$33 million additional CHF fund allocated for people in need

JUBA, 22 August 2013 - The South Sudan Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF) has allocated US$33 million for life-saving assistance until the end of the year to people displaced by violence, returnees, refugees and vulnerable host communities. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has said.


The money, according to a UNOCHA press statement will be channeled to providing clean water and sanitation, education, livelihoods support, healthcare, household items, nutrition, mine clearance and protection.


“The money will help people in South Sudan who have been worst affected by violence, disease and displacement. Our goal is to make sure aid gets to those who need it most and as quickly as possible,” said Toby Lanzer, the UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan.


Toby Lanzer


The CHF is a tool that provides funding for the most urgent priorities for humanitarian action, and ensures that funds are available for rapid response to emergencies. The fund is managed by the Humanitarian Coordinator, with support from an advisory board of donors and UN and NGO representatives.


To date this year, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom have all provided generously to the fund, Lanzer said. With the new allocation of $33 million, the CHF will have channeled around $90 million to NGOs and UN agencies in 2013.

Reported by Matata Safi

President Bashir invites H.E Kiir to Khartoum

ADDIS ABABA, 21 August 2013 (NASS) - The Sudanese President Omer Hassan al Bashir has reiterated his readiness to receive his southern counterpart President Salva Kiir Mayardit in Khartoum for talks aimed at resolving the remaining post independence issues as well as to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries.


The Sudanese president made the announcement yesterday in a meeting with South Sudan’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin at the sidelines of Zenawi memorial at Addis Park. As per the invitation Dr. Benjamin said, the President is expected to travel to Khartoum later this month.


The invitation, he said is a good gesture towards creating good neighborly and sisterly relations with Sudan. The minister also said President Bashir congratulated the newly formed cabinet adding that he [President Bashir] is “looking forward for fruitful cooperation” with the new government.


The two heads of states are expected to further discuss avenues to resolve the remains sticky issues of border demarcations, claimed and disputed areas, the final status of the Abyei as well as security arrangement among others. Prior to the president’s visit, Dr. Benjamin is expected to travel to Khartoum to make necessary arrangements for the president's visit.


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

Health minister urges parents to immunize children

JUBA, 21 August 2013 - The national minister of health Dr. Riek Gai Kok has called on all parents and caretakers to ensure all children under the age of five are immunized against the six child killer diseases.

In a meeting with UNICEF delegation headed by its new country representative Dr. Iyorlumum J Uhaa, South Sudan’s health minister Dr. Gai underscored the importance of immunizing all children especially against the deadly polio virus. The outbreak of the disease, he said has been reported in the East African countries, which he said puts South Sudan at a higher risk of importing the disease.

Dr Gai outlined vaccinating all children under the age of five against the six killer diseases, minimizing child mortality rates, eradicating birth related deaths and effective delivery of health care services to the people of south Sudan both at the national and state levels as his eminent targets.


Health minister Dr. Gai 
[Photo: William Jufur]

Mean while Dr. Uhaa assured of the commitment of his agency in joining efforts with the government, particularly the health ministry in ensuring children are protected against these preventable diseases. He said there is an ongoing vaccination campaign in the country and urged all parents to have their children immunized.

Reported by William Jufur

South Sudan Joint Security Committee arrives in Khartoum

KHARTOUM 21 August 2013 (NASS) - South Sudan and Sudan Joint Security Committee (JSC) yesterday embarked on their third round meeting centered on the security matters between the two countries at the Sudanese capital Khartoum. 

The South Sudanese delegation was upon arrival at Khartoum International Airport received by the senior security officials from Khartoum government. South Sudan’s Joint Security Committee spokesperson Brig. Bior Kuer Deng said the meeting was to further deliberate on he issues agreed on their last two meetings of the joint committee. He reiterated South Sudan’s commitment to implement the agreed resolution reached between the two sides.

Meanwhile Mr. Almuez Faruq the Sudanese representative expressed the readiness of Sudan to solve the security issue in order to bring peace and stability among the people of the two countries.

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

“Late Zenawi has been the voice of the voiceless in Africa”, Dr. Benjamin

ADDIS ABABA, 20 August 2013 (NASS) – The Special Envoy of the President of the Republic and South Sudan’s Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin has said the late Prime Minister of Ethiopia Meles Zenawi was the voice of the voiceless in Africa.


Dr. Benjamin was speaking at the occasion to make the first anniversary of the late Prime minister Zenawi this morning when he made the remarks. He said the death of the late Ethiopian Prime Minister was not only a loss to the people of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, but also a great loss to the people of South Sudan.


