Capacity building, centre for all development initiatives, Labour Adviser

JUBA, 04 October 2013 - The government has embarked on the preparation of a five-year strategic plan for the Human Resource Training Centre (HRTC) at Jebel on the Juba-Yei road.

Speaking while officially opening a five-day strategic planning workshop at the centre, Mr John Itorong, an Adviser in the Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development (MoLPS&HRD) said capacity building is at the centre of all development initiatives.

Mr Itorong said the Ministry’s long term plan is to transform the HRTC into a fully-fledged South Sudan Management Development Institute, adding that the strategic plan was meant to provide a roadmap for the transformation.

Mr Itorong said the plan would also act as a framework for guiding sustainable operationalisation of the centre into an institute for training civil servants on best practices in public administration and management.

“Efforts to reform and modernize the public service will be in vain unless the MoLPS&HRD is sufficiently prepared to provide the much needed leadership in meeting the ever emerging challenges posed by the demands of phenomenal changes in public administration and management worldwide,” said the Adviser, adding that the entire public service needs to be more responsive to citizens who were becoming more informed about their political, social and economic rights, and obligations.

“This kind of approach requires very clear understanding of the new challenges and a robust roadmap of deliberate and systematic actions or solutions supported by professionally competent, highly disciplined, committed and motivated civil servants at both national and state levels,” he said.

Addressing the workshop, Labour Undersecretary Madam Hellen Achiro Lotara said the centre was not operating to its full capacity due to various challenges. Madam Hellen urged the participants to ensure they acquire strategic planning skills from the workshop.

The workshop which has drawn participants from government ministries, commissions and the University of Juba has been organised by the Pretoria-based Public Administration, Leadership and Management institute with funding from the Canadian International Development Agency.

Reported by Justin Jada and Simon Owaka

Japan earmarks US $ 300, 000 to support the constitutional review process in South Sudan

JUBA, O2 November 2013 –The Government of Japan has approved US $300,000 (29,475,000 Japanese Yen) to UNDP to support the constitutional review process in the Republic of South Sudan, a joint press statement issued on Friday by UNDP and Government of Japan Embassy in South Sudan stated.


The funding, provided through the Japan-UNDP Partnership Fund, will support the activities of South Sudan’s National Constitutional Review Commission in holding public consultations, especially with women, supporting media strategies to galvanise public participation, as well as the printing and distribution of the Transitional Constitution 2011, 

Japan’s Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Nobuo Kishi, conveyed the funding decision to the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) in the Republic of South Sudan, Ms. Hilde F. Johnson, during her recent visit to Japan.


Ms. Johnson expressed her appreciation for the assistance and acknowledged that the contribution is meaningful to support the elaboration of the constitution in a new country and provides a signal to other partner countries.

Read more


Reported by Matata safi

Information ministry releases first Government Bulletin publication

JUBA, 01 0ctober 2013- The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for last few months has been working to produced “The Official Government Bulletin”. The first issue of the bulletin was in circulation on Thursday and entails key Government decisions made by both the President and ministers on half of the people of the Republic of South Sudan.


"During this early period of nation building, it is essential that men and women across South Sudan understand what the Government is doing in their name. This process of engagement will help strengthen the foundations of democracy and the values of justice, liberty and prosperity we all hold dear" said the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Hon. Micheal Makuei Lueth

Please click here to read the full text of the bulletin

Information minister briefs SPLM party on the plans and challenges of the ministry

JUBA, 01 October 2013 (NASS) -The minister for Information and Broadcasting Hon. Michael Makuei Lueth yesterday briefed the Sudan people Liberation Movement (SPLM) on the plans and the challenges facing the Ministry.

Held at the SPLM Secretariat and chaired by the party’s Deputy Secretary General Dr. Ann Itto, the meeting aimed at finding means to overcome the obstacles facing the ministry’s service delivery efforts. The SPLM party in the recent past has been sharing experiences and challenges with the ministers of the newly formed government, aimed at jointly laying development and service delivery strategies as the government embarks on rebuilding the country. Despite the challenges, Hon. Makuei said the ministry is committed to deliver the much-needed services to the people.


Members of the SPLM party been breifed by the Hon.Makuei
[Photo: Francis Oliver]

The Deputy Secretary Dr. Itto commended the roles of the ministry in promoting peace and unity among the people of South Sudan. She assured the readiness of the SPLM party to stand behind the ministry to address its challenges.


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

IGAD Civil Service Support Officers hailed for their role in transforming service delivery

JUBA, 31 October 2013 - An Adviser to the Minister for Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development, Mr John Itorong, has hailed the role played by civil service support officers (CSSOs) in transforming service delivery by the Government of South Sudan.

Mr Itorong, who is also the Project Coordinator of the Republic of South Sudan/IGAD Capacity Enhancement Initiative, said the project has been recognized worldwide as a big success in capacity building for the fledgling South Sudanese civil service. “The project seeks to promote best practices in the civil service through the transfer of knowledge and skills,” said Itorong.

The Adviser said the CSSOs from the IGAD member states of Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia had made significant input by helping change the way of doing things in the civil service. “You have helped put in place systems, structures and initiated reforms to make our public service more efficient,” said the Adviser.


Mr. John Itorong 

He said that due to the success of the project, there would be a second phase for two and half years to run up to October 2016 courtesy of the Norwegian government which has been funding the project.

Mr Itorong was speaking at a Juba hotel on Wednesday when he officially opened a two-day exit workshop for 91 CSSOs from Uganda and Ethiopia who will leave the country this Saturday after completing their two-year tour of duty.

Speaking at the forum, the UNDP Deputy Country Director, Ms Amanda Serumaga, said the contribution of the CSSOs has been manifested through improvement of management, policy formulation and service delivery in various ministries.

“Over the last two years, you have been supporting capacity building for South Sudanese civil servants in various national and state institutions. Majority of you (over 50 per cent) supported the provision of essential services in the health sector at the national, state and county levels,” she said. Ms Serumaga said the performance of the CSSOs had earned the initiative wide publicity and acceptance both locally and internationally.

“Because of what you and your colleagues have done, the Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development continues to receive numerous requests for support. The success and positive image have made it possible to have a second phase – for two and a half years (October 2013 to March 2016),” she said, adding that UNDP looked forward to even better results in the next phase.


Some of the CSSOs from Uganda and Ethiopia  who are on the exit after completing two years in South Sudan


Mr Serumaga said UNDP remained committed to supporting capacity building and other development efforts in South Sudan. A total of 200 CSSOs from the three countries were deployed at the national and state levels within government ministries, commissions and state governments. Forty two Kenyan CSSOs left the country last May.

