South Sudan ‘Hopeful’ On Talks With Rebels

JUBA, 08 January 2014 - South Sudan government delegation head on peace talks has expressed optimism over ongoing peace talks with rebels loyal to former Vice President Dr. Riek Machar in the Ethiopian Capital, Addis Ababa, saying there is “hope.”


Nhial Deng Nhial, the Head of the South Sudan government negotiation team arrived home from Addis Ababa on Monday for consultations with President Salva Kiir following the start of face to face talks with the rebels in its first day on Monday.

“We are hopeful,” Nhial told journalists in Juba on Tuesday shortly after meeting Kiir.
“So there is an intense process that is going on aimed at arriving and speedily as possible to cessation of hostilities,” he said.

“Initially, there is a hiccup that threatens to scuttle the negotiation but fortunately the problem was resolved. The other side basically insisted that they cannot talk unless they see that the detainees are set free,” Nhial said.

Three Chief mediators from; Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya on behalf of the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) brokering the talks also arrived on Monday to Juba to meet Kiir for consultations.

Release of detainees before the talks get to peak and commitment to other issues including cessation of hostilities remained key demand of the rebels.

Though South Sudan government said the detainees, accused of masterminding a coup on 15 last month, can only be released in accordance with the laws of South Sudan. 


Source: Gurtong trust


Only legal procedures, will determine the release of political detainees, says Kiir

JUBA, 07 January 2013 – South Sudan Government will not release political detainees, as demanded by the rebel representatives in the on-going talks taking place in the Ethiopia capital Addis Ababa but can do so “only after legal procedures” have been exhausted, President Salva Kiir Mayardit said.


The first face-to-face talks between the Government and the rebel’s representatives started yesterday [Monday] after days of separately deliberating on the ground rules of the talks aimed at ending the three weeks of violence.


Presidents Bashir and Kiir in a joint press confress at State House [J1] in Juba
[Photo: Matata Safi]


“We said in the beginning we are committed to dialogue, but without preconditions, nobody should give us conditions. We still remain committed to that principle. We are now been given conditions that we release political detainees first before talks could go ahead. This is a condition that I will not accept, if it a matter of releasing the detainees, we have to follow legal measures, the legal procedures will have to be followed according to the constitution” President Kiir reaffirmed.


President Kiir while stressing accountability said “We have lost more than 100 lives, ……and if such a number of people have died, property has either been destroyed or looted; we want to know who is responsible to all these loses. It is not just a matter of releasing people who have been the cause of all this destruction, they will be released but not as a precondition for talks”.


At least 1, 000 lives have been lost and 200,000 people displaced following a “foiled coup” attempt in mid December last year. Following the coup attempted, the Government arrested more than ten individuals and accused the former Vice President Dr. Reik Machar who has decleared war against the Government of plotting the "failed coup".


Rebel forces are still engaging the Government forces, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) in the two states of Jonglei and Unity despite calls for a ceasefire. The East African regional Bloc- Inter-Government Authority on Development [IGAD] is taking the lead in the mediations.


President Kiir made the remarks on Monday while meeting the Sudanese President Omar Hassan El Bashir in Juba. President Bashir called for an immediate end to the fighting and urged the two parties to take the IGAD peace initiative to end the crisis.


“Violence can not solve anything, we fought among ourselves for 21 years and lastly we had to go to the negotiation table to resolve our difference” President Bashir said while referring to Sudan’s long civil war that ended in the Independence of South Sudan in July 2011. President Bashir reiterated his support to a peaceful solution in ending the currently crisis in South Sudan.

Reported by Matata Safi.

Statement by the AUPSC on the situation in South Sudan

JUBA, 31 December 2013 – The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 411th meeting held at the level of Heads of State and Government, in Banjul, The Gambia, on 30 December 2013, adopted the following decision on the situation in South Sudan;

Click here to read more.

China calls for calm in South Sudan

JUBA, 29 December 2013 - China has called for calm in South Sudan, urging both factions to start ceasefire talks as soon as possible, to avert the current situation from deteriorating any further in country, the Foreign Ministry has said.


China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Friday that the deteriorating situation in the country was cause for concern. East African leaders have also urged the two factions in South Sudan to the end the violence.


"We are negotiating with both sides in the conflict in various ways. China's special representative on African Affairs, Zhong Jianhua, talked with South Sudanese Foreign Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin on the phone, calling for calm and restraint from both sides to start ceasefire talks as soon as possible.


"China has maintained close communication and coordination with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, the African Union as well as African countries in an effort to allow the international community to play a positive role in relieving the tensions in South Sudan," Hua said.


The Red Cross Society of China has offered emergency humanitarian aid to the people of South Sudan, said Hua, adding that China will continue to provide assistance for South Sudan. Zhong Jianhua reaffirmed China's hope the conflict will be solved peacefully.


"The Chinese government has made it clear that it firmly opposes the use of military force to resolve conflict, especially when it causes heavy casualties ... we also believe that with the joint efforts of African countries, the relevant parties will solve the issue by rational and peaceful means," said Zhong.


Source: Aljazeera news 

Dialogue on the country’s crisis to commence next week

NAIROBI, 28 December 2013 (NASS) - The Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) has announced that face-to-face talks by all stakeholders to the crisis in South Sudan will commence by December 31, 2013, calling on the government and the rebel groups to immediately cease hostilities.

The Government prior to the visit of President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta and the Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn on Thursday had accepted unconditional dialogue with the rebels led by the ex-Vice President Dr. Riek Machar. Dr Riak Machar according to media reports chose Addis Ababa, Ethiopia as the venue for the talks.


IGAD leaders and Foreign Affairs Ministers issueing the communique' in Nairobi Kenya
[Photo: Martin Jada]

However, it was not clear if the IGAD member countries have made direct contact with Dr Riak Machar. In a joint communiqué released by the IGAD heads of states in their 23rd extraordinary summit which was hold purposely on the crisis in South Sudan, the leaders warned that if the stakeholders didn’t cease from hostilities within four days from the date of the communiqué, “the summit will consider taking further measures against any party who will fail to adhere to the call”.

The summit requested the Government to undertake urgent measures in pursue of an all-inclusive dialogue including the status of the detainees in connection of their roles in the failed coup in accordance with the laws of the Republic of South Sudan.

Nevertheless, many countries have already expressed their support to the peaceful resolution of the political crisis in the country. The regional body, IGAD has taken the lead to mediate the talks.


Please click here to read the full text of the IGAD communique'


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

SPLA flashes rebels out of Bor, state authorities calls for humanitarian assistance

BOR, 26 December 2013 - The Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) on Tuesday, flashed out rebel forces loyal to the former Vice President Dr Riek Machar out of Bor, the Capital of Jongolei state after holding onto the strategic town for close to six days.


“The situation is calm and secure now, however the problem is the whole place has been looted; the rebels destroyed every thing; shops, houses, banks, Hon. Mugato Chan Gilo, Jongolei state minister for Corporative and rural development who until the capture of the town was camping at the UN compound said.


Bor Airport under the control of SPLA
[Photo: Matata Safi]

People are suffering, in the UN Compound, they are staying without food and water, people are dying because of the absence of these basic human needs, Hon. Gilo decried. He appealed for support from the international community as well as from South Sudan’s ministry of Gender and Humanitarian Affairs to save the lives of the people of Jonglei and Bor in particular.

Gen Gadet commanded the Sudan People's Liberation Army's (SPLA) 8th Division in Jonglei State until his defection in December after the foiled coup attempt. Dr Machar who is still at large, is being accused by the Government for staging the coup.

Hon. Gilo said the rebels are believed to have moved towards Padak and towards the road leading to Pibor. “It’s most likely that they might divert to Akobo”, he added.


Shops have been turned ‘upside down’ some burnt to ashes, banks vandalized, Bor main referral hospital was also loot. Pieces of boxes from looted shops and burnt building characterized the ghost town of Bor. Minimum deaths also occurred during the two-day battle for Bor. A few Corpses could be seen lying on the streets.


