Accept the AU proposal on Abyei, EU Special Envoys urges

JUBA, 9 October 2013 (NASS) - The Special Envoy of the European Union to Sudan and South Sudan, Rosalind Marsden is urging Juba and Khartoum to accept the proposal presented by Thabo Mbeki,  on determinig the final status of Abyei. 


Rosalind said "conducting the Abyei referendum is crucial". Abyei referendum as of the proposal by the African Union High Implementation Pannel is scheduled to take place this October but issues to do with voters’ registration, Abyei commission and administration are not yet in place.

 


Dr. Benjanin and Rosalind during the meeting 
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]


Rosalind after talks with the minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin said a team from the African Union Peace and Security Council would soon arrive in the country to see the situation of the people of Abyei as the return home. Rosalind also promised of the support of the EU to see peace returns in Jonglei state.


The minister also held discussions with the Indonesian Ambassador to South Sudan Dr. Sujatmiko. The talks centered on how the two countries can establish diplomatic relation between each other in order to enhance bilateral cooperations. According to sujatmiko the republic of Indonesia is interested in trade with South Sudan especially on the oil and agriculture sector.


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


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Top ANC delegation in Juba to strengthen ties with SPLM

JUBA, 8 September 2013 – A high level delegation from South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC) is in Juba for talks aimed at deepening ties with the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLA). The delegation led by the ANC Vice President Cyril Ramaphosa touched down at Juba International Airport this morning and was received by the SPLM Deputy Secretary Hon. Ann Itto.

 

South Sudan like South Africa gained independence after a long struggle for freedom. There is need for the two ruling parties, with a common historic background to work together in order to serve better the interest of people of the two countries. Hon. Ramaphosa said.

 

 “We will be holding a number of talks with the leadership of the SPLM as directed by our leadership especially President Jacob Zuma, we will exchange views and ideas on how the two parties can serve better the interest of our people both in South Africa and South Sudan” the ANC Vice President said.

 

While South Sudan under the leadership of the SPLM has achieved it strategic goal of independence, Hon. Ramaphosa said the ANC shall rally behind the party as it embarks on the new path of nation building.

 


Dr. Itto shakes hands with ANC Vice President Ramaphosa
[Photo: Matata Safi]


In 2008, SPLM party signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the ANC, The purpose of today’s meeting Dr. Itto said is for the two parties to look at the achievements they have made over the years and review areas of challenges.

 

Dr. Itto also the acting Secretary General enlisted empowering the two parties to provide leadership for nation building, empowering and developing women and youth, building solidarity across the region among others as being the key objective of the MOU.

 

Reported by Matata Safi


Government embarks on mass vaccination following measles outbreak in Malakal

JUBA, 4 September 2013 - Measles outbreak has been reported in Malakal, the state capital of Upper Nile. Dr Makur Kariom the Undersecretary of the ministry of health  said the ministry together with (WHO, UNICEF) having started conducting mass measles vaccination campaign targeting over 31,303 children between the age of 6 months to 5 year.

 

10 out of 15 suspected measle cases  reported from the state’s main referral hospital tested positive during the period of the last one month. Those affected are between the age 6-18 months and they continue to receive treatment at the Malakal Teaching Hospital Hospital, the Dr. Makur said.


While making the announcement yesterday, Dr. Makur urged all the citizen of South Sudan to ensure their children under the age of 5 are immunized. He reiterated the commitment of the government in containing the outbreak and said a national and state measles taskforce to coordinate the interventions response has been formed.


In other related development Dr Makur met in his office the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Botswana president Hon. Eric Molale. The two discussed areas of cooperation between the two countries particularly in the health sector.

 

Hon. Molale on his part noted the challenges the country is facing in the implementation of the 2013, September corporation agreement with the republic of Sudan saying a successful implementation would bring the much needed development.


Dr Makur appealed to the Government of Botswana to help the young country by building capacity of its medical staff. He said this would strengthen them to deliver better health services to the people of South Sudan.


Reported by William Jufur


Plans to downsize country’s diplomats commence

JUBA, 3 September 2013 (NASS) - The ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has kicked off plans to downsize the country’s missions abroad. A nine member committee was on Monday unveiled and sworn in, and will be tasked with analyzing all the diplomatic missions in relations to their placement and advice the ministry on the next course of action.


The minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin said this is in line with the decision taken by the council of ministers to reduce the number of diplomats working in the foreign missions. According to Dr. Benjamin this move will not affect the standard of service delivery instead will match the policy of lean government and easy work in its embassies.

 


Dr. Benjamin during the briefing
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]


In separate news, a team of doctors assigned by the league of Arabs states is expected to arrive the country soon in an effort to provide technical assistance. The team according to the head of Arab league mission in the country ambassador Mohamed Monsef Amin comprise mostly of specialists in fields of gynecology and ophthalmology. He said team is expected to reach Juba on the twentieth of this month. He said the number of scholarships to South Sudan has also been increased.


The minister also held talks with the Danish Ambassador to South Sudan, Stephan Schönemann. The two discussed the ongoing relation between Juba and Khartoum especially the recent initiative establish by the two president.


The ambassador disclosed after the talks that a high-level delegation from his country would reach Juba later this year to assess areas of cooperation with South Sudan.

 

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


Fire guts South Sudan Hotel

JUBA, 2 September 2013 – Fire has gutted South Sudan hotel for the second time destroying property millions of South Sudanese Pounds. The hotel located along Juba-Ministries roads and behind Millennium Hotel caught fire at around 11am local time.



“I was out of the hotel when I was called by one of the staff, that the hotel was on fire. The fire started in one of the small halls [Upper Lounge]. There was an explosion like sound and later huge balls of smoke engulfed the building, Male Garang , the General manager of the hotel said. “What has happened is a grate tragedy to us, the hotel administration, the staff and the share holders of the hotel”, Mr. Garang decried.

 


sympathiers gather at the hotel as fire fighters struggle to contain the fire
[Photo: Matata safi]

 

Asked what could have caused the fire, he said a possibility of an electrical malfunction could have caused the fire though he said a committee would be formed within 24 hours to investigate the fire outbreak.

 

No deaths or injuries were reported. Many of the people putting up in the hotel were out for work by the time of the fire. The hotel is connected to both Government power and a generator. Mr. Garang however said a number of the hotel electronic gadgets were burned the peivious day after they had switched the power supply to the city power. He said though the problem was later rectified. By the time of the fire outbreak, the hotel he said was running on a generator.

 


Some of the clients with their rescued belongings outside the hotel
[Photo: Matata Safi]

 

The South Sudan fire brigade and UNMISS fire fighters managed to bring down the fire after nearly one and half hours saving the eastern wing from fire. “This is a great loss, we know how much it cost us to put up this hotel. More than 80 percent of the rooms are burnt, this means that a lot of money has been lost” Garang said.

 

Scenarios of fre gutting hotels has been common in the past with the now closed Benjing hotel getting burnt twice.


Reported by Matata Safi 


China pledges 200M Yuan to South Sudan

JUBA, 2 September 2013 NASS - The government of China has pledged 200 million Chinese Yuan, an equivalent of about three million US Dollars to the Government of the Republic of South Sudan to support the ongoing development efforts in the country, a senoir government official has said.


Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, The minister of Foreign Affairs said this yesterday upon arrival from New York where he went to attend the UN General Assembly Meeting. Dr. Benjamin said he was informed of the grant, at the sidelines of the UN meeting by the Chinese foreign minister for African Affiars. He said the minister congratulated the Government and the people of South Sudan on the recent good relations with Khartoum.

 


Dr. Benjamin addressing press upon arrival at the Juba international Airport yesterday
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]


Dr. Benjamin who was in a delegation lead by the country’s Vive President H.E James Wani Igga said “the vice president made a wonderful speech” at the UN assembly where he stressed the issue of Abyei and the Sudan and Sudan relations.

 

He said the Vice president besides meeting with the different heads of the states, he  is cuurently engaged with the South Sudanese diaspora in Michigan to share with them the challenges and progress the government is making. 


The minister further held talks with Ali Kerti the Sudanese Foreign Affairs minister. He said his sudanese counterpart would soon visit Juba to discuss issues of bilateral relations as started by the two presidents.


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


Polio outbreak reported in South Sudan

JUBA, 1 October 2013 – Polio has reemerged in the republic of South Sudan nearly four years when the last polio case was reported in the country in 2009.


Three children have been confirmed  by the Kenya Medical Research Institute with the infection, two in Northern Bahr el Ghazal State and another in Eastern Equatoria State, the national ministry of Health announced.


“We consider this a national health emergency,” Honourable Dr.Riek Gai, Minister of Health, said on Monday. We are mobilizing from the highest level of Government to every community in the country in order to stop this disease. “We are also working closely with WHO, UNICEF, and other key partners around the world and here in South Sudan to ensure the most effective response. Together, we will stop the spread of polio in South Sudan,” the Minister added.


Two girls, aged two and eight, living in Aweil South County, Northern Bahr el Ghazal State and a two year-old girl in Ikotos County, Eastern Equatoria State, were confirmed on September 26 as having polio. The status of the three girls is being followed closely the minister said.


Following the confirmation of the three polio cases, the Government and partners have started emergency vaccinations in the areas where the virus was detected. The emergency “mop-up” campaign, in Aweil South County in Northern Bahr el Ghazal State, and Gogrial West county in Warrap State and Ikotos and Budi counties in Eastern Equatoria State will continue through October 4, Dr. Gai told reporters. “This “mop-up” campaign is designed to stop the spread of the virus quickly” he said.


Additional campaigns will be held in every State in the country in October, November and December, he said. This will be an ongoing process to ensure children in South Sudan are protected from polio. The Government of South Sudan is also continuing to coordinate with neighboring countries in polio eradication efforts.


In May this year, a polio outbreak was reported in Somalia, which quickly spread to Kenya and Ethiopia. Following the outbreak, medical authorities across South Sudan have been on high alert to look for any possible cases in this country. The Ministry of Health and its partners conducted additional polio vaccination campaigns in August in the States considered most at risk from the outbreak in the affected countries on its borders. Those States were Upper Nile, Jonglei, Eastern Equatoria and Central Equatoria. Pariang County in Unity State was also included in that vaccination campaign.


“We are organizing intensive vaccination campaigns throughout the country to protect our children against this devastating disease. We are determined to stop the spread of polio,” the Minister said,

Dr. Gai appealled to all parents to make sure their children are vaccinated. "Protect your children through routine immunization and by making sure they receive additional polio vaccinations. We are working together for the eradication of polio. As long as polio exists anywhere in the world, every unimmunized child is at risk", he said.


Reported by Matata Safi 


South Sudan to hold investment conference in December

JUBA, 28 September 2013 – The Government of South Sudan in collaboration with development partners is organizing a two- day investment conference scheduled for December 4-5 this year.


The conference seeks to promote South Sudan as a viable investment and business destination in the region by bring together senior government officials, key agencies and industry leaders to aid essential development and investment initiatives, The deputy minister for Finance Mary Jervas Yak said on Thursday while briefing the press in Juba.


To be official opened by the President of the Republic, HE Salva Kiir Mayardit, the conference is expected to attack regional and international potential investors, local investors, representatives of multinational corporations, Bankers, representatives of non governmental organization, donor organizations government officials among others.

