews his compliance documents.
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]


He as well warned the target group that once the exercise timeframe expires then automatically they will issue resignation letters to those who fail to comply.


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


Church reaffirms commitment to support the government to assist IDPs

JUBA, 2 March 2012 (NASS) – The Secretary General of the Act Alliance International, John Nduna has reaffirmed the church’s commitment to help the government to assist internally displaced persons.


Mr Nduna confirmed this today after a consultative meeting with the minister for Information and Broadcasting, Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin. He said they are supporting the government to assist the host communities which are receiving people that are not formally settled in camps.

 


Dr Marial meeting the delegation.
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]


Dr Marial disclosed that the government paid the money of the barges that are supposed to bring IDPs but Khartoum doesn’t want to release the barges. He said Khartoum earlier threatened South Sudan IDPs to leave its territory before 8th April but stopped water transportation of the IDPs.


He as well added that Khartoum is charging IDPs merciless taxes on the belongings they are bringing from the north. Previously the minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Joseph Lual Acuil said the ultimatum forced on the government by Khartoum is very tough but they are working to extend the deadline because the challenges of road transportation are immense.


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


Series of leadership and management trainings target 2040 vision

JUBA, 2 March 2012 - The new Republic of South Sudan has organised a series of leadership and managerial skills training for 200 directors targeting the achievement of 2040 vision and South Sudan development plan aiming to address immediate needs of the nation.

 

“We need to focus on the development plan and seriously address priority needs as well as implementing the austerity measures to move South Sudan to the next level,” the Undersecretary Madam Angeth Acol De Dut of Labour Public Service and Human Resource Development, expressed in a closing session of one of the workshops in Juba.

 


Directors conclude the Leadership and Managerial Training in Juba.

 

She urged the participants to implement the knowledge and skills acquired during training workshop to bring change and better service delivery to the public. She added that her ministry will work hard to train the civil servants in and outside the country for better performance management.

 

The representative of the participants assured the top leadership of the government and of Kenya Institution of Administration that they will implement lessons learned and also transform the new nation.

 

Mr Maurice Nyamunga, the Kenya and South Sudan coordinator for technical support, reassured the participants of their innovative role in championing change in the Republic of South Sudan.



Reported by Justin Jada and Alnour Ango


Two oil wells in Unity hit by SAF

JUBA, 2 March 2012 - The government of the Republic of Sudan has violated the security memorandum of understanding it had signed recently with the government of South Sudan in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa and bombed two oil fields in Unity state, a government official has said.


Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin, the minister for Information and Broadcasting and official spokesperson of the government of the Republic of South Sudan revealed this to the press yesterday in an extraordinary press briefing at the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting headquarters.


Dr. Marial explained that Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) carried out aerial bombardments at Pan Akwac Boma of Nyeil Payam in Paryang County in northern Unity state on Wednesday hitting two oil wells that consequently resulted into oil spilling all over the area. He added that two cars were completely destroyed in the attack. This location bombed is put at 74 km inside South Sudan from the borders with the Republic of Sudan.

 


Dr Marial addressing the press.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


The information minister however noted that no lives so far have been reported lost. He added that in a bid to avoid further damage, the power supply to the affected wells had to be turned off.


“The Republic of South Sudan condemns these attacks by the Khartoum government with the strongest terms possible”, said Dr. Marial. He announced that the government will officially lodge a complaint to United Nations Security Council on these violations by the government in Khartoum against the Republic of South Sudan.


Dr. Marial re-echoed the position of the government of the Republic of South Sudan against Khartoum’s accusations that it is supporting rebel groups opposed to National Congress Party (NCP). “South Sudan is not in any way party to the warring parties in Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan”, he stated.


This is yet one among many cases of suspected attacks by Khartoum against the Republic of South Sudan though Khartoum has denied all the accusations.


Reported by Matata Safi


Ministry of Health launches sector development plan

JUBA, 1 March 2012 – The national Ministry of Health this week launched the sector development plan for 2012-2016 in collaboration with the World Health Organization at the Juba Regency Hotel.


During the launch, the minister for Health Dr Michael Milli Hussein said that the health sector development plan is the first phase of the strategic direction towards health system development in the Republic of South Sudan.

 


Some of the participants at the launch.


Dr Hussein said that the target of the government of South Sudan is to make basic life saving health care access available to all, particularly to vulnerable groups such as women and children to reduce mortality rates.