The vandalized KCB Bor branch 
[Photo: Matata Safi]


The Bor branch of Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), a pioneer bank with the widest coverage in the country was not spared. The attackers did not only loot it but also set the building ablaze.


“If at all these group mean to rule this country, why destroy captured property, property of the people of South Sudan”, Hon. South Sudan Information minister Michael Makuei Lueth pondered.



Office of the Governor of Jonglei state was not spared
[Photo: Matata Safi]


The town is liberated; people taking refugee at the UN Compound must go back their respective houses, Hon. Makuei remarked. He re-echoed the government’s reediness to dialogue with the rebels.


“We are ready to talk with the rebels, Our problem with them is they want the ta

lks to be based on three conditions………….the government is not ready for any pre-conditioned talks”, Makuei who is also the official Government spokesman said upon arrival at Juba International Airport from Bor on Wednesday were he led a team of both local and international journalists to see the level of destruction in the capital of South Sudan’s largest state.


Reported by Matata Safi

Government ready for ‘unconditional dialogue’ with Machar

JUBA, 21 December 2013 (NASS) - The Government has re-echoed its readiness to dialogue with Dr. Reik Machar and his group provided there are ‘no conditions’ attached to the talks.


A ministerial delegation comprising of ministers and high level Officials from Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Somali, Sudan and Uganda, as well as the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security was dispatched on Thursday to Juba, by the Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia, at his capacity as the Chair of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to help broker peace between the Government and Dr. Reik following his ‘foil coup attempt’.


The delegation held meetings with HE Salva Kiir Mayardit and key Government officials on their two-day visit. IGAD played a key role in the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement negotiations, ending Africa’s longest civil war that culminated into the independence of South Sudan in July 2011.


Making the remarks on Friday, Hon. Michael Makuei lueth, the minister of Information and Broadcasting and the Official Government Spokesperson, said the regional body is welcome to mediate talks between the Government, that he said is ready any time and Dr Machar. He said Government without any condition is ready to dialogue with any rebel group including Dr. Riak Machar whose whereabouts remains unknown.


The head of the IGAD Foreign Ministers, Tedros Adhanom reaffirmed IGAD’s commitment to seek solutions to the political unrest in the country.


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

AU welcomes the IGAD Ministerial Mission to South Sudan

ADDIS ABABA 20 December 2013 - The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, says the African Union continues to closely follow the evolution of the situation in South Sudan.

The Chairperson of the Commission in a media advisory issued yesterday, commended the Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia, in his capacity as Chair of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and Chair of the Union, for his timely initiative to dispatch a ministerial delegation to Juba, comprising Ministers and high level officials from Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Somali, Sudan and Uganda, as well as the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security.

Dr Dlamini recalled the position of the Peace and Security Council of the AU in its 409th meeting held, Wednesday, 18 December 2013, where it encouraged regional and international efforts to help diffuse the current tension and to support the South Sudanese parties to find a peaceful political settlement to the crisis.

Tribal tendencies must end, President Kiir urges

JUBA, 19 December 2013 - President Salva Kiir Mayardit of the Republic of South Sudan is calling on the public to discard tribal tendencies that ‘some people’ are linking the failed coup attempt to. “These tribal tendencies are what we must stop once and for all. We believe in diversity, we are so many, if we turn to tribalism, we can’t move forward”, President Kiir told a news conference at his Office on Wednesday.


President Kiir addressing the nation
[photo: file]


The President said what happened on Sunday night must not be labeled as an ethnical fight between the Dinka and the Nuer tribesmen. "The Dinka are the majority of those arrested, if it was the Dinka against the Nuer or visa versa, why are the Dinkas arrested, why the Bari, why the Muru, Chollo Shuluk, and why the Lotukawi,? Kiir Pondered.


Let us embrace ourselves as South Sudanese, President Kiir stressed while addressing the nation. South Sudan, he said is a country for all South Sudanese. He warned those who may want to take the law into their hands that the long arm of the government will get them. "Those who might have killed a person or persons will be taken to court and face the law. President Kiir said some arrests have been made. The president said its the right of every South Sudanese to be pretected.


Two years after gaining it’s hard earned independence, South Sudan on Sunday came under attack in what would later be a foiled coup attempt. The Government is accusing the fugitive former VP of being behind failed coup. However President Kiir said he has not ruled out possibility of dialogue with his former vice.


Reported by our staff writer

IGAD to dispatch a high level ministerial delegation to South Sudan

JUBA, 19 December 2013 – Please click here to read the Statement of the 409th African Union Peace and Security meeting on the situation on South Sudan.

Total normalcy has been restored in Juba

JUBA, 19 December 2013 – South Sudan ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has issued an assurance to the foreign diplomatic corps, UN and international organizations accredited to the Republic of South Sudan that civil tranquility has been fully restored following the ‘aborted coup of former Vice President Riek Machar’.


As a sign of normalcy, the ministry in a media advisory said Juba International Airport has resumed domestic and International flights; Government ministries at the federal and state levels are discharging theirs duties and businesses across Juba town are open.


Dr Reik Machar during the opening of the NLC meeting on the December 14 at Nyakuron Cultural Centre
[ photo]


‘The ministry of Foreign Affairs can now assure the South Sudanese public and the world at large that Government security forces are in absolute control of the situation. There is therefore no need to panic or engage on haphazard evacuation”, the press advisory signed by the minister for Foreign Affairs Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin read in part.


More so, the ministry refuted reports particularly in the international media that having been trying to define the ‘failed coup’ along lines of ethnicity.


“The ministry would like to assure the public and the international community that the attempted coup had nothing to do with ethnicity but rather with the power ambitions of Riek Machar and his co-potters. It suffices to mention that out of 11 politicians now detained, only two hail from Nuer Community. This message has been made clear to all communities in South Sudan, including civil society and church leaders”, Dr. Benjamin stressed.


He said any attempt to portray the coup, as an ethnic conflict must be condemned in the strongest possible terms. He said as spelt by the President and Chairman of the ruling party Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM), both the Government and the ruling party have made public commitment to peaceful transfer of power through legitimate and democratic means. Any attempt to use force to seize power, he said should not be condemned but firmly dealt with.


Reported by our staff writter


Juba Airport to re-open by Wednesday

JUBA, 17 December 2013 –The Government has ordered the reopening of Juba International Airport, two days after it was closed down following what the Government has described as ‘a failed coup attempt’. Flights, both domestic and international are expected to resume operations by Wednesday December 18, the Official Government Spokesperson has said.


Air and road transport has been crippled in the Capital Juba since Sunday. Hon. Micheal Makuei, also minister of Information and Broadcasting made the announcement earlier today after a security meeting convened at the Office of the President, chaired by the President H.E Salva Kiir Mayardit.


Hon Makuei stressing a point during the briefing
[Photo: Matata Safi]


He called on the water suppliers, bakeries and other essential service providers to resume providing ‘these services’ to the people. Furthermore, he called on people who fled their homes, including those currently camping in the United Nation Compounds to return to their homes.


Ten people suspected to be behind the foil coup plot have reportedly been arrested, while five more including Dr. Riek Machar are still at large, Hon Makuei said.


Coup has nothing to do with Nuer as tribe


The Governor of Upper Nile State Simon Kun Pouch, said people must restrain from defining the foiled coup attempt on tribal lines of Nuer or Dinga, saying it has nothing to do with tribes.


Governor Kun and Central Eqoatoria Governor Climent Konga speak to the press after meeting with President Salva Kiir 
[Photo: Matata Safi]


“There are people out there saying, what has happened is between the Dinka and the Nuer tribesmen, we the leaders of this country would want state here that this is not true”, said Governor Kun. If you see the people going with Dr. Riek, some are Dinkas, some are Chol, Nuer and other tribes, he explained.