 


Hon. Yak announcing the conference
[Photo: Matata Safi]


The conference will provide a platform for investors to explore business or investment opportunities particularly on the five high impact sectors namely Agriculture, Infrastructure, Tourism and Hospitality, Petroleum and Mining” Hon. Yak said. There is already a steering committee composed of government officials, private sector and development partners chaired by the Ministry of Finance, Commerce, Investment and Economic Planning as well as a committee of the same membership chaired by the South Sudan Investment Authority to spearhead the preparations.


The abundant natural resources, current business opportunities, the conducive investment climate in the country, Business climate transformation, stories of successful investments and South Sudan’s participation in the regional economic integration and growth will be the main messages to convey in the December conference.

 


Finance ministry officials and members of the press during the briefing
[Photo: Matata Safi]


Concurrent with the conference, the finance deputy minister said, there will an exhibition to showcase successful investment projects in the countr. Both local and international investors  take part in the exhibition. There will also be vibrant social and cultural programmes to help promote South Sudanese rich culture, Hon. Yak Said.


This conference Hon. Yak said is part of a larger RSS and development partners initiative stemming from the April 16, 2013 Washington DC South Sudan investment Forum.


Reported by Matata Safi


“Do not discriminated against the physically disabled”, Labour Undersecretary urges

JUBA, 28 September 2013 - The government has assured the physically disabled persons in the country that they will not be discriminated against in terms of employment. The Undersecretary for Labour in the national Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development, Madam Hellen Achiro Lotara, said the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities.


Madam Hellen further said that the Labour Bill which is currently before the National Legislative Assembly has a section which provides for equal employment opportunities for all. Madam Hellen said that when enacted, the Labour Bill would facilitate the participation of the disabled in nation building, legislative organs and access to employment opportunities.


She disclosed that the Government of South Sudan had also ratified the International Labour Organisation’s Equal Remuneration Convention and the Discrimination in Employment and Occupation Convention, adding that the former guarantees equal pay for equal work while the latter prohibits discrimination in employment.

 


Madam Aciro centre and the Central Equatoria Union of Physical Disabled delegation


The Undersecretary was speaking in her office when she received a delegation from the Central Equatoria Chapter of the Union of the Physically Disabled in South Sudan.
Speaking on behalf of the union, Mr Sebut Khablu Ebibon, who also the union’s chairperson said there was discrimination towards people with disability in employment especially in the private sector.


Ebibon cited a provision in most private sector vacancy advertisements to the effect that applicants must be physically fit, adding that this automatically knocks out would be applicants with disabilities. He said, 15 per cent of the national population consisted of people with disability, Ebibon recommended that 2 per cent of all employment opportunities should be set aside for people with disability.


Reported by Justin Jada and Simon Owaka 


UNMISS to support public service reforms

JUBA, 26 September 2013 - The United Nations will continue to support ongoing capacity building and reforms efforts in the South Sudanese public service. The Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG), Ms Hilde Johnson, said the UN through its specialized agencies would work with the government to build a civil service that can deliver services to the public efficiently.


Ms Johnson said that for ministries to implement their ambitious development targets, they would require a competent, vibrant and capable workforce that can help deliver public services. The SRSG was speaking to the media when she paid a courtesy call on the national Minister for Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development, Mr Ngor Kolong Ngor, in his office.


She hailed payroll cleansing as a step in the right direction saying it would weed out ghost workers hence preventing public funds from going to waste. “One of the most critical issues is to make that happen through improving capacity, making sure that the payrolls are cleaned up, and that we know who’s who, where they’re working and their level of capacity,” she said.


She said capacity building programmes, the introduction of performance management and the establishment of a pensions’ fund were positive measures undertaken by the government, adding that that they would help modernize the nascent public service. “There is a need to make sure that there is proper management so that people are monitored and that they are delivering on time in the way they are expected to.”


Also present at the function were the Undersecretary for Labour, Madam Hellen Achiro Lotara, and two advisors to the Minister, Mr John Itorong, and Mr Deng Chol.


By Justin Jada and Simon Owaka


Government signs two agreements with China

JUBA, 26 September 2013 (NASS) - The government and the people’s republic of China have signed two bilateral agreements on provision of anti-malarial medicine to fight the disease in the country and training of medical personnel to run Rumbek hospital.


The anti- malarial drugs estimated at half a million USD could reach the country in the next two months, The Chinese ambassador to South Sudan Ma Qiang said yesterday shortly after the signing ceremony. 

 

The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Charles Manyang hailed government of China for the supporting. He said training the country’s medical staff is like “teaching somebody how to fish rather than giving him fish”.

 


Ambassador Manyang (r) and Ma Qiang signing the agreements
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]


He called upon the Chinese government to also look into the country’s infrastructural challenges especially the road network. He said the country’s capital is hard to access by land from other states making things difficult for the normal business.

 

Ambassador Ma Qiang said the relation between China and South Sudan is of great importance and said China is actively supporting its’ economic and social development.  He said china aided Rumbek hospital project is about to be completed adding that the two governments are in active discussion to fast track the additional aid projects such as construction of the new bridge over Nile River.


He said all the projects waiting money from the Chinese Exim bank will soon be on track saying the funds are on the pipeline. Over the last few years, China has contributed immensely in the areas of education, water sanitation, and road construction among others in its effort to improve the standard of living in the country.


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


RSS set to unveil a credit Bureau

JUBA, 26 September 2013 - The Central Bank of South Sudan in collaboration with the World Bank is set to unveil a credit-reporting bureau that could easy the process of borrowing from financial institutions operating in the country.


“In South Sudan the banks are not ready to lend, simply because they cannot venture into a market where they are not sure of the information about the borrowers, who deserves and who does not deserve. And we all know if the commercial banks are not lending, the economy of the country cannot grow”, Hon. John Dor Majok, the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of South Sudan said while stressing the importance of the bureau.


A credit reporting or bureau is a body that collects and stores credible information about the credit worthiness of borrowers that financial institutions can be able to use while evaluating a loan application.


Lack of information on the potential borrowers and problems with property ownership in the country, Hon. Majok said are the mains reasons cited by the commercial banks hindering lending to companies and individuals based on collaterals.

 


Central bank deputy governor Hon. Majok
[Photo: Matata Safi]


Leading, Hon. Majak said is an important aspect of economic growth, and job creation. The credit reporting system is one of those steps the government is undertaking to enhance the private sector, he said. The intuitive started in 2011, is expected to come into force within the next three months, he said.


He made the remarks yesterday while opening a two-day workshop to discuss the proposed legal framework and suggested actions for the establishment of the credit reporting system/Bureau. Besides the legal framework and regulatory issues, the workshop will also discuss data collection and its usage.


Andres F Garga, a representative of the World Bank said South Sudan has the potential to establish a stable financial system that can stimulate its economic development. Citing an example of South Korea, he said the country evolved completely from an agricultural society to an industrial economy because of a stable financial system the country adopted.


He said worldwide, 90 percent of the jobs are provided by the private sector. “That is what we expect will happen in South Sudan especial that there are number of investing coming in to the country”, he noted.


“The credit reporting system could be one of those ingredients for supporting the financial sector that can increase the ability of the private sector to grow”, he added.


The workshop drew participants from the ministry of Finance, Justice, The national Legislative Assembly, all the financial institutions [Banks and micro financial institutions] among others.


Reported by Matata Safi 


Zimbabwe pledges to provide technical assistance to RSS diplomats

JUBA, 25 September 2013 (NASS) - The government of Zimbabwe will soon provide technical support to the country's diplomatic missions. A delegation of technical committee from the Zimbabwean government promised this yesterday after assessing the needs of the ministry of foreign affairs.

 
The head of the delegation, Martha Muguti said they will offer courses on international relation and Englishlanguage for Arabic pattern officials to strengthen country diplomats. Ms Muguti also said her government is working on the modalities of how they can support south Sudanese students with scholarships.


The director of African affairs in the ministry, Lazarus Akoi urged the Zimbabwean government to also extend hands to the areas of protocol and administration saying it’s badly needed.


Reported by Martin Jada Gabriel, News Agency of South Sudan


Presidential adviser on legal affairs sworn in

JUBA, 24 September 2013 - The Presidential Advisor on Legal Affairs Justice Telar Ring Deng who was reappointed recently by a Republican Decree was sworn into office today before the President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit. The swearing in Ceremony was conducted by the deputy Chief of Justice Madol Arol Kachual, and was attended by the minister of Cabinet Affairs Dr. Martin Elia Luomor and the minister of National Security Gen. Isaac Obuto Mamur.

 

Speaking to the press after the ceremony, Justice Telar Ring expressed sincere gratitude to the president for his unabated confidence in him and for reappointing him as a Presidential legal Advisor on Legal Affairs.

 


Justice Ring taking his oath
[Photo: Garang Thuc]

 

Referring to the vetting process that disapproved his appointment as Justice minister, Justice Ring said although some people tried to personalize and politicize the important aspects of the Country’s Constitutional Democracy, he has no qualms or bitterness against anyone, and promised to working with all colleagues to advance the SPLM Government program forward.

 

Justice Ring said as he assumes his duties today, he is going to rededicate himself to key priorities of good governance agenda among which is fighting corruption in South Sudan.


“I am going to re-dedicate myself to three key priorities of good governance agenda. Firstly, fighting corruption. We cannot fight corruption in South Sudan if the Anti-Corruption Commission is not provided with real teeth, not its current milk teeth, to bite with properly” said Justice Ring.

 

Click here to read his full speech.

 

Reported by Thomas Keneth 


Global Fund to continue the fight against AIDS

JUBA, 24 September 2013 - The national minister for Health Hon. Dr. Riek Gai held a meeting with a delegation from the Global Fund headed by Ms. Marion Hachmann, the senior fund Portfolio manager in his office yesterday where they discussed funding modalities to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and Malaria in South Sudan.

 
In a statement to reporters, the senior manager underscored the organizations committment to the fight against the AIDS pandemic in the country as well as the fight agaist tuberculosis and malaria.  She said Global fund will continue to support efforts to fighting theses diseases by availing the neccassary funds.

 

In a related new development, the health minister also met with Turkish ambassador to South Sudan Mr. Ahmed Ergin where they exchanged veiws of improving bilateral relations between the two countries particularly in the health sector.


Dr Riek commended the Turkish government for its contributions to the people of South Sudan especial to Juba teaching hospital, the main referral hospital in the country. He urged the ambassador to do more in supporting the Government’s efforts in training and strengthening the human resource in the country which he said would help to deliver better health services to the people of South Sudan.

 
Meanwhile ambassador Mr. Ahmed assured the minister of his government’s commitment in building good relation with south Sudan especially in the health sector. He said, his country is ready to provide training and strengthen the existing health facilities in the country.


Reported by William Jufur  


H.E Kiir urges parents to take care of their children

AWEIL, 23 September 2013 – President Salva Kiir Mayardit has expressed dismay over the big number of street children roaming the streets of Awiel and others state capitals in the country. He challenged parents especially those who let their children take to take to the streets to be God fearing and take responsibility over their children.

 

President Kiir said its wrong for parents to let their children to go to the streets when they are supposed to take care of them. H.E Kiir urged the state Government to work hand in hand with the parents in creating a conducive and child friendly home environment as well as availing schools for the street children.

