“Implementing cooperation agreement offers Sudan a widow of opportunity” IMF

JUBA, 18 July 2013 – Implementing the September cooperation agreement with South Sudan offers Sudan a window of opportunity to bring about a much-needed turnaround in the country’s struggling economy, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said.


“The March 2013 agreement with South Sudan on oil and security matters is offering a window of opportunity for bold policy reforms to address the post-secession challenges and bring about a much-needed turnaround” said IMF in a press release yesterday, upon return of its mission led by Mr. Edward Gemayal to Khartoum for a two-week consultative meeting on its 2013 Article IV.


Despite an initial package of corrective measures adopted in June 2012 for Sudan, the world financial body said Sudan continues to grapple with the macroeconomic impact of the July 2011 secession of South Sudan and its economic developments remain mixed. 


While inflation has shown recent signs of moderation, and fiscal performance in the first half of 2013 exceeded budget projections, IMF stressed further action [refering to its internal policies and implementing the agreement with south sudan] is needed to safeguard macroeconomic stability and support the needed recovery in the country.


Progress on the implementation of the September peace pack has been faced with a bumpy road much due to what South Sudan calls as “dragging feet” by the government of Sudan to fully implementing the African Union (AU) mediated Cooperation agreement.


Last month, Sudan threatened to block access of South Sudan’s crude oil into the international markets through its oil infrastructures on grounds that South Sudan is “supporting” rebels against his government. An allegation, South Sudan has rubbished.


The mission, met with Sudan’s Minister of Finance and National Economy Ali Mahmood Mohamed Abdelrasool, Governor of the Central Bank Mohamed Kheir Ahmed Elzubeir, and representatives of the private sector, civil society, and development partners.


Reported by Matata Safi. 


“Desist from tribal politics” youth minister urges

JUBA, 16 July 2013 (NASS) - The national minister of culture, youth and sports has urged politicians to desist from tribal politics and think positively towards nation building.


Minister Cirino Hiteng Ofuho warned the country will not go ahead if leaders continue with tribal politics and games that threaten cultural diversity of the country.


In a meeting with the British ambassador Dr. Alastair McPhail, today, without mentioning names, the minister said the killings happening in Jonglei state are to a larger extend as a result of such bad games that “only serve personal interest”.

 

 
Youth minister Cirino Hiteng
[photo: Akim | the Niles]
 


Hiteng also urges authorities at the ministry of general education and other government institutions to devote special attention to Jonglei in order to create awareness among the communities especially the warring youth from Lou Nuer and Murle communities which he said is threating peace and security in Jongolei state and South Sudan in general.


“You can not reconciled people who don't understand one another unless through education”, the minister told the British ambassador. South Sudan has over 60 languages and tribes with Juba Arabic as the linkage between them.


Hiteng further pledges to setup culture centers in the ten states to bridge the cultural differences of languages.

 

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


University of Juba receives equipment donation

JUBA, July 16, 2013 - The University of Juba, has received assorted equipment worth US$40,000 (168,000SSP) from the South Sudan Capacity Building Project (SSCAP).


The equipment which includes laptops, printers, photocopiers, electronic accessories and furniture was presented to the University’s Principal, Professor Wani Sule, by the acting National Minister for Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development, Mr Kwong Danhier Gatluak.


Speaking after receiving the donation at the university’s administration block, Prof Sule said the equipment would be put to good use in the School of Management Sciences, School of Natural Resources and Environmental Studies, and the College of Social and Economic Studies.


Prof Sule said it was encouraging that the SSCAP would also facilitate the training of the university’s teaching staff to Master’s degree level at universities in the East African region.


Addressing the function, acting Labour and Public Service Minister Kwong Danhier said the government was keen to transform the university into a centre of excellence that would produce high quality manpower for South Sudan’s development needs.

 

“It will be a national pride if the University of Juba produces high quality, disciplined and competent graduates capable of bridging the national capacity gap both in the public and private sectors in order to sustainably achieve our national development goals,” said Kwong.


In his opening remarks, the SSCAP Project Coordinator, Mr Peter Juma, said the project was committed to supporting the University in various areas including reviewing the curriculum of the School of Management Sciences and training up to three teaching assistants in Master’s programmes.

“The project also involves funding the University’s training-related activities including workshops and seminars, and funding short-term tailored courses in accounting, auditing, corporate governance and financial management,” said Juma.

 

The University, which is South Sudan’s premier centre of higher learning, is both a beneficiary institution and a service provider for capacity building under the SSCAP which is funded by the African Capacity Building Foundation, based in Harare, Zimbabwe.

 

Other beneficiary institutions of the project include the Bank of South Sudan, South Sudan National Audit Chamber, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, and the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology.

 

Reported by Alnour Ango/Justin Jada/Simon Owaka


Speaker's forum kicks off in Juba

JUBA, 15 June 2013 - South Sudan speakers’ forum aimed at strengthening good governance today kicked off in Juba bringing together all the governors from the 10 states, speakers, Ministers of Parliamentary Affairs, the National Executive and the leadership of the Council of States.

 

Opened by the President Salva Kiir Mayardit, the three-day event according to Hon. Speaker James Wani Igga of the National Assembly who is also the Chairperson of the forum will act as a robust coordinating point between the national legislature and the states’ parliaments.

 

The forum also aims at improving parliamentary procedures, engagement with the governors, executives and other civil servants to iron out some of the issues on the ground.


Moreso, it aims at reviewing and evaluating the resolutions of the previous forum. The speaker also said the forum is expected to focus on the security in the country, debate youth unemployment, and establish a coordinating secretariat and to draw out how the legislature can help the executive on improving provision of basic services to the citizens among others.

 

President Salva Kiir called the participants to put unity ahead of them in chatting out the possible solutions to the challenges the country is facing.


“This platform is a critical opportunity to learn from another,” Kiir said. “As we collectively assess the State of democracy in South Sudan we must look on what is the basis of our unity and contribute to our strength,” he added.


He said, as leaders “our ultimate goal must focus on service delivery…through working in a decentralized system which is only effective when there is effective coordination.” He also called for the participants to intensify the understanding of the roles of the various government organs and structures and defining their responsibilities.


Botswana's former President Festo Mogae is among the politicians to share experience with South Sudanese politicians. The participants are expected to share experience from some Ex-Kenyan politicians, Botswana and South Africa. 

 

Though it’s the sixth forum following numerous others held before the South Sudan independence, this forum is the first of its kind following South Sudan gain of independence in 2011. 



Source: Gurtong trust


About 1,000 returnees arrive in Juba

JUBA, 15 July 2013 - Approximately 1,000 South Sudanese returnees who had previously been stranded in the border town of Renk arrived in the capital Juba today on an International Organization for Migration (IOM) organized barge convoy.


According to the refugee organization report, four barges carrying returnees and their luggage, departed from Renk in South Sudan’s Upper Nile State on 30 June. Over the course of the two-week journey, the convoy stopped at several locations, including Melut, Malakal, Shambe and Bor, where small numbers of passengers departed depending on their intended final destinations.

 

Family members, friends and representatives from IOM, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission and humanitarian partners received the returnees at Juba port.

 

Upon arrival, the returnees were registered and escorted to the Juba way station from where, they will be transported by road to their final destinations of choice. Most of the returnees are from Greater Bahr el Ghazal.

 


A barge carrying South Sudanese returnees 
[Photo: IOM]

 

Speaking at Juba port, the Hon. Joseph Lual Acuil, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, expressed the government’s appreciation for the movement, and asked for continued support to stranded returnees. “It is our hope that all South Sudanese people who are stranded and wish to move to other locations can be assisted,” Minister Acuil said. “We cannot do this without our humanitarian partners, and without the support of the donors.” He said.

 

While over 50,000 South Sudanese have returned this year, an estimated 43,500 South Sudanese are still in Khartoum and Kosti in Sudan, unable to reach the border and living in precarious conditions with limited food, water, healthcare and sanitation. the humaitarian  organizations said.

 

Reported by Matata Safi


Parliament endorses two media bills

JUBA, 11 July 2013 – The national parliament of the Republic of South Sudan on Monday endorsed two major bills, the Media Authority Bill and Access to Information bill to become law.

 

The bills if signed into law will serve to provide among other provisions, freedom of press, access to information and protection of the rights of journalists in the Republic of South Sudan.

 

“The committee scrutinized the bill to ensure conformity with the transitional constitution. The drafting style, language and format are clear and ensures that the provisions are legally constrictive and meaningful” South Sudan’s independent daily, the citizen qoated Joy Kwaje Eluzai, the chairperson for the committee of information, telecommunication and culture in the parliament as saying.

 


South Sudan National Assembly
[Photo: Matata Safi |file]

 

Kwaje, who underscored the role of the media, urged media practitioners to make right use of the laws in order to contribute positively into the nation building process of the two-year old South Sudan.

 

If signed into law by President of the Republic H.E Salva Kirr Mayardit, South Sudan will become one of the few African countries with a fuctioning media law. Earlier, the parliament had also endorsed one of the three media bills, the broadcasting bill that is awaiting the presidents signature to become law.

 

Reported by Matata safi


Thousands of South Sudanese in Kenya celebrate second independence anniversary

NAIROBI, 9 July 2013 - Thousands of South Sudanese braced the sun in Nairobi and celebrated the second independence anniversary of their country in a colorful ceremony held at the Railways Club in Kenya’s capital city.


According to Amb. Majok Guandong, the Republic of South Sudan Ambassador to the Republic of Kenya, “it is worth mentioning that millions of our people driven by the zeal and spirit of freedom sacrificed their lives to make this day worth celebrating”. He added that South Sudan’s greatest homage and praise goes to her gallant heroines and heroes among them the late great leader Dr. John Garang de Mabior, who paid the ultimate price for freedom.


He appreciated the new nation under the leadership of H.E. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit saying it is working to provide a constitution that will guarantee all basic rights in the United Nations Charter. He also added that the country is embarking on nation building to create an inclusive, just and prosperous nation living in peace and harmony with itself and with its neighboring states.

 


Amb. Guandong and the other dignitaries at the celebrations.
[Photo: Lawrence Mwangi]


He appreciated the cordial relationship enjoyed by the citizens of the two sisterly countries of Kenya and South Sudan and added that this relationship with Kenya is anchored on the historic mutual coexistence between the people. He appreciated the government of Kenya under the former presidents for helping South Sudan to achieve her independence. He also appreciated the continuous support Kenya’s accords South Sudan to facilitate national building especially in capacity building. He commended this long relationship and expressed the hope that the same will continue under the new President H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta. He also appreciated the dynamic entrepreneur skills of Kenyan companies currently operating in South Sudan such as the banking sector, energy and construction companies among others.


The ambassador also commended the Lamu Port-Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor (LAPSET) linking three countries of South Sudan, Kenya and Ethiopia. He said it will bring more sustainable economic development to the member countries as well as infrastructural development and regional integration.


Amb. Ngessu, the director of political affairs and secretary to the Minister of Foreign affairs of the Republic of Kenya who was the guest of honor in the occasion, on behalf of the government and people of the Republic of Kenya, congratulated the people of the Republic of South Sudan for their independence. He said Kenya will continue t o stand with the Republic of South Sudan and ensure that the remaining issues such as the border demarcation, Abyei and oil are settled with the Republic of the Sudan in a peaceful manner.

 


One of the groups entertaining the guests at the celebrations.
[Photo: Lawrence Mwangi]


The occasion was punctuated by cultural dance from Bari representing Greater Equatoria, Dinka of Lakes State representing Greater Bahr el Ghazal and the Colo Community dance representing Greater Upper Nile. The occasion was attended by ambassadors from Sudan, Ethiopia and Eritrea as well as the members of the diplomatic corps.