“Late Zenawi was the voice of the voiceless in Africa in so many issues, he was an advocate of peace, security and economic development” Dr. Benjamin said. It’s through the efforts of late Zenawi that South Sudan today enjoys relative peace, Dr. Benjamin remarked. Moreso, he said the Lamu oil pipeline Project that is expected to provide an alternative export route for South Sudan’s crude oil to the international market is one of the many initiatives that the Zenawi can be remembered for.


Dr. Benjamin (r) joins regional leaders in unveiling the commemorative stone laid at the newly designated Meles Zenawi Memorial Park
[Photo: Martin Jada]


Regional leaders including Presidents Omar Hassan el Bashir of Sudan, Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti and Hassan Sheikh Mohamud of Somalia, government representatives and foreign dignitaries gathered in the Ethiopian Capital Addis Ababa to commemorate the anniversary of the late Ethiopian Prime Minister Zenawi who passed away a year ago in the Brussels, Belgium.


Dr. Benjamin called upon the incumbent Prime Minister Haile Mariam Desalegn to embrace the legacy of Zenawi to work for the peace in the region and unity in the continent. “The people of the Republic of South Sudan are praying so hard to see peace in the region especially between Ethiopia and Eritrea, peace in DRC, Central African Republic, Egypt, and Sudan,” the minister told the gathering.


Dr. Benjamin shares a light moment with Sudanese President Bashir
[Photo: Martin Jada]


The heads of the states present pledged to embrace the “Zenawi legacy” to lead the region into peace and prosperity. They described the late as “a visionary and realistic leader” whose plans especially on agricultural transformation and climate change have left a remarkable impact in the region.


Reported by Martin Jada Gabriel News Agency of South Sudan NASS

Information minister advocates responsible journalism

JUBA, 16 August 2013 (NASS) - The minister of Information and Broadcasting Michael Makuei Lueth has warned all the private media houses operating in the country to practice responsible journalism and safeguard the country.


Hon Makuei and his deputy address staff of the ministry.
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]

“All the FMs that are running uncontrolled and scattered everywhere need to be looked into. Open shows and live contacts (telephone calls) should be limited to certain programs”, he advised. He said most of the programs broadcast over the private media houses especially FM radios are inappropriate and need to be addressed responsibly.

The minister made the remarks yesterday after his first general meeting with the directorates of the ministry. He also said the ministry will conduct workshops to educate the journalists on the media laws once they are signed by the President. He said that the ministry will enforce strict compliance with the laws and urged all concerned parties to respect the laws.

The minister further cautioned staff of the ministry to be diligent and stressed the issue of punctuality and observance of the working hours saying any negligence of duty will have consequences.


The deputy minister Rachel Nyadak Paul cuts a tape to mark her entry into the ministry.
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]

The deputy minister in the ministry Madam Rachel Nyadak Paul also expressed confidence that the ministry will not be the same any more saying she will work hand in hand with the minister to address the challenges and improve the working conditions there to boost productivity and service delivery. She urged the staff to embrace teamwork to deliver the mandate of the ministry.


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

Mining laws in the pipeline

JUBA, 16 August 2013 - The Ministry of Petroleum and Mining of the Republic of South Sudan has embarked on drawing guidelines and mechanisms on developing the mining industry in the country as an alternative source of the new nation’s economy.

On Thursday 15th August 2013 the Ministry organized a workshop on proposed mining taxation regime in which the stakeholders participated with an aim to ensure that schedules of royalties, minimum annual exploration expenditures, annual rents and fees, payable under the Mining Act 2012 are coordinated and agreed upon between the stakeholder ministries and are in line with the mining policy and international best practice.

Speaking to the press during the event the minister of Petroleum and Mining, Stephen Dhieu Dau said the workshop was intended to reach an agreement on the various fees in order to achieve a win-win situation whereby a conducive climate is created for investors to invest in the promising mining industry in South Sudan. At the same time the government wants to diversify resources by avoiding a dependence on one source which is oil.

He said the workshop, attended by national line ministries, representatives from the ten states and civil society organizations is part of final phase of the implementation of the Mining Act 2012. He said a circular on agreed schedules of royalties, and various fees and charges on mining activities will be issued and distributed to the stakeholders.

On the other hand, the Director General for the Directorate of Mining in the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining Arkangelo Okwang Oler said the workshop on the proposed taxation regime brings to an end all the processes relating to the mining regulations.

“The Mining Act 2012 that was signed into law by the President of the Republic Salva Kiir Maryardit is now going to be ready for implementation, because it is the regulations that implement the Mining Act. So, with this we are going to be left with securing a space for installing technological system and recruiting more staff to be able to start the mining sector”, Okwang said.