 


Citizen of Aweil welcoming H.E President Kiir
[Photo: Thomas Keneth]
 

President Kiir who is on a tour of the Greater Bahr el Ghazal region made these remarks on Saturday in Aweil, the capital of Northern Bahr el Ghazal state after concluding a two-day visit to Western Bahr El-Ghazal and Warrap states.


Upon arrival, he and the accompanying delegation were warmly received by the citizens and leaders of NBGS headed by the Governor of NBGS. Gen. Paul Malong Awan.President Kiir opened Presidential Guest House of Aweil Town and congratulated the state Government for tirelessly working to the developing the state.

 


H.E Kiir opening the Awiel Presidental Guest house
[Photo: Thomas Keneth]

 

H.E Kiir also addressed a huge public rally at Aweil Freedom Square where he extended his gratitude to the victims of the recent floods that took the country by storm. He said the national Government is aware of the suffering of all the families affected by the floods and the government is doing its best in collaboration with the affected states to help the floods victims.

 

President Kiir announced to the public that the financial situations of the Country will soon be improved after his successful visit to Khartoum, and all the developmental projects of the Country will continue. Pointing out that the construction of the new Airport of Aweil and the roads within Aweil town will be supported by the National Government. H.E Kiir further affirmed that the Universities of Aweil, Yambio and other Universities facing Financial Challenges would soon be functional.

 


President Kiir, Governor Malang and Cabinet Affairs minister Lomoro [black suit] during the public rally
[Photo: Thomas Keneth] 

 

H.E Kiir visited Aweil Hospital and inspected different administrative departments of the hospital, he also visited maternity wards and promised to renovate the Hospital and improve working conditions of the staff.

 

Reported by Thomas Keneth


Labour ministry to spearhead civil service reforms

JUBA, 22 September 2013 - The Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development will spearhead the implementation of civil service reforms to ensure that all government institutions become more responsive and customer-conscious in service delivery.


The Advisor to the Minister for Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development, Mr Deng Chol, said the Ministry would establish a performance management system based on Khaedu, a South African concept meaning ‘challenge,’ to review the performance of government institutions and employees.


“Performance monitoring is a useful tool for ensuring cost-effective service delivery, transparency and accountability to be upheld to achieve efficiency, effectiveness, economy and integrity in implementing government policies and programmes,” said Chol.

 


Officials of Labour ministry at the Khaedu training workshop


Mr Chol cited the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, the Juba Teaching Hospital and the Directorate of Immigration as some of the institutions that were reaping the benefits of the Khaedu training project.


The Advisor made the remarks when he officially closed a 10-day Khaedu training workshop for civil servants drawn from various government ministries and commissions.
He urged the participants to become selfless envoys of the Khaedu philosophy in their by fostering change for the better in their respective institutions.


Among the topical areas the participants underwent at the workshop were creative problem-solving and decision making, organisational behavior, change management, and employee engagement.


The workshop, which was organised by the Public Administration, Leadership and Management Academy (PALAMA) which is based in South Africa, sought to improve the participants’ capacity to deliver better services through problem solving.


Reported by Justin Jada and Simon Owaka


"Abyei referendum must be conducted in time", US Special Envoy

JUBA, 21 September 2013 (NASS) - The US government is calling on the international community to get closer into the problems facing Sudan and South Sudan. US special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, Donald Booth said there is a need for continues engagement from the international friends if the problem between Juba and Khartoum are to be resolved.


Booth after talks with the Foreign Affairs minister Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin yesterday, also urged the two countries to cooperate and stamping out any misunderstanding that exist between them.


Despite South Sudan welcomeing  the AU roadmap on the Abyei referendum due next month, Khartoum is still hesitant. Khartoum wants the seasonal Meseriya normads to take part in the October Abyei plebiscite when the AU roadmap only gave voting rights to  the Dinka Ngok tribe and any other parment resident of the area. Ambasador Booth called on the international community to press Khartoum to ensure the referendum is done in time.


In a related development, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin on Friday held talks with a delegation of senators from France who are on an exploration tour in the country. The senators promised to cooperate with Juba University in order to improve the quality education in the country.


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


Labour ministry gets a new office complex

JUBA, 21 September 2013 - The national Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development now has additional office space following the completion of a new building under the Republic of South Sudan/IGAD Capacity Enhancement Initiative.

 

The office complex which was funded to the tune of US$250,000 (1 million SSP) by the Norwegian government was officially inaugurated jointly by the Minister for Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development, Mr Ngor Kolong Ngor, and Norwegian Ambassador Hanne-Marie Kaarstad.

 


The new  complex
 

 

Speaking at the function, Ms Kaarstad pledged Norway’s continued support for the IGAD project, adding that the new facility would enable the employees to work in a more conducive environment.

 

On his part, Minister Ngor thanked Norway for the good gesture saying the country had been a true friend of the people of South Sudan both during the war of liberation and even after independence.

 

The IGAD Initiative seeks to build human resource capacity in the South Sudanese public service by bringing in experienced civil servants from Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda who are twinned with their South Sudanese counterparts whom they are expected to mentor and coach. It is funded by Norway and managed by UNDP.

 


Ambassador Hanne-Marie and Hon. Ngor cutting the ribbon  

 

The initiative currently has 120 officers from the IGAD member countries all of whom have been deployed to various government ministries, commissions and state governments to help build human and institutional capacity.


Also present at the function were the UNDP Country Director, Ms Amanda Serumaga, UNDP Team Leader (Democratic Governance Unit), Mr Lealem Berhanu, and the Undersecretary for Public Service and Human Resource Development, Ms Angeth Acol de Dut.


Reported by Justin Jada/Simon Owaka  


“South Sudan is in final stages of establishing a fully operational pensions fund”, says Labour DG

JUBA, 21 September 2013 - The Director General of Pensions in the national Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development, Mr Thomas Tut, said that with the coming into effect of the South Sudan Pension Fund Act, the government was now in the final stages of establishing a fully operational pensions fund in the country.


Tut said what remains now is the enactment of the Civil Service Pension Scheme Bill, which would allow the Pensions Fund to pay people, make deductions on incomes and transfer deducted monies from the Ministry of Finance to the pensions.


On civil servants who came to South Sudan from the Republic of Sudan, Mr Tut said a technical committee would be formed to negotiate with the government of Sudan on the basis of the post-service agreement that was signed between the two governments in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia last year.


The DG said the pensions fund would allow the civil service to become more vibrant through the retirement of the older workers, promotion of serving officers, and the recruitment of younger, more energetic and skilled workers. 

 

The DG said the pension scheme would be a contributory one with civil servants contributing 5 per cent of their gross income while the government would give 11 per cent to make a total of 16 per cent. Tut was speaking on the sidelines of the 2nd States Strategic Meeting that was held at the Human Resource Training Centre in Jebel.


Earlier, while opening the two-day forum, the Advisor to the Minister of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development, Mr Deng Chol, said the states’ strategic meeting provides a forum for civil servants at various levels of government to share information and exchange ideas.


He said state governments were critical in service delivery since 90 per cent of the population of South Sudan live in the states.

 

Reported by Martin Ali and Simon Owaka


RSS to review number of its foreign missions

JUBA, 21 September 2013 (NASS) - The government of the Republic of South Sudan is reviewing the number of its foreign missions with a view to downsize them, Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin has said.


Dr. Benjamin said the number is big and should be reduced by 30% to ensure effective service delivery. The minister revealed this yesterday, while brainstorming with the staffs of the ministry on how they can better delivers.


Dr. Benjamin also cautioned the diplomats to follow etiquette and work according to the policies of the government urging them to protect the image of the country and put national interest first. He further urged the diplomats to desist from tribalism and embrace nationalism to help achieve the vision of the ministry.

 

In a separate event, the minister also held talks with officials from the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) on how they can address the needs of the citizens affected by flood. Dr. Sue Lautze said the organization and other humanitarian partners are all that they can to help the victims of the floods. A number of the affected people she said have received assistance in terms of food and non- food items.


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


“Political posts not for individual interests” says President Kiir

WAU/KUAJOK, 20 September 2013 - President Salva Kiir Mayardit has warned people holding political positions saying political posts are not meant for individual interests but rather for the interests of the people of South Sudan.

 

“Political posts are not for individual interests but for delivering services to the people”, H.E President Kiir said while addressing a public rally yesterday at Wau football stadium. He said the need to fast deliver services to the people explains the lean government he formed in the recent past.

 

H.E Kiir directed the national ministry of Roads and bridges to immediately start constructing Wau-Bagari road and directed the ministry to renovate Wau Bridge in coordination with WBGS Government.  The president also gave directives to the national ministry of Health to construct a Hospital in Bagari County. He as well promised to complete tarmacking Wau Airport.

 

President Kiir who visited Kuajok, the capital of Warrap state addressed another public rally at the Freedom Square and reiterated the new cabinets four priorities of Health, Agriculture, Education, Clean Drinking Water, Electricity and Roads.

 

On her part the Governor of Warrap state Nyandeng Malek Dielic said her state is working for build a non-tribal and non-sectional society, and she appreciated farmers in the state for fighting hunger through agricultural activities but she lamented that most of the farms were destroyed by the heavy rains and floods.

 

Reported by Thomas Kenneth


President Kiir lays maternity ward foundation stone at Wau Teaching Hospital

WAU, 20 September 2013 - The President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit yesterday laid a foundation stone for constructing a standard maternity ward at Wau Teaching Hospital in accordence to a comprehensive Health service improvement plan put forward by the National ministry of Health.

 

As planned by the ministry of health, once completed, the maternity Ward complex will consist of more than twenty wards, and the construction work will be funded by the ministry of Health with the collaboration of World Health Organization.

 

President Kiir appreciated the World Health Organization and Canadian Embassy for what he called “their appreciable supports” to Wau Teaching Hospital. President Kiir also expressed gratitude for the Comprehensive plan laid by the ministry of Health to improve the health services in the Country. He said his government is ready to support the plan.

 


President Kiir laying the maternity foundation stone at Wau teaching hospital
[Photo: Thomas Keneth]

 

Dr. Riak Gai Kok, the National minister of Health on the same occasion, announced, “after four months from now, the Blood Bank, Central Laboratory and maternity of Wau teaching Hospital will be opened. He said improving the health service in the country is one of the top Priorities of the new Government.

 

H.E Kiir briefed WBGS Council of ministers and SPLM Caucus on the new Polices of the Government. President Kiir and the accompanied delegation also held a meeting with WBGS Council of ministers and briefed the Council on priorities of the newly formed National Government. He stressed that Health, Education, agriculture, Roads, Electricity and clean drinking water as areas that need immediate attention.

 

H.E Kiir congratulated Governor Zachariah for the lean government he formed and urged the state ministers to work hand in hand with the Governor in delivering basic services to the citizens of the state. 

 

Besides, President Kiir who is also the chairman of the SPLM held a meeting with WBG state SPLM Secretariat under the Chair of Hon. Mark Nyibuch, the Deputy speaker of the NLA. The meeting discussed challenges and problems facing the Secretariat. Kiir also briefed WBG state SPLM Secretariat on the changings he is making in the new and lean government. WBG state SPLM Leadership appreciated H.E Kiir for the reforms he has done in favor of the RSS Citizen.