Reported by Joseph Garang Deng


Regional leaders commend RSS on second anniversary, pledge support

JUBA, 9 July 2013 – Regional leaders attending South Sudan’s second independence anniversary have congratulated the world’s newest country for the process it has made since attaining independence two years ago.

 

Pledges of cooperation and committment poured from speaker after speaker reiterating their readiness to work with South South in order to attain lasting peace and development in the Republic of South Sudan and the region at large.

 

Despite the effects of the oil shutdown, the major revenue earner for the young country, the leaders underscored the tremendous progress South Sudan has made in its bid to develop the country devastated by the two decades long civil war.

 


Regional leaders lay wreaths on the tomb of the Late Dr. John Garang de Mabior
[Photo: Matata Safi]

 

 “When I was coming, flying over Juba, I looked down through the window of the plane, seeing the expansion of the town, I thought we were lost. Juba has grown in such a very short time”, said President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda. He wondered how much more would have been achieved had precious time not been lost in the many years of civil war.

 

Citing a famous proverb in his language, President Museveni said Africans have continued to pay the price of foreign supremacy for what he said is “weakness” among Africans. president Museveni said many foreigners came to Africa and took over the resources and began using them to oppress African.

 


President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni making remarks
[Photo: Matata Safi]

 

He urged Africans to fight weakness among themselves which he says breeds tribalism, religious conflicts and lack of organization among others. He further called for an end to internal weakness that he said is tearing the continent apart. He said the same internal weaknesses are the major causes of division among most African societies. He called for unity, saying “the teeth which do not have a gap among them can chew meat properly than those with gaps”.

 

Sheikh Hassan Mohamud, President of Somalia, underscored the need for Africans and their leaders to embrace dialogue and peaceful resolution of conflicts. He observed that though a number of issues still remain to be resolved between the Republics of Sudan and South Sudan, he said the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended one of Africa’s longest wars is an example for many African countries to follow. “It is time for all of us to start thinking of developing Africa,” he said.

 

“We must learn from each other and share experiences of each our recent past and work together to form a future that will be beneficial to all of us,” said said Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame.

 

Calling for regional integration, President Kagame said South Sudan is bound to contribute to peace, security and development in the region and Africa as a whole. He said there is need to strengthen intra-African infrastructure and create economic growth in the region.

 

Reaffirming the commitment of his government to work with South Sudan and the region, the Rwandan President called for unity in the region to avoid what he said is “divide in action”.

 


An un-identified woman carrys the potrait of Rebecca Kadi, a 115-year old wowan who voted in the January 2011 referendum exercise resulting in the independence of South Sudan
[Photo: Matata Safi]

 

Botswana's President Lt. General Seretse Khama Ian Khama, former South African President Thabo Mbek and UN Special Representative of the Secretary General Hilde Johnson, were many among regional and international dignitaries that graced the second independence anniversary attended by hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese at the Dr. John Garang Mausoleum in Juba.

 

Reported by Matata Safi


President Kiir’s Independence Day speech

JUBA, 9 July 2013 – Please click here to read the speech delivered by H.E. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit on the occasion of the 2nd Anniversary of the independence of the Republic of South Sudan.


Humanitarian chief congratulates RSS on second anniversary, pledges more support

JUBA, 8 July 2013 – The humanitarian coordinator for South Sudan Mr. Toby Lanzer on behalf of the humanitarian community has congratulated the people and government of South Sudan on the occasion of the second independence anniversary.


He reaffirmed the commitment of the humanitarian agencies in working together with the government in providing assistance to the needy in the young country.


“On behalf of the humanitarian community, I congratulate the people of South Sudan on the second anniversary of their independence. Their resilience and determination are an inspiration to aid organizations and their staff” Mr. Lanzer said.


Mr. Lanzer however said while the overwhelming majority of South Sudan’s citizens enjoy peace and stability, violence he said [referring to the activities of David Yau Yau’s militia group] continues to affect the lives of some citizens.


He said the humanitarian agencies estimate about 100,000 people in both Pibor and Pochalla counties in Jonglei are in urgent need of assistance, stressing that their situation may worsen as the rainy season intensifies.


“The goal of humanitarian agencies is to reach people in need, wherever they may be, and for civilians to be able to access aid safely. I am therefore encouraged that the South Sudanese Government and armed forces have confirmed that humanitarian personnel can operate freely throughout the country. This commitment will help us, in close coordination with the authorities, ease the suffering of tens of thousands of people in the coming weeks and months”  read the message in part.


Meeting the needs of the people affected by violence in Jonglei, the UN humanitarian cordinator said will contribute to a more peaceful and prosperous South Sudan, where the benefits of independence are enjoyed by all.

 

Reported by Matata safi


RSS seeks US support on cooperation agreement

JUBA, 7 July 2013 (NASS) – South Sudan Government has called upon President Obama’s adminstration to assist in ensuring the implementation of the cooperation agreement between the Republics of South Sudan and Sudan that has gone through a series of violations since it was signed.


Speaking at the independence anniversary of the United States on Thursday, the official government spokesperson, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin said South Sudan is in need of US contribution to see that the cooperation agreement is respected by Sudan.


He said although South Sudan is committed to the cooperation agreement and good neighborhood with Sudan, the latter is dragging its feet in the implementation of the agreement. Dr. Benjamin also called on the US investors to invest on oil and the other resources in South Sudan.

 


Dr. Marial
[Photo: Associated Press]


US ambassador to South Sudan, Suzan Page reiterated the commitment of the Obama administration to the country saying US stands with South Sudan in good and bad times.


In a related development, the minister Dr. Benjamin also attended the nineteenth anniversary of the Rwandan freedom organized by Rwandan peacekeepers in Juba. In his key address at the occasion, the minister pledged the government’s commitment to work together and enhance bilateral relations between Rwanda and Africa’s newest country South Sudan.


Hilde Johnson, the UN envoy to South Sudan underscored Rwanda’s contribution in peace building efforts in the Republic of South Sudan. She said Rwanda efforts dates back to the pre and post-independent South Sudan. After the independence, Rwanda alone deployed to UNMISS 845 troops, 48 police and one hundred eleven aviation officers, she noted.

 

Rwanda's contingent commander, Col. David Ngarambe pledged to do much to see a peaceful South Sudan.

 

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


“Role of media, key in combating diseases”, information minister

WAU, 7 June 2013 (NASS) - The Minister of Information and Broadcasting Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin has underscored the role of media in combating preventable diseases in the country and reiterated his ministry’s commitment in ensuring better health outcomes in South Sudan.


Dr. Benjamin said a lot of resources that should have gone to much needed developmental programmes are being channeled by the government and other agencies to fight diseases.


Since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the government, he said has been channeling good sums of money to fight preventable diseases like AIDS, Malaria and typhoid. "There is need for awareness so that we are able to use these resources for building new facilities for health services and develop other sectors such as agriculture", he said.

 


Dr. Benjamin
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]

 

Dr. Benjamin said the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting will closely work with the state's ministries of health to help prevent diseases among the population. He said the ministry in partnership with the states ministries of health will engage in conducting campaigns against preventable disease so as to inform and educate the public on good hygiene and ways to avoid these diseases.

 

Dr. Benjamin made this promises recently while touring Wau Teaching Hospital, where he had begun his medical career as a young doctor in 1970s. The minister who was also on Presidential mission to Western Bahr el Ghazal, called on the authorities in the state to discard tribalism and embrace good governance in order to achieve a united and prosperious South Sudan.

Isaac Cleto the State minister of health, said over 90% of the cases reported to the medical facilities are preventable diseases. He underscored the role of media in combating preventable diseases saying “without media campaigns on radio and television, it will be very difficult for the government to combat preventable diseases”.


Mr Cleto appealed to the government to strengthen the media  in order to reach the greatest number of the citizens whom, he said, are in the Payams and Bomas.

 

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


“Second independence anniversary, a very special one” Secretary General

JUBA, 5 July 2013 – South Sudan fought for twenty three years to achieve independence and so will remain to be, the Secretary General (SG) of the government Abdon Agaw, Jok Nhail, has said.


Approximately three days to the country’s second independence anniversary celebrations, the SG said this year’s independence celebrations will remain to be very special in the lives and history of the people of South Sudan.


The anniversary, he said is coming at a time when the country has had a year and half of hardship, a year in which he said the people of South Sudan have shown resilience that its worst enemies never expected to see.


“The second independence anniversary is a very special one, it’s a year to remind ourselves how much we had to pay for our freedom; our people tightened their belts and resisted all types of temptations to cause insecurity in their government and their country” S/G Agaw remarked.


The Secretary General, who is also the chair of the organizing committee for the independence celebrations said the people of South Sudan have shown to its enamies that whatever what, it will remain sold and united.


“When we fought for independence, we meant to remain independent”, he said. The SG said the meaning of being independent means to stay together and achieve stability and development.

 


Streets of Juba and other state capitals have been decorated with independence posters
[Photo: Matata Safi]


Speaking to the press on Wednesday, Agaw said all is set for the celebrations adding a number of heads of states invited to grace the occasion have already confirmed attendance.


Presidents Yoweri Kagutta Museveni of Uganda, Uhuru Kenyhatta of Kenya, Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Seretse Khama Ian Khama of Botswana, Hassan Sheik Mohamud of Somalia and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia will attend the second independence celebrations to take place at the freedom square in Juba.


He called upon all South Sudanese to turn up in large numbers to celebrate the important occasion. The chairperson for the independence celebrations further called upon all security forces and citizens to ensure that the period to and after the independence remain a period of peace and tranquility.


He said, a number of activities ranging from a marathon race on the eve of the Independence Day, Parades by the army and other organized forces, cultural dances, sports tournament among other activities have arrange to grace the day. The year’s theme is “Towards effective nation build and prosperity for all”.
 

Reported by Matata Safi


Companies given three months to file annual returns.

JUBA, 02 July 2013 – All Companies incorporated into the laws of the Republic of South Sudan have been given up to October this year to file their annual returns or face being stuck off the register, the Justice ministry has announced. 


An annual return is an updated record indicating all details of a company such as its directors, new and current shareholders, paid up capital, financial information, debts and place of business among others.


“The information that businesses are to provide is very important as it makes it easier for companies to enter in to transactions with other businesses, to get credit from a bank or even get government contracts’ the minister of Justice John Luk Jok said yesterday while launching the campaign for the annual returns.


He said a penalty of five hundred South Sudanese Pounds (SSP 500) would also be levied on companies that will submit returns after the expiry of the dateline. 


Companies that remain dormant after they have been registered have detrimental effects on the economy, Justice Luk noted. He termed some companies as “one-target” companies which he said after attaining their target; they shelve their certificates and appear again when a second chance presents itself.


As the private sector continues to expand, Justice Jok said the government is making concerted efforts to ensure all mechanisms are place for companies to fulfill their legal obligations. Section 177-181 of the companies Act 2012, Justice Jok said requires all companies to file their annual returns in six months from date of first registration, followed by once after every year.


The declaration is not meant to be punitive but to facilitate better business practices and greater economic growth, the Justice Minister remarked. The business registry in Juba have since then registered a total of 19, 000 companies both local and foreign owned.


The ministry with support from International Financial Cooperation (IFC) has opened two new business registries in Upper Nile state’s capital of Malakal and Western Bahr el Ghazal’s capital Wau.


Reported by Matata Safi


Chinese doctor’s period at Juba Hospital extended

JUBA, 2 June 2013 – Chinese doctors working at Juba teaching hospital have got their stay extended by one more year, South Sudan’s health minister Dr. Micheal Milly Hussein has said.