He cited the lack of vehicles to dispatch the staff to all parts of the country to monitor all types of illegal mining as one of the challenges the directorate faces. “Illegal mining is itself a challenge because the resource is a national one. It does not belong to individuals. We will have to deploy a huge number of our staff to ensure nobody is trafficking gold. Gold is a national resource that must benefit all of us”, Okwang said.

The Director General also warned illegal miners against the practice saying it is going to subject them to punishment according to the law of the land. He explained that the Minister of Petroleum and Mining had earlier issued a ministerial order prohibiting any illegal mining across the country. “My message to the public is that anybody who still thinks of carrying out illegal mining is a criminal and he is punishable by law”, he said.

He also explained that poor infrastructure such roads and bridges, lack of the electric power to run mining machineries are the other challenges slowing down the growth of the mining industry.

“Mining sector is very big, so we need roads and bridges to the mining areas and we need power in order to crash marbles for cement industry. Large scale mining will not take place unless we put in place the infrastructure”, he explained.

He urged the mining companies that are flocking into the country looking for investment opportunities in the mining sector to be patient until things are put in place so that issuance of mining licenses may commence.

The Republic of South Sudan contains many natural resources such as petroleum, iron ore, copper, chromium ore, zinc, and tungsten, mica, silver and gold.

Reported by Abraham Garang Ajang

Dr. Gai meets with the EU Ambassador

JUBA, 16 August 2013 - The national minister of Health Dr. Riek Gai Kok yesterday in his office held a meeting with European Union Ambassador Sven Kuhn where they extensively discussions areas of cooperation in the health sector as well as strengthening bilateral relation between the EU and South Sudan.

Dr. Gai reiterated his readiness to improve the health sector in the country. Though the challenges remain enormous, He said, the government is committed in ensuring delivery of health services to the people of South Sudan especially in rural areas.


Dr. Gai in a previuos photo is being received by the ministry staff after he was sworn in
[Photo: William Jufur]

Dr. Gai further told the Ambassador, addressing the challanges currently the national referral Juba teaching hospital and developing the human resource are top on his agenda for the ministry.

Meanwhile Ambassador Kuhn congratulated the minister on his new appointment and assured of the EU's continued commitment in partnering with the government in order to uplift the health sector in South Sudan.
He said, EU will continue to avail funds for its ongoing projects so as to improve the health situation at both the national and state levels.

Reported by William Jufur

New information minister pledges to improve working conditions

JUBA, 14 August 2013 (NASS) – Hon Michael Makuei Lueth, the new minister for Information and Broadcasting has pledged to work hand in hand with staff at the ministry to improve the working conditions.

He also promised to explore possibilities of better compensation for staff working under risky conditions such television and radio technicians who are exposed to electromagnetic radioactivity.

The new minister made these pledges yesterday when he visited the South Sudan Radio premises currently under construction at Bulluk and the transmission station at Gumbo.


Hon Makuei being received by top officers at the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

He also promised to work on plans to increase the manpower with qualified cadre to deliver quality services across the ten states of South Sudan. He said the plan for recruitment of the new staff would be executed once the ongoing construction projects of South Sudan Radio and Television are completed.

Hon Makuei also acknowledged the good work of his predecessors including the late Dr Samson Kwaje, Gabriel Changson Chang, Paul Mayom and Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin. He commended their efforts to develop media in South Sudan. He said he will work to ensure the establishment of a public broadcaster in the country.

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

“China has a strong position to influence relations with Sudan”, Chinese Special Envoy

JUBA, 14th August 2013 (NASS) – Owing to its influence on the oil industry in Sudan and South Sudan, China has a steady and strong position in repairing the relations between the two countries and facilitating progress towards lasting peace and prosperity, a Chinese diplomat has said.


The Chinese Special Representative for African Affairs Zhong Jianghua said his government is engaging the two governments in efforts to normalize cooperation and realize amiable neighbourly relations.


Dr. Benjamin chats with Mr. Jianghua
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]


The envoy disclosed this on Monday after a congratulatory meeting with the new minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin. 


He urged the government of Sudan to allow the flow of South Sudan’s oil through its oil infrastructure adding that “the two countries heavily need the oil revenues for development”.

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

“Embrace teamwork if we are to be achievers”, Gender minister

JUBA, 14 August 2013 (NASS) - The newly appointed national minister of Gender, Child and Social Welfare Hon. Awut Deng Aciul has urged the staff of her ministry to embrace teamwork if they are to record any meaningful success.

“Teamwork is the only way we can be able to achieve what we want for this ministry and the people of South Sudan”, Hon Aciul said on Monday while being officially received at the ministry.


She said the work at the ministry is massive and called for committment and dedication. One of the major tasks of the ministry, she said, is tackling the problem of street children. She said her ministry will have to work with all players and the ten state’s ministries of Social Development ino rder to team up efforts to address the issue.