Governor Kun said those ‘yarning’ for power should not do so through violent means but rather wait for election. He said people who want to divide people along lines of tribes are enemies of peace.


Another senior Nuer leader Dr. Riek Gai Kok, who is the national minister of Health strongly condemned the mutiny and urged the group from misinforming the public. “What happened is not a Nuer or Dinka thing, let them not spoil the name of Nuer tribe” Dr. Gai remarked.


Don’t be allowed to be used- Youth leader


The chairman of the Youth SPLM Youth League, Akol Paul Kordit has urged the youth to refuse being used to fight wars that have meaning especial after many decades of civil war. He said President Kiir Mayardit who spent most of his time fighting for the freedom of South Sudan, would want to see the youth ‘fighting for Masters, Degrees or PHDs’ but not to be fighting physical wars.


“All the lives that we lost in this ‘uncalled-for incident’ is a lost to our country” Kordit who is Member of Parliament in the national Assembly noted. He called on the youth both in uniform and civilian clothes to preserve peace.


The injured require blood-Gender minister


Over 130 injured people are receiving treatment at the main referral hospital Juba though authorities say some are in desperate need of blood. Hon Awut Deng, the minister of Gender Social Welfare said many of the victims arrive at the hospital when they have insufficient blood due to over bleeding.


She called on the general public to move in to donate blood, provide food among others. He said doctors are waiting to receive donors.


Reported by Matata Safi  

Ten arrested over failed coup attempt

JUBA, 17 December 2013 – Ten people have been arrested in Juba in connection with the failed coup attempt on Sunday against the democratically elected Government of the Republic South Sudan, the government has announced.


President Kiir chairing the security meeting, In attendence was also the VP James Wani Igga among other members
[Photo: Lomart]


In a press statement at the Office of the President this morning, Hon Micheal Makuei named those arressted as:


1. Oyay Deng Ajak
2. Geir Chuang Aloung
3. Majak D' Agot
4. John Luk Jok
5. Cirino Hiteng
6. Chol Tong Mayay
7. Izekeil Lul Gatkouth
8. Deng Alor Koul
9. Madut Biar and
10. Kosti Manibe


Five of the members including ‘the leader’ Dr. Riek Machar are still at large, Hon Makuei said. He named the others as:


1. Alfred Ladu Gore
2. Pagam Amum
3. Taban Deng Gai and
4. Adwok Nyaba


“Those who are still at large will be apprehended, according to our sources, some of them have moved out of Juba town towards the Terekeka areas, north of the Capital Juba, probably with the intention of moving towards the base of Dr. Reik……….. Whether they will reach there is a situation that we will wait to see” Hon. Makuie said.


The minister also said President Kiir early today held a meeting with the leaders and elders of Nuer community in order to clarify the ‘misleading information’ that Nuer as a tribe is been targeted. "The composition of the people involved dismisses this remour.. these people are from various states of South Sudan with only one of them from the Nuer tribe, Mikuei reiterated while said this should be seen a a coup attempted by a group of people not a tribe.


Reported by Matata Safi

President Kiir declares curfew in Juba

JUBA, 16 December 2013 – The president of the Republic of South Sudan H.E Salva Kiir Mayardit has imposed curfew over Juba city following heavy gunfire that started in the Saturday December 15, in the city and its suburbs. The situation is under control; The curfew, the president says takes immediate effect.


President Kiir and defence minister Koul Manyang Juuk addressing press on Monday morning
[Photo: Thomas Keneth]


"In response to the criminal acts of yesterday committed by this disgruntle group and for the sake of the security and safety of our citizens I declare curfew in Juba as to be observed from 6PM to 6AM with immediate effect from today, December 16, 2013 until further notice. Security organs are hereby directed to allow the residents of Juba to go about doing their normal work and move freely during the day light hours. The security organs will also undertake full investigation into these incidents and the government will ensure that the culprits answer for their crimes before the appropriate law institutions" President Kiir reiterated.


In a press briefing in the early hours of the day, President Kiir called for calm among the citizens while assuring that “the Government is doing all it can to make sure the citizens are secured and safe”.


Please click here to read the full text of the president's statement


Registration of media houses has been misinterpreted, says Information minister

JUBA, 14 December 2013 – The order by the ministry of Information and Broadcasting to register all media houses and freelancer journalists operating in South Sudan has been ‘ultimately misinterpreted’, Hon. Micheal Makuei has said.


In a press briefing on Friday, Hon. Makuei, said the objective of the registration exercise is to “organize and regulate the media as opposed to what has been perceived as ‘a crack down on freedom of expression’.


Secondly as revenue generating entity, the registration process Hon. Makuei said, ought to ensure that media houses stand up to their obligation of paying taxes as required by law. “There is no where in the World where you get a media house or a journalist operating without being registered. It is only in South Sudan that such a thing is happening”, Hon Makuei who is also the official government Spokesman said.


Members of the press at the Friday ministry of information briefing
[Photo: Francis Oliver]


“In order for the ministry to come in and protect ‘journalist X and Y’ against any harassed or arrested, they [journalists] need to first register with the us, There is no way we will just go out there to protect whoever claims to be a journalist,” Hon. Makuei stressed.


Since 2006, the media houses in the country have been operating without being organized and regulated, the minister noted. “The fact that a mistake has been committed does not mean that it must not be corrected. The way my directive was understood, the way it was interpreted and passed to the public was distorted”, Hon. Makuei remarked.


The minister called for professionalism in what is commonly referred to as the ‘third arm of the government’. “I always insist the media must be responsible, accountable and transparent, Responsible in the sense that you report exactly what happened, don’t deviate and make misleading statements and reports”, Makuei urged.


Majority of the media houses, print, broadcasting and online news agencies have already adhered to the exercise. He said. Hon. Makuei however was quick to say that a good number of media houses exist only by name. They are not operational and are not paying taxes, he said adding that the government will deregistered such companies should they fail operate.


He told the media houses that are resisting his directive to choose between waiting for the establishment of the media Authority or register with the ministry which in the absence of the authority is the responsible of regulating the press.


The UN Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan Toby Lancer on Thursday called on journalists to be fair and professional in their day to day reporting. He said it is important for Journalists to double-check their sources when writing or broadcasting on the radios.


“Do not just pick up some rumor on the streets and belief its true. It is important that the media is professional and contributes to the development of the country. Do not write stories or share things that will contribute to or incite violence”, Lancer said while addressing media houses in a ‘meet and greet’ organized by the United Nations Communications Group. He underlined UN’s commitment to upholding freedom of the press in South Sudan.


Reported by Matata Safi

Graduates tipped on getting start-up loans

JUBA, 13 December 2013 - Graduates of vocational training institutions have been urged to form themselves into groups in order to improve their chances of getting start-up loans from banks and micro-finance institutions. National Labour Undersecretary Madam Hellen Achiro Lotara said by forming groups or cooperative societies the graduates would be pooling their resources and reducing the risks involved in running businesses.

“The Cooperative Bank of South Sudan cannot support you as an individual. Rather, they will do so when you are in group or a cooperative,” said Madam Hellen. Madam Hellen said the government would assist vocational training graduates either to get jobs in the formal sector or to set up their own enterprises.


A cross section of the graduates
[Phtoto: Justin Jada]

Madam Hellen said the vocational training curriculum had been harmonised at the national level, adding that even private vocational training institutions had participated in the harmonisation process and formulation of the draft national vocational training policy.

“Once the draft national Vocational Training Policy is adopted by the Council of Ministers, it will be disseminated to all vocational training institutions as well as stakeholders in the sector,” she said, adding that the Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development was working closely with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.

Madam Hellen further advised vocational training institutions to ensure their graduates are registered with the national Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development saying this would facilitate government assistance in securing employment.
The Undersecretary was speaking during the 5th graduation ceremony of the St Vincent de Paul Vocational Training Centre at Luluggu in Juba.