 

Reported by Thomas Keneth


H.E Kiir witnesses Graduation of X- Combatants

WAU, 20 September 2013 - The President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit arrived in Wau on Wednesday, heading a high level delegation of about nine national ministers in an official visit to Western Bahr El-Ghazal State and also to witness the graduation ceremony of former soldiers who have been receiving training in various fields under the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) program in Mapel Buma of Jur River County.
 

Upon arrival at Wau Airport, President Kiir and the accompanying delegation were received by the Governor of WBG state Hon. Rizig Zachariah Hassan and a good number of the state ministers. President Kiir travelled to Mapel, located at 52 miles South East of WBG state’s Capital Wau, where he opened the Transitional Facility of the DDR and laid a foundation stone of the DDR X-Combatants training center.


Mapel X- combatants training centre is one of the DDR pilot projects in the four states of Greater Bahr El-Ghazal. It plays a very significant role of transforming X-Combatants from military life to civilian life by equipping them with necessary skill in order to fit in a civilian life. Finance and entrepreneur skills, Auto mechanics and Welding, Carpenter, construction, Agriculture and English language are some of the skills administered to the x-combatants at the center.

 


HE President Kiir and DDR officals posh for a group photo
[Photo: Thomas Keneth]


President Kiir who is also the Chairman of the National Council of the DDR witnessed the graduation of over 285 DDR X- Combatants, after successfully completed trainings in the above-mentioned skills in a period of more than three months. The Graduation Ceremony was witnessed by the four Governors of greater Bahr El-Ghazal States, Deputy Speaker of National Legislative Assembly (NLA) Hon Mark Nyipuch who is also the SPLM Chair in WBGS, the National ministers accompanying the President including Ministers of Defense and interior and National Security, besides members of the Diplomatic Corps headed by the UN Secretary General Special Representative Ms. Hilda Johnson and DDR Partners among them was the German Ambassador to RSS Mr. David Shwake.


In his key remarks when addressing the Ceremony, President Kiir congratulated the graduates for their tireless sacrifices for freedom and for being transformed into a new front of civil service, which he said is a landmark to the security sector reform projects. President Kiir said through collective efforts with the DDR partners, a working brigade will be formed from the DDR X- Combatants to contribute in the developmental projects of the Country.

 

H.E Kiir further said  the government has injected 1.5 Million US Dollars for Mapel Pilot Projects, adding that the it will continue to support DDR projects.  He thanked the United Nations, German Government and all partners of the DDR for providing the much needed technical support.

 


A cross section of the X- combatants at the graduation ceremony
[Photo: Thomas Keneth]
 


WBG state Governor Hon. Rizig Zacharia Hassan addressing the ceremony on behalf of the four states of greater Bahir El-Ghazal said graduation of the DDR X-Combatants was a great achievement in the history of the DDR Commission. Governor Zachariah called on the National Government to continuously provide supports to such a technical institutions for they have a tremendous contributions to the development of the Country.


The occasion was also addressed by the ministers of Defense Gen. Kuol Manyang Juk and of Interior Gen. Aleu Ayieny Aleu assuring their supports to the DDR programs urging the DDR Graduates to put what they have gained during the training into practice through the spirit of team work.


Hilde Johnson, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in South Sudan and head of the UN Peacekeeping Mission in the country also addressed the ceremony as one of the DDR partner and she described the graduation as a milestone of deepening the peace process. She handed over to the DDR Commission the projects donated by the UN which included a Police station, Water station Facility, Mapel Buma Administration.


German Ambassador to South Sudan Mr. David Schwake said the day marks a new beginning for former freedom fighters, saying the former soldiers are “turning into fighters for development and stability”. Mr. Schwake said his Government recognizes the importance of DDR, and from the very beginning German has been supporting the work of DDR Commission by providing funds for the deployment of DDR experts from the Bonn international Center for conversion to the DDR Commission.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth


Parliament starts debate on the revised 2013/14 budget

PARLIAMENT/JUBA, 20 September 2013 - The National Legislative Assembly NLA, has started a debate on the revised annual government budget of 2013/2014 which was presented to the National Legislature Assembly (NLA) last Wednesday by the National Minister for Finance, Commerce, Investment and Economic Planning Hon. Agrey Tisa Sabuni. The budget was withdrawn from the August House by the minister last month as a result of the restructuring of ministries and agencies.


According to the Minster, the overall objective of the President of the Republic’s 2013/2014 budget remains the same: which is boosting social services and economic growth in a prudent and responsible manner. He said the budget to the tune of SSP 17.3 billion is financed through oil revenue, non oil revenue, loans and budget support from donors. And he predicted that income from oil will reach up to SSP 10.6 billion if oil production returns to full capacity.

 

Hon. Aggrey Tisa Sabuni sounded hopeful that the stronger economy will help raise SSP 1.5 billion from non oil revenue and added that loans of SSP 4.9 billion will be required to bridge the remaining financial gap. He stressed that the Ministry will carefully control spending by setting agency monthly spending limits on the basis of available resources.


Elaborating on the spending of the budget, the Minister of Finance of the young nation said SSP 17.3 billion, 9.2 billion will be available for agency spending. The remainder will go for repaying loans taken up in 2013/2014, paying arrears, rebuilding reserves, paying Sudan for oil pipeline use, and making agreed transfer payments to Sudan and oil producing states and communities.

 

According to the Interim Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan 2% of oil money must go to the oil producing states and 3% to the communities affected by the oil production activities. So if the oil production resume well, Unity and Upper Nile States will receive SSP 354 million in oil transfers; SSP 142 million for the 2% due to the states and SSP 212 million for the 3% due to the communities.


The Minister explained that this year’s budget represents an increase of SSP 2.58 billion compared to 2012/2013. He said the additional funding will mainly go towards priorities identified by H.E President Salva Kiir Mayardit. This means that SSP 487 million will go towards improving health services, education, water and other social services, especially in the rural areas. SSP 741million towards boosting infrastructure, specially roads, but also water and power, and an SSP 130 million to agriculture. SSP 541 million is for reversing selected austerity cuts, including housing allowances and block grants.

 

According to this year’s budget, security and law enforcements decrease to 50% of the budget from 58% 2012/2013. The share of spending on capital investment increases to 16% of the budget compared to 7% in the same year. Transfers to states have also increased by 24% reflecting the new and additional grants to states and counties.


Hon. Sabuni asserted that, due to the gradual increase in oil revenue, loan payments and high macro-economic uncertainty, monthly spending limits must remain at the austerity level of SSP 555 million per month during the first six months of 2013/2014 and will increase to SSP 985 million in January 2014 if sufficient resources are available. He said changes introduced in the 2013/2014 budget will accelerate development progress in South Sudan and that the budget will enable the country address priorities worth SSP 580 million, including preparations for the census, the elections and the constitutional review.


Concerning funding of States and Counties, Sabuni said an amount of SSP 436 million in additional funds have been assigned to transfers to states and counties to enable them take up fully responsibilities of delivering needed basic services to the citizens.


In conclusion of his speech before the National Legislature, which is comprised of the National Legislative Assembly as the Upper house and the Council of States the Lower house, the newly appointed Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Hon. Agrey Tisa Sabuni, who previously worked as the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and Presidential Advisor on Economic Affairs, said he is committed to ensuring budget transparency. “Like my predecessor, I am committed to ensuring budget transparency, as it is crucial that we are accountable to the public at the county, state and national levels.

"We are committed to producing and making publicly available budgets and quarterly fiscal reports. We will make these available on a new website for the Ministry, which is under development” Tisa Sabuni asserted.


The Minister stressed that the austerity measure will continue until financial situation improves. “We must continue to live within our means. Recent events have shown that a continued flow of oil is far from guaranteed. Therefore, austerity measures will only be lifted once the government’s financial situation has improved” he said.


The National Legislature sitting, chaired by the Speaker of the Upper House Right Honorable Manasseh Magok Rundial, referred the revised budget to the specialized economic Committee and the Committees of justice and Legislation and other concern committees in the two Houses for scrutiny prior to submission to the House within two weeks.

 

Abraham Garang Ajang


Interior minister pledges to transform the SSPS

JUBA, 20 September 2013 - The Minister for Interior in the Republic of South Sudan has pledged his ministry commitment to transform the South Sudan National police Service, SSNPS into a professional one capable of protecting the citizens’ lives and their properties and to make the country a safer place to live in for all both locals and foreigners.


Ayieny Aleu Ayieny was addressing the opening of the Donors Coordinating Meeting on the Police which took place in Juba on Tuesday the 17th September 2013, attended by Ambassadors, Heads of Diplomatic Missions accredited to the Republic of South Sudan and the leadership of the organized forces in the country.


The meeting was aimed at presenting a report on Comprehensive Institutional Needs Assessment, (CINA) conducted earlier by the Ministry in collaboration with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMSS) and other partners. The assessment was to identify areas of needs to transform the SSNPS into a professional civilian service in accordance with instructions of the President of the Republic General salva Kiir Mayardit. The meeting was also a follow up of the last meeting in which the police leadership presented its priorities on steps needed for transforming the service.


Minster Ayieny Aleu, who was the chairperson of the Security, Defense and Public Order Committee in the National Legislative Assembly NLA before his appointment to the position of the minister, said the government has a political will to provide security and safety to the citizens throughout the country, adding that the needs assessment would also help in addressing issues of cattle rustling, child and women abduction and curbing all types of crimes. He appeals to the donors to help in these regards.


He told the meeting that, the ministry, with a helping hand from the UN Police has identified sixteen thousand ghost names in the files and ranks of the police service.
“One of the few things that you have helped us to identify was the issue of the ghost names. We have identified sixteen thousand unmatched police. Their names were there and we did not get them. We have computed how much money was paid to them. One hundred and sixty six million South Sudanese pounds have been recovered through your help” Aleu said.


He said, he took the recovered money to the National Council of Ministers whose members expressed satisfaction and decided to give it back to the police service to use. He said the money will be used to purchase special equipment for the police. “We are going to do construction with the money, bring special equipment for the police and we are going to do promotions to the young officers who have been stagnant for the last twenty years. We will use that for training. The police will never be transformed unless we do the training” the Interior minister explained.


The Minister said the government will not fail its friend across the globe this time around in addressing the issues of insecurity and building up strong police force as it has learned from the past mistakes. “We have disappointed you before, but we hope we have learned from our mistakes, and this time we are not failing the people of South Sudan and will not fail our friends who are helping us in the nation building process” he said.


Addressing the same function, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General to South Sudan, Head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan UNMISS Ms. Hilda Johnson pledged her office commitment to support the police transformation process and urged other partners to do the same.


According to the Comprehensive Institutional Needs Assessment report presented to the meeting through a power point by the Inspector General of South Sudan Police Service General Pieng Deng Kuol, the South Sudan Police service has in its files and ranks a number of thirty five thousand six hundred and thirty three personnel with different backgrounds, affiliations and histories.

 

There are a number of eleven thousand four hundred and sixty two personnel who are not in the list of active service force and are waiting rescreening to be included in the police force. Fifty two percent of those in the active service list are literate with thirty three percent literate in English language, while nineteen percent literate in Arabic. The remaining forty eight percent personnel are illiterate, according to the report. The number of University graduates within the police force is one thousand seven hundred and fifty two. The female police recruit makes thirteen percent of the force. Personnel over the age of seventy within the force make ninety two percent.