The cadre of officers deployed ranged from doctors, engineers, architects, human resource experts, public communications specialists, urban planners, labour officers/inspectors, air traffic controllers, film officers, veterinary surgeons, medical laboratory technologists to nurses.

Reported by Justin Jada and Simon Owaka

ICT powers development, says President Kiir

KIGALI RWANDA, 30 October 2013 - South Sudan may be the youngest country in Africa however its efforts to promote and establish an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) driven economy are high on the government’s development agenda, President Salva Kiir Mayardit said on Tuesday.

H.E President Kiir while deliberating in the just concluded Transform Africa Summit held in Kigali, Rwanda on October 29 said his Government has signed an agreement with the government of Kenya to have the fibre optic construction from its coastal town of Mombasa extended to South Sudan.


President Kiir (left) and other heads of states during the summit
[Photo: Mabith Ring]


He said this would connect the country within itself and the rest of the World. ICT powers development, it creates jobs for the youth, he said.

On his part, the host President Paul Kagame said as a measure of achieving Africa’s developmental targets, the summit aimed at underscoring the key role ICT plays in today’s World. He called for partnership between Governments, companies and private sector in promoting ICT stressing that it is the only way Africa can compete effectively with the rest of the world.

Reported by Mabith Ring

Agriculture ministry dispatches a team of crop and food assessment field staff to the ten states

JUBA, 30, October 2013 (NASS) - The Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Food Programme and other food security NGOs is dispatching a team of crop and food assessment field Staffs to the ten states of South Sudan to assess the level of food security in the country.

The Deputy Minister for Agriculture Hon Lilli Albino Akol Akol underscored the importance of the exercise saying it will provide much needed information that the government shall in collaboration with other partners use in dealing with the aftermath of the devastating floods. Trained in Juba, the team is expected to file it's report in a period of two weeks time.

“The report will provide information that will help in identifying both geographical and households that will need food assistance. It will form a basis for food security monitoring during the coming days especially after the recent flood destroyed most of the farms”, Jaden Emido Tangun the Undersecretary of the Agriculture said on Monday. He said the report will also provide a frame work for developing intervention programs.

Meanwhile the Director General for Agriculture who is heading the program said seven of the country’s ten states are most likely to be food insecure and the report he said will help Government and partners in securing the food gaps.

Reported by Abdulrazig Juma Abdalla, News Agency of South Sudan (NASS)

President Kiir in Kigali to attend the 3rd Infrastructure and Transform Projects Summit

KIGALI, Rwanda 29 October 2013 - Four Heads of the States from the Great Lakes Region on Monday concluded the 3rd Infrastructure and Africa Transform Projects Summit held in Kagali, the capital of Rwanda.

Presidents Salva Kiir Mayardit of the Republic of South Sudan, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda, Uhuru Kenyatta, of Kenya and the host Paul Kagame of Rwanda attended the summit, an initiative bringing together the four countries to fast track regional development through infrastructure development, trade, political and economic integration.


(L-R) Presidents Salva Kiir, Yoweri Miseveni, Paul Kagame and Uhuru Kenya during the summit
[Photo: Mabith Ring]

The meetings is a follow-up of the implementation the resolutions made in last similar high level meeting held in Entebbe, Uganda on June 2013, said President Paul Kagame appreciated the coming of the heads of states to Rwanda saying the summit has made tremendous advances and witnessed the launch of a single customs territory to facilitate trade and eliminate the remaining non-tariff barriers.

He stressed the important of improving the infrastructure within the four countries which he said will improve trade for the benefit of the citizen in the Region.

H.E President Silva Kiir thanked Governments of  Kenya and Uganda for being “real partners” for standing with South Sudan in hard times. He assured the readiness of the Republic of South Sudan to work together with its partners in the region to strengthen and improve trade and free movement of the people.

South Sudan at the moment has an observer status in the East African Community while waiting for the approval of its membership’s application to join the regional body.

Reported by Mabith Ring

The African Union says it understands the frustration of the Ngok Dinka but condemns the conduct of the unilateral Abyei referendum

JUBA, 28 October 2013 - The African Union understands the frustration of the Ngok Dinka community of Abyei in determining their future as provided for by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement but strongly condemns the unilateral referendum to determine the final status of the areas, said the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.


“The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr. Nkosazana is closely following the situation in the Abyei Area. She has learned, with deep concern, of the organization by the leadership of the Ngok Dinka community of a unilateral “referendum”, to determine the final status of Abyei” a press release issued on Monday by the continental body read in part.


Abyei residents early this year started going back home after the second SAF invasion that left thousands killed and many more displaced
[Photo: Matata Safi]


While calling for an immediate halt of the exercise, Dr. Nkosazana said the unilateral act is in violation of the relevant decisions of the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC), and can only heighten tension on the ground and further complicate the search for a mutually acceptable solution within the framework of existing commitments.


Dr. Nkosazana called the decision to conduct the unilateral Abyei referendum “unacceptable and irresponsible” stressing that it poses a threat to peace and has the potential to trigger an unprecedented escalation on that ground.


Acknowledging with appreciation the rejection by the Government of South Sudan of any unilateral action in Abyei, the Chairperson of the Commission further called on the international community, including the United Nations, to condemn the ongoing unilateral referendum in Abyei, and urged UN to prevail upon those concerned to cease it immediately.

The Chairperson of the Commission reiterated the AU’s position on the issue of Abyei, as contained in relevant PSC communiqués, including AU’s acceptance of the Proposal submitted by the AU High-Level Implementation Panel on Sudan and South Sudan (AUHIP) on 21 September 2012.

“As stressed by the PSC, this Proposal represents a fair and balanced solution that takes into account existing commitments and the interests of the communities on the ground”, the statement added.


Dr. Dlamini-Zuma called for the expeditious implementation of 20 June 2011 Agreement on Temporary Administrative and Security Arrangements for the Abyei Area. She further welcomed the decisions reached by the Presidents of Sudan and South Sudan during their recent Summit in Juba.

While paying tribute to UNISFA for “commendable efforts” in spite of the challenging environment in which it is operating, Dr. Dlamini-Zuma called on the Abyei communities to exercise utmost restraint and give maximum cooperation to UNISFA in order to ensure the maintenance of peace and stability in area.