He said the health sector development plan aims to retain and increase human resources in the health system so as to meet the health needs of the people. He also explained that sector plan facilitates accountable utilization of the available resources in these lean economic times for South Sudanese.

 


Dr Hussein with the French delegation.


Meanwhile, the minister yesterday met a delegation from France led by the Regional Counselor for Health Dr Francois Marie Lahaye at the ministry headquarters in Juba.


Shortly after the meeting Dr Hussein told the press that the purpose of the visit was to see and listen to the ministry’s authority what the health problems are and how France could possibly


He said France promised to help the ministry fight against the diseases. He also said France will link South Sudan universities with those in France.


Reported by Lindri Godfrey Alex


University of Juba students’ union delegation meets Hon LoWilla

JUBA, 29 February 2012 - The minister in the Office of the President Hon. Emmanuel LoWilla today in his office met a delegation from University of Juba Student’s Union headed by Mr. Ajang Ajang Lino, the President of the union.

 


Hon LoWilla meeting the students.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


The meeting discussed a number of challenges and problems facing the students at the University of Juba and the means of overcoming them. Among the challenges include lack of lecturers and lecture halls, accommodation, clean water and food. Hon. LoWilla promised to resolve the issues facing the students through a collective effort between the Office of the President, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Higher Education.


Shortly after the meeting the Mr. Ajang told the press that the delegation came to meet the minister to seek possible solutions to the problems through collective efforts between the union and the government. He called on the government to resolve the challenge of lack of lecturers through hiring the lecturers from the neighboring countries.

 


Mr Ajang addressing the press.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


He pointed out that the Ministry of Higher Education has done its best but because the challenges are many and bigger to the ministry of a young nation, it needs collective effort.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth


H.E Kiir briefed by the World Bank on impact of oil shut-down

JUBA, 29 February 2012 - The President of the Republic H.E. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit was today briefed in his office by the World Bank delegation on the shut-down of oil production in South Sudan, its impact and policy response. The World Bank five-person delegation who briefed the President was headed by the Director of Poverty Reduction and Economic Management unit Ms. Marcelo Giugale.

 


H.E Kiir being briefed by the World Bank delegation.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


Shortly after the briefing, the minister in the Office of the President Hon. Emmanuel LoWilla disclosed to the press that the presentation was attended by the chairperson of the Austerity Committee and three members. He explained that the World Bank concentrated the briefing mainly on micro-economic and social dimensions that impacted by the closure of the oil production.

 


Hon. LoWilla giving the statement on the presentation.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]

 

Hon. LoWilla asserted that the World Bank shared its experiences with the President about how they usually manage such situations and expressed its readiness to help the young nation of South Sudan to get out of the situation.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth


Central Equatoria releases primary school results

JUBA, 29 February 2012 - The Deputy Governor of Central Equatoria State, who serves as Minister for Education Hon Manase Lomole Waya on Wednesday January 29th 2012 in Juba announced the results of the Primary School Leaving Certificate Examinations for the academic year of 2011-2012.


Out of 3700 pupils who sat for the exams across the breadth and length of the state, 3123 passed making 84.4%. Martin Dibek of Christ the King Primary School is the first scoring 357 marks, followed by Simon Malek Gouding of Emmanuel Model Primary School with 338 marks. Scopas Morbe Edward Nyarsuk of Ebenezer Primary School ranks third scoring 331 marks.


According to the minister, this year’s performance was better than the previous years and has risen by 10%. He attributes that to sound policies the ministry has undertaken to seek dialogue with schools administrations aimed at finding solutions to the problems and challenges that face learning environment. The ministry had intensified programmes of in-service teacher training and recruited qualified teachers replacing those who were affected by the state policy of laying off unproductive workers, he said.

 


Hon Lomole.


The minister declared that Emmanuel Model School in Yei River County is the first among all the state primaries schools coring 100% followed by St. Daniel Combon i also in Yei County. Third position is taken by Tali Model Primary School. Out of 2466 of boys who sat for the Examinations, 2164 passed. Number of girls was 1234 and this 959 passed.


Terekeka County was in the lead of the state’s counties scoring 100%, followed by Kajo-keji with 93%, Yei River 83% Lainya 80.7%, Morobo 76% and Wonduruba and scoring 72.4%. According to the minister these results mark the end of East African curriculum in Central Equatoria State. The East African curriculum has been in use in the then Southern Sudan liberated areas under the control of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/SPLA).


Reported by Abraham Garang