The report recommends intensive training to the police on the image of the police institution and the meaning of the uniform. This is in order to bridge the gap of eroding trust between the police and citizens across the nation created by unlawful activities of some of the uniformed personnel.


On their part, the donor countries, represented by their Ambassadors and Heads of Missions promised to avail assistance to the endeavor of transforming the South Sudan National Service into professional one capable of carrying out the task of protecting the people and ensuring that the rule of law is enforced in accordance with internationally accepted conventional policing standards.

 

Abraham Garang Ajang


National Parliament to probe Northern Bahr el Ghazal deputy speaker

JUBA, 17 September 2013 - The National Legislative Assembly NLA is in the process of taking legal measure against the Deputy Speaker of Northern Bahr el Ghazal's state assembly for publishing an article in which he described the members of the Assembly as “crooked and greedy".

 

The Deputy Speaker Hon. Athiang Manok Athiang is reported to have made the remarks in an interiew to the Citizen Newspaper which were published on the sixth on this month.

 

According to the Assembly, in its sitting of Monday the 16th September2013 chaired by the Speaker Right Honorable Manasseh Magok Rundial, Hon. Athiang in the report repeatedly termed Members of the NLA as crooks and betrayers because they rejected the appointment of Mr. Telar Riing Deng as Minister for Justice.

 

Athiang was quoted to have insinuated the President of the Republic of South Sudan General Salva Kiir Mayardit to dissolve the National Upper House because it rejected his appointee. The motioned presented by Hon. Victor Omuho Ohide, representative of Lopa Constituency No.3 Lopa/lafon County of Eastern Equatoria State, described the move by Athiang as unfortunate as it come from somebody familiar with the Constitution, and regulations.

 

“This House represents supreme will of the people of South Sudan and should be respected by all. Thus, it was unfortunate that of all people a legislator, as someone familiar with the constitution and related laws and regulations could utter such insulting phrases to his fellow members of parliament. One would have been considered if these insults were uttered by mere citizen who might not be aware of the Constitution and related laws, and not a legislator” Hon. Omuho said.

 

He asserted that it is not only the image of the August House that is on the firing line of insults and defamation, but the very image of the Republic of South Sudan and her people represented by the House that is being insulted and defamed. “Since for a long time the dignity of this House and its members has been discussed, defamed, and overlooked not only by individuals like Hon. Athiang, but also by some institutions, it is now time the Parliament acts and asserts itself as the supreme will of the people of South Sudan by summoning Athiang to appear before the House to explain why he made such defamatory statement. If his explanations are not convincing to the House, he should be investigated, and if found guilty should be appropriately prosecuted for his unconstitutional acts which violated Article 46 of the Transitional Constitution”, the motion demanded.


In their deliberations on the issue, the Hon. Members of the August House expressed mixed reactions and opinions, some calling for the Deputy Speaker Atihang Manok Athinag to appear before the House to explain his position against the House and its members while others calling for forgiving him.

 

The Deputy Speaker Athiang published another article in the Citizen News paper on Sunday the 15th entitled: Withdrawal Apology of unfounded words against some MPS of the NLA in which he sent his apology to the Assembly in Juba requesting to be pardoned.

 

“As it came in the article in this Newspaper dated 6th September 2013 in which I assaulted the National Legislative Assembly with anger words and emotions thus prompting the use of insulted wordings that were of no intention at all. Those words were my own and I was not writing as an entity or with the power of being a member of the Assembly but my own opinion as a citizen of this country and I am responsible for them and will ask for pardon if I would reconsider my wording as wrong and I accept it… Hence am here sending my apology and would strongly request the slip of tongue over the phone and the interesting words that the reporter would like use always be forgiven. Concerning the vetting Committee I am also requesting pardon because they were actually very honest but things got out of hand within the Chamber” his apology  read in part.

 

In a tone considered by members of the NLA as defiant to much applauded action of the NLA that drew support and appreciation nationwide and internationally, Hon Athiang asserted that his opinion on rejection of appointment of Mr Telar Riing remains the same.

 

“Nevertheless, dear colleagues, yes the words used over the phone were inconvenient as moved by emotions, but my opinion in rejecting Hon. Telar Riing Deng remains as the same because it was the will of the President to appoint him as Minister of Justice. If you would say he is not fit in the Ministry of justice why didn’t you recommend him to be relocated into another Ministry?” Hon. Atiang wrote.

 

He said that the phrases he was writing withdrawal apology on were 1. “The President should dissolve” “2.Crooks and betrayers” and 3. “Crooked and greedy” which appeared in his article. “Therefore, I move to beg that my apology and withdrawal are taken into consideration” he wrote at the end of the article. The MPs who called for appearance of Hon. Athiang before the assembly or legal measures be taken against him argued that his apology was not genuine as he remains defiant to the decision of the House which was accepted by the President of the republic and Telar Riing himself.


After lengthy deliberations the House voted on a motion to summon the Deputy Speaker of Northern Bahr el Ghazal Legislative Assembly to be investigated by a Select Committee of ten members. Each of the ten states of the Republic of South Sudan are represented in the Committee whose membership includes former Minister of Justice John Luk Jock representing Jonglei State and the Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International cooperation Nhial Deng Nhial representing Warap State. The Committee has to investigate Hon. Athing Manok Athiang and present its findings and recommendations to the Assembly in the nearest future.


Reported by Garang Ajang


NLA to dialogue with Sudanese parliament over outstanding issues

JUBA, 16 September 2013 (NASS) - The newly elcected speaker of the National Legislative Assembly has said the house supports "continues direct talks" between the President of the Republic H.E Salva Kiir Mayardit and his Sudanese counterpart Omar Hassan el Bashir to resolve some of the sticky post independence issues.

 

Hon. Manase Magok said such initiatives could unlock a new window of opportunity for both countries. "In order to realize peace and prosperity between the two countries, all the available options of resolving the differences with Khartoum needs to be exploited, the new speaker of the national assembly", Hon. Magok said.


During a meeting with the minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin on Saturday September 14, the speaker promised to lead a delegation of legislators to Khartoum to cement the initiative started by the president.

 


Members of South Sudan National Legislative Assembly in a previous sitting
[Photo: gosswebite|file] 


In a related development, Dr. Benjamin held talks with the Sudanese ambassador to South Sudan Mr. Mutrif Sidiq where they discussed matters of bilateral relations between the two countries. The meeting also discussed the joined outreach program between Sudan and South Sudan in regard to Sudan's debt relieve and waving of its sanction. According to the cooperation agreement, the two countries as of the financial arrangement are supposed to advocate for Sudan’s debt cancellation.


This month, the United Nations general assembly will table issues regarding Sudan and South Sudan especially the referendum in Abyei.


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


Gender minister on a countrywide street children data collection

TORIT, 14 Sept 2013 NASS - The Minister of Gender Child, Social welfare and Humanitarian Affairs has engaged in a countrywide audit exercise aimed at ascertaining the actual number of street children and orphans for the purpose of national planning.


Minister Awut Deng on Thursday 12, travelled to the Eastern Equatoria state to assess the situation of the street children there. Her visit, she said was to collect views of various stalk holders on how best the street children could be helped to lead a normal life.

 


Hon. Awut (r) and Magret Itto, the state health minister with some of the orphans
[Photo: Simon Matiop]


“It’s our collective responsibility to ensure that all these children go to school. They are the future of this country”, the gender minister urged. She called on states governments, development partners, civil society organization, religious leaders among others to join efforts in ensuring “streets free of street children”.


Hon. Awut who was received by the state’s deputy governor Mr.Jerome Gama Surur, visited a school of the orphans in the state's capital Torit. The school is run by the charity organization, Hope for Sudan. It has enrolled a total of 86 orphans. Madam Awut uplauded the well wishers whose contributions made it possible to set up the center that she said has become home for many homeless children.

 


Street children champaigning for a better future 
[Photo: Simon Matiop]


Awest Lomoro, a street kid aged nine, appealed to the government for support, saying the government needs to take action to protect the fathers and the mothers. The gender minister has in the recent past visited Warrap and Western Bahr el Ghazal states.


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


Egyptian businessmen petition government over visa applications

JUBA, 14 Sept 2013(NASS) - The government has promised to address complaints raised by the Egyptian business community operating in the Republic of South Sudan over visa application charges. The Egyptian business community filed a petition, which was presented to the government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday by their [Egyptian] ambassador to South Sudan Ayman al Gammal.

 

The business community, according to the ambassador,  stressed that a major irrigation project to be carried out by some Egyptian companies could face delays if their visa applications are not reviewed.

 

The Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin told the ambassador, government, through the relevant authorities would scrutinize the concerns of Egyptian business community in a bid to address them.

 


Ambassodor Gamal during the meeting with Dr. Benjamin
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]

 

In a separate news development, a group of France senators will be arriving to Juba, the capital of South Sudan early next week to share experience with members the country’s national legislative assemble. This was reveled by the France ambassador to South Sudan, Christian Bader during a meeting with Dr. Marial Barnaba Benjamin on Thursday.

 

Ambassador Bader called for political dialogue, saying it is crucial in mapping out areas of cooperation between the two countries. He said a number of French businessmen and companies such as Total will be accompanying the French lawmakers.

 

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


Genocide prevention committee elects its chair

JUBA, 14, September 2013 - The South Sudan committee for prevention of genocide and crimes against humanity elected its chairperson in a special session held at the national legislative assembly last Thursday. The 18-member committee tasked with genocide prevention in the country, was official launched on Tuesday 10, this week. This is a necessity for a member state of the Great Lakes region.

 

Justice George Angier was announced chairperson, while his is been deputized by Paleki Mathew. Dr.Barnaba Marial Benjamin, minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, representatives from the Great Lakes region and members from the United Nations (UN) witnessed the occasion.

 

Explaining the situation in Jongolei state, Dr. Benjamin dismissed claims of ethnic hatred as has been reported in some circles. He said the inter- communal killings reported in the Jonglei state has nothing to do with genocide but rather cattle rustling which he has a long history in the country. The raids, he said turned more violent largely because of the guns the communities were able to acquire during the two decades civil war.

 

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


President Kiir calls for vigilance as floods continue to rise

JUBA, 13 September 2013 - The President of the Republic, H.E Salva Kiir Mayardit has called on the people living in the flood prone areas to remain vigilant as the latest hydro-meteorological reports indicate a steady rise in water levels and rainfall.

 

Most parts of the country are reportedly overwhelmed by floodwaters as a result of  the heavy rains the country has witnessed in the last few weeks. The most hard-hit states are Northern Bahr el Ghazal with a total of 5, 882 households affected, Warrap with 10,000, Unity 8,355 and Upper Nile with 8,000 households affected. Lakes states and parts of Central Equatoria are reportedly also affected.

 

The president said the government is taking immediate measures to respond to the needs of the affected population. 7 million South Sudanese pounds he said has already be set aside to rescue the situation.