The Chairperson of the Commission said she is looking forward to the forthcoming visit of the PSC to Abyei, and expressed confidence that PSC interactions with all parties concerned can assist in defusing the prevailing tension and facilitate a consensual way out of the crisis, with the support of the AUHIP.

Reported by Matata Safi

Council of ministers directs for the operationalization of Bashir-Kiir Joint Communiqué

JUBA, 26 October 2013 - The National Council of ministers in its regular meeting of Friday October 25, under the chairmanship of the President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit commended the recent visit of the President of Sudan H.E. Omer El-Bahir and directed all the Government committees for implementation of the Cooperation Agreement to operationalize the Joint Communiqué issued during the visit of H.E Omar el-Bashir and follow up implementation of the Agreements.

According to Hon. Michael Makuei Lueth, the minister of Information and broadcasting who is also the official spokesman of the government, the Council also listened to a presentation made by the minister of Electricity and Dams Hon. Jema Nunu Kumba on the challenges and performance of the South Sudan Electricity Corporation. Saying that the Council commended the presentation and directed that all the outstanding debts wanted from Government institutions should be cancelled and the Council further directed the ministry of Finance to pay the sum of 1.3 million Euro to the ministry of Electricity to purchase generator spare parts so that Electricity services could be extended to the Citizens.


Hon. Makuei briefing the press shortly after the Friday Council of Ministers meeting
[Photo: Thomas Keneth]

Hon. Lueth also said the minister of Cabinet Affairs Hon. Dr. Elia Lumor presented to the Council status of Government House in Juba saying that the new ministers facing challenges of having no government accommodations, and the Council directed that the old constitutional post holders (Old ministers) to evacuate the Government Houses to enable the new ministers be accommodated.


Hon. Lueth added, the minister of Foreign Affairs briefed the Council that Chinese Red Cross has donated 50,000 USD for the victims of floods, and the Council appreciated Chinese red cross for the donation. Hon Lueth announced that South Sudan was by mistake declared to be one of the Countries with Polio, explaining that the Global Polio Specialize Laboratory Center for disease control and prevention in USA disclosed that an error occurred during the processing of spacemen in the regional Polio conference laboratory in Kenya, and assured that South Sudan is a Polio free Country.


Reported by Thomas Keneth

China grants 1,050,000 USD besides medicines and food in responds to the country’s flood

JUBA, 26 October 2013 (NASS) - China has responded to the unprecedented floodds by offering one million and fifty thousand USD cash in grants and preparing for materials assistance expected to reach Juba by next week.

The minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin hailed and appreciates the support saying it is a very good gesture of friendship. So far 50,000 US Dollars has been received and the one million dollar will reach in the next two days, said the ambassador China to South Sudan, Ma Qiang.

Qiang said the government of China equally shares the pain of the South Sudanese whose homes and properties were destroyed. He further extended condolences to the families of those who lost lives during the recent devastating natural disaster.

The food and non-materials, he said would help rescue those who whose livelihoods have been destroyed. The materials, includes anti malarial, anti venom for snakes, foodstuffs, tents, blankets, boats for humanitarian assistance, according to the ambassador.


Dr. Benjamin and Ma Qiang during the meeting
[Photo: martin Jada]

The minister also held talks with the regional director of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Luis Gomes Sambo and they discussions were centered on the health challenges in the country and the government in collaboration with the WHO can together to address the challenges.


In his remarks after the talks, Dr. Sambo said world health organization has lifted South Sudan from the list of the countries affected with polio. Dr. Sambo however urges the government to keep increasing the coverage of the routine immunizations against polio to secure the country.

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

EAC to discuss South Sudan’s application

JUBA, 26 October 2013 - Discussions on South Sudan’s application to join the East African Community (EAC) are set to be held in the first week of November, Tanzania’s Daily News website reported on Wednesday.


A statement from the Secretary General of the East African Community, Dr Richard Sezibera disclosed November 7- 8, as dates for the meeting of the High Level Negotiations to take place in Arusha Tanzania, the headquarters of the East African Community.


A special team from the Republic of South Sudan is expected to travel to Arusha where representatives from EAC Member states of Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and Tanzania will join them in the task force which will commence its work, and determine rules of procedure and programme, the Daily News added.


During its 27th meeting held last August, the EAC Council of Ministers approved the proposed process of handling the negotiations with the Republic of South Sudan to join the East African Community.


The council then established a High Level Negotiation Team; directed the partner states to nominate three members to the High Level Negotiation Team by 30 September 2013, and directed the Secretariat to thereafter convene a meeting of the High Level Negotiation Team to start the negotiations with the Republic of South Sudan.


Sudan’s application to join the regional body was turned down due to lack of common border with any member country of the East African Community.

Reported by Matata Safi

Vice President launches country-wide polio vaccination campaign

JUBA, 25 October 2013 - Personally vaccinating school children at a hospital in Juba, His Excellency the Vice President James Wani Igga calls on all South Sudanese to ensure every child up to fifteen years old is vaccinated against polio.

HE Igga, immunized six girls and boys against polio yesterday while launching a massive series of polio vaccination campaigns designed to protect children against polio and to stop transmission of the virus. The vaccination was conducted at a ceremony held at the El- Sabbah Children’s Hospital in Juba, Central Equatoria.


 South Sudan Vice President  Igga gives a polio vaccination at the October 24 vaccination campaign launch
[Photo: UNICEF South Sudan/ Ohanesian]

The Launch follows a government declaration of polio as a national health emergency on September 30. And together with its partners, in particular WHO and UNICEF, the Government mobilized emergency vaccinations in the affected Counties to stop transmission of the virus.


In his speech to the people attending the ceremony, the Vice President remarked, “Kicking polio out of South Sudan forever is a high priority for me and for the Government of this country. It is our duty and the duty of everyone in the country to make sure children are vaccinated, we are the youngest nation on earth – and our children are the future of the nation. They are the ones who will make South Sudan great. So let them grow up in a country free of polio,” he said.


The Vice President assured the public that the vaccines were completely safe. “The vaccines that I am about to give personally to these boys and girls and the vaccines that the health workers will be given to all of our children across the country and they are absolutely safe; they will not cause any harm to any child, no matter how old they are.”


South Sudan has been on high alert following polio outbreak in the neighbouring countries, of Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia earlier this year. Three cases were confirmed in South Sudan on September 26 in a two year-old girl in Ikotos County, Eastern Equatoria State, and a two year-old and an eight year-old girls both from Aweil County, Northern Bahr El Ghazal State.