Speaking during the occasion, Central Equatoria State Minister for Education Hassan Yokwe said emphasis should be put on scientific subjects at the basic level of education to spur technological innovations which would in turn lead to economic growth. Mr Yokwe said the state government was willing to lease land to any individual or private institution that had the intention of investing in education and vocational training.

The Minister said independence for any nation comes with responsibility, adding that the onus was on the government to promote self-reliance through the production of skilled labour in all economic sectors.

In his remarks, the centre’s Director, Dr Hakim Kuol, urged the government to speed up the enactment of laws to regulate the labour market stressing that the labour market was highly competitive. Dr Hakim advised the graduates to show commitment and dedication in their work.

“Vocational training should be geared towards developing knowledge and skills of our youth so that we can reduce our dependence on imported labour from neighbouring countries,” he added. A total of 334 graduates were awarded certificates in six areas, namely carpentry and joinery; electricity; building construction; automotive mechanics; tailoring, and; computer skills.

Reported by Justin Jada Joseph and Simon Peter Owaka

Kiir in Nairobi to attend Kenya’s jubilee independence celebrations

NAIROBI, 12, December 2013 - President Salva Kiir Mayardit of the Republic of South Sudan is expected to be among the 19 heads of states to grace Kenya’s jubilee independence celebration at Safaricon Stadium today.


President Kiir arrived in Nairobi from the South African Capital Johannesburg on Wednesday, after bidding farewell to the human dignity Icon, Nelson Mandela who died a week ago. President Kiir and the accompanying delegation was warmly received at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport by Senoir Kenyan Officials.


President Kiir being entertained by a local Kenyan traditional group upon arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport
[Photo: Thomas Keneth]


Presidents Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, Seretse Khama of Botswana, Joseph Kabila of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda, Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania among other regional leaders are expected to attend Kenya's  50 years of self rule.


Kenya attained independence from British rule in December 12, 1963 with Jomo Kenyatta, father of Kenya’s incumbent President Uhuru Kenyata becoming the first president of the country.


Reported by Thomas Keneth

CE minister meets transport minister over construction of New Juba Bridge

JUBA, 12 December 2013 – Central Equatorial minister of physical infrastructure Hon. Jimmy Wongo on Tuesday met with the national deputy minister of Roads and Transport to Hon. Simon Mijok Mijak to discuss the plea of the community whose livelihood will be affected by the construction of the proposed new bridge across the Nile.

Speaking to the reporters of the meeting, Hon Jimmy Wongo said there visit “was to discuss with the minster the process of compensation to the community living in the area earmarked for the construction of the new bridge”. He said the community leaders who agreed ‘not to interfere’ with the construction of the bridge demand the fast tracking of the compensation process.

Hon. Wongo who described the meeting fruitful said they got the assurance of the deputy transport minister to “continuously discussing the matter with community and at the level of ministry”.

Present at the meeting was also the Mayor of Juba City Christopher Sarafino, Commissioner of Juba City and the local communities leaders from both Gumbo and Lologo areas lying on either sides of the Nile River.

Reported By Lindri Godfrey 

Peace and reconciliation committee endorses 2014-2016 action plan

JUBA, 12 December 2013 (NASS) - The National healing, Peace and reconciliation committee has endorsed it plan of action for the 2014 – 2016, which will include the consultations at all levels, state and national levels. The plan come as a result of the second meeting of committee held in Kuron Village of Eastern Equatoria state on 6, December, the chairperson of the committee Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul said.


Archbishop Bol and Bishop Taban during the press briefing at the ministry of Information
[Photo: Francis Oliver]

Addressing the media at the Ministry of Information Meeting hall on Wednesday, Archbishop Bul expressed the committees’ gratitude to the government and international partners for availing the resources to the national healing and reconciliation committee, which he said, has helped the peace body to facilitate its duties. The Archbishop further appealed to the partners and government to continue supporting the activities of the committee in order to fulfill its mission.

Meanwhile Bishop Faride Taban urged the citizens of South Sudan to maintain peace, unity and forgiveness among themselves, adding that the process of the heaing, peace and reconciliation committee is “meaningless without sense of forgiveness. He also called for patience saying, “the task of reconciliation will take time”.

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

ZTE corporation company donates computers to Information Ministry

JUBA, 11 December 2013 (NASS) - The ministry of Information and Broadcasting yesterday received twenty (20) Laptops as a Donation from ZTE corporation company in order to enhance the work of the ministry.


Information Undersecretary George Garang  shakes hands with the Xiaoming after the handover ceremony
[Photo: Francis Oliver]

ZTE Corporation (formerly Zhongxing Telecommunication Equipment Corporation) is a Chinese multinational telecommunications equipment and systems company headquartered in Shenzhen, China. In statement to after the handover ceremony the undersecretary of the ministry George Garang Deng commended the efforts of ZTE Company to improve the work at the ministry.

Meanwhile the ZTE Corporation Representative Cui Xiaoming reiterated the commitment of his company to participate in services delivery to the people of South Sudan.


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

South Sudan Pensions Fund Board of Trustees to be appointed

JUBA, 11 December 2013 - The government is in the process of appointing the Board of Trustees of the South Sudan Pensions Fund (SSPF). The Undersecretary for Public Service and Human Resource Development, Madam Angeth Acol de Dut, said the SSPF Board would comprise of seven members of high moral integrity appointed by the President.

Madam Angeth disclosed that the fund would oversee a Civil Servants Pension Scheme that will be contributory, adding that the government would contribute 11 per cent and the employee 5 per cent to make a total of 16 per cent of each employee’s salary.

“A circular has already been issued to government Ministries, Departments and Agencies to lower the contribution rates from 25% to 16% of an employee’s gross salary,” said Madam Angeth, adding that the pension scheme would cater for civil servants employed by the national, state and county governments.

She said the Sudanese government owes South Sudan 3 billion SSP in pension contributions from South Sudanese civil servants, adding that this was currently the subject of negotiations between the two governments.

“We will continue negotiations with Sudan Government to remit pension obligations to the South Sudan Pension Fund,” she said. She said the drafting of Pension Rules to ensure the pension fund was managed in an effective and transparent manner was ongoing.

“Notable are the rules for making applications for pensions, Codes of Conduct and Ethics for the fund, communications programme and procurement guidelines among others.”

The US was speaking when she presided over the official opening of a one-day stakeholders training workshop on pension reforms in the boardroom of the former Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs building in Juba.

Speaking to on the sidelines of the same workshop, the Director General of Pensions and Social Insurance, Mr Thomas Tut Doap, said the SSPF would be the umbrella body of all pension schemes to be set up in the country.

“The SSPF Board shall comprise seven members who are fiduciaries having high moral character, proven integrity and are technically competent. Board members shall be appointed by the President for a period of four years renewable once,” said the Tut.

“The Ministers of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development; Ministry of Finance, and; the Minister of the Interior shall each nominate one trustee. A selection committee comprising the Minister for MoLPS&HRD, Governor of the Bank of Sudan, Auditor General, Child and Social Welfare shall nominate the remaining four trustees,” the DG added.

Mr Tut said that in addition to the civil servants’ scheme, alternative pension schemes would be set up for the Armed Forces, Prisons Service, Wildlife Service and the Judiciary.

The SSPF which will manage the payment of pensions to retired public servants in South Sudan was established following the enactment of the South Sudan Pension Fund Act 2012 and the Civil Service Pension Scheme Act 2013.

Reported by Justin Jada and Simon Owaka

President Kiir in South Africa for state memorial service of Mandela

JOHANNESBURG, 10 December 2013 - The President of the Republic of South Sudan H.E. Gen. SalvaKiirMayardit arrived in Johannesburg yesterday evening heading a high level delegation of Four National Ministers and Senior Officials from South Sudan to participate in the State memorial funeral service of the late freedom icon and former President of South Africa Nelson Madiba Mandela.