 


H.E President Kiir during the briefing
[Photo: Phillip Dhil]

 

“Your government is deeply concerned with the suffering imparted upon you by this natural disaster and has taken immediate action towards finding temporary mitigation measures while also looking for long term solutions once we overcome the emergency situation”, the president said on Thursday. He outlined food, security, shelter water purification tablets, medical services information on floods and evacuation as being the immediate needs of the affected people.

 

A report by a nine-member taskforce formed to map, assess and propose immediate intervention plans indicates that approximately thirty seven thousand two hundred thirty eight (37, 238) households are affected according  the president.

 

The president said the floods have swept farms and homes depriving most of the people of the affected areas of their livelihoods. Health facilities, livestock grazing areas and other public utilities, he said have also been rendered useless. The president further stated that floods- associated factors such as outbreak of diseases, hunger and general collapse of peoples’ coping mechanisms remain eminent.

 


Homes and farming land have been flooded  in most parts of the country

 

Besides thanking the UN and other partners for responding to the emmergeny, President Kiir also called on the business communities, civil servants and partners to help the people affected with whatever they can during these difficult moments.

 

Please click here to down load the statement of the president.

 

Reported by Matata Safi


JICA donates vehicle to Labour ministry

JUBA, 11 September 2013 - The Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) today handed over a vehicle worth 105,000SSP (US$30,000) to the Directorate of Vocational Training Centres in the Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development.


Speaking at the ministry headquaters after receiving the Nissan Patrol vehicle from JICA’s Chief Representative in South Sudan, Mr Atsushi Hanatani, the national Minister for Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development, Hon. Ngor Kolong Ngor, hailed the support of the Japanese government for vocational training in the country.Hon. Ngor said the Ministry would continue strengthening its partnership with JICA to build vocational training capacity in South Sudan. The Minister said that Japan had offered assistance to the world’s youngest country in many ways, adding that vocational training would assist the new country to upgrade its manpower.


On his part, Mr Hanatani said that in addition to the vehicle, JICA had also provided other equipment to facilitate the daily operations of the Juba Multi-service Training Centre. Mr Hanatani said the donation was part of the continued support of the government and people of Japan to the Republic South Sudan. He disclosed that JICA will be deploying a vocational training expert to the vocational training directorate next November.


Also present at the function were the Undersecretary for Labour in the Ministry, Ms Hellen Achiro Lotara, and her Public Service and Human Resource Development counterpart, Ms Angeth Acol de Dut, and the Director General for Vocational Training, Reverend John Chol Dau.


By Justin Jada and Simon Owaka 


UN calls for early preparation for 2015 elections

JUBA, 11 September 2013 (NASS) – A senior UN official is calling on the government to start early preparation for the 2015 general election saying it is crucial for holding successful election.


The UN’s Senior Political Officer for Electoral Division Madam Hiroko Myamura in a meeting with the Foreign Affaires minister Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin yesterday said conducting elections is not a simple task and reuires adquate and early planning. She said for South Sudan's case, it may require setting up of secretariats and state committees to start the planning process.

 


Dr. Benjamin and Madam Myamura during the meeting
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]

 

South Sudan before the 2015 elections, is expected to conduct it's first population census, nevertheless preparation for the exercise have not kicked off largely due to funding constraints. The minister however said the elections will still be conducted in time despite funding difficulties. He called on the United Nations to help lobby funds to ensure timely election.


On another news development, the Associate Vice President for the International partnership at the American University of Indiana, Shawn Reynolds has pledged twenty master degrees programmes to students from university of Juba and Upper Nile to study in Indiana University.


He also said plans are underway to setup teaching and research center at the university of Juba and programs on women empowerment to improve level of education in the country. Reynolds further said the university plans to partner with the University of Juba in many fields of education to ensure quality service from the university.


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


South Sudan launches anti-human discrimination committee

JUBA, 11 September 2013 (NASS) - South Sudan has launched an 18-member committee for prevention and punishment of crimes against humanity, genocide and all other forms of human discrimination. The committee was inaugurated yesterday before dignitaries from United Nations and the international great lakes region who are among the main stakeholders of this exercise.

 

This exercise is one of the necessities of the great lakes region in which South Sudan is member number twelve. Out of the twelve member body South Sudan with this development is number five to establish such a body to prepare itself to face challenges that may arise from conflicts such as like what happen in Kenya and racial issue such as the one of Rwanda in 1994.

 

The inauguration was witness by members from the Great Lakes Region, United Nations, international friends and government institutions, which are directly connected to the exercised.

 


Dr. Benjamin, second left and Hon. Juuk second right with other diginataries during the launch
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]

 

Addressing the gathering, the minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin advice the committee to stay away from politics and rather engage in addressing the challenge of human discrimination. He called on the international friends to join hands with the government in a fight against racial and human discrimination in South Sudan.

The minister for Defense and Veteran Affairs, Hon. Kuol Manyang Juuk commend the new body and urged them to alert government to help address such concern.

 

UN special advisor on genocide prevention, Castro Wasama and the Deputy Executive Secretary of the International Great Lakes Region said event was a very important one in the region that address human interest. He called on the member governments to take it as a priority to see peace in the region. He challenged the committee to work with the grass roots to diagnose and understand the problems that may arise in the course of executing their mandate.

 

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


South Africa offers sponsorship to orphans

JUBA, 11 September 2013 (NASS) - The South African Embassy in South Sudan has awarded sponsorship to two South Sudanese orphans admitted to the Sudanese university of Khartoum. Robert Alberto and Emmanuel Ladu were admitted to the colleges of aviation and accounting in the University however they could not afford to pay for themselves.


This was announced by South African ambassador to the country, Gabriel Phemelo in a recent meeting with the minister of Gender, Child, Social welfare Hon. Awut Deng Acuil. The gender minister hailed the effort exerted by the South African embassy in supporting education in the country. She urged the children to concentrate on their studies in order to realize their dreams.

 


Hon. Awut and Amb. Phemelo posh for a photo with the two orphans during the meeting
[Photo: Simon Matiop]


The ambassador said, his government will rally behind the two orphand to ensure that they complete their studies. He said many more disadvantaged children and people with disabilities will benefit from embassy’s sponsorship programmes in the future.

 

Reported by Francis Oliver  


"Khaeda" training programmes opens in Juba

JUBA, September 10, 2013 – As the government embarks on institutional transformation for better service delivery, a ten-day Khaeda [a South African word meaning challenge] training programme was officially opened yesterday at the Human Resource Training Centre at Jebel, a city suburb along Juba Yei road.


The training organized by the Regional Capacity Building-Public Administration, Leadership and Management Academy (RCB-PALAMA) which is based in Pretoria, South Africa drew participants from government ministries and commissions.


The Khaedu training project, which seeks to address service delivery challenges in government, started in 2008 and will come to an end in November this year. The training according to the organizers seeks to enhance the participants’ knowledge, skills, attitudes and competencies in problem-solving and decision-making, organizational behaviour (culture), change management, employee engagement, and recruitment, selection, placement, retention and utilization of employees, among other areas.

 


Participants at the 10 day Khaeda project workshop


The Advisor to the Minister for Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development, Hon Deng Chol, speaking at the launch, urged civil servants to strive to offer timely and quality services to the ordinary citizens who are their employers.


Hon Chol said it was only through hard work and dedication to duty on the part of civil servants that the country would achieve her national development goals as outlined in the Vision 2040 and the South Sudan Development Plan 2011-2013.


The advisor said the Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development (MoLPS&HRD) would continue to play its leadership role in developing the capacity of the civil service by investing in planned and systematic human and resource development.


Speaking during the same occasion, the Director General for Human Resource Development in the MoLPS&HRD, Madam Sunday Aggrey Jaden, said the lead trainers at the workshop were South Sudanese who had undergone a training of trainers’ course in South Africa.


Madam Sunday disclosed that the Council of Ministers had already approved the national training policy, adding that an induction manual for officers entering the civil service was also ready.


By Justin Jada and Simon Owaka


Seven million South Sudanese pounds earmarked for flood victims

JUBA, 11 September 2013 – Seven million South Sudanese Pounds (SSP7million) has been earmarked by the government to respond to the live saving needs of the people affected by the recent wave of floods in the country, a government official has announced.


Hon. Peter Lam Buth, Chairman of South Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (SSRRC) while addressing reporters in Juba yesterday, described the effects of the floods as “severe” and said six out of the ten states in the Republic of South Sudan are affected by floods as a result of heavy down pours the country has experienced this year. The States of Warap, Unity, Northern Bahr Elghazal, Jonglei, Upper Nile, and Western Bahr Elghazl are the worst affected, he said.


“The challenge of the SSRRC over the years has been that we really never had a budget to respond to crisis. What has happened in the past was that we get donations from foreign governments and we try to use that donation to respond to some small level crisis and our partners both United Nations Agencies and International Humanitarian Organizations and our local National organizations have been responding to most these crisis” Hon. Buth remarked.

 


A maize garden sitting in a pool of rain water.
[Photo: Bonafacio| theniles]


The Commission, he said is working tirelessly in collaboration with the local and international humanitarian agencies operating in the country as well as the offices of South Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Commission in the ten States to response to the needs of the flood victims.


Hon. Buth said an assessment carried out in Warrap state indicate that five thousand eight hundred and sixty two individuals are affected in Tonj North while three thousand four hundred and ninety five in Tonj South counties. Another five thousand eight hundred and sixty two people are affected in Tonj East while a number of one thousand four hundred and ninety eight individuals are affected in Gogrial East County. Also five thousand three hundred and forty eight people are affected in Gogrial West County. Tonj County has a number of two thousand nine hundred and seventy two individuals affected.


Buth said his commission has so far provided the victims with non-food items that include plastic sheets, tents and mosquito nets, adding that the International Organization of Migration IOM has provided most of the non-food items to the region. The Commission has also sent five hundred inject able anti malaria drugs which were donated earlier by the Chinese Government.


The SSRRC Boss said that the main challenge facing rescue operation is lack of roads to access the affected areas. The Commission, he said is working closely with the World Food Programme’s Humanitarian Air Services HAS and the United Nations Mission in South Sudan UNMISS in ferrying assistance to the victims by helicopters.


According to reports reaching the Commission from SSRRC offices in Unity State, the flood has affected fifty six thousand individuals in Painyijar County while a small number of six hundred people are affected in Pariang County. Rubkona area where the State capital Bentiu is located is also affected. Peter Lam said the Commission has responded by sending water and sanitation kits to the flood victims and distributed food items. Painyijar area is not by accessible by roads and that preparations are going on to reach the victims.


The affected areas of the Upper Nile Sates are Maiwut, Ulang, Baliet Counties and some parts of Naser County. The SSRRC has responded by sending to those areas some food items. The affected areas in Western Bahr Elghazal State are Raja and Wau towns where six hundred persons are affected. Blankets mosquito nets, cooking utensils and food items were distributed to the affected population.


The only County affected by the flood in Northern Bahr Elgahza state is Aweil North with six thousand individuals in dire need of help. The assessment of needs has been carried out and the respond in form of water and health sanitation kits is on the way to area.


The flood affected area In Jonglei State is Akobo area with minimum destruction to the people properties. According to Lam Buth, local resources available in the hands of the citizens managed to address the need of those affected. The flood has also hit Bor Town, the State capital of Jongolei. The most affected area is Marol Maket with five thousand individuals affected adding that a team of assessment is on the ground carrying out need assessment.