There is no cure for polio, but the disease can be prevented by vaccination. The round of vaccinations officially launched by the Vice President began in October 22 and will last for seven days. The current round will cover all of Eastern, Central and Western Equatoria States and the capital cities of the other States. Further rounds of polio vaccinations will cover all parts of the county from over the coming weeks. The Government and partners are determined reach all corners of the country, despite logistic and security challenges.


The current polio outbreak has also affected children who are older than 5 years. One of the girls infected with polio in Northern Bahr el Ghazal State was eight years old, and several children in Somalia have been in their early teenage years. Because of this, the Minister of Health, Honourable Dr Riek Gai Kok noted, “We are taking extra precaution in the current vaccination campaigns. Instead of vaccinating only children from zero to five years old, as we normally do, we will be vaccinating children from zero to fifteen years old. Older children are also at risk in this current outbreak and they too must be protected.”


The WHO Head of country office, Dr Abdi Aden Mohammed committed WHO’s support towards polio eradication in South Sudan, “We shall continue to provide technical and financial support to South Sudan, including training and facilitating vaccinators to reach every child, develop tools that assist in organizing and implementing relevant health promotion initiatives targeting polio guided by the national health goals and current epidemiological evidence”.


The UNICEF South Sudan Deputy Representative Pelucy Ntambirweki highlighted the importance of partnership in defeating polio, not just in South Sudan, but around the world. “Until the day polio is eradicated, no unimmunized child anywhere is free of risk from the virus,” she told the crowd. Despite the current outbreak, she said, “Progress towards the final defeat of polio is unstoppable. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative aims to eradicate polio by 2018. One day soon, we will completely defeat polio and the world will be free of this terrible disease.”

In the long run, the best way to protect children against polio is through polio vaccinations received as part of their routine immunizations. Routine immunization is more cost-effective, and more sustainable than house-to-house campaigns. The Routine Immunization rates have significantly improved in South Sudan over recent years, protecting children from six dangerous childhood diseases, including polio, Ntambirki sai.


Protection against polio increases with each polio vaccination a child receives. Parents, teachers and community leaders need to make sure that all children up to fifteen years old are vaccinated each time polio vaccinators visit their communities. Do not fail your children by leaving them unprotected against this debilitating disease, he added.

Vocational training centers to be labour-market driven

JUBA, 24 October 2013 - The Government has reaffirmed its commitment to ensure that the training being offered in vocational training centres in South Sudan equips trainees with the relevant practical skills and knowledge for the labour market and self-employment.

The national Minister for Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development, Hon Ngor Kolong Ngor, said that in line with this commitment, the Ministry had established a Directorate of Vocational Training and developed a draft vocational training policy.  Ngor further said that the Juba Multi-service Training Centre (MTC) had also been refurbished with assistance from the Japanese government.

The Minister made the remarks in a speech read on his behalf by an Advisor in the Ministry, Mr Deng Chuol Malang, during the official opening of a validation workshop on the South Sudan Vocational Training Policy and Curricula at the Juba MTC.

The Minister said that once adopted, the draft national Vocational Training Policy and Curricula will provide a strengthened, coherent and coordinated technical, vocational education and training system that responds to market needs, fosters development, social cohesion and nation building.

“You are all aware that today’s world is a highly dynamic one with information, communication and technology innovations dictating the pace of economic growth. South Sudan has no intention to be left behind. Therefore, vocational training coupled with the latest ICT skills for our youth will spur economic prosperity in our country,” Ngor said.

He said the Ministry would work closely with the private sector and build partnerships aimed at achieving synergies in service delivery and implementation of programmes especially in the area of skills training. “The private sector is the engine of economic growth in today’s free market economy. The Ministry will therefore work closely with the private sector to identify the skills gaps in the economy”, Hon. Ngor said.

Speaking at the workshop, Labour Undersecretary Madam Hellen Achiro Lotara disclosed that the draft vocational training policy was developed with technical and financial support from the International Labour Organization and development partners.

Madam Hellen said the world today was highly dynamic and competitive, adding that South Sudan must keep up with new innovations in the labour and technological market. “We want to train manpower for the local and international market. Our training policy and curricula should therefore meet international labour market standards,” she said.

Also present at the workshop was the Central Equatoria state Minister for Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development, Hon Lilly Kapuki Paul Jurkin.

By Martin Ali and Simon Owaka

President Kiir regrets Twic East killing

JUBA, 24 October 2013 – The President of the Republic of South Sudan Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit has condemned in the strongest possible terms the recent killing of unarmed civilians in Twic East County of Jonglei State on Sunday 20th of October 2013 by armed groups operating in the area.


The President deeply regrets the “senseless killing of innocent civilians” that resulted into the loss of 79 lives, including women and children.


Read more


South Sudan appeals for the appointment of Abyei referendum chair

JUBA, 24 October (NASS) - The government of south Sudan is appealing to the African union to appoint the chairperson of the Abyei Referendum Commission so that it can allow Sudan and South Sudan appoint members into the commission.

Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin said it’s very important to see the chairperson appointed to allow the exercise take place since it is an AU led initiative.


Members of the diplomatic core during the meeting
[Photo: Martin Jada]

The minister made the remarks yesterday while briefing the diplomatic community on the one to one meeting of the two presidents. Dr. Benjamin said although the summit of the two presidents agree on the opening of the borders between Sudan and South Sudan, the border line from Heglig to the oil fields are still closed, Dr. Benjamin said while urging Khartoum to open the Heglig border cross.


He noted that  it is difficult at moment  for oil companies to operate smoothly because their spare parts are on the other side of the border, which is inaccessible at the moment.

In another development, the minister said the government is taking tough measures against the perpetrators who on last Sunday massacred people and forced many fleeing from Jonglei’s Twic East county. He said the attacks are “unacceptable” and strongly condemned by the government. So far 79 people have been reportedly and many more wounded.

Reported by Martin Jada Gabriel, News Agency of South Sudan

Government distances itself from any unilateral decision to conduct Abyei referendum

JUBA, 24 October 2013 (NASS) - The government of the Republic of South Sudan has said it will not be part of any unilateral decision to conduct a referendum in the contested border region of Abyei that is not backed by any status.

The minister for Information and Broadcasting Hon. Michael Makuei Lueth said the fate of Abyei referendum lies with the African Union and the United Nation as the President has already written to the two bodies over the matter.