Hon. Awut Deng Acuil 
[Photo: Simon Matip Akol]


Like many of her fellow ministers, Hon. Aciul was received at the ministry with ululations, dancing and singing. Headed by the Undersecretary Esther Ikere Eluzai, the staff members thanked the President of the Republic of South Sudan H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit for appointing Hon Acuil as the Gender minister.

After the meeting, Hon. Aciul visited the Physical Rehabilitation Centre (PRC), Rejaf School for the Blind and the Deaf along Nimule roads as well as the proposed ministry building along Yei road.

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

“Kiir reshuffled government on people's will”, Toposa women group

JUBA, 13 August 2013 - President Kiir received in his office today a delegation of women group from Toposa Community of Kapoeta South, Kapoeta East and Kapoeta North in Eastern Equatoria State.


The group, which was accompanied by the Easteren Equatoria State Governor Luis Lobong Lojore and the minister of National Security Gen. Obutu Mamur Mete congratulated H.E Kiir for reshuffling his government according to the “will of South Sudan people”.


President Kiir and the Toposa women group. On his right is Gen. Mamur while on the left is  
Governor Lojore
[Photo: Thomas Keneth]

In a press statement, the head of the delegation Ms. Hellen Orasio called on the people of South Sudan to be united behind the President, discard tribal difference and work for peace and development.

Reported by Thomas Kenneth

President Kiir to visit India

Juba 9 August 2013 - President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit is set to visit India late this month on an official invitation by his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee.

India’s special envoy to South Sudan Mr. P. S Raghavan met President Kiir this morning where he delivered the invitation and President Mukherjee’s message of strengthening bilateral relations between his country and the Republic of South Sudan.

South Sudan’s Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation minister Hon. Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, said President Kiir during the meeting, discussed in a very positive manner issues of bilateral Relations, economic development and capacity building programs.


President Kiir shakes hands with Mr. Raghavan. Looking on is Dr. Benjamin South Sudan's Foreign Affairs minister
[Photo: Garang Thuc]

He said the president on behalf of the people and Government of South Sudan expressed the regrets to Indian Government through the special envoy, for the UNMISS Indian soldiers killed in Jonglei state by the militia groups.

Meanwhile Mr. Raghavan described the relations between India and South Sudan as “traditional and of a very long standing”. He reiterated to President Kiir India’s determination to continue and intensify cooperation with South Sudan.

Reported by Thomas Keneth

Over 60,000 return to Abyei

JUBA, 9 August 2013 - Aid agencies say some sixty thousand (60,000) returnees displaced from Abyei region by the May 2011 Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) invasion have already returned home ahead of the much anticipated referendum exercise scheduled for October this year.

An Abyei return tracking report for June and July this year showed that about 16,000 people have been verified as having returned to Abyei since June 2012. While the verification process did not capture returns in and around Agok in the south of the Abyei area, food partners monthly registration records reportedly suggest that another between 5,000 and 8,000 people have returned and settled in Agok, an areas known to many as Annet.


“Overall, partners estimate that up to 60,000 of the over 100,000 people displaced from Abyei in May 2011 have returned” the United Nation’s weekly bulletin reported. According to the verification report, there are around 3,500 people living in Abyei town.

Aid organizations are said to be responding to the needs of those who have returned to their homes, including by providing communities with seeds, tools and non-food items to "strengthen their resilience".

Although a number of schools in Abyei town have been rehabilitated, school enrollment, education partners say is much lower than anticipated.

Reported by Matata Safi

US $5million earmarked for fighting TB and child mortality rate

JUBA, 6 August 2013 - The Korean Foundation for International Health Care (KFIHC) has earmarked five million (USD$5million), United States Dollars an equivalent of SSP20,000,000 for the fight against Tuberculosis (TB) and infant mortality rate in South Sudan.

The Undersecretary in the ministry of Health Dr. Makor Koryom, revealed this yesterday while signing a memorandum of understanding with the South Korean organization. Dr. Koryom said the three-year project aims at reducing “the already high infant mortality rates” as well as curbing the spread of Tuberculosis in the country.

The funding project, he said will help government to improve the health sector, while on the order hand he said it will open a door of cooperation between the government of the people of South Korea and the Republic of South Sudan.


Dr. Makor and Mr. Sire exchange copies of the signed MOU
[Photo: William Jufur]

Mean while Mr. David Sire, the Secretary General of KFIHC lauded the government, particularly the national ministry of health for its readiness to partner with his organization in improving the health sector in South Sudan.

He assured of his country’s commitment in working with the government of South Sudan to bring what he described as “positive changes” in the health care system in the young country.
Furthermore, he promised his organization’s commitment to continue funding more projects in the coming years.

Reported by William Jufur