Late Mandela aged 95 died on December 5 after battling with series of lung infections for the last two years. President Kiir is among the over seventy heads of state and Governments around the Globe pay his last tribute to the late Madiba today at the FNB Stadium (Soccer City) in Johannesburg. The US President Barrack Obama and his wife Michelle, UN Chief Ban Ki Moon will be among the world’s leaders to attend the service.

Reported by Thomas Kenneth

“There is no crisis within the SPLM”, Deputy SPLM Chairperson

JUBA, 09 December 2013 – The SPLM top leadership has asserted that there is no crisis in the party as claimed by ‘some elements within the party’.


A group of party members comprising of the former Vice President Dr. Riek Machar, former SPLM Secretary General Pagan Amum and some members of the former Cabinet had in a press conference held in Juba last Friday accused the leadership of the ruling party of deviating from the party’s initial vision, direction and corruption among other things.


VP Igga arriving at the SPLM House, He is being welcomed by the Deputy SPLM Secretary General Dr. Ann Itto (r).
[Photo: Matata Safi]


The party on Sunday issued a press statement where it described the group as “some disgruntled elements” within the party whose intention is to “discredit and distort facts” about the SPLM leadership.


In the press statement read out by the Vice President of the Republic and Deputy SPLM Chairperson H.E James Wani Igga, the SPLM Political Bureau accused the group of using cheap propaganda of ‘Garang boys and anti Garang’ with the intention to divide the people of South Sudan.


“These people are a disgruntled group united by one common cause of having lost power or influence either in the party or in the government. This comes out clearly in their words, whether spoken or written”, the press statement issued by a committee of the party’s Political Bureau and National Liberation Council stated.


“To us in the SPLM, we are more mindful of the vision and the core values of the liberation movement so much that we don’t see our struggle in the narrow lenses of those who referred to other people as “anti Garang” elements. We all cherish our dear iconic leader Dr. John Garang de Mabior who undoubtedly brought this freedom for the people of South Sudan and nobody in his rightful mind could categorize or stigmatize any SPLM cadre as Garang’s boy or anti Garang”, the statement read in part.


Meanwhile, the SPLM has called for the 3rd National Liberation Council (NLC) scheduled for Monday (today) to pass the party’s basic documents consisting of the constitution, code of conduct and the party manifesto. “If these comrades are genuine, they should raise their “so-called crisis or deviations” in the NLC or subsequently in the Political Bureau meeting”, the Vice President stressed.


 Ministers and Senior government officials attended the conference
[Photo: Matata Safi]


The party leadership has cautioned the group against inciting the army and threatening to create instability, ‘chaos and disorder’ and falling into an ‘abyss’. The Vice President said the ‘gate as compared to the narrow door’ is open for dialogue within the party.


The Vice President also announced that every member of the SPLM party is welcome for Monday NLC meeting.


Click here to read the full statement.


Reported by Matata Safi

South Sudanese students graduate from Kenyan Universities

NAIROBI, 9 December 2013 - Over thirty South Sudanese students were among thousands of graduands at the University of Nairobi and Mt. Kenya University on Friday, 06th December 2013. The South Sudanese graduands on Sunday organized community gathering at Harlequin recreational grounds in Nairobi to celebrate this important achievement.


Some of the graduands pose for a photo at the University of Nairobi's "fountain of knowledge".
[Photo: Joseph Garang Deng]

H.E Ambassador Majok Guandong congratulated the graduands for their achievements and challenged them to take home the education they have acquired to build the new nation. He appreciated the cordial relationship South Sudanese people are still enjoying in Kenya explaining this stemmed from cooperation between the two nations. He also said it is also as a result of South Sudanese people’s abiding with the laws of Kenya.


Graduands pose for a photo at the University of Nairobi.
[Photo: Joseph Garang Deng]

Bishop Moses Deng Bol also challenged the graduands to be ambassadors of peace as South Sudanese need peace at this particular juncture. He said there will be no development if our people continue with cattle rustling and intertribal atrocities. Hereunder are the names of the graduands:

University of Nairobi:
Master’s Degree program
1. Chol Biar Ngang Ajang
2. Angok Achuil Angok
3. Pauline Adhong Malok
4. Villa Aduai Edward Lino
5. Mary Asunta Ayuen -post graduate Diploma

Bachelor’s Degrees Program
1. Yar Ali Abdala
2. Kawaja Kau Madol
3. Amos Makuei Thon
4. Bec George Anyak
5. Yum Majur Anhiem
6. Maker Nickanora Nyok
7. David Deng Bol
8. Chol Yak Akoi
9. Gabriel Garang Atem
10. Duot Biar Duot
11. Wuor Chuol Both
12. Philip Aguer Garang
13. Prescillah Nyagaoh
14. Malual Arok Deng
15. Garang Malong Awan

Graduands follow the proceedings at the University of Nairobi's Chancellor's Square.
[Photo: Joseph Garang Deng]

Mt. Kenya University:
Bachelor’s Degrees Program
1. Peter Mathiang Mayom
2. Paul Yor Agor Yor
3. Mary Nyahok
4. James Nyuol Majok
5. Chol Thiong Aduong
6. Tor Tunguar Kueiguong
7. Peter Jak Kuan
8. Agoth Edward Mou
9. Joseph Ngor Mach
10. Akec Machol
11. Garang Gai Deng
12. Joseph Maping Manhom
13. Lakudu Elia
14. Francis Ujuk

Reported by Joseph Garang Deng

Mandela has been a true symbol of reconciliation, says Kiir

JUBA, 07 December 2013 (NASS) - The Government of the Republic of South Sudan on Friday joined the rest of the World in extending its condolences to the people and the Government of the Republic of South Africa following the sudden death of the former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela.

President Salva Kiir Mayardit described late former South African president as “a true symbol of reconciliation, Love and freedom” throughout the world. Mandela aged 95 died on Thursday night in his home in Johannesburg after battling series of lung infections over the passed two years.


Hon. Makuei (centre) on the far row, Lomoro on his left and Bahir (r) adressing press at the ministry of Information
[Photo: France Oliver]

“Mandela has been an epitome of Love, freedom, equality, tolerance and co-existence”, Hon. Michael Makuei Lueth said in a press conference on Friday. Cabinet Affairs Martin Elia Lomoro and the Deputy minister for foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hon. Peter Bashir Bendi also attended the conference. His death is a great loss not only to people of South Africa but also to the Africa and the whole world, Hon Makuei added.

The President of the Republic Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit has ordered the National flag to flown at half-mast on all public building including the diplomatic mission abroad for three days.
The president, Hon. Makuei sent his deep heart felt condolences to his “brother” Jacob Zuma of South Africa.

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

Invest in South Sudan, Kiir urges France Investors

PARIS, 07 December 2013 - President Salva Kiir Mayardit on Friday on sidelines of the Peace and security meeting, taking place in the France Capital Paris, held meetings with a group of France Investors headed by Mr. Lous Duvernois.


President Kiir urged the France Investors to came and invest in South Sudan. He described the Investment laws of the country as “good and attractive” .He said the new country has enormous investment opportunities in infrastructures, agriculture and education.


President Kiir posh for a group photo with regional and foriegn diplomats
[Photo: Mabith Ring]


In a related develop, the president also met with the UN Secretary General Mr.Pan Ki Moon were they discussed matters of bilateral interest. Present on the Friday meeting was Dr. Marial Benjamin Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. President Kiir on Thursday led a high delegation comprising of senior Government Officials to Paris to attend the summit on peace and security in Africa.


South Sudan’s Ambassador to Paris Dr. Andrew Akon Akech Kuol stressed the importance of the Summit saying it will discuss peace and Security and environment challenges affecting the African continent. Andrew said “security in Africa is big concern to the France Government especially the case of Central Africa Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC” He noted that Paris also want to strengthen its cooperation with the African Continent.