Reported by Abraham Garang Ajang.


ZTE donates waterproof bags to schoolchildren

JUBA, 9 September 2013 (NASS) - A Chinese telecommunication company, Zhongxing Telecommunication Equipment (ZTE) has donated over one thousand waterproof bags to schoolchildren in Uror county of Jonglei state.


The donation is part of over ten thousand bags that has been pledged by Company to enable the school children protect their books during the rainy season. The donation was handed over to Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, the minister of Foreign Affairs who also doubles as the Member of Parliament representing Uror County.


Receiving the gifts at the ceremony over the weekend, Dr. Benjamin hailed the company saying the children of Uror will forever appreciate the donation in their quest to seek knowledge and face the challenges of nation building.

 


A representative of ZTE (r) shows Dr. Benjamin the sample of the waterproof bags, Looking on (l) is Ambassador Qiang
[Photo: by Ajang Monychol]


Speaking at the same occasion, Chinese Ambassador to South Sudan, Ma Qiang said the donation is “just a small portion of my country's and the big ones are on the way coming”. He said China plans to build schools and setup a university in the country.


In another development, the Eritrean government has reaffirmed its commitment to enhance bilateral relation with South Sudan. Hon. Osman Saleh, Eritrea's Foriegn Affairs minister said good relations with South Sudan is crucial in addressing issues of regional integration.


The visiting foreign minister, said the bond between Eritrea and South Sudan is very strong and reiterated it is the wish of his government to continue such a cordial relations.  


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


Heads of states from the Great Lakes region calls for peaceful resolution of DRC conflict

JUBA, 7 September 2013 - Five Heads of the states from the Great Lakes region yesterday concluded the 7th summit of heads of states and Government of the International Conference on the Great Lakes region in the Ugandan capital, Kampala.

 

Presidents, H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit of South Sudan, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda, Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, and Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) took part in the summit besides other regional representatives. 

 

Besides addressing key challenges to stablity and development in the region, the heads of states during the one day meeting also discussed ways of peacefully resolving the conflict in the DRC between the Government and the M-23 rebels fighting in the eastern part of the country.


After the meeting, South Sudan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin said that the meeting condemned the recent escalating security situation in the DRC’s eastern region and called for a peacefully resolution of the conflict. He said both sides have been urged to resume talks within three days and reach an agreement in 14 days.

 


H.E Gen. Kiir signing the communique at the closure of the summit
[Photo: Mabith Ring]

 

The conference was started by a ministerial meeting of both Foreign and Defense ministers in the 12 states of the Great Lakes region as well as the Chief of Staff of armies.

The Leaders and Governments at the end of the conference signed a communiqué that outlined the way forward to maintaining security and stability in the region.


President Kiir and the accompanying delegation returned on Friday (yesterday). Upon arrived he was received by his Vice President James Wani Igga and Cabinet minister Dr. Martin Elia Lomoro at Juba International airport.

 

Reported by Mabith Ring


Vocational training centers across the country to embark on long term courses

JUBA, 6 September 2013 - The Juba Multi-Service Training Centre has for the first time enrolled over 200 trainees in long term courses in various fields ranging from auto motive, electricity, carpentry, joinery and many others. The training aims at providing the youth with careful tested vocational training support skills that will guarantee employment in the labour market.


The national Undersecretary for labour madam Helen Achiro Lotara officially opened the training season yesterday for over seven hundred trainees across the national vocational training centers of Malakal, Wau and Juba.


In her opening remarks, she assures the trainees that the skills they are going to learn are more technical and importance for nation building. She said the national Ministry of Labour Public Service and Human Resource Development will work hand in hand with the private training providers to support the youths by creating job opportunities through skills transfer.

 


some of the youth who will benefit from the long terms courses
[Photo: by Justin Jaba Joseph]


Because of lack of skills to the youth, she said South Sudan today is experiencing a new trend where companies coming in are employing foreigners in carpentry, auto motive, plumbing and building. “I will tell them that no we already have centers that are training people in the same category,” Helen Achiro explained.


She asserted that it is the responsibility of the government to ensured that this companies coming to the country must avail job opportunities to our people. “If they don’t we will have to ensure that we push for it, like now we are going to have serious negotiation with the oil industry to employ graduate of vocational training centers” Madam Achiro said.


The Juba Multi-service Training Centre mission is to provide effective and efficient skills trainers, strong public private partnership providing equitable access and providing self-employment job creations which are centre for nation building, peace and reconciliation across the Country.


Director General for Vocational Training Centers Rev. John Chol Daau, express concern on the good turns up of the trainees in all the VTCs across the Nation. He asserted it was a long terms program with new curriculum that was suitable in the labour market, which he said needs a collective support from our development partners being International Labour Organization (ILO), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and others.


Director for MTC Juba Mr. Aligo Manasseh Khamis asserted that they are concern to prepare human resource for self-reliant living through the provision of skills training that are highly employable in the contemporary labour market.


Reported by Justin Jada Joseph


Workshop on smart agriculture for increased productivity concludes in Juba

JUBA, 6 September 2013 – A two-day dialogue workshop on climate and smart agriculture for increased productivity of crops, livestock, and forestry production in South Sudan has been concluded yesterday in Juba.


The workshop organized by the research department of the national ministry of agriculture, forestry, animal resources, fishers, tourism, cooperatives and rural development in collaborating with the association for strengthening agricultural resources for Southern and Central Africa aimed at exploring avenues for sustainable and improved livelihood and income for the rural based people of South Sudan.


Edward Andrew Ashiek, Head of Agro Meteorology, South Sudan Metrological Department underscored the importance of availing "important information on climate change" to the citizens, saying it is crucial in mitigating some of the effects of climatic change.


“Installation of advanced technology to disseminate and deliver weather information and severe weather warnings via television, radio, mobiles, websites and newspapers is crucial in keeping the citizens informed thereby making them take informed decisions”, he said. He outlined full establishment of national metrological services, strengthening of the country’s data base system, establishment of upper air stations among others as measures that can help increase productivity in the country.

 

 
A map extract showing regional weather forecasts
 

 

Another presenter Wani James, a representative of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in South Sudan said lack of technological input, quality seeds to the farmers in production areas, floods, birds such as the red-billed (quelea quelea) and pests are serious challenge to farmers in South Sudan.


Extensive poverty, skewed income distribution, deteriorated infrastructure, poor input supply chain, lack of effective and extension services among other have been outlined as constraints to increased productivity in the country.

 

Reported by Gabriel Lawrence


AU welcomes the outcome of the summit meeting between the Presidents of Sudan and South Sudan

JUBA, 5 September 2013 - The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, welcomes the outcome of the Summit meeting between Presidents Omar Hassan Al Bashir of the Republic of Sudan and H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit of the Republic of South Sudan, held in Khartoum, on 3 September 2013.


“I am encouraged by the steps taken by the two Presidents to conclude the Summit with positive outcomes, particularly the decision by the Government of Sudan to indefinitely suspend the shutdown of the transportation and processing of oil from South Sudan” Dr.Nkosazana who made the remarks in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa today commended the two Presidents for the activation of the two Committees created to oversee the implementation of the 27 September 2012 Cooperation Agreements.


She further welcomed the commitment by the two Presidents to continue their engagement on all outstanding issues, particularly those relating to Abyei. The Chairperson also urged all stakeholders and the citizens of both countries to continue to support their leaders in their efforts to address the outstanding challenges.


Statement on oil sales update

JUBA, 5 September 2013 - The ministry of Petroleum, Mining and Industry (MPMI) has announced it has sold a total of 9.79 million (Nine Million, Seven Hundred and Ninety Thousand) barrels of crude oil from both the Nile and Dar Blends since the resumption of oil production in May this year, earning a gross revenue of US $969 million (nine hundred sixty nine million US Dollars).

 

Based on the sales, the Government of the Republic of Sudan will receive a total of two hundred and thirty eight million (US $238 million) in transit, transportation and processing fee amounting to US $91 million and US $147 million as per the Transitional Financial Arrangements (TFA), the ministry stated in a press statement.

 

The ministry is obligated to make the information on oil production available to the citizens of South Sudan and all stakeholders for the purposes of accountability and transparency.

 

"I take this opportunity to express my optimism that the renewed spirit of cooperation between the Republic of South Sudan and the Government of the Republic of Sudan will continue to guarantee the undisrupted flow of South Sudan crude oil to the international markets for the mutual benefit of both countries", the minister of Petroleum, Mining and Industry Hon. Stephen Dhieu Dau said.

 


Reported by Matata Safi 


Information Ministry release staff of Abyei origin as October referendum approaches

JUBA, 04 September 2013 (NASS) – All the sons and daughters of Abyei working with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting were officially released yesterday by the minister Hon. Michael Makuei lueth in order to take part in the preparations for the upcoming referendum due to take place by October this year.


Among them serving in top positions included Director General of Information, Mustafa Biong Majak, the Director General of South Sudan Television, Arob Bagat Tinglout, the Acting Director of the News Agency of South Sudan (NASS), Mr. Phillip Dhil and some junior staffs.


The minister in a meeting with the released staffs said their salaries and the rest of their entitlements would continue as normal in accordance with what is agreed upon from the presidency. He adviced them to work hard in the mobilization process in order to attained successful results.

 


Minister Makuei in a meeting with the officials who hail from Abyei before their release
[Photo: Oliver Francis]
 


He said the government is rallying behind the people of Abyei in order to ensure good results that will bring lasting peace to its people.


In related development, Michael Makuei lueth met the head of the United Nations interim security for Abyei (UNISFA), Mr Getachew Selben. The meeting discussed the on-going arrangements and preparation for the upcoming Abyei plebiscite.

 


Hon. Makuei chating with the Getachew
[Photo: Oliver Francis]


In his words after the meeting, Getachew said the situation in Abyei is generally calm.


Reported by Oliver Francis News Agency of South Sudan NASS.


Press Release on this year's World Literacy day

JUBA, 4 September 2013 – 195 member states of UNESCO worldwide, South Sudan included, will on September 8, celebrate International Literacy Day under the “Literacies for the 21st Century”.

 

Please click here to read the joint press statement from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Save the Children on this year's celebrations.
 


Investigation into the Un-procedural transfer of USD 7,959,400 completed

JUBA, 4 September 2013 - Please click here to read the Press Release on Completion of Investigation into the Un-procedural transfer of USD 7,959,400 to Kenya.


Parliament elects new speaker

JUBA, 3 September 2013 [Gurtong] – The South Sudan parliament yesterday unanimously appointed a new Speaker, Manas Magok Rundial, from the Greater Upper Nile region following the resignation of James Wani Igga now serving as the country’s Vice President.


Two deputy Speakers were also elected. Hon. Mark Nyipoch from Western Bahr el Ghazal and Hon. Yasmin Samuel from Eastern Equatoria states respectively were the first and second deputies ousting ex-deputies of the House Hon. Daniel Awet and Fatuma Nyawang.


Magok’s appointment came following endorsement by the members of parliament from the Greater Upper Nile region before his final nomination by the national legislature beating other supposed candidates such as the ex-minister of Justice John Luk Jok and former deputy Speaker Hon. Fatuma Nyawang.