Dr. Milly made the announcement yesterday after a meeting with a delegation from the Chinese Exim bank headed by Mr. Zhang Yi, the Chinese economic and commercial councilor in the office of the Chinese Embassy in South Sudan.


The visit by the Exim Chinese bank delegation Dr. Milly said was to assess the progress made by government on the proposed building of  a hundred health facilities in all the ten states of South Sudan.


The Chinese bank, he said agreed to provide funds through a loan application by the national ministry of finance for the constructions of the health facilities. Dr. Milly who described the discussions fruitful, thanked the Chinese government for the extension of the period of the Chinese doctors.  He said this would impact postively on government efforts to provide better health services to the people.


Meanwhile Mr. Zhang Yi assured of his government commitment in supporting better health for the people of South Sudan. He said his government will remain committed in improving lives of the people of South Sudan.

 

Reported by William Jufur 


South Sudan's Vice President Machar meets President Bashir

JUBA, 01 July 2013 – A high level delegation comprising of ministers and top government officials from South Sudan arrived in Khartoum yesterday for talks aimed at defusing the recent tensions between the two countries.


Headed by South Sudan’s Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny, the delegation is expected to hold meetings with the Sudanese officals on the recent decision taken by the latter’s President Omar El Bashir to halt the flow of South Sudan’s oil.

 

The Sudanese President accussed South Sudan of supporting rebels fighting its government in states of Blue Nile and South Kordofan, a charge denied by South Sudan. He also threatened to nulify all the other eight agreements.

 


HE Vice President Riek Machar.
[Photo: RSS website file]


The accompanying delegation included ministers of Petroleum and Mining, Stephen Dhieu; Humanitarian Affairs, Joseph Lual Achuil; Water Resources, Paul Mayom; deputy minister of Interior, Salva Mathok and the acting minister of Cabinet Affairs, Wek Mamer.


Dr. Machar who was warmly received upon arrival at Khartoum International Airport by Sudan’s first Vice President Ali Osman Taha later held meetings with Sudanese President Omar el Bashir, according to James Gatdet the Press Secretary to the Vice President.


The two sides are expected to engage in talks to renew relations and develop a spirit to implement the cooperation agreements signed in Addis Ababa last year.


Reported by Matata Safi


China to train South Sudanese diplomats

JUBA, 28 June 2013 - About twenty five South Sudanese diplomats are set to benefit from a 21-day diplomacy training workshop in China, the undersecretary in the ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation Ambassador Charles Manyang De Awol has said.


Ambassador Wol made this announcement yesterday at the ministry's headquarters after he on behalf of the ministry, inked a relief memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Chinese Ambassador to South Sudan Li Zhihuo. Without giving a date, he said the training is an initiative from the government of the People's Republic of China.


As per the MOU document signed, Ambassador Wol, said the Chinese government promised to provide humanitarian relief items such as mosquito nets, Blankets, solar equipment among others to support the most vulnerable people of in the country.

 


Ambassadors Wol and Zhihuo shakes hands after the MOU signing ceremony
[Photo: Lindri Godfrey Alex]


Ambassador Awol extended his sincere gratitude and appreciation to the people and government of China for their constant support to the people of south Sudan.


Ambassador Li Zhihuo said the humanitarian aid from his government is to help improve the social and economic development of the new nation. He reiterated his government's readiness to closely work with the government in bring about development in the new country.


Furthermore, he called on both Sudan and South Sudan to “seriously and smoothly” implement the nine Septembers agreements reached in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. He said this would help to overcome many difficulties that hamper development in two countries and the region.

 

Reported by Lindri Godfrey Alex. 


"Embrace agriculture" Uror MP urges youth

UROR, 26 June 2013 (NASS) –The member of parliament representing Uror south county of Jonglei state in the national legislative assembly Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin has urged the youth of Jonglei to embrace agriculture in order to fight food insecurity in the state and the country as whole.


The government  has prioritized agriculture as one of the key sectors that needs urgent intervention as it diversifies  the economy away from the dependence on oil revenues, he said.


Dr. Benjamin who is also South Sudan’s Information minister made the remarks on Monday while commissioning the launch of Zain network, one of South Sudan’s leading communication networks in Uror County.

 


Dr. Benjamin (c) chats with Zain's Andre Classen
[Photo: Ajang Monchol] 


Dr Benjamin underscored the importance of communication in development saying with the two network towers installed in the Payams of Pieri and Yuai, communication between the county and the state capital will now be by “a click on the button”. He urged the local community to utilize the opportunity provided by the network to instigate development in the area.


Zain South Sudan’s Andre Classen said Zain’s presence in Uror would encourage development as well as extend relevant service to the population. The launch was welcomed with chanting and dancing from the local community who turned up in big numbers expressing their joy of being connected to the rest of the world.

 


Dr. Benjamin (right) and deputy governor Mar (centre) touring the newly built school
[Photo: Anjang Monchol]


The minister accompanied by the deputy governor of Jonglei state Hussein Mar Nyuot alongside other state dignitaries also visited the newly built school in the county with funds from the Constitutional Development Fund (CDF) from the national government.

 

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


“Murle community working to persuade Yau yau”, Deputy Governor

BOR, 26 June 2013(NASS) -The Murle community in Pibor is working to persuade David Yau yau and his group to heed to the amnesty granted by the President of the Republic H.E Gen Salva Kiir Mayardit. The acting governor of Jonglei state, Hussein Mar Nyuot has said.


Mar said he was optimistic that YauYau’s group would soon denounce rebellion in the state and join efforts to rebuild the country that has been devastated by over two decades of civil war. 


The acting governor who made the sentiments in an exclusive interview to our reporter in Bor, capital of Jonglei State on Monday, warned of “an awaiting hunger” in Pibor should there be no external assistance to the state authorities.

 


Jongolei's deputy governor Mar
 


“Pibor is the only county among the counties in Jonglei state where people did not cultivate due to the instability caused by YauYau’s group”, he explained.

 

David Yau yau took up arms against the government after he lost elections in April 2010 in which he stood as an independent candidate to represent the Gumuruk–Boma constituency in Pibor County at the Jonglei State Assembly.

 

The deputy governor said besides disrupting agriculture, the activites of Yau,Yau's group has caused displacement among the population, disrupted education as well as delivery of services in the state.

 

Earlier this month, the political wing under the reformed Johnson Ulounj promised to join efforts to convince YauYau to denounce rebellion and accept the amnesty.

 

 The government has fomed a national healing and reconcialiation campaign aimed at reconciling differences of the past and to forge a way forward for nation building process.

 

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


Seven payam police posts handed to Lake State Government

JUBA, 26 June 2013 - Seven payam police posts and one police station built with funds from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have been handed over to the Lake state government over last week.


Strategically built at Cuiebet, Rumbek Central, Rumbek East, Rumbek North, Yirol West, Yirol East, Wulu, and Awerial counties, the police posts and the station are expected to improve community security in the state.


While representing the caretaker governor of Lake State Matur Chut Duol in the handover ceremony, Honourable Abraham Makoi Bol, the minister for Local Government and Law Enforcement Agencies said “In the whole of South Sudan, security has become a dominant issue, without security, there will be no development.” according to a press release from UNDP.

 


Hon. Bol shakes hands with Mr. Sharma after signing the handover documents
[Photo: Charles Okwir/UNDP]
 

 

Hon. Bol who underscored the importance of community security to the development of South Sudan, called on UN development agent UNDP to continue with its community security and arms control (CSAC) project in the country.

 

Mr. Surendra Sharma, UNDP Technical Advisor to the Ministry of Interior, who represented UNDP Country Director Mr.Balázs Horváth, said the projects that were being handed over, together with the additional $17million in infrastructure programmes being implemented through UNDP’s South Sudan Recovery Fund- Stabilisation Programme in Lakes state, are delivering “a critical mass of conflict-sensitive infrastructure that will leave a lasting impact on security in Lakes state.”

 


Abina Ajok police post in Rumbek
[Photo: Charles Okwir/UNDP]

 

Mr. Sharma however urged the government of Lakes state to ensure that the facilities are regularly maintained, and police officers are well trained and deployed in order to achieve the desired impact on community peace and security.

 

Each of the police posts have solar power, separate custody cells for both women and men, and are equipped with modern communication equipment that enables the South Sudan National Police Service to be more responsive to emergencies.

 

Reported by Matata Safi


H.E President Kiir arrives in Botswana

GABORONE, 25 June 2013 - The President of the Republic  H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit arrived in Gaborone, the capital of Botswana yesterday for a three-day official state Visit to the Southern African country. 


Upon arrival at Sir Seretse International airport, H.E Kiir was received  by the President of Botswana H.E Lt. Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama and a number of Botswana ministers and senior officials.


While in Gaborone, President Kiir is expected to discuss with his counter-part areas of cooperation especially in natural resources management, education, health and animal husbandry among others.

 


H.E Preisdent Kiir been recieved by President Ian Khama at Sir serentse Int. airport
[Photo: Thomas Keneth]


Furthermore, he will visit various projects that the government of Botswana has successfully implemented during their 47 years of independence which has given the country the status of being one of the most successful African states.

 


H.E President Kiir and KHama stand still as the two national athems are been sang
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]

 

The South Sudan delegation comprising of ministers for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Office of the President, National Security, Health, Commerce, Investment and Industry, Animal Resources and General Education is scheduled to interact with the private sector from various Southern African companies and bussinessmen in order to encourage them to  invest  in South Sudan.


Reported by Thomas Keneth in Goborone  


“Consultative body for reconciliation process formed” Rev Archbishop Bul

JUBA, 25 June 2013 - As South Sudan prepares for national reconciliation process, Rev Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul, the chairperson of the committee for healing, peace and reconciliation has announced the formation of a consultative body.


Comprising of “well known and respected elders and statesmen” the role of the consultative body is to help the committee to reach every County, Payam and boma.


Various working sub-committees have also been set up, including a research sub-committee made up of respected academics. Arch bishop said in a press statement a copy of which was availed to goss.org.

 


 Rev. Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul


“The initial task of the Committee is not to prescribe a process for reconciliation; rather we see our role as creating a space for listening and consultation, whereby the views of the citizens of South Sudan can be ascertained. This involves every level of society, from the grassroots to the Presidency, and includes government, politicians, intellectuals, academics, military, police, business leaders, civil society, elders, traditional leaders, women, youth, disabled, tribes, faith communities, insurgents and everybody” said Reverend Arch bishop Bul.


He said while the committee appreciates the degree of urgency for the reconciliation process, he however called on all citizens to exercise patience and perseverance as “there are no quick fixes in the reconciliation process”. He said the process could take longer to show results than what some citizens are expecting.
The committee has called for national prayers on the eve of the country second anniversary due on 9 July.


“Our Muslim brothers and sisters will begin the prayer in their mosques on Friday 5th July. It will be taken up in our Christian churches on Sunday 7th July. On Monday 8th July there will then be a national prayer event in Juba and prayers in each of the State capitals” reads the press release in part.


Please click here to read more.

 

Reported by Matata Safi


Eritrean Foreign minister visits RSS

JUBA, 25 June 2013 – A delegation from the Eritrean government led by the country’s Foreign Affairs minister Hon. Osman Saleh, arrived in Juba, capital of the Republic of South Sudan last Saturday for bilateral talks.


The delegation, according to South Sudan’s Foreign Affairs spokesman Ambassador Mawien Makol Arik, met with the President of the Republic H.E Salva Kiir Mayardit and delivered a message from the Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki.


Ambassador Arik who made the remarks to the press on Monday said the delegation expressed concern over the recent rift in relations between Sudan and South Sudan. Hon. Saleh, he said urged both Sudan and South Sudan to work towards the implementation of the cooperation agreement which he said is the only way to establish two viable states.