Reported by Mabith Ring

First South Sudan Investment Conference closes at high note

JUBA, 06 December 2013 - After two days of intense discussion and investment promotion, South Sudan’s inaugural Investment Conference has finally come to an end in the capital, Juba. The Hon. Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan, H.E. James Wani Igga closed the two-day Investment Conference at Freedom Hall.


The Conference is part of a broader national policy to attract investments in and into South Sudan, and was organised by the Government of South Sudan in collaboration with development partners, led by Netherlands government, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Denmark, UK Aid and USAID.


VP Igga consults with the Finance Minister Hon. Sabuni (r), On his left  is Cabinet Affairs Minister Elia Lomoro
[Photo: Matata Safi]


Speaker after Speaker discussed the potential investment areas for South Sudan in mining and petroleum, in forestry, tourism and animal resources; in infrastructure development including electricity and dams; housing, roads and water transport. Investors already in South Sudan, such as SABMiller South Sudan, Coca Cola South Sudan, Kinyeti Capital, Stanbic Bank, among others, underscored the opportunities in investing in South Sudan and applauded the rapidly improving investment climate.


Speaking on the issue of Regional Integration, the Minister of Finance, Commerce, Investment & Economic Planning, Hon. Aggrey Tisa Sabuni said that South Sudan has applied to join the East African Community. Highlighting the advantages of integration, he said, “Regional integration will promote best practice in business, as well as improve South Sudan’s legal framework”, hence improve South Sudan’s import and export competitiveness. He added that “through integration, South Sudan will be seen as a credible place to invest with a larger market, and as a result, investments into the country will increase”.


South Sudan's rich and diverse culture was also promoted in the investment conference.
[Photo: matata Safi]


In his closing remarks, H.E. the Vice President, Mr. James Wani Igga commended the 900 delegates who had made it to the Conference, and stated that the Government of South Sudan is fully committed to building a strong and competitive private sector driven economy in South Sudan. “We therefore recognize that the private sector is central to the realization of this higher level government objective, and will pursue this policy agenda in close partnership with the private sector, our development partners and other key stakeholders in the economy”, he said.



President Kiir in Paris to attend summit on peace and security

JUBA, 06 December 2013 – President Salva Kiir Mayardit left the country for Paris, capital of France yesterday to participate in the summit on peace and security in Africa, the press Secretary in the Office of the President Ateny Wek Ateny said in a press release issued on Thursday.


President Kiir in a recent visit to Kuwait where he participated in the Africa-Asia summit
[Photo: thomas Keneth]

The summit scheduled for 6-7 December will address three important themes that include peace and security in the continent, Economic partnership and development as well as addressing climate change. “The summit avails the Republic of South Sudan opportunity to represent and advance its case and interest to the world”, Ateny said.

The president’s delegation included several senior government officials including two cabinet ministers namely Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, the minister of Foreign Affairs and Obute Mamur Mete, minister of National Security. The summit is expected to be attended by more than 50 heads of states and governments.

Please click here to read the full text of the press release.

Reported by Matata Safi


Former South African president Mandela has died

JUBA, 6 December 2013 – Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first democratically elected black president who led a peaceful transition from minority white rule has passed on. Mandela aged 95 died at his home on Thursday night, the BBC has reported.

Announcing his death early on Friday morning, South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma has said Mr. Nelson Mandela died 'peacefully'.  “Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father”, he said. Mr. Mandela referred to as “a peace icon” the world over suffered with a reoccurring lung infection over the last two years leading to death.


The late Nelson Mandela
[Photo: APF/Getty Images]

“Let us pause and give thanks to the fact that Nelson Mandela lived. His journey from a prisoner to president embodied the promise that human beings and countries can change for the better”, the United States President Barack Obama said.

Reported by Matata Safi

Day 2 of the investment conference continues

JUBA, 5 December 2013 - The South Sudan Investment Conference is on its second and last day. The conference, the first of its kind since the country got its independence two years ago is attended by more than 400 foreign delegates and 140 local investors, beside Senior Government officials and development partners.


The aim of this conference is to showcase to local, regional and international investors the business and investment opportunities in South Sudan.


“The Government of South Sudan is greatly encouraged by the strong interest shown by both domestic and international business community in this Investment Conference. I have been informed that many more businesses, both local and foreign, would have liked to participate but the circumstances could not allow them to come.


President Kiir arriving at the investment Conference
[Photo: Matata Safi]

This is indeed a strong vote of confidence in South Sudan and our Government’s policy to build a competitive private sector driven economy – open to both domestic and foreign investors”, the president said in his keynote statement yesterday.


South Sudan, he said is ready and open to business. God has blessed us and endowed our young country with vast resources, in terms of fertile lands, forests, water resources, mineral and petroleum resources among others. We must work collectively to exploit these resources for the benefit of our people he added.


“The time to invest in South Sudan is now, not tomorrow. Let me also take this opportunity to remind all investors that successful business is about venturing and taking a business risk. Those who wait too long will miss the vast investment opportunities that our country offers”, HE Kiir stressed the urgency for investment in the World’s newest nation.


He called for investors and local people to join hands in the quest to develop south Sudan. To our citizens, I say, partner with foreigners and learn all you can about international business and investment practices. To our foreign partners, I say, work with the citizens of South Sudan and benefit from the local knowledge and support for your business, President Kiir noted. He said investment in South Sudan should be a win-win for both our foreign partners and our citizens.


IFC's Country Cordinator Zahia (second left) and other investors during the opening session
[Photo: Matata Safi]

The African continent is of high priority to the World Bank said Cheikh Uomar Seydi IFC’s Director for Eastern and southern Africa. Last year only, the World Bank invested $5Billion Us Dollars, a significant business growth in the Continent compared to 164 Billion 10 years ago, explained Mr. Uomar.


In South Sudan, he said IFC has been supporting Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs), Private sector as well as working with the Government in putting in place the necessary regulatory and legal frameworks to create supporting investment environment.


To demonstrate IFC’s commitment in South Sudan, he said the organization has begun directly investment in the private sector. He said IFC will continue to look for more opportunities for more investment.


The US Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan Donald Booth has urged investors in South Sudan to take advantage of the country’s eligibility to export freely to the American markets through the AGOA intuitive.


Dr. Okurut speaking to a foriegn delegate during the first day of the conference
[Photo: Matata Safi]


“South Sudan like any other country has its own challenges, we have gone through some of these challenges and I'm happy we are growing and we will continue to grow” said Dr. Okurut Joseph, founder and Director of De Genesis Medical Services in Juba. He outlined energy and funding as the major bottlenecks affecting investors in South Sudan. 


Reported by Matata Safi

“Time to invest in South Sudan is now…” Says President Kiir

JUBA, 4 December 2013 – The President of the Republic, HE Salva Kiir Mayardit is calling on both domestic and foreign investors to take advantage of the existing investment opportunities in the country “now and stop waiting for tommorow".


While officially opening a two-day investment conference in Juba, the capital of South Sudan this morning, President Kiir said “Successful business is about venturing and taking risks, those who wait too long may miss out the first investment opportunities that the country offers”.


A cross section of both demoestic and foreign investors taking part in the South Sudan Investment Conference
[Photo: Matata Safi]


Reported by Matata Safi

South Sudan Investment Conference starts tomorrow

JUBA, 03 November 2013 – Juba International Airport has for the last few days witnessed an increased number of passengers arriving into the country as the clock zeros down to the two-day (December 4-5), investment conference to be held in Juba, South Sudan.


The conference has attracted wide interest and more than 400 delegates from 55 countries are expected to attend. An additional 150 are expected from within the country. By the standards of such events these are outstanding figures. The President of the Republic, H.E Salva Kiir Mayardit is expected to deliver the keynote address in the conference to be held at Freedom Hall.