 


Members of parliament in a previous sitting
[Photo: file]
 


Committed member of the SPLM, Magok made to the parliament since the inception of the August House after the establishment of the Southern Sudan then semi-autonomous government in 2005.


A Christian by religion, Magok’s main challenge as the Speaker will be monitoring the executive in executing an austerity budget midst hard economic challenge the fledgling nation is undergoing and addressing insecurity in the country.

 

By Wake Simon Wudu


Egypt pledges to build capacity of information staff

JUBA, 1 September 2013 (NASS) – A number of staff from the ministry of Information and Broadcasting could soon benefit from a capacity building scheme aimed at improving their skills following an announcement by the Egyptian ambassador to South Sudan.


Ambassador Ayman Elgammal made the announcement in a recent meeting with Hon. Michael Makuei, South Sudan’s minister for Information and Broadcasting. The Egyptian diplomat said the courses would be conducted in Cairo and will provide much needed skills. Many South Sudanese have already benefited from a number of Egyptian scholarships in the recent past.


The meeting also discussed areas of strengthening bilateral relationship between Juba and Cairo. In a statement to reporters, the minister commended Egypt’s contribution towards the development of the country and assured of government’s readiness to cooperate with the Egyptian government.


The Egyptian ambassador also announced the grant opening of a medical center in Jonglei’s Capital Bor constructed with funds from the Embassy. He said the health facility will open its doors to the public early this month.


In another news development, Minister Makuei met with the Special Representative of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) Helde Johnson on September 29 where they discussed a number of issues. The two among other discussed  the conflict in Jonglei as well as the process of speeding up the implementation of the media bills.


Johnson assured of the commitment of the UN to cooperate with the government to bring about peace and stability among all the citizen of south Sudan.


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


EU Ambassador pledges to resolve problem delaying the government printer

JUBA, 1 September 2013 (NASS) - The European Union Ambassador to South Sudan Sven Kuhn has promised to work with the ministry of Information to stem out the bottlenecks delaying the operationalization of the Government Printing Press (GPP).


Ambassador Kuhn made the pledge in a recent meeting with the minister of Information and Broadcasting Hon. Michael Makuei. The government printer, a donation from the European Union (EU) through the Norwegian Church Aid was expected to start operations early July this year.

 


 Staff of GGP at work, technical difficulties has delayed start of publication.
[Photo: Oliver Francis)
 


However due to "technical reasons", production has been delayed. It [the printing press] was expected to aid the government print its document within the country. Most government publications are printed from the neighboring countries of Kenya, Uganda and Egypt thereby making it very expensive. The diplomat also reaffirmed EU’s commitment to back up ministry of Information effort's to improve the quality of media service in the country.

 

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


“The problem of street children is a national problem that needs a national solution”, Gender minister

JUBA, 30 August 2013 – The growing number of street children in the country’s towns and capitals is a national problem that needs a national solution, Gender Child and Social welfare minister Hon. Awut Deng Acuil has said.


The national solution, she said is anchored on “every citizen in South Sudan having the feeling that the fatherless and mothers children roaming the country’s cold streets are the leaders of tomorrow”.


There are different reasons that explain why many children in South Sudan find themselves in the streets. Hon. Acuil said the reasons various from child to child. "There are children who have lost both parents, there are those with single parents, There are also children who have parents but the family environment cannot allow them to stay at home", She explained.

 


Ann Itto Acting Secretary General of SPLM and Hon. Acuil (c) during the meeting at the SPLM secretariat
[Photo: Matata Safi]


While in a consultative meeting with members of the ruling party, Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) on Thursday, the minister said the problem is cutting across all the ten states and affecting every family in the country.


“The worst thing is, these children sleep in the open, it rains on them, the sun beats them. They eat the food that is thrown away from restaurants and homes” the gender minister decried. While in the markets,  the children are always subjected to all forms of abuses. They are often beaten, sexual abused, she said. Most of the children she spoke to expressed willingness to live in child friendly environment if provided.

 


Hon. Acuil chats with some of the street kids in Wau
[Photo: Simon Akol]


“It is not our wish to be on the streets, we need education, we need clothing. Some of us want to join the army and become like our leader Dr. John Garang de Mabior” the minister quoted Simon Melong Akol, one of the street children as saying.


Hon. Acuil appealed to Parents, trade unionists, religious leaders, business community, traditional leaders, international partners, foreign missions, governments both national and states to regard the fight against street children as a national call that requires immediate intervention.


Though there is no established data on the number of street children in the country, the minister said it’s obvious that the numbers are high. The minister who visited Western Bahr el Ghazal and Warrap states early in week said a total of 403 street children were registered in the two states alone. Accompanied by a team from the ministry and a number of volunteers, Hon. Acuil said she in a drive to tour all the ten states in order to understand the scope of the challenge in hand.


She said her ministry has launched child mobilization intuitive (CMI) aimed at identifying the street children. She said the ministry of Gender in collaboration with the ministry of Education is working to establish and identify schools to which these children can be enrolled to acquire education.


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


Kenya pledges to deepen economic ties with South Sudan

MOMBASA, 30 August 2013 (NASS) - The President of the Republic of Kenya, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta has pledged to deepen economic ties with South Sudan in a bid to enhance development in the two countries.


President Kenyatta said it is the mandate and commitment of his government to encourage greater collaboration with the regional partners especially South Sudan as the region edges towards a federation.


The Kenyan president made these remarks while commissioning berth number 19 at the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa. This is one of the largest berths in the East African coastline with the capacity to handle larger ships.


According to the Kenya Revenue Authority Commissioner, Beatrice Memo, South Sudan, being a big importer in the region, will benefit a lot from this berth number 19 which will also bring down high costs and shorten time to clear goods at the port.


Based on the current developments, South Sudan has expressed interest to join Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda in the East African infrastructural project that has commenced in Kampala Uganda to address the challenges in the movement of goods and services.

 


Presidents Kenyatta, Kagame and Museveni commission the berth.
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]


The delegation from South Sudan at the event comprise of the minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin, the minister of Petroleum Stephen Dhieu Dau, the minister of Electricity Jemma Nunu Kumba, the minister of Roads Danhier Kwong and other top government officials. They were welcomed warmly to the East African Summit to state the country’s position.


This infrastructural project is aimed at strengthening the East African infrastructural network to boost cross border as well deepening the integration of East African economies.


Dr Benjamin said the secretary general of the East African Community is expected to arrive in Juba in due course to discuss modalities of how South Sudan can join the East African trading block.


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


Minister pledges support for media houses

JUBA, 28 August 2013 (NASS) - The minister of Information and Broadcasting, Hon. Michael Makuei Lueth has assured the media houses that his ministry will protect them from all forms of harassment which their journalists face in their line of duty. He said journalists would no more be frightened unless on things that are not media-related.


Hon. Makuei made this pledge while brainstorming with journalists on their challenges and the way forward for effective service delivery. The minister also challenged the media houses to do more to promote the county adding that South Sudan is not known well even within Africa leave alone the rest of the continents.


“If you just move out of the Republic of South Sudan and said you are from South Sudan you will be asked where that is. That means most countries do not know about South Sudan”, he explained. Hon. Makuei further warned the media houses to work within their agreed mandates and not encroach into issues that are beyond them.


Mr. Gabriel Shadar who is one of the prominent journalists working with Miraya FM said the journalists now feel safeer if the minister is going to implement the plans discussed. He urged the ministry to expedite the rollout of the media bills to safeguard the interests of the journalists.

 


Hon Makuei welcoming the Chinese ambassador.
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]


In a related development, Hon. Makuei called on the Chinese government to speed up the funding meant for the migration of broadcasting in South Sudan from analogue to digital. The money is supposed to be channeled through Exim bank.


The minister also called on the Chinese government to use its position to resolve the ongoing oil problem with Sudan saying any shutdown by Khartoum will not be revived by South Sudan. The minister made these appeals when he met the new Chinese ambassador to South Sudan, Ma Qiang, last Friday.


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


South Sudan Final Environmental and Social management Framework document

 JUBA, 27 August 2013 - The World Bank (WB) and bilateral donors are supporting efforts by the Government of the Republic of South Sudan to deliver services to the population through supporting the development of the Local Government Service Delivery Project (LGSD).

 

LGSD aims at supporting improvements in local governance and deliver services to communities through strengthening of community engagement and local government capacities in planning, implementation and oversight of local development activities.

 

Please click here to read the final Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF) document .


James Wani Igga appointed Vice President

JUBA, 23 August 2013 – The speaker of parliament Hon. James Wani Igga has been appointed vice president of the republic of South Sudan.

 

Hon. Igga's appointment according to the republican decree issued by the President of the Republic H. E Salva Kiir Mayardit that was read on the national Television (SSTV) on Friday evening,  takes immediate effect as of the day of the announcement.

 


H.E James Wani Igga.
[Photo: File]


He replaces the former vice president Riek Machar Tenny who was removed in a major cabinet reshuffle more about a month ago. No appointment however has been so far for the position of the speaker of parliament. We will bring you the full text of the decree in due course.

 

Reported by Matata Safi
 

 


Police arrests three foreigners involved in armed robbery, calls for vigilance

JUBA, 23 August 2013 - Security operatives in Juba on Thursday night arrested three suspected armed robbers believed to be members of the notorious armed gang causing sleepless nights for most residents of Juba in recent weeks.

 

Anthony Mateso, Johnson Marunda both Ugandan nationals and Mako Richardson a Kenyan national, were paraded together with their loots at the ministry of Interior headquarters this morning. The police also recovered one AK 47 rifle, a pistol and rounds of live ammunitions from them.

 

The deputy minister of Interior Gen. Augustino Jadallah said the robbers numbering five, where moving in a Toyota Reguis motor vehicle registration number CE 397T when the police intercepted them at Suku Melisa in Munuki, a city suburb. After a serious exchange of fire, two of them, he said  managed to escape on motorbikes commonly known as Bodo boda, while the three were over powered by the police who later arrested them. 

 


Firearms recovered from the robbers
[Photo: Matata Safi]
 

 

“These criminals, collaborated with some of our nationals, they went and stole a safe from one Eritrean businessman and looted his shop” said Hon. Gen. Jadallah. “One of them [while pointing at Johnson Marunda] had the gun and started firing at our forces”, he said. Gen. Augustino said, the suspects will help police uprehend those still at large.

 

“I would like to pass this message to our brothers from the neighboring countries, if you are here for the benefit of business, you better do your business, do not come here to create insecurity. We love people, we respect people and we would want you to respect us too”, Gen. Jadallah warned. South Sudan, he said  is in a process of nation building and welcomes people to help develop it  but not to destroy.

 


The vehicle the robbers were driving
[Photo: Matata Safi]

 

 

The deputy Interior minister called on all South Sudanese to be vigilant and report any specious elements who may want to derail the peace that has been “highly paid for”. He further appealed for calm saying the police will crake down on the criminals wherever they may be hiding and we will surely bring them to Justice. He said, the three will first receive medical treatment before they are produced before courts of law to answer their charges.

 

In a related development the minister said another vehicle used by robbers who stole 90,000 South Sudanese pounds from an identified woman in St. Kizito has also been impounded and currently under police custody. He said a number of suspects have also been arrested in connecting with the murder of two brothers who were gunned down in Hai Tharawa last Sunday.

 

Reported by Matata Safi


$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