Hon. Makuei briefing the press yesterday
[Photo: Francis Oliver]

Hon. Makuei who is also the official government Spokesman said for the referendum to be successful, certain fundamental issues must be addressed which include the formiation of joint Abyei Administration to oversee the voter registration exercise.

Hon. Makuei explained that the holding of the Abyei referendum is now beyond the government of South Sudan as the matter is now before the continental body urging pressure groups that have threatened to go ahead with the referendum that they will be acting in bad faith. He said the African Union was supposed to have visited Abyei area on 21st of this month but the tour was latter postponed to enable further preparation.

The minister while pleading for patience from the people of Abyei said the two presidents in the Juba 22 October summit, committed themselves to the formation of Abyei joint administration and setting up joint security teams which will them create a conducive environment for the holding of the referendum, Michael Makuei was speaking to the media where he underscored the outcome of “the landmark meeting” between the two Presidents Salva Kiir and his Sudan counterpart Omer el Bashier which took place in Juba.

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

Bashir - Kiir agree to form Abyei administration

JUBA, 23 October 2013 – Presidents Omar Hassan El Bashir of Sudan and Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit of South Sudan in a one-day presidential summit concluded yesterday in Juba, agreed to form the joint Abyei administration, Council and police organs.


Abyei, a highly contested region between Sudan and South Sudan according to an African Union proposal was scheduled to conducted a referendum this month, however disagreement on who is eligible to vote has put exercise on the balance. Going by the mood in the well attended conference, the feeling that the two countries are heading towards resolving all the sticky post independence differences is evident.


Presidents Bashir and Kiir during the meeting at the presidential palance in Juba
[Photo: Matata Safi]


“President Bashir’s reciprocal visit underscores a strong political will by the two leaders to work closely to create a conducive climate for the two countries to proper economically and to live side by side in sustainable peace and stability” the joint communiqué read by the Secretary General of the Government of South Sudan Hon Abdon Agaw Jok read in part. “The meetings were frank, cordial and fruitful”, Hon. Agaw said.


The government of Sudan also agreed to pay the 2 percent share of oil revenue produced in the Abyei areas including arrears to the Abyei Administration. The following are some of the key areas the two heads of states have agreed on  in the meeting: 


  • To expedite the identification of the zero line to create the safe demilitarized border zone (SDBZ) before mid November and ceasing of support and harboring of rebels movement in either country.
  • To expedite procedures for the opening of border crossings between the two countries once the zero line has been identified. In this regard, the two sides expressed satisfaction over the progress made with regard to the flowing and export of oil.
  • To immediately start coordination between the two countries with the aim of establishing an integrated Border Management Mechanism to facilitate movement of people and goods and regulate other shared benefits.
  • To continue to exert joint efforts to achieve debt relief, lifting of economic sanctions and enhancement of development in the two countries.
  • To abolish all entry visas for holders of diplomatic, special and official passports in order to ease movement of people of the two countries.
  • To organize in mid December 2013 a meeting of all bordering states in the two countries with the objective of consolidating the principle of soft borders and facilitating exchange of experience and capacity building at the level of local government institutions.
  • To expedite the operationalization of the work of the Joint Committee on the oil monitoring and exportation.
  • To enhance cooperation between the two central banks and banking sector to facilitate payments and coordinate monetary and banking supervision policies.
  • To direct the central banks in the two countries to serve as facilitators for trade, transfers, pensions and business activities.


Reported by Matata  Safi

“Government does not allow employment of children” says Labour Underscretary

JUBA, 23 October 2013 - The government does not condone the employment of children in construction sites and other hazardous labour, Labour Undersecretary Madam Hellen Achiro Lotara has said.

Madam Hellen said the Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development had in conjunction with the International Labour Organization and other stakeholders prepared a list of hazardous tasks for children which will soon be shared with the entire public.

Madam Hellen said the list states the kinds of work that should or should not be performed by children, adding that the responsibility of eradicating child labour is for all stakeholders and not just the government. She urged Parliament to speed up the passage of the Labour Bill which would among other things facilitate the formulation of policies and regulations to combat child labour.

The Undersecretary was speaking at Suok Sita in Juba on Monday, the site of a bomb explosion, which killed five people including four children last week. She sent condolences to the families of the deceased. Madam Hellen urged the UN and other organisations involved in demining to ensure that all former battlefields were made free of unexploded ordinances.

Speaking at the same even the Director General for Labour and Industrial Relations, Mr Clement Philemon Baime, denied earlier media reports that the children who died were employed at the construction site.

The DG said the children were collecting scrap for sale and called on parents not to allow their children to get into income-generatingemployment warning that the practice would jeopardize the children’s future.

In his remarks, the Group 4 Security Company Ordinance Manager, Mr Pierre Booyse, warned members of the public against touching any strange or foreign objects they come across, adding that they should instead report such discoveries security agencies. Booyse said G4S, a private security firm, was monitoring the site for any unused explosives.

Reported by Simon Peter Owaka

Khartoum pledges 5000 tonnes of sorghum to address the floods

JUBA, 22 October 2013 (NASS) – The Republic of Sudan has responded to South Sudan’s appeal by pledging 5000 tonnes of sorghum in aid of humanitarian support to the victims of floods in the country.

The Sudanese ambassador to South Sudan, Mutrif Sidiq said the government of Sudan is planning to send sorghum by river. He said the aid will arrive in Juba soon.
He also said that besides sorghum other assorted food items, tents, mosquito nets and medicines are on the way now to be distributed to the eight states affected by the flood.

The ambassador announced this yesterday after meeting the staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation over the preparation of the one to one meeting of the presidents of the two countries.


The advance team in Juba.
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]

The meeting, according to the head of the advance team, Badr al din Abdallah will focus on the enhancement of the cooperation agreement signed in Addis Ababa.

Meanwhile, South Korea has embarked on rescue and restoration works following flooding in South Sudan, especially in Jonglei state. South Korean ambassador to Uganda, Park Jong Dae said the South Korean peacekeepers serving under UNMISS are now on the ground controlling the flood, and working to prevent it from happening in the future. Jong Dae who had an opportunity to tour the flood affected areas in Bor Jonglei state revealed this in a meeting with the minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin.

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

Improved tourism sector will create jobs for the youth, says Interior minister

NIMULE, 22 October 2013 NASS – The deputy minister of Interior and Wildlife Conservation Hon. Agustino Wani Jadalla has reiterated the commitment of his ministry in working together with the ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Tourism, Animal Resources, Cooperative and Rural Development to improve the South Sudan tourism sector.