Members of the South Sudan Investment Authority help register investors for the much anticipated conference.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


The interest shown in the conference is not without good reason. The target audience and product have been identified. Through the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture the organisers initially identified regional and continental interest. Further, countries outside Africa were prioritized. Evidence of serious interest in investing in South Sudan has already been demonstrated by 40 business proposals already submitted by participants.

“South Sudan is a new country with a lot of untapped investment opportunities. For us, it means a new market”, said Liu Qingfeng, the Vice General Manager of Qinhuangdoa TongLian Group, a Chiness ccompany dealing in exporting industries materials and machinery to most Northern and Eastern African countries.


The aim of this conference is to showcase to local, regional and international investors the business and investment opportunities in South Sudan thus crafting a clear roadmap for its diversification programme. The conference will additionally, provide a platform for political leaders and decision makers of South Sudan to interact with investors and CEOs to spearhead the transformation process through open dialogue on South Sudan challenges and opportunities.


“This investment conference is very important for the region in that it brings about integration of the region. Many South Sudanese investorss will be able to share experiences and ideas with the brothers from the region and beyond”, said Hassan Robleh Mohamoud, Djibouti’s ambassador to South Sudan. he said about six companies from Djibouti will take part in the two-day conference.


A SSIA staff shakes hands with an unidentified investor after his registration at Juba International Airport
[Photo: Matata Safi]

The conference, which has been organized by the South Sudan Investment Authority with support from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), is expected to promote investment services and not be an end in itself. The conference is expected to offer a special opportunity for partnership between South Sudan businesses and foreign companies.


Already, 60 businessmen have been trained on how to create such partnerships through Danish Government funding and they are expected to participate in the Conference. As of today, over 120 delegates had already arrived.


Reported by Matata Safi


Gov’t to closely work with private VTCs, says Public Service Underscretary

JUBA, 30 November 2013 - The government will work closely with private vocational training centres (VTCs) to ensure vocational training offered in the country meets international standards.

The Undersecretary for Labour in the national Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development, Madam Hellen Achiro Lotara, at the same time hailed private VTCs for complementing the efforts of the government in equipping the youth with skills to earn a livelihood.


Madam Hellen said the Ministry in collaboration with other stakeholders was working on a national vocational training policy which once approved would ensure that public and private vocational training institutions provide quality education to the youth.


“It is the duty of the Ministry of Labour and Public Service to regulate and provide guidelines for the operations of vocational training institutions. We are working with private VTCs in order to harmonise vocational training curricula in the country,” said Madam Hellen, adding that harmonisation would ensure that vocational training provided locally was recognised nationally and internationally.


The Undersecretary also urged development partners offering assistance to the Republic of South Sudan in the vocational training sector not to limit their efforts to public VTCs but to extend their support to private institutions as well.


Madam Hellen was speaking in the Ministry boardroom when she received a delegation from the St Vincent de Paul Society of England and Wales who had paid a courtesy call on her. The society runs the St Vincent de Paul vocational training at Lologo in Juba.


Noting that no government has the capacity to employ all jobseekers, the Undersecretary said livelihood skills gained from vocational training would enable the youth to either get into employment or create jobs for themselves.


The delegation which was led by Mr Ian Mawdsley from the UK and Dr Bertram Gordon, the Executive Manager of the Society’s projects in South Sudan, pleaded with the government to exempt training equipment and vehicles meant for vocational training institutions from being charged import duty.


They said the goal of the Society was to provide vocational training that responds to the needs of the labour market in the country, adding that vocational skills were the pillars of development in any country emerging from years of devastating conflict.

Reported by Simon Owaka

RSS First Lady in Abuja

ABUJA, NIGERIA 29 November 2013 - The Republic of South Sudan First Lady Her Excellency Mary Ayen Mayardit arrived in Abuja on Tuesday for a two-day official visit to Federal Republic of Nigeria to part in the Seventh Summit of the African First Ladies Peace Mission. Upon arrival in Abuja, Her Excellency Ayendit was received by her Counter-part the First Lady of Federal Republic of Nigeria, who is also the President of African First Ladies Peace mission Her Excellency Patience Good luck Jonathan.


South Sudan's First lady being recieved by her Nigerian counterpart
[Photo: Thomas Keneth]

The two First Ladies exchanged views on ways of strengthening bilateral relations between Juba and Abuja and explored ways of how they can effectively contribute in promoting peace and stability in Africa.

South Sudan first lady visited the General Secretariat of the African first ladies Peace Mission in Abuja to acquaint herself with its activities and to show her strong support to the secretariat as a member one of the African first ladies Peace Mission.


HE Ayendit in a meeting with HE Patiance Good Luck
[Photo: Thomas Keneth]

In guided toured by Her Excellency Patience Jonathan, Her Excellency Ayendit inspected different departments of the Secretariat. The African first ladies peace mission was ratified by the Organization of African Union meeting in Addis Ababa in 1996. As a result, it was mandated by the African first ladies peace mission conference held in Congo Brazzaville in 2008 to build Nigeria its secretariat in Nigeria, said the Special Assistant to the President of The African first ladies peace mission Madam Martha Onwuzurumba.


The two first ladies being flanked by their accompanying delegation
[Photo: Thomas]

The mission was fully established in 2012.Madam Onwuzurumba said all the African First Ladies are members of the peace mission including South Sudan, but so far she said only 33 First Ladies out of 54 have been active. She called on all first ladies to be part of the mission.

Reported by Thomas Keneth

5th Edition of Public Service Mirror magazine out

JUBA, 28 November 2013 - The national Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development has published the 5th edition (April-October 2013 issue) of its quarterly magazine, the Public Service Mirror.


The theme of the current issue is the securing of funding by the Government of South Sudan for the RSS/IGAD Capacity Enhancement Initiative from the Royal Norwegian Government. Also in this must-read issue are the key developments in the labour, public service and human resource development sectors in the 7-months period. Here is a soft copy of the magazine.


Please click here to download the magazine

Bentiu oil refinery Construction to commence before next year

JUBA, 27 November 2013(NASS) – The construction of the Bentiu oil refinery is set to commence before next year, the Russian ambassador to South Sudan Sergey Shishkin has said. Ambassador Shishin said his Government is committed to “practical cooperation” with the Government of South Sudan aimed at uplifting standards of leaving in the country.


Work at what is “expected” to be the country’s first home refinery has been delayed mainly due to bad roads caused by the recent floods, which impeded delivery of the required equipment.


Ambassador Shishin who made the remarks while meeting with the Foreign Affairs Minister Hon. Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin today, said the Russian Government in collaboration with the Government will also build the road connecting Bentiu and Juba.


He further said plans are underway to bring in Russian technologies for boosting agriculture besides setting up international and modern business centers in Juba.


In another news development, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) office in juba has announced the expected visit of its president to Juba is “to see for himself the performance of the Organization”.


The head of ICRC in South Sudan, Melker Mabek said the ICRC president’s visit is “to see for himself the performance of the Organization and she said he is expected to hold number of meetings with the Senior Government officials. Mabek said the president would also some visit areas where humanitarian assistance is much needed. The International committee of the Red Cross is planning to conduct training courses for the SPLA on humanitarian laws, Mabek noted.

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

Latest Republican Decree

JUBA, 27 November 2013 - President of the Republic H.E Salva Kiir Mayardit on November 26 issued a Republic Decree No.87/2013 for the Relieve of the Minister of Environment of the Republic of South Sudan.

Third Governors’ Forum kicks off in Juba

JUBA, 26 November 2013 (JUBA) – The annual South Sudan Governors’ forum has kicked off today in Juba, the capital of South Sudan. Official opened by South Sudan President H.E Salva Kiir Mayardit, the forum is being attended by the Vice President James Wani Igga, all the governors of the ten states, members of the Legislature, key ministers and development partners.