 


Ambassador Arik
[Photo: Lindri Godfrey Alex]


As a member of the regional body, Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD) that made it possible for Sudan and South Sudan to have a peaceful settlement through the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, Eritrea,  he said  called on Sudan to reverse its decision to halt the follow of South Sudan oil.

 

He emphasized the need for the two parties to stick to the mechanisms established within the nine agreements to resolve disagreements arising during the implementation of the September agreement.

 

Hon. Saleh further said following the matrix agreed upon the Republic of Sudan and South Sudan in March this year is the only way to resolve the remaining outstanding issues.


Reported by Lindri Godfrey Alex 


Movable property may become collateral in South Sudan soon

JUBA, 24 June 2013 - It may soon be possible for business people in South Sudan to borrow using movable property such as cars and equipment as collateral. This was revealed last Friday during a workshop held to deliberate the Draft Movable Property Security Bill, 2013. The workshop held at Home and Away Business Centre, Juba, was officiated by the Undersecretary of Ministry of Justice, Hon. Jeremiah Swaka to discuss a framework that can facilitate the private sector to access credit using movable property as collateral.

 

In his opening address, Hon. Swaka said that Friday marked another day of working towards a better regulated environment. He explained that secured transactions were important because most people were unable to work within the regulated environment adding that financial institutions of the day leave most people outside the circle due to the lack of capacity to borrow or secure transactions.

 

He said that secured transactions bill would add an important step in helping business people in to secure funds adding that this touched on 90% of the population. He acknowledged the assistance of the IFC and World Bank who he said had been working both with the Government and private sector in this effort.

 

In his remarks, the SSBF representative Mr. Vincent Onwak said that the Financial Services Working Group of the Forum had found that in the absence of immovable property, financial institutions were reluctant to give loans and that an additional impediment was the lack of commercial courts. He said that this bill provided a platform to overcome these hurdles by providing the necessary legal channels.

 

During the presentation, IFC’s Senior Transactions Specialist, Mr. Alejandro Alvarez de la Campa emphasised the necessary preconditions for secured implementation of secured transactions as: an appropriate legal framework, a collateral registry, skills acquisition and the interest of banks and other financial institutions. He cited a number of African countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Mozambique, Sierra Leone and Rwanda that had already implemented secured transactions lending.

 

The vibrant discussion session dwelt on concerns of hosting secured transactions registry, use of intangible assets as collateral, enforcement issues and the attendant potential for conflict during enforcement as well as partial credit repayments. Also raised was the question of determining the value of collateral given depreciation factors and other risks.

 

The consensus among participants in the workshop was that the Ministry of Justice should host the Registry and details of the exact directorate involved would be worked out.

 

The workshop was attended by a cross section of participants drawn from the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment, the Central Bank, commercial banks and representatives of the South Sudan Business Forum and IFC and World Bank staffers. 


Nigerian oil company to invest in South Sudan

JUBA, 21 June 2013 (NASS) - A leading Nigerian petroleum company, Dee Jones has expressed interest to invest in South Sudan’s oil and gas industry.


A delegation from the company arrived in the capital Juba early this week and held meetings with various key government officials and partners.


Sir, Richard Eze, Dee Jones’ Director revealed their intensions in a meeting with South Sudan's minister of Information and Broadcasting Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin last Wednesday. The company as well expressed concern over supporting education in the country as well as the agricultural sector saying this would help to improve the existing economy.

 


Dr. Benjamin (r) shake hand with the Dee Jones delegation
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]


Dr. Benjamin who is also the government's spokesperson welcomed the initiative and called for more companies to invest in the country. Dr. Benjamin citing unemployment besides the country’s rich but still undeveloped resources, said presence of investors in the country would provide employment opportunity to the unemployed youth in the country.


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


ILO to support youth entrepreneurship training

JUBA, June 20, 2013 - The International Labour Organization (ILO) will support training of South Sudanese youth in entrepreneurship and enterprise development, the acting national Minister for Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development, Mr Kwong Danhier Gatluak, has said.


Kwong said the ILO recognises South Sudan as a young nation which requires lots of support in developing its nascent labour sector. The Minister was speaking to the media at Juba International Airport on his return from the 122nd International Labour Conference which took place in Geneva, Switzerland.


Kwong said the South Sudanese delegation to the conference met the ILO Director General, Mr Guy Ryder, who gave the assurance that the UN specialised agency would support capacity building in labour matters.

 

He said the ILO would also continue assisting the country by providing technical support for the Decent Work Country Programme which seeks to among other things promote dialogue between the government, employers and workers on labour issues.

 


Hon. Kwong upon arrival at Juba international airport
[Photo: Alnour Ango]


The Minister said the National Assembly was in the process of ratifying the ILO Convention No.87 which provides for freedom of speech, assembly and association for workers, adding that this particular convention had not been ratified by the Republic of South Sudan from which South Sudan seceded in July 2011.


He said South Sudan had already ratified seven other ILO conventions which it adopted from Sudan. The acting Labour minister was recieved at the airport by his adviser, Mr John Itorong, and other senior Ministry officials.


By Alnour Ango/Simon Owaka


South Sudan bans illegal mining activities

JUBA, 20 June 2013 - The minister for Petroleum and Mining Stephen Dhieu Dau has issued a ministerial Order No. RSS/MPM/08/2013 for the cessation and curbing of all illegal mining activities in the Republic of South Sudan.

 

This two-page order which took immediate effect as of 19 June among other things called for any person in possession of gold or any other mineral product mined under an illegal license or for which loyalty due to the government is not paid to immediate hand over the mineral product to the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining within five days.


Please click here to read the order.

 

Reported by Matata Safi


Latest Republican Orders


International community urged to intervene RSS and Sudan relations

JUBA, 19 June 2013 (NASS) - The minister in the Office of the President Hon. Emmanuel LoWilla has called on the international community to intervene in the country’s current relations with Sudan saying the latter’s continued “lies” are harming the good relations established by the signing of the cooperative agreement.


Hon. LoWilla  made this appeal yesterday when he briefed the diplomatic missions in the country on the position of the government on the decision by the Government of Sudan to stop the export of South Sudan’s oil to the export terminal in Port Sudan through their territory and “continuous rebel support allegations". 

 


Hon. LoWilla during the briefing.
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]

  
The minister said “South Sudan is neither supporting the Sudanese rebels nor working for a regime change in the Repblic of Sudan”. Hon. LoWilla said the international community needs to engage Sudan to fully comply with the implementation of the cooperation agreement as well as accepting the African Union Peace and Security Council proposal for Abyei.


In a related development, the minister of Information and Broadcasting, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin announced that the Vice President Dr. Riek Machar is scheduled to lead a high level delegation to Sudan to engage the Sudanese government on the recent turn of events. The Vice President will be accompanied by a number of ministers and senior technocrats.

 

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


Reconciliation committee to mobilize for Abyei referendum

JUBA, 19 June 2013 (NASS) - The committee tasked with the reconciliation process in the country has announced plans to form a committee to mobilize for the success of the upcoming Abyei referendum.


Bishop Daniel Deng Bul who chairs the committee revealed this recently after a consultative meeting with the minister of Information and Broadcasting, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin.


According to the Bishop, the exercise will start immediately after the planned July 8, national prayers day is over. Bishop Bul said, the Ngok Dinka community in the diaspora will not be left out in the campaign exercise. He explained that they intend to cover Europe and the United States of America among other countries believed to be home to many citizens of Abyei area.

 


Dr. Benjamin and Bishop Bul shake hands.
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]


Abyei that missed out in the 9 January 2011 referendum exercise, according to an AU proposal to Sudan and South Sudan is to hold a referendum exercise by October this year.


Dr. Benjamin welcomed the initiative and urged the committee to work hard in promoting and preaching peace in the ten states of the country as well as the entire world. He further re-affirmed the commitment of Government in ensuring the successful conduct of the reconciliation exercise as well as the Abyei plebiscite.

 

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


South Sudanese supermodel appointed UNHCR goodwill Ambassador

JUBA, 18 June 2013 – South Sudanese Supermodel and former refugee Alek Wek has been appointed as the UN refugee agency’s (UNHCR) newest National Goodwill Ambassador, UNHCR reports.


Wek was formally welcomed into the UN family on Sunday in Libreville, Gabon, where she was participating in the New York Forum Africa gathering of Heads of States, entrepreneurs and experts who came together to create a road map of action for development on the continent.


“I am humbled and honored to be presented with the role of UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador. It is thrilling to receive this at a conference full of business people and political leaders who are working to increase development, education and healthcare in Africa,” said Wek.


Shelly Pitterman, UNHCR’s Regional Representative to the US and the Caribbean, said in his video message that the former refugee had demonstrated a “genuine commitment to humanitarian issues." Wek has been an out-spoken advocate for access to education for refugee and displaced youth for over a decade.


“I am confident that by undertaking this important role, with your passion and concern, you will help UNHCR mobilize life-saving support and resources to address the situation of refugees and displaced persons around the world, specifically in Africa and South Sudan,” said Pitterman.


The announcement of her official role comes just days before World Refugee Day. This year's theme is '1 family torn apart by war is 1 too many.' In 1991, Wek and her family were forced to leave their hometown Wau and flee to Khartoum in the north of Sudan. "My father was unable to get access to the medical care he needed and we lost him after we fled our home," said Wek. Wek knows intimately the impact of violent displacement on families.


Wek sought refuge in London where she was joined by her mother two years later. During her first year in college she was approached by a modeling scout. Wek went on to become one of the most influential African models in the world breaking the mold for beauty in the fashion industry.
In 2012, in celebration of the one-year anniversary of independence, Wek traveled to South Sudan with UNHCR. In a small village built by UNHCR Wek said she heard numerous women express concern over their children's future, specifically their daughters. At the forum Wek spoke passionately about the need to educate girls. "Today, it is three-times more likely that a girl in South Sudan will die in childbirth than make it to the eighth grade," said Wek.


UNHCR's Goodwill Ambassadors are, along with High Commissioner António Guterres, the most recognizable public faces of the UN refugee agency. They help bring UNHCR to every corner of the world through their celebrity, popularity, influence, dedication and hard work.


Source: UNHCR Website. 


US$2.24 million boost for capacity building in South Sudan

JUBA, 18 June 2013 - Five public institutions in South Sudan are set to benefit from a $2.24 million (SSP8.96 million) grant for capacity building from the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF).


The Bank of South Sudan, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology, the National Audit Chamber and the University of Juba will have their staff trained under the 3-year South Sudan Capacity Building Project which will run until May 2015.


The South Sudan Capacity Building Project Coordinator, Mr Peter Juma, said the project would provide training in public financial management, fiduciary management, corporate governance, auditing, accounts and executive leadership training.


Mr Juma said that the University of Juba would be a beneficiary institution in addition to being a provider of training services for the project while the Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development will oversee the implementation.


Mr Juma was speaking on the sidelines of a five-day capacity building workshop on executive leadership for staff drawn from the five beneficiary institutions, government ministries, commissions and the states at a Juba hotel.


He disclosed that the purpose of the workshop was to improve communication from the top management to the junior staff in addition to imparting leadership skills to the participants with a view to improving service delivery in the beneficiary institutions.


He said that the project would undertake a comprehensive training needs assessment in all the 10 states, adding that the project has a graduate programme which would enable senior civil servants to pursue masters’ degrees.


Mr Juma said the project was working with the University of Juba to update its fiduciary management curriculum besides sponsoring three members of staff annually for masters’ degrees.


The ACBF, which was established in 1991 and has its headquarters in Harare, Zimbabwe works to provide a holistic approach towards capacity building in Africa.