Investing in the tourism sector Hon. Jadalla said can be of great benefit to the young nation, as it will create much needed jobs for the youth as well as contributing to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country.


Hon. Jadalla
[Photo: Abdulrazig Juma Abdalla]

The deputy Interior minister made the remarks over the weekend while visiting the Nimule Nation Game Park. Top among the visiting delegation was Hon: Lilian Albiono Akol, the deputy minister of Agriculture. The delegation also visited Folla, the proposed dam site expected to be country’s first mega energy source.

South Sudan is blessed with huge wildlife and Tourism potentials though most of the tourism attraction sites were destroyed during the long civil war and some of the animal species were also forced to migrate to the neighboring countries. Nevertheless officials say, many such as elephants are returning to the parks.


The Fulla dam's proposed site
[Photo: Abdurazig Juma Abudalla] 

South Sudan generates an average of 7,000 US Dollars per month as revenue from park visitors, Mr. Isaac Seme Solomon, the Chief Park warden said. Most of visitors are foreigners despite the park's numerous challenges, He added. African wildlife foundation for general management has pledged to help develop the Nimule Park, Solomon said.

The two ministers and the accompanying delegation also visited the two historical sites, the house of late Dr. John Garang De Mabior and remains of what used to the house of the former colonial leader Gordon Pasha on top of Gordon hills  who lived in The Sudan many decades ago.

Dr John Garang house before the signing of the CPA was used by the late to manage and coordinate the SPLA and SPLM operations or meetings with partners.


The house of the late Dr. John Garang at the foot of Gordon hills.
[Photo: Abdurazig Juma Abudalla] 

Gen. Jadalla and Hon. Lilian also visited the fast growing boarder town of Nimule to see for themselves the work of the custom officials. They also wanted to have first hand information on the challenge facing them. Hon. Jadalla urged the custom security offers to security of the country at the border stressing that “The security starts from Nimule Gate”. He called upon custom officers to coordinate the work with other security organs.

Reported by Abdulrazig Juma Abdalla, News Agency of South Sudan

Juba ready to host President Bashir tomorrow, says committee

JUBA, 21 October 2013 - A high level Committee tasked with the preparetions for the  expected visit of the President of Sudan H.E Omer Hassan El-Bashir has announced today that all is set for the receiption of the president.

The Committee is chaired by the Secretary General of the Government of South Sudan Mr. Abdun Agau. Speaking to reporters this morning Hon. Agua said the Country is ready to receive President El-Bashir tomorrow. He said, Bashir’s visit to Juba is a follow up on the recent talks between him and his southern counterpart H.E President Kiir in Khartoum. The talks are majorly centred on the implementation of cooperation agreement.


Hon Agau described the expected visit of President El-Bahir as a “new land mark” in the implementation of the nine cooperation agreements signed between Juba and Khartoum in  September last year in the Ethiopian Capital Addis Ababa. Mr. Abdun Agau expressed hope that Abyei as one of the outstanding issues will be tackled in the presidentail meeting tomorrow. 

Reported by Thomas Kenneth

44 civilians killed by rebels in Jonglei

JUBA, 21 October 2013 (NASS) – More than 44 civilians were yesterday killed and over 50 people wounded in an attack by rebels in Jonglei state. This was announced this morning by the minister for Information and Broadcasting Hon. Michael Makuei during an interview with Bakhita radio.

According to the minister, the incident happened in two payams of the Twic East County. He said that about 30 wounded persons were taken to Juba Military Hospital yesterday evening. He explained that the rest will arrive today.


Hon Michael Makuei.
[Photo: Francis Oliver Kenyi]

The minister, on behalf of the government of the Republic of South Sudan conveyed condolences to the families of the victims. He further said that this incident surprised the government because it has been engaged with Yau Yau, the leader of the rebels suspected to have waged the attack, in a peace making process.

The minister also confirmed that President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan will visit Juba tomorrow to discuss the outstanding issues between the two countries with his South Sudan counterpart President Salva Kiir Mayardit. On top of the agenda are the Abyei and border demarcation issues. The minister also appealed to the people of Abyei to remain calm as the issue is being addressed and not take any unilateral decisions on the matter.

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

RSS appeals for international assistance to manage floods

JUBA, 13 October 2013 (NASS) - The government of the Republic of South Sudan has appealed to the international community for support to help it manage floods currently affecting eight states leaving thousands hungry and displaced.

The government, despite the austerity budget, has put aside seven million pounds to manage the damages caused by the flood but this is not sufficient to address the consequences of the catastrophe.

The flood, according to the minister for Cabinet Affairs, Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro, was caused first by heavy rainfall and later by the River Nile which burst its banks due to the rising water levels.

Dr. Lomuro said it is difficult to access some places in Northern Bahr el Ghazal neither by land nor by air because it is challenging to differentiate between rivers and roads. He added that the situation is even worse since wild animals and human beings are sharing the little space left by the flood.


Dr Lomuro stressing a point during the meeting.
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]

According to the latest news from Warrap state one person was killed by a crocodile while many more are under various risks associated with flooding. The minister for Gender, Child and Social Welfare Hon. Awut Deng Acuil said at least 150,000 people are in need of assistance. She said the number could double to 300,000 saying the assessment was not done well because some places affected were inaccessible.

The minister for Information and Broadcasting, Hon. Michael Makuei Lueth prioritized the urgent needs as food, tents, blankets and medicines for both human beings and animals.

Meanwhile, the minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin called on the Asian countries especially China and Japan which have good flood management systems to assist South Sudan.

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

Over 40 diplomats oriented on the foreign policies

JUBA, 19 October 2013 (NASS) - At least 40 new South Sudanese diplomats have been oriented on communication techniques and methods of how to perform better on foreign policies.

The one-week orientation training, conducted by the US state department was aimed to help South Sudan sell itself and face the international challenges distorting the image of the country. This orientation training was the eighth consecutive course presented by the US state department to the country’s diplomats.


The graduation ceremony.
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]

Speaking at the graduation ceremony of the diplomats, the minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin urged the diplomats to use the knowledge they got from the training to help South Sudan to be understood better especially on its relations with Sudan, the problems in Jonglei and Abyei. Dr. Benjamin also advised the diplomats to study the background of South Sudan relations with its allies and build it strongly to help the country become stronger.

On her part, US ambassador to South Sudan, Suzan Page advised the diplomats to not only focus on communicating on foreign policies but to also shape the public opinion on the country. She said the policy of denial and defense is no longer useful. She advised the diplomats to tell stories that can convince the whole world about the challenges facing the country so that their solutions can be found.

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

WCC planning a meeting with Khartoum over Abyei

JUBA, 18 October 2013 (NASS) - The World Council of Churches (WCC) is in the process to bring Khartoum on the table to ensure the issue of Abyei is addressed.

WCC special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan Dr Samuel Kobia said they have good contacts with Khartoum and will soon set up a meeting that will safeguard the Abyei referendum. He said the council is concerned over the issue of Abyei and will avail all that it can to see the people of Abyei determine their future.


Dr Benjamin meeting Dr Kobia.
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]

He also revealed that the council is now lobbying for humanitarian assistance that will possibly arrive shortly in Abyei. Dr. Kobia as well warned on the issue of Jonglei saying efforts need to be mobilized to bring lasting peace in the state.

The envoy these remarks today shortly after paying a courtesy call on the minister for Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin.

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

A high-powered Ugandan delegation expected in Juba

JUBA, 18 October 2013 (NASS) - A high-powered delegation from Uganda will arrive in Juba soon to dialogue with the government of South Sudan on contentious issues that are currently affecting the relations between the two countries.

The delegation, according to the minister for Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, will also together with the government form a ministerial committee which is expected to boost bilateral relations between the countries.


Dr Benjamin addressing the press on arrival from Uganda.
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]

The delegation shall comprise the Ugandan minister for Foreign Affairs, Sam Kutesa, the ministers for Interior, Education, Trade, Agriculture and a team of businessmen who are expected to hold meetings with their counterparts on how to carry mega projects with South Sudan.

Dr. Benjamin announced this yesterday upon arrival from Uganda where he attended the Karamoja conference that followed the African Union conference on ICC relations with Africa.

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

Poor performance in School and later in life associated with malnutrition, says WFP

JUBA, 16 October 2013 – Poor performance at school and later in life is  associated with mulnutrition, the UN World Food Program has said. Undernourished girls and boys face barriers in health, in school performance and later, in the workplace, which limit their human potential and their capacity to contribute to the societies in which they live; said the World Food Program (WFP) Executive Director Ertharin Cousin.


Prioritising nutrition today is an investment in our collective global future. The investment must involve food, agriculture, health and education systems, the WFP Executive Director in a press statement today as the world marks world food day.


Refugees recieving food from the UN WFP
[Photo: WFP]


“Today some 842 million people, more than one in eight people in the world suffer from chronic hunger. Yet even more - around two billion people lack the vitamins and minerals needed to live healthy lives”, Cousin said. If the global community invested US$1.2 billion per year for five years in reducing micronutrient deficiencies, the benefits in better health, fewer child deaths and increased future earnings would generate gains worth US$15.3 billion, she remarked.


“We know that hunger and malnutrition can have negative long-term economic consequences by reducing the earning potential of individuals, Nutrition programmes that bolster children’s cognitive and physical potential are important in South Sudan at a time when the focus is on nation-building and economic development,” said WFP South Sudan Country Director Chris Nikoi.


This year alone, Mr. Nikoi said WFP has delivered special food supplements, designed to treat and prevent undernutrition, to almost 400,000 children, pregnant women and nursing mothers through out the country. “Our nutrition programmes are designed to combat the risk of illness, or even death, in children, and to ensure that undernourished pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers have sufficient nutrients and calories,” he added.


The theme for this year’s World Food Day is Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition. The UN WFP is marking the day by highlighting the power of nutrition to transform individuals, societies and economies, and the need to make it central to all development efforts.


Reported by Matata Safi 

Korean millionaires to invest in South Sudan

KAMPALA, 14 October 2013 (NASS) – South Sudan will soon witness a number of investors from Korea coming willingly to invest in diverse natural resources in the country.

The government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has already embarked on serious discussions on how these millionaires will be handled when they arrive in the country.


Dr Benjamin (centre) and Mr Dae.
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]

The head of Korean mission in Uganda, Park Jong Dae confirmed that the millionaires will arrive as soon as the necessary arrangements are completed. He said South Sudan has a promising investment potential and the Korean millionaires are interested to invest there.

He also said he will be leaving shortly for Juba to see how the Korean peace keepers can introduce new programs to improve its developmental service to South Sudan. The envoy disclosed all this after a meeting with the minister for Foreign Affairs and International Relations, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, while in Kampala.

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

South Sudan, Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia agree on measures to control the Karamoja

KAMPALA, 14 October 2013 (NASS) - The government of the Republic of South Sudan together with Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia through the support of IGAD have today signed a communiqué in Kampala to disarm and control the movement of the Karamoja group who are raiding cattle and posing insecurity in South Sudan.

The communiqué also stresses the importance of carrying developmental projects and introduction of basic services in the Karamoja areas to discourage them from raiding cattle and join the other people in the process of development.

Uganda has already started the disarmament process and building of schools in the Karamoja areas although there are a few challenges in the process of changing the Karamoja life style.


Dr. Benjamin (second right) together with Madam Janet Museveni (centre) pose for a photo with other participants at the conference.
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]

In her remarks during the conference that was organized on Karamoja, the Ugandan first lady who is also the minister for Karamoja Affairs, Madam Janet Museveni advised that cattle raiding will only be eradicated when the governments of the four countries where Karamoja people exist in provide basic services, schools and other developmental projects.

The government of the Republic of South Sudan through its minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation affirmed that it will embark on a disarmament process in due course to ensure that the few arms in the hands of the hiding Karamoja are removed to secure peace for the people of Eastern Equatoria.

Although parliamentarians from both Eastern Equatoria and South Sudan national parliament welcomed the disarmament initiative they advised that it be done beyond the Karamoja cluster so as to prevent the other communities who are pastoralists from taking advantage to raid the Karamoja’s cattle.

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

South Sudan requests AU for an extraordinary summit on Abyei

KAMPALA, 14 October 2013 (NASS) - South Sudan has requested the African Union for an extraordinary summit on the Abyei referendum whose fate currently hangs in the balance.

The minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin revealed today that he handed over this request to the chairperson of the African Union Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma during the recent AU summit.
Dr. Benjamin said the time set aside for Abyei referendum is running out and urged the African leaders to back this process.

Abyei referendum is supposed to be carried out this October but nothing seems to have been done so far. Issues to do with voters’ registration, Abyei administration and commission have not been tackled conclusively.