Earlier, while opening the workshop, Hon Deng Chol, the advisor to the national Minister of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development, said the ACBF/SSCAP project was designed to strengthen skills and competencies of public sector managers in macro-economic and public financial management.


Chol said the specific objectives of the project are twofold: to improve skills and competencies to support public financial management and fiduciary institutions, and; to strengthen systems in public institutions involved in core fiduciary management.


Reported by Alnour Ango/Simon Owaka 


Commerce Ministry unleashes a private sector development strategy plan

JUBA, 15 June 2013 – The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment has unleashed a four-pillar strategy document, Private Sector Development Strategy (PSDS) aimed at developing the private sector in South Sudan.


Presiding over a Consultation Workshop held at Quality Hotel in Juba on 14 June to make final and critical recommendations to the document, the Acting Undersecretary John Pan Paguir said the document aims at helping the government in creating appropriate environment for private sector development while indentifying constraints that inhibit the development of the private sector.


“A strong and vibrant private sector is what South Sudan needs. A strong private sector will act as a tool to provide the much needed employment opportunity to our people” Mr. Paguir said.

 

Mr. Panguir speaking to the press.
[Photo: Matata safi]


Much hope, he said has been placed in the strategy which indentified four pillars on which private sector development will rest. He named the pillars as the South Sudan Investment Climate Reform Programme, the South Sudan Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Development Programme, the South Sudan Access to Finance Programme and Physical Markets and Institution Building Programme.


Mr. Paguir who made the remarks on half of the minister of Commerce Hon. Garang Diing Akoung, said his Ministry will put emphasis in developing the administrative and regulatory environment in spearheading the private sector development in the country.


This he said would include taking business registration hubs to the states and developing the capacity of the customs officers in order to improve the flow of International trade.

Participants at the workshop
[Photo: Matata Safi]


Mr. Paguir also underscored the need to very fast diversify the economy saying the economy of the country can not only relay on oil to fuel its economy. He said South Sudan could become the “Dubai” of Africa if attention is given to explore its rich resources.


“Rwanda has a vibrant economy without oil; Botswana also has a booming economy when they do not have oil” said Mr. Pauir.


The strategy was supported by the International Financial Cooperation (IFC) and took eighteen months to be prepared after wide consultations with the public private sectors, donor members and the diplomatic communities among others.


The workshop attacked representatives from the government, Private sector, civil society and donor community.


Reported by Matata Safi


Committee on OP thefts releases findings

JUBA, 14 June 2013 - The committee formed by the President of the Republic Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit to investigate the thefts that occurred in March in the Western Wing of the administrative block under the Office of the President has released its findings.


The committee chaired by Justice John Gatwech Lul has found incompetence, gross negligence and lack of inter-departmental communications as some of the factors that may have led to the March 15 and 23 thefts.

 

Justice Lul addressing the press today.
[Photo: Matata Safi]

 

The committee also put the total amount of the money stolen at 208, 543 South Sudanese Pounds and USD 14, 000 as opposed to the "millions" earlier reported in the media. Justice Lul, who is also the chairperson of the South Sudan Anti-Corruption Commission, said the committee has already handed over the findings to the President.


H.E President Kiir in the wake of the incidents issued a Republican Order No. 01/2013 forming the committee to investigate the circumstances leading to the theft.


Click here to read the full report.


Reported by Matata Safi 


Farmers urged to form associations

JUBA, 14 June 2013 - The national minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Cooperatives and Rural development Hon. Betty Achan Ogwaro has urged farmers to form associations if they are to fight food insecurity in the country.

 

Addressing farmers from Eastern Equatoria's Magwi County on Tuesday, Hon. Achan urged the farmers to work hard in order to promote cereal productivition in the area. Hon. Achan who was hosted by the State’s minister of Agriculture Mark Akiu, visited five progressive famer’s groups at selected locations in the county supported by the FARM Project Organization.

 

Agriculture minister Hon. Achan being shown a high quality banana produced from one of the farms.

[Photo: Gabriel Lawrence]

 

The visit, Hon. Achan said was to assess how the farmers are progressing in terms of agricultural production this rain season and to understand their challenges. Hon. Achan who underscored the government's committment in supporting farms groups urged the farmers not to wait for government support to start production.

 

“Do not wait for the government support to begin cultivating. Start and the government support will come when you have already began”, Hon. Achan said. Maize is one of the major crops grown in the area besides cassava, sweet potatoes, ground nuts and bananas among others

 

Mr.Oyet Moses, a member of Ayfat farmers group called on the government to provide their groups with quality seeds and pesticides. He said most of the seeds being used by the farmers are of low quality and not resistant to drought and pests.

 

Reported by Gabriel Lawrence


“It’s time to work for a peaceful South Sudan”, former militia

JUBA, 14 June 2013 – Former militia leader Gen. Johnson Olony who denounced rebellion against the people and government of South Sudan recently has called on other militia groups still at large to lay down the weapons and heed the amnesty declared by the President of the Republic of South Sudan H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit. 

 

Formerly based in South Sudan’s Unity State, Gen. Olony came back with over two thousand fighters and weapons. He reported to the Government in Unity State last week and decleared it is time for all South Sudanese to work for a peaceful country. 

 

“It’s now time to work together to fulfill the dream of the South Sudanese President Salva Kiir”, Gen. Olony stated. 

 

This brings to three the number of militia groups which have joined South Sudan government since independence nearly two years ago. Major General James Guit accepted the government amnesty last year. Babiny Monytuil, leader of another militia group also joined the national government early this year. 

 

“This is where you were born and grew up, you are South Sudanese and this country belongs to all of us,” said General Johnson Gony Buliu of the national army SPLA who received the group according to a press release from the country’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. 

 

David Yau Yau in Jongolei’s Pibor country and Gordon Kong who is fighting in Unity State and Upper Nile state remain the only two militia groups that are yet to take advantage of the amnesty issued by H.E President Kiir on the July 9 2011. 

 

Please click here to read the press release. 

 

Reported by Matata Safi


Reformed rebels to convince Yau Yau

JUBA, 14 June 2013 (NASS) - The political wing of the rebel groups which have taken up the amnesty given by the President have promised to help the government win back the renegade David Yau Yau, the only remaining rebel who has not respond to the pardon.


The efforts were revealed yesterday during a meeting with the minister for Information and Broadcasting Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin. Tut Gatluak who heads the political wing says communication is going very well and that there is a possibility that Yau Yau will be in Juba in the next few days. He also disclosed that Johnson Olony was on his way to Juba while their general commander Gordon Kong was also preparing to come.


Tut further appealed to the government of South Sudan to help Khartoum reach a consensus with the rebels in Sudan to allow the two nations to enjoy peace and stability. Dr. Benjamin welcomed the initiative saying it will help in nation building.


In a separate development, the Chinese telecommunication company ZTE yesterday donated the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting a number of television facilities to enhance the quality broadcasts.


ZTE is the company chosen by the government of South Sudan to work in the transformation of country’s information and communications systems from analogue to digital. It is one of the leading Chinese telecommunication companies competing internationally in manufacturing digital facilities with Samsung, Apple and Nokia.


Earlier, South Sudanese Olympic marathoner Guor Marial has also called on the youth to stand with the government in building the nation. Guor who is now an American citizen said there are many athletes and business people working with the government to build the country.

 

Reported by Francis Oliver Kenyi and Martin Jada Gabriel, News Agency of South Sudan (NASS)


Mr. Amum holds talks with AU’s Peace and Security Commissioner

JUBA, 13 June 2013 - South Sudan’s Chief Negotiator and Secretary-General of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) Cde. Pagan Amum yesterday in Addis Ababa held talks with the African Union Peace and Security Commissioner Ambassador Ramtane Lamamra.

 

The two sides reviewed the status of implementation of the agreements which were concluded in September 2012 between the Republic of South Sudan and the Republic of Sudan, the African Union peace and Security website reported.

 

Mr. Amum and Lamamra during the meeting.

 

They also exchanged views on the current challenges and prospects for an early resolution of the issues affecting continued and satisfactory progress in the process of the implementation of the Cooperation agreement.

 

Commissioner Lamamra expressed confidence that the two countries, South Sudan and Sudan will both support the proposals of the Chairperson of the AU High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) and fully cooperate in their implementation.

 

Reported by Matata Safi
 


China pledges support in resolving differences with Sudan

JUBA, 12 June 2013 (NASS) – The Government of the People’s Republic of China has pledged to support efforts towards finding solutions to the oil problems between Sudan and South Sudan.

 

The outgoing Chinese ambassador to South Sudan, Li Zhiguo made this pledge yesterday after a meeting with South Sudan’s minister for Information and Broadcasting Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin.

 

 China's outgoing ambassador Zhiguo in a meeting with Dr. Benjamin.
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]

 

Dr. Benjamin briefed the ambassador on South Sudan's position following the announcements made by the  President Omar el Bashir of Sudan that he will stop the flow of South Sudan's oil through his territory on allegations that the Republic of South Sudan is supoorting rebels fighting in the two Sudanese states of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile. 

 

The Chinese diplomat who underscored China’s good relations with the South Sudan said “Our friendly relation with South Sudan has been so long and will be cherished by two of us”.

 

Dr. Benjamin urged the Chinese government to talk to the government of Sudan over the latest developments between the two countries. He said shutting down of the country's oil flow or going to conflict doesn't solve anything but instead affects development and stability of the two countries. Dr. Benjamin reaffirmed South Sudan’s commitment to fully implement the cooperation agreement.

 

UK ambassador meeting Dr. Benjamin
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]

 

In a related development, Dr. Benjamin in his office yesterday met with the British ambassador to South Sudan, Ian Hughes. The two discussed the current relations with Sudan. Ambassador Hughes said the United Kingdom and the Troika are working to see that the problem is resolved.


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


PANOS to develop RSS information systems

JUBA, 12 June 2013 (NASS) - The Ugandan based PANOS Eastern Africa organization has expressed great interest to participate in the building and development of information systems in South Sudan.

 

Dr. Melakou Tegegn, the organization’s executive director disclosed this yesterday after a courtesy call on South Sudan’s minister for Information and Broadcasting Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin.

 

  Dr. Benjamin (second right) and his deputy Atem Yaak Atem (l) pose for a photo with Dr. Tegegn (r) and Mr Taban.

[Photo: Ajang Monychol]

 

Dr. Benjamin, who welcomed the initiative, urged the organization to continue with the program which he said will help in the nation building process. Dr. Tegegn said their program would focus on how the media can be a tool towards attaining sustainable development.

 

Meanwhile Mr. Alfred Taban, a prominent South Sudanese journalist and the Editor-in-Chief of the Juba Monitor newspaper backed the initiative saying it will help the government to understand the feelings and demands of the citizens.

 

PANOS is a regional NGO working in the east and horn of Africa serving nine countries in the fields of media.

 

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


President Kiir challenges Sudan’s rebel-support claims

JUBA, 11 May 2013 – South Sudan’s President Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit has challenged Sudan to provide evidence of the continuous allegations that South Sudan is supporting rebels fighting to topple the government of Sudan.

 

President Kiir who was responding to statements made by the Sudan’s President Omar el Bashir last Saturday, said South Sudan has more serious demands to attend to other than to support rebels in a foreign country.

 

“If we have money, we have a lot of services that our people need. Our people need roads so that they can connect to each other. They need hospitals, schools and clean drinking water. We cannot leave these demands and buy guns to support their rebels”, President Kiir told the press at the State House in Juba yesterday.

 

 


President Kiir reacting to Preisent Bashir's Saturday statements yesterday

[Photo: by Matata Safi]

 

President Omar el Bashir was reported to have ordered his oil minister to shut down the pipelines carrying South Sudan’s oil “if it [South Sudan] does not stop supporting the rebels of Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) fighting his government in the states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

 

Quoting a famous Arabic proverb, President Kiir said Bashir is behaving like someone who slaps you; he goes crying and later accuses you of having fought him. Sudan, he said is supporting rebels of Yau Yau and many others that have already taken up government amnesty. The President explained that weapons that were brought in by the militia leader General Jonathan Olony who heeded to his amnesty, among others, testify to Khartoum’s support to rebels to destabilize South Sudan. He wondered how Khartoum can be accusing South’s of supporting its rebels.

 

President Kiir said Sudan’s accusation of the South’s support to rebels fighting in the Sudanese territory is a mere attempt to derail the implementation of the September Cooperation Agreements. He urged his northern counterpart to use the already established mechanisms within the Cooperation Agreement to channel any complaint “if at all he has credible complaint against the government of the Republic of South Sudan”.

 

Furthermore, he said the decision to prevent South Sudan’s oil from transiting through Sudan to the international markets seriously undermines the September peace pact and the implementation matrix.

 

Since no official notification has been addressed to the government of South Sudan, President Kiir said his government will remain committed to the unconditional implementation of the Cooperation Agreement.

 

President Bashir’s utterances, President Kiir said are a test to the African Union High Implementation Panel, which is the main broker of the September Agreement as well as the United Nation Security Council.

 

Click here to read the President's statement.

 

Reported by Matata Safi 


President Kiir urges Abyei citizens to return home

JUBA, 11 May 2013 - President Salva Kiir Mayardit has called on leaders of Abyei in Juba and elsewhere to head to the oil rich region to spearhead the return of the people of Abyei ahead of the much expected October referendum. He said it is important for all the people of Abyei to return to the area and get registered to vote in the referendum.

 

“I told my brother Deng Alor [the minister of Cabinet Affair] that they [Abyei leaders working in South Sudan] should go to Abyei and mobilize the people register for the referendum,” President Kiir said. He said nobody will be allowed to vote in Juba or elsewhere in South Sudan for the Abyei referendum.

 

President Kiir 

[Photo by Matata Safi]

 

Khartoum’s push for the nomadic Arab pastoralists to take part in the Abyei referendum denied the people of Abyei their right to determine where they would want to belong as per the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

 

A new date (October this year) has been fixed by the African Union for the Abyei referendum. Nonetheless, the Abyei Administration, Abyei referendum Commission as well as the Abyei police are yet to be formed.

 

A returnee arrives in Abyei town 

[Photo: by Matata Safi]

 

 

President Kiir expressed dissatisfaction with the African Union and the UN Security Council on their stance on Bashir. The African Union is not doing much to tell Bashir to move out of Abyei Area.

 

Reported by Matata Safi

 


Campaign against Child Marriage launched

JUBA, 11 June 2013 NASS –South Sudan’s ministry of Gender Child and Social welfare in collaboration with United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) yesterday launched the Campaign against child marriage as the country prepares to join the rest of the continent in commemorating the International Day of the African Child. 

 

Celebrated every June 16, The Africa Child Day,  has been established by the Organization of the African Unity (now the African Union) in 1991 in honor of the children killed in the 1976 uprisings in Soweto. A protest by school children in South Africa against apartheid resulted in the public killing of the unarmed young protesters by police officials.

 

“It’s important to note that in South Sudan there are a number of harmful social and cultural practices that are been practiced. These include but are not limited to the; Child Marriage, forced Marriage economic Value attached to girl Child (the use of dowry price) tattooing and piercing of children, milk teeth extraction and breaking of the teeth, preference attached to child’s gender (son preference as regards education) female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) and scarification” said Dr. Priscilla Joseph Kuch the ministry’s Deputy Minister

 

 

Deputy minister Dr. Kuch at the launch 

[Photo: by Simon Matiop Akol]

 

Dr. Kuch said child marriage is a very critical issue in the Country and she said it is being practiced in all the States of South Sudan. “The rate at which young girls a being married off has become very alarming and this limits their development prospects and participation in education and other developmental activities” She said. she called on all stalkholders join efforts to fight harmful practices against children in South Sudan.

 

The 2010 South Sudan Household Survey (SHHS) indicates that about 40 percent of the girls are married when they are still below 15 years; child marriage is also stated as one of the main reasons why there are very few girls who complete basic primary school.

 

 

Members of UNICEF and Gender staff at the launch 

[Photo by Simon Matiop Akol]

 

The theme of this year’s celebration has been ‘”Elimination of the Child Marriage in South Sudan “Our main focus is on creating awareness about the various harmful practices and how they affected our children and also look at what the way forwards as regards eliminating these practices” the Deputy Gender Minister said.

 

The national celebrations will be held’s at Nyankuron Cultural Centre this Fridaywith the rest of the states convening at their respective state capitals to mark the day.

 

Reported by Simon Matiop Akol (NASS)


RSS to sign core UN human rights conventions

JUBA, 11 June 2013 - Justice Minister Hon John Luk Jok yesterday appeared before the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva and officially acknowledged South Sudan’s decision to sign several core human rights conventions. The minister’s visit marks the first time that the Republic of South Sudan has appeared before the Human Rights Council in order to update the Council on the human rights situation in the country.


When the new nation of South Sudan was born in July 2011, the government pledged to adopt several core conventions. “By signing the eight core international and regional conventions, the government of the young nation has shown its commitment to the inalienability and universality of human rights,” Hon Jok said.


The South Sudan Transitional Constitution grants fundamental rights to all South Sudanese people to enjoy human rights and fundamental freedoms at all levels. The Constitution further affirms the sanctity of those rights and freedoms by stating that they are non-derogable and are to be upheld and protected by the Supreme Court and other competent courts.


Since its independence, South Sudan has taken great strides in state and nation building by developing institutions, structures and systems for democratic governance, upholding the rule of law and protecting human rights.
 

Hon Jok added, “We will relentlessly work towards the implementation of these instruments through our domestic institutions and laws.” After The President signs the instruments of accession, the instruments will be deposited with the United Nations Secretary General for official adoption.


RSS has no official notice of oil shutdown

JUBA, 9 June 2013 –The government of the Republic of South Sudan has said that it has not received any official communication from the government of Sudan regarding the alleged intention to shut down South Sudan’s oil from being exported through Sudan.


Speaking to the press in Juba after an emergency meeting, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, South Sudanese minister of Information and Broadcasting said South Sudan’s Council of Ministers will continue with discussions till Monday 10, where a statement will be issued.


President Omar el Bashir is reported to have issued the warnings on Saturday while inaugurating an electricity plant in Shil’ab area of Khartoum. He allegedly accused the government of South Sudan of supporting rebels of Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) fighting his government in the states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile.


“The oil of South Sudan will not pass through Sudan ever again,” the Sudanese media quoted President Bashir as having said.


Dr. Marial who is also South Sudan’s government spokesman, warned of environmental consequences should Khartoum go ahead to implement a sudden oil shutdown without involving authorities in South Sudan.


“The pipelines within South Sudan are owned by South Sudan and the rest by Sudan; ordering a shutdown, there are agreements and technical issues that need a time frame. Any abrupt shutdown can cause a “back pressure” on the pipelines consequently resulting into an oil spill”, said Dr. Benjamin.


He said South Sudan will continue to implement the Cooperation Agreement as agreed by the two countries. Dr. Benjamin urged the African Union High Implementation Pannel (AUHIP), the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) as well as the UN Security Council to take note of such threatening statements.


Dr. Benjamin said since the resumption of oil production in early March, South Sudan has pumped about 6 million barrels of oil into Sudan territory destined for the international market.


In the same press briefing, Col. Philip Aguer, South Sudan’s Army spokesman also accused the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) of violating the Cooperation Agreement by crossing into South Sudan’s territory on Saturday. Col. Aguer said the Sudanese Army was sighted in Kuake in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state. He called the incursion “unacceptable” and said the government of the Republic of South Sudan will launch an official complaint to the African Union about it.


Reported by Matata Safi


Pagan briefs President Kiir ahead of African Union team of experts meeting

JUBA, June 8, 2013 -South Sudan’s negotiating team has announced it will be heading to Addis Ababa, the Capital of Ethiopia to submit the country’s position to the African Union team of experts on borders as well as to discuss teams of reference for the resolution of the disputed and claimed areas.

 

This was disclosed yesterday by country’s Chief Negotiator Cde. Pagan Amum Okec after a meeting with the president of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit

 

The team, Mr. Pagan said will hold talks on implementation of the oil agreement as well as the formation of the oversight committee to monitor the flow of the country’s oil through Sudan based on “ very clear terms” among other issues.

 

Though he did not specify when the team will be leaving, Mr. Pagan said his team will also engage Sudan on its continued “false” allegations against the Republic of South that its supporting  rebels opposed to the Khartoum government

 

“The civil war inside Sudan is a Sudanese war with two Sudanese parties to the conflict”. Pagan said.

 

 


Pagan (r) and Thebo Mbeki, AU/HIP lead mediator in a previous meeting in Juba

[File photo: by Matata Safi]

 

Furthermore, he called on the government of Sudan to remain committed to fully implement the cooperation agreement. South Sudan’s position, he said is to develop relations with Sudan, relations of cooperation in all the fields in pursue of the mutual interests of the people of the two countries

 

On the final status of Abyei, Mr. Pagan urged the government of Sudan to accept the AU/HIP proposal as the basses for final resolution of the problem of the Abyei area.

 

“It’s unfortunate that the government of Sudan has been rejecting that proposal and has been allowing the aggravation of the situation including attempts of forceful displacement and settlement of non Ngonk Dinka residence in area” he said.

 

Reported by Matata Safi
 


Juba to hold the 21st Nile Council of Ministers meeting.

JUBA, May 6 2013 - Ministers in charge of Water Affairs in the Nile Basin countries will on June 20, convene in Juba, the capital of the Republic of South Sudan for the 21st annual Nile Council of Ministers (NILE-COM) meeting. 

 

The annual regular meeting of the Nile Basin Intiative (NBI) governing body will deliberate on how to move the Nile cooperation  forward and discuss administrative issues such as assessing the performance of the NBI work plan for the previous year fiscal year, review and approval of the work plan and budget for fiscal year 2013/2014. The meeting will also review and endorse a number of strategy and policy documents. The official Nile Basin Website stated.

 

The Nile- COM meeting will also witness handover of the leadership of the Nile Council of Ministers from Rwanda to South Sudan.

 

South Sudan joined the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) on July 5 last year taking number seven on the alphabetical listing order of the member states thereby assuming the  one year leadership of the body after Rwanda. The other members include Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

 

“South Sudan has stake on the Nile Basin waters, its usage, management and development”. Said Alier Bullen Ngong, the Director General of Water Resources and Management in South Sudan’s Water Resources and Irrigation ministry.

 

 


Members of the Organizing Commitee in a meeting yesterday

[photo: by Matata Safi] 

 

Ngong said South Sudan stands to benefit from the common basket funds that are within the regional block. He said South Sudan laying between downstream and upstream of the Nile , upon assuming chair of the regional block will use its position to coordinate with various position within the NBI to spearhead the existing cooperation.

 

Ngong made these remarks yesterday in Juba while chairing a meeting of the organizing committee at Water and Irrigation Board room.

 

 

Reported by Matata Safi.
 


President Kiir meets Ban Ki Moon

YOKOHAMA, 3 June 2013 - President Salva Kiir Mayardit in the margins of the TICAD conference yesterday on 2nd June, 2013, met with the United Nations Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki Moon. The meeting mainly centered on the relations between Juba and Khartoum, the situations in Jonglei state and issues of the SPLM North and Abyei area.