According to the African Union’s proposal, voters who are eligible for the October referendum were the nine Ngok chiefdoms and any other permanent residents that have stayed for long in Abyei. This proposal was rejected by Khartoum making the preparations for the upcoming plebiscite difficult.

The minister further called on the African leaders to encourage President Omar al-Bashir to support the Abyei referendum so as to enable the people of Abyei to determine their destiny.

Dr. Benjamin also said President Bashir has confirmed that he will be coming to Juba in accordance with the invitation extended to him by President Salva Kiir.

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

South Sudan supports deferral of Uhuru’s case, urges ICC to review justice system

Kampala, 13 October 2013 (NASS) - South Sudan has issued a statement supporting the deferral of the ICC case against the Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and urging the court to review its justice system.

According to Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin some of the rules and regulations that guide the justice system within the ICC do not consider the nature of constitutions in the African countries. He called on the ICC to look in to them. He said the Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is an elected president and stressed that his immunity should be respected.


President Kenyatta inspects a guard of honour during a previous visit to South Sudan.
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]

Dr Benjamin also called on the ICC to collaborate with the African Court of Justice so that the views of the African leaders are considered especially on matters to do with Africans within the context of the African Union.

President Kenyatta is scheduled to appear before the ICC by November the 12th over the violence which erupted following the 2007 elections that claimed several lives in Kenya but the African Union has advised him not to do so until their request for a deferral of the case is considered and a response provided.

The African Union also said it would take tough measures if the ICC does not respect its request for a deferral of the case.

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

Government of Eastern Equatoria warns Karamoja cattle raiders

KAMPALA, 13 October 2013 (NASS) - The government of Eastern Equatoria State has warned the Karamoja group who ran from a disarmament exercise in Uganda to stop cattle raiding or else the state will be forced to take serious measures against them.

The Eastern Equatoria State governor, Luis Lobong Lojore, has asserted that if the Karamojong group does not stop raiding Toposa cows then they will possibly face justice in South Sudan.

The governor said so many efforts have been made to address the challenges posed by the Karamoja group who are now hiding in Toposa land but none of them has been successful so far. He said these efforts have resulted instead in leaving the border between Uganda and South Sudan insecured.


The Eastern Equatoria governor and the national minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin (sixth from left), pose for a photo with other leaders.
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]

Parliamentary representative of the Karamoja community in Uganda, Hon. Lokii Peter Abraham, admitted the fact that the Karamoja group is posing insecurity in South Sudan but said it should not be perceived as a fight between South Sudan and Uganda.

Hon. Lokii said the Karamoja group is one of the groups that are very difficult to control, urging the governor of Eastern Equatoria State to cooperate with them to find a solution to this problem.

Karamoja people who share similar traits with the Toposa of South Sudan heavily depend on cattle keeping making raiding a habit for them.

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

“No African leader shall be tried internationally while in service”, AU

ADDIS ABABA, 13 October 2013 (NASS) - South Sudan together with the other African countries have adopted one of the most powerful decisions by the African Union preventing African leaders and heads of state from being tried in any international court during their period of service.

The head of the African Union, Haile Mariam Desalegn, said this decision is to safeguard the constitutional order, security and stability of the member states. The decision was triggered by the performance of the ICC which the African Union perceives as unfair on the African leaders who are members to the Netherlands based International Criminal Court.


However heads of state like the Sudanese President Omer Hassan al Bashir, and the Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta will benefit from this decision if the ICC will respect and take it seriouly. President Kenyatta is supposed to appear before the ICC early next month, but the African Union rejected the move urging the ICC to defer the trial.



The African leaders during the two-day special summit
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]


“If the International Criminal Court does not respond to its request to defer the case of the Kenyan president, the African Union will postpone the trial and make Uhuru not attend the trial till the ICC responds,” said Tedros Adhanom, the Chairperson of the African Union Executive Council.

Although South Sudan has not yet enacted the Rome statute which would enable iit to joing the International Criminal Court, it urged the court to listen to the voice of the African leaders and consider it equal with the other states.

The decision also urges any African state thinking of joining the ICC to consult the African Union first before taking any step. According to the decisions, the ICC is considered the court of last resort. Meanwhile African leaders have noted the effort to expand the African courts on human rights to try international crimes such as genocide and crimes against humanity. 

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

State Minister for Labour briefed on pension and payroll

JUBA, 11 October 2013 - State Minister for Labour Public Service and Human Resource Development in Central Equatoria Hon Lily Kapuki, in a courtesy visit to the national Ministry of Labour Public Service and Human Development yesterday was briefed on the progress the government is making in establishing a fully operational pensions fund in the country. The South Sudan Pensions Fund Act lays out the framework for the country’s pensions system in the civil service.

Hellen Achiro Lotara, Undersecretary for Labour gave copies of the pension Act, pension fund bill and International Labour Organization (ILO) fundamental conventions to Hon Kapuki to assist her start her duties to serve the public. She was also brief on various issues especially on South Sudan electronic Payroll System and the labour bill that is still awaiting deliberation at the parliament.


Madam Achiro and Hon. Kapuli pose for a group photo
[Photo: Justin Jada]

The Ministry of Labour will continue to shoulder the responsibility of developing policies and regulations in collaboration with the state and partners, Madam Achiro said. She reaffirmed her commitment to work with the state and social partners while urging parliamentarians to speed up with the labour bill saying, lack of laws in place Madam Hellen decried the numerous challenges both at the state and national levels especial on matters of labour disputes owing to lack of labour inspections and labour courts in place in the country.

Hon. Kapuki on her part called on the national ministry to push for uplifting state Infrastructure and capacity building which she said are crucial for better service delivery.

Reported by Justin Jada Joseph

ADB to establish a public financial management system for the government

JUBA, 11 October 2013 (NASS) - The African development bank (ADB) in collaboration with the government is in the process of introducing a public financial management system in a bid to easy and improve the management of public funds.

The Resident Representative of ADB in South Sudan, Jeremiah Mutonga said $10 million US dollar has been earmarked for this process, which he said will be rolling out the service soon.
In yet another financial assistance to the government of the Republic of South Sudan, Mr. Mutonga said the bank has allocated another $10 million US Dollars as budget support which he said will help to bridge the gap created by the austerity measures.


Dr. Benjamin and Mutonga after the meeting
[Photo: Ajang Monychol] 

Nonetheless, the African development bank is working on a project to improve Juba electricity distribution network, Mr. Mutonga said. Mr. Mutonga these remarks yesterday while holding a meeting with the minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin.

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

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.