Mr. Ban appreciated H.E Kiir for the steps his government has taken to consolidate peace in the country. Mr. Ban promised to bring engineering corps from his country, South Korea, to help the young nation of South Sudan.

 


H.E Kiir shakes hands with Mr. Ban when they met in Japan.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


The UN Secretary General expressed sadness on the killing of the Abyei Chief by the Misseriya militias. He urged President El-Bashir to meet the SPLM North face to face next month in Addis Ababa and look for amicable solutions to the SPLM North issues.


According to Hon. Emmanuel LoWilla, the minister in the Office of the President, H.E Kiir told Mr. Ban during the meeting that the SPLM North issues need to be addressed politically and that the Abyei issue is being made difficult by President El-Bashir by not allowing the formation of Abyei institutions to conduct the Referendum.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth from Yokohama, Japan


TICAD 5 ends with Yokohama Declaration

YOKOHAMA, 3 June 2013 - African and Japanese leaders have wrapped up their 3-day meeting in Yokohama City, south of Tokyo, by adopting a declaration to promote foreign investment in Africa.

 

The 5th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 5), ended on Monday morning. Japan co-hosted the conference, attended by the leaders from about 50 African nations. Delegates discussed trade, investment and security, among other issues.

 

The Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the talks had given rise to a determination among participating nations to move forward hand in hand. He said there was renewed hope for growth in Africa.

 

The Yokohama Declaration calls for cooperation to achieve accelerated growth, sustainable development and a reduction of poverty in Africa. It pledges to improve legal systems and infrastructure to encourage private foreign investment. The declaration also calls for an increase in vocational training to provide the skills needed for jobs. It ensures a commitment to advanced agricultural technologies to boost food production.

 

The leaders adopted an action plan to meet the declaration's goals. The plan sets a target of 6-percent growth for Africa's agricultural sector and a doubling of its rice production by 2018. The declaration appreciates the Government of Japan for the contribution of $550 USD million in support of humanitarian assistance in Africa.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth from Yokohama, Japan


President Kiir addresses TICAD 5

YOKOHAMA, 2 June 2013 - President Salva Kiir Mayardit addressed the second session of the 5th Tokyo International Conference on African Development today, as the conference continues its session in the second day on peace and stability.


H.E Kiir said South Sudan is committed to resolving all conflicts in Africa and facilitate the realization of an Africa which is free of conflicts by 2020. He added that South Sudan is also committed to maintaining peace and stability and ensuring security both across and within the borders with Sudan.


President Kiir also thanked many friends, including Japan, for receiving tremendous support and said Japanese peace keepers are doing a credible job in South Sudan and has expanded their operations from being peace keepers to maintaining the infrastructure. He commended the Japanese peace keepers for increasing their operations to new areas in Eastern and Western Equatoria states.


President Kiir told the conferees that the lives of peace keepers in the country were put into risk by rebel attacks. He said that the government is doing its best to bring the situation into normalcy.


“The government working with the civil society organizations has initiated the process of national reconciliation and healing as a way of consolidating peace in South Sudan”, President Kiir said. He called on the Japanese government to support the process.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth from Yokohama, Japan


Belgian investors urged to build road to DRC

JUBA, 2 June 2013 (NASS) - The minister of Information and Broadcasting who is also the official government spokesperson, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, last week urged a Belgian investment mission to consider investing in the construction of a road to Kisangani in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). He described the construction of the road as a priority and of strategic importance to South Sudan.


He said this is one of the projects agreed upon earlier by the Belgian government during the liberation struggle to help connect South Sudan to the neighboring DRC and the rest of the world. According to Dr. Benjamin, this road is expected to open up South Sudan for international trade especially oil export via the Atlantic Ocean.


The minister said this while addressing a conference in Juba attended by nearly twenty giant companies from across Belgium and top officials from the national government especially the ministries of Roads and Agriculture. He also urged the investors to consider venturing in wild life, animal resources and mining.


In his remarks during the conference, the minister of Roads and Bridges, Gier Chuang Aluong called on the Belgian investors to also consider the roads connecting the ten states. “Let the road coming from the airport to the ministries not deceive you, we don't have roads; only the 192km road from Nimule to Juba is tarmacked,” he said.


The minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Cooperatives, Betty Achan Agwero stressed the need of roads in accessing agricultural products. She said there are so many agricultural products in the states which find it difficult to reach markets.


On his part, the representative of the Belgian Chamber of Commerce, Maurice Veermeesch pledged to assist the government of South Sudan to transform the new nation.


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


South Sudanese officers graduate from Kenya’s National Defense College

NAIROBI, 2 June 2013 - Two South Sudanese officers Brig. Gen. Chol Biar Ngang and Brig. Gen. Gatwech Yiech Ruom were among the 41 high ranking military officers drawn from different African countries who graduated from the National Defense College (NDC) in Kenya. This was the 15th batch of graduands since the inception of the NDC.


The NDC is sponsored by the Kenya Defense Force and is charged with the responsibility of developing and improving the intellectual capacity of senior military and government officials on broader dimensions of security issues in order to think globally but acting nationally. This is based on the understanding that national security is no longer viewed through military lenses, but has expanded to a multi-dimensional facet in meaning.


According to Lt Gen J N Waweru, the NDC is affiliated to the University of Nairobi and that among the participants 15 were enrolled in Masters, 17 were working on Diplomas and 9 were undertaking certificate courses. The participants have acquired necessary decision making skills after they completed 48-week curriculum.


Hon. Rachael Omamo, Kenya’s Minster of Defense also emphasized the importance of the course by mentioning some of the high ranking government officials who are alumni of the NDC. She cited example of Kenya and the important position the NDC graduates held in the government.

 


Brig. Gen. Chol Biar Ngang (middle row), one of the two South Sudanese graduands follows the proceedings of the ceremony.


She said that Africa is faced with many challenges that need strategic thinkers and intellectual minded people to tackle. She cited lack of peace and harmony in African countries as one of the challenges that needed to be resolved through such approaches.


She thanked the friendly countries that have sent and maintained their participants in the college. “This has enabled our staff in the college to carry out their duties effectively to impart skills and knowledge to the participants”, she added.


Hon Omamo commended the increase in the number of female participants saying that, “the number of female participants has increased fairly than in other batches” and encouraged all the friendly countries to consider gender balance when selecting the participants.


Among the participants witnessed the graduation were ambassadors from different African countries and members of diplomatic corps. South Sudan was presented by Amb. Majok Guandong and Maj.Gen. Juac Dau Diing, among others. Madam Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior, Advisor to the President of the Republic of South Sudan on Human Rights and Gender was also present.


Reported by Joseph Garang Deng from Nairobi, Kenya


Minister criticizes Human Rights Watch’s report on WBG skirmishes

JUBA, 2 June 2013 (NASS) - The minister of Information and Broadcasting, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin has denounced as unfair a report by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International on the violence in western Bahr el Ghazal State last December.


He said the report is one-sided and leaves out information from official sources at the national and state governments. The minister made the remarks on Friday after getting detailed briefing from the Governor of Western Bahr el Ghazal, Rizik Hassan Zachariah.


Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch reported that the citizens who took to the streets of Western Bahr el Ghazal where shot by the state government while holding a peaceful demonstration.


According to the governor, the government intervened in the demonstration because the demonstrators became violent. He explained that during the incident, the demonstrators were using guns, burned the office of the local government and even raped a mother of six children. He urged the two organizations to correct the reports to show some degree of impartiality.


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


Press release from the NSS on CTV's false allegation

JUBA, 1 June 2013 - Please click the hyperlinks below to read a press release from the Director General of the National Security Service (NSS) denouncing the false accusation by the Editor-in-Chief of Citizen Newspaper and CTV that a security officer threatened CTV at gunpoint.

Page 1 :: Page 2


African development conference kicks off in Japan

YOKOHAMA, 1 June 2013 - The three-day day fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 5) kicked off today on June 1st, 2013 in Yokohama City of Japan under the theme: “Hand in Hand with a more dynamic Africa”.


The TICAD 5 was organized by the Japanese Government in partnership with the African Union Commission (AUC), United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the World Bank, to discuss a high level policy on African Development with concentration on sustainable Economic Development, Peace and stability and dialogue with private sector.

 


H.E Kiir in a general photo with the AU, UN and Japanese leaders in Japan.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit accompanied by a high-level delegation and other African geads of state and governments are participating in this development conference.


The opening session was addressed by the Prime Minister of Japan H.E Shinzu Abe, the Chairperson of the African Union H.E Haile Mariam Desalegn, UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki Moon among other leaders.

 


TICAD 5 kicks off in Yokohama Japan.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


The AU Chairperson H.E Desalegn in his key remarks described the conference as of historic significance to Africa-Japan partnership adding that Japan is the only country that has taken the initiative of mobilizing the international community to support development in Africa through the TICAD forum.


President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit is expected to address the conference on peace and stability tomorrow on 2nd June, 2013.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth from Yokohama, Japan


H.E Kiir meets Japanese PM

YOKOHAMA, 31 May 2013 - President Kiir and his delegation today at Intercontinental Conference Hall in Yokohama City met the Prime Minister of Japan H.E Shinzu Abe.

 


President Kiir shakes hands with the Japanese PM.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


During the meeting President Kiir expressed sincere gratitude to the Japanese PM and his government for the tremendous developmental activities Japan is doing in South Sudan and in the African continent at large. President Kiir said the role of JICA in developing infrastructure of South Sudan is commendable and has a lasting impact.

 


H.E Kiir and delegation in a meeting with Japanese PM.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


The Japanese Prime minister H.E Shinzu Abe on his part congratulated President Kiir for his tireless efforts in the nation building and he welcomed him together with the other African leaders who are working together with Japan on development projects in the continent.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth from Yokohama, Japan


President Kiir in Japan

YKOHAMA, 31 May 2013 - The President of the Republic H.E. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit arrived in Yokohama Japan on Thursday, leading a high-level delegation from the Republic of South Sudan to participate in the fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD-V). 


Hon Nhial Deng Nhial the minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Gen. Oyay Deng Ajak, minister of National Security and Hon Garang Diing, minister of Commerce and Industry besides a number of other senior government officials and representatives of the business community made up the delegation accompanying the President to the conference. 

 


H.E Kiir and the delegation meeting the Toyota team.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]

 

In the margins of the TICAD-V in Yokohama City, President Kiir and the delegation met on 31 May 2013 met the Chairman of Toyota Tsusho Corporation, Mr. Junzo Shimizu and his deputy Mr. Yasuhiko Yokoi and General Manager for Energy Infrastructure Project Department 1, Mr. Hideyuki Oiwa. The meeting focused on the building of the pipeline from South Sudan to the Lamu Port in Kenya. Toyota Japan has expressed the interest to build the proposed pipeline and has carried out the feasibility studies and is ready to begin its construction.


According to the minister of Commerce and Industry Hon Diing, President Kiir reiterated the commitment of the government to cooperate with Toyota Tsusho Corporation in the construction of the pipeline.


On his part, the Chairman of Toyota Corporation, Mr. Shimizu said Toyota is operating in 54 African countries and has 30,000 African employees. He further reported Toyota has completed the feasibility study for the construction of pipelines in South Sudan and has handed over the relevant reports to the government. 

 

Reported by Thomas Kenneth in Yokohama - Japan


“Sudan is committed to implementing the Cooperation Agreement” Ambassador

JUBA, 31 May 2013 (NASS) -The Sudanese Ambassador to the Republic of South Sudan Dr. Mutrif Sadiq has reiterated his country’s commitment to fully implement the September Cooperation Agreements it has signed with the government of the Republic of South Sudan including the agreement on Oil.

 

Dr, Sadiq made the remarks on May 30, in Juba the Capital of South Sudan after a  meeting with South Sudan’s Petroleum and Mining minister Hon. Stephen Dhieu Dau.

 

Ambassador Sadiq and Petroleum minister Dheiu 

[photo: by Yang Bang Deng]

 

Responding to questions by the press, Dr. Sadiq refuted media reports that his country had tried to hamper flow of South Sudan’s oil from Unity State’s oil fields through Helgig pipeline about two weeks ago. He said  "there was only a technical problem" with the pipeline which he said the pipleline engineers were able to rectify later.

 

Hon. Dhieu who commented the efforts of the Sudanese diplomat reaffirmed South Sudan’s commitment to closely work with the government of Sudan to ensure the full implementation of the agreements it has signed with the later. The meeting, he said discussed issues of bilateral relations and cooperation.

 

Reported by Yang Bang Deng( NASS) 


SSBF announces new board members

JUBA, May 29 2013 -The South Sudan Business Forum (SSBF) yesterday welcomed the appointment of its inaugural Board members at an event held at the Home and Away Business Center in Juba

 

SSBF is South Sudan’s main Public-Private dialogue mechanism that brings together key economic stakeholders to promote a conducive business and investment climate for private sector development.

 

It is the custodian of a transparent and inclusive public and private dialogue mechanism constituted to ensure effective representation of a broad spectrum of private sector interests, including SMEs, in fashioning and pursuing the Forum’s agenda on the economy.



The newly appointed SSBF board members.

 

Hon. Garang Diing Akuang, the Minister of Commerce, Industry and Investment in a press leased issued by SSBF, emphasized the importance of the partnership between the Government and Private sector in “Promoting Public-Private Dialogue (PPD) on policies that affect the private sector and the business community.

 

International Financial Cooperation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group is supporting SSBF in promoting public private sector development in South Sudan. The new board members represent both the public and the private sector.

 

Click here to  read the press release

 

Reported by Matata Safi


South Sudan Football Federation approves plan for women football

JUBA, 29 May 2013 (NASS) - The board of directors’ South Sudan Football Federation has approved 2013 budget of about 8 million SSP for the development of women football in South Sudan. This budget will also support the training and capacity development of South Sudanese referees and the coaches.


This budget and plan were unveiled during a meeting of the board of directors of the South Sudan Football Federation. In the same meeting, the board also agreed on the participation of women teams in the continental and international tournaments. According to the board, South Sudan women will be participating in world championship for the ages not more than 20 years in Canada and adults in Namibia.


The board of directors of South Sudan Football Federation further adopted a resolution upgrading seven subsidiary unions into the local union during the meeting. The union is expected to form a committee to visit the subsidiary unions before the end of November this year to come up with a report to make the final decision in its general assembly meeting which is due to take place in February next year.


The sub-unions recommended for upgrading are Lanya, Mundri, Tonj, Manj Biomnom, Maban and Baliet to make 23 local unions in South Sudan.


Professor Sestelo Juba who is the secretary general of the union disclosed the European Union is working to organize tournaments across the country especially in areas where there are sporting activities and recognized unions.


He said opportunities are still open for the rest of the unions to comply with their request for the approval. He explained the visit of the technical committee to the unions for inspection would be for the procedure as well.


He further said that the federation will put some conditions into consideration just like what was done to previous unions stressing that a union should at least have two playgrounds.

 

Reported by Makeir Wen Buk / Translated by Martin Jada Gabriel


“South Sudan oil flow benefits both Sudans”, RSS

JUBA, May 28, 2013 –The flow of South Sudan oil is for the economic benefit of the people of the Republic of Sudan, South Sudan and the region, South Sudan government spokesman Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin has said.


Dr. Benjamin made these remarks today while reacting to threats issued by Sudanese President Omar El Bashir that he would shut down the flow of South Sudan’s oil “should South Sudan continue its support to the rebels” fighting his government in South Kordofan and Blue Nile. President Bashir is reported to have made the threats on Monday while addressing a gathering to celebrate the Sudanese Army takeover of Abu Kershola, an area previously held by the rebels.


“The oil is part of the Cooperation Agreement, we would expect the Republic of Sudan to respect the agreements they peg their signatures to”, said Dr. Benjamin.


Dr. Benjamin, who is also South Sudan’s Minister of Information, re-echoed the country’s stance on severed ties with the rebels of Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF). The rebels from the two regions of Kordofan and Blue Nile fought alongside the South in the two decades long civil war against Khartoum government. However, South Sudan parted ways with them when it attained independence in July 2011.

 


Dr. Benjamin addressing the press in Juba.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


“The accusations labeled against South Sudan that it is supporting the rebels fighting the Sudanese government are false”, Dr. Benjamin said.


South Sudan government, he said, is committed to the full implementation of the Cooperation Agreement. He urged the government of Sudan to use established mechanisms in the African Union Roadmap to channel any disputes as recommended by the Cooperation Agreement.


Dr. Benjamin said that Presidents Bashir and Salva Kiir Mayardit met on May 24 in Addis Ababa on the margins of AU Jubilee celebration and agreed to fast track the process of creating border crossing points which he said would facilitate the easy movement of people and goods between the two countries.


Reported by Matata Safi


“Strengthen UNISFA”, Kiir urges AU/PSC

ADDIS ABABA, May 27 2013 – South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit has called on the African Union Peace and Security Council (AU/PSC) to strengthen the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) following the killing of the Paramount Chief Deng Koul Deng of Abyei.

 

The late paramount chief was killed on 4 May 2013 when a convoy he was travelling in came under attack believed to have been carried out by some elements from the Messeriya Arab nomads group. One UN solider was also killed.

 

H.E President Salva Kiir meeting the AUPSC
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]

In a meeting with the AU/SPC yesterday in Addis Ababa on the margins of the African Union Jubilee celebrations, President Kiir said the situation in the area would get worse if the UN security force is not strengthened to face the current security challenges.

 

The AU has called for an immediate investigation in the murder of the chief with both Presidents Kiir and Omar El-Bashir pledging their support for the investigations. The meeting was chaired by the Prime Minister of Ethiopia H.E Haile Mariam Desalegn.

 

Reported by Thomas Kenneth


H.E Kiir and El-Bashir agree to establish 8 border crossing points

ADDIS ABABA, 25 May 2013 – Presidents Salva Kiir Mayardit of the Republic of South Sudan and Omar Al-Bashir of Sudan have agreed to immediately establish eight border crossing points for easy movement of people and flow of goods to facilitate trade. This followed a meeting between the two leaders in the margins of the African Union summit yesterday evening at the Sheraton Hotel in Addis Ababa. This was announced by the minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hon. Nhial Deng Nhial.

 


Presidents Kiir and Bashir shake hands before the summit.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]

 

Earlier, President Kiir met the Prime Minister of Ethiopia H.E Haile Mariam Desalegn and discussed with him the current situation in the relations between Sudan and South Sudan in terms of the issue of the murder of late Paramount Chief of Abyei Kuol Deng Kuol.


The two leaders in the meeting agreed to launch a credible impartial investigation and get the root cause and the circumstances surrounding the death of the paramount chief. The two leaders also assessed the current situation relating to the agreements signed between the two countries. The Ethiopian leader pledged to continue supporting the process of the implementation of the agreement and normalization of the relations between South Sudan and Sudan.

 


H.E Kiir, Ethiopian PM Desalegn, Hon. Alor and Hon Nhial in a meeting.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


H.E Kiir and El-Bashir after this held a summit and discussed a number of issues relating to the implementation of the cooperation agreement among which are fixing of the border crossing point between the two countries that had been agreed to be fixed in Hegleg and Joda areas. As stated by the, the two border crossing points have been currently experiencing some difficulties impacting negatively on the oil production operations.


The summit between the two Presidents according to the Hon Nhial agreed that the Joint Political and Security Mechanism (JPSM) on both sides will be sent on the ground in the area of Tashwin and Joda to finally plot on the ground on the basis of the coordinate on the map the precise location of Tashwin and Joda as border crossing points.

 


H.E Kiir and H.E El-Bashi in the summit.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


Reported by Thomas Kenneth from Addis Ababa


H.E Kiir attends 50th anniversary of the OAU/AU

ADDIS ABABA, 25 May 2013 - The capital city of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa has witnessed on 25th May, 2013 celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Organization of the African unity (OAU)/ African Union (AU), under the theme: “Pan- Africanism and the African Renaissance”.

 

The participants included African Heads of State and Government, UN Secretary Gen. Mr. Pan Ki Moon, US Secretary of State Mr. John Kerry, European, Asian and Arab world Representatives. The celebration started at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa with the African union 21st ordinary session of the assembly of heads of state and government, opened by its Chairman H.E Haile Mariam Desalegn who is also the Prime Minister of Ethiopia.


In his opening remarks PM Desalegn said the celebration marks Pan-African quest for freedom, Peace and Development in order to maintain the dignity of African People.

 


AU celebrations in Addis Ababa.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


The anniversary celebrated African narratives of past, present and future that will enthuse and energize the African population and use their constructive energy to accelerate a forward looking agenda of Pan-Africanism and renaissance in the 21st century. It provides a unique opportunity, and comes at a moment when Africa is on the rise, and must therefore build its confidence in its future. The day was dominated by colorful celebrations.


This is a time for the African people to reflect on how they fared on, in the last fifty years. To improve on where they succeeded and double efforts to redress issues in areas where they drew back. It also time to focus into the coming fifty years in order to get prepared for the challenges that they faced in the past.


Reported by from Addis Ababa


Kenya to jointly undertake three major projects with South Sudan

JUBA, May 24, 2013 – The President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta has said his government will jointly with South Sudan undertake three major projects of Lamu oil pipeline, construction of road linking the two countries as well as construction of a railway line to improve trade between the two countries.


President Kenyatta made the revelations on his first official visit to Juba yesterday since he assumed office last month.


Currently, exports from Kenya as well as goods coming through the port of Mombasa to South Sudan have to take the longest route via Uganda to access the market in the Republic of South Sudan thereby increasing the cost of doing business. Considering the amount involved, President Kenyatta said he and his South Sudan counterpart agreed to tackle each project at a time.

 


Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta being received by his South Sudan counterpart HE.Kiir at Juba Airport.
[Photo: Phillip Dhil]


However he emphasized the importance and urgency of prioritizing the construction of the road linking the two countries. Though no timeline has been set to start the construction of the road from Juba via Torit, Kapoeta, Narus, on the South Sudan side as well as Lokichogio, Kitale, Eldoret on the Kenya side, President Kenyatta underscored the need to fast track the process.


President Kenyatta pledged to continue strengthening the long standing bilateral relations with South Sudan for the mutual and economic good of the people of the two countries. “The purpose of our visit is to underscore the relation between our countries. It is the intension of my administration to deepen that relationship to ensure that we together prosper”, said President Kenyatta.


President Kenyatta, son of Kenya’s first President after independence Jomo Kenyatta, underscored the importance of African leaders working together to create solution to African problems to ensure peace and stability in the region. He urged African leaders to work together to end the conflict in Kenya’s neighboring Somalia.

 


Presidents Salva Kiir meeting with Kenya's Uhuru Kenyatta at State House in Juba.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


“In our discussions, we reiterated our belief that a stable Somalia is indeed in the best interest of our region”, President Kenyatta told reporters in a joint press statement.


H.E President Salva Kiir Mayardit assured the commitment of his government to closely work with the newly elected Kenyan president. The three projects, he said are very crucial for the mutual benefit for the people of the two countries.


Reported by Matata Safi