The four-day event is organized by the office of the president with support from UNDP and the theme of this year’s forum is “Transparent and Accountable Service Delivery for Local Development”.


Rizik Zakaria, the Governor of WBG (L) and senoir Government official getting set for the official opening of the third Governors' Forum.


Reviewing the acheivements and challenges facing service delivery, reviewing the progress made in the implementation of the resolutions and recommentations of the Second Governors' forum, focusing on priority areas for implemetnation of South Sudan development plan 2011-2013 and exploration of cross-cutting issues of a strategic nature across the country are the four major objectives the forum strives to achieve.

The first day of the forum will also witness the launch of the first South Sudan Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) status report.

“The MDGs status report is aimed at outlining the progress South Sudan has made to-date towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and at creating a basis for determining the necessary interventions or policies to achieve the MDGs”, UNDP stated in a statement.

The MDGs has been globally acclaimed as the most effective anti-poverty initiative and the success and challenges of the MDGs in South Sudan, so far, are a strong motivation for further progress to be achieved by 2015 and beyond, the statement added.


Since 2006, the Office of the President through the Directorate of Decentralization and Intergovernmental Relarions has been organizing a number of Governors' forums aimed at fast tracking service delivery.

Reported by Matata Safi

Foreign Affairs minister awarded Honorary Doctorate for peace & good governance

NAIROBI, KENYA 26 November 2013 (NASS) –South Sudan’s Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation minister, Hon Barnaba Marial Benjamin,has been awarded Honorary Doctorate of humane by the Kenyan College of Accountancy (KCA) in recognition of his role in promoting peace and good governance in the region.


In a colorful occasion held over the weekend, Hon Benjamin was selected out of twenty African leaders for the prestigious doctoral award after being found unique and exemplary leader, according to the University Council.


Chancellor Arthur Eshiwani handing the certificate to Dr. Benjamin
[Photo: (Martin Jada Gabriel]


KCA (Kenyan College of Accountancy) was established through the help of British council in 1989 to provide much needed skills in accountancy that both the Kenyan Government and the private sector required. Today forty percent of the Kenya’s accountants come from KCA.


Speaking after the award, Hon. Benjamin thanks the University for recognizing leaders from South Sudan saying such a spirit will make the region become stronger to face the challenge of this century.He also pleaded for the extension of similar university to the country to help address the accounting challenges that the young country is facing.


KCA Vice Chancellor Noah Midamba promised to establish a similar University In Bentiu of the Unity state and also promised to conduct trainings South Sudanese in the fields of energy to help address the issues of petroleum and mining management in the country.


He said plans are already underway in partnership with experts from Israel and Trinidad to develop capacity of South Sudanese in the oil industry.

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

“Payment of salaries a priority", Finance ministry

JUBA, 26 November 2013 - Despite recovering from an 18-month oil shutdown, the Ministry of Finance, Commerce, Investment and Economic Planning continues to prioritize payment of salaries to all Government spending agencies, a press release issued on Monday by the ministry stated.

October salaries are currently being disbursed and comprehensive measures are beeing taken to ensure revenues are available to cover November and December salaries.


Read more


Reported by Matata Safi

Juba Hospital to have undisrupted power supply, says Cabinet Affairs minister

JUBA, 26 November 2013 - Juba Teaching Hospital and other essential institutions will witness undisrupted power supply and clean drinking water for the next six months, a senior Government official has said.

While launching a power project in Juba over the weekend, Cabinet Affairs Minister Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro leading the sub-committee of the council of ministers said the government has secure 2million litres of diesel to provide much needed power to Juba Teaching Hospital and other essential institutions. The diesel is to be provided by NilePet

Dr. Lomuro said the Government and one of its development partners; Norway has embarked on fast trucking the Fula dams that would solve the country’s power challenges. He said electricity will be throughout the Christmas Eve.

Present also was the minister of Electricity and Dam Jemma Nunu Kumba. She reiterated Governments commitment to provide electricity and clean drinking water to the citizens despite the difficulties the country is going through.


Reported by Abdulrazig Juma Abdall

Ministers may soon be required to sign performance contracts, VP Igga

JUBA, 22 November 2013 - The government has set in motion plans to transform the civil service as part of measures to improve the delivery of public services. Vice President James Wani Igga said the Council of Ministers had agreed to adopt performance management throughout the government whereby Ministers will be required to sign one-year performance contracts based on projects derived from the mandates of their respective ministries.

The VP said Ministers would sign performance contracts on behalf of their ministries; undersecretaries would sign contracts with Ministers; Director Generals with Undersecretaries, and; staff with their supervisors all the way down to junior officers in the ministries. He said there would be an evaluation of contracts on an annual basis to assess achievements and failures.


H.E VP Igga

The Vice President said the government would also initiate reforms aimed at fighting corruption, cutting down on waste of public resources and prioritizing the achievement of national development goals.

The VP was addressing the staff of the national Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development at the Ministry premises on Wednesday when he made the remarks. The VP said he had been instructed by the President to visit all government ministries to find out what happens there, adding that in future he would make impromptu visits to ministries.

“The main objective of the performance contracts is to improve service delivery to the public by ensuring ministers and civil servants are accountable to members of the public,” he said, adding that the system would come with sanctions and rewards.

“Ministers who score well in their contracts will be rewarded. We will link rewards to measurable performance,” added the VP. H.E Wani Igga said another objective of the performance management system was to improve efficiency in government by channeling resources to the national development priorities of the government.

The VP said independence comes with responsibility and emphasised the need for hard work saying it was the only way the citizens would enjoy the fruits of liberation. He said it was not fair for the country to be importing food yet it had lots of manpower in various sectors, which was underutilized and singled out the agricultural sector.


Staff oof the ministry of public service beeing breified by the VP

“Look, we are even importing vegetables and tomatoes. This means we are enslaved to the countries from which we importing these commodities yet we claim to be independent. Our land is fertile and we can produce food with a surplus for export,” he said. “We must move away from laziness. We even import brooms which we can easily obtain from the bushes around us”.

Also present at the function were the Minister for Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development, Mr Ngor Kolong Ngor, Cabinet Affairs Minister Elia Lomoro, and Labour Undersecretary Madam Hellen Achiro Lotara.

Reported by Justin Jada and Simon Peter Owaka

VP chairs the Government donors round table meeting

JUBA, 22 November 2013 (NASS) - The vice president of the Republic, Hon. James Wani Igga today chaired the Government Donors round table at the ministry of Information and broadcasting meeting Hall, the Government Donors round table was establish by the multi Donors trust fund during the interim period.


VP Igga and the diplomats at the Information ministry's main conference hall
[Photo: Francis Oliver]

In a statement to, the Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Hon Michael Makuei said the meeting aimed to change the name of the round table from Donors to Government Partners round table that would be able to support the Government in all aspect.

The meeting also agreed to change the objective of the round table from raising funds for the government to setup a joint dialogue on the issues of concern, Hon. Makuei added.
Hon. Makuei who is also the official spokesman commended the contributions by the donors during the interim period in supporting the government.

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

Cabinet Affairs minister warms traders of hiking commodity prices

JUBA, 22 November 2013 (NASS) - The minister for cabinet affairs Martin Elia Lomoro warned traders against hiking prices of commodities such as fuel, water, and food items in the country.

The Cabinet Affairs minister while in a joint press conference with the minister of Finance said there is no reason why traders must hike prices after the central bank revoked the November 11 decision to devalue the South Sudan pounds. Earlier, the central bank Governor Kornelio Koryom Manyik had announced an exchange reforms,a decision he said was intended to unify the official and parallel exchange rates in the market. However the decision was halted by the national parliament.


Hon Elia Lomoro during the press breifing at the ministry of Information
[Photo: Francis Oliver]

Despite the official exchange rate of the South Sudan Pound against the Dollar remaining as previously at 2. 95, many traders are reportedly still charging highly. Hon. Lomoro has called upon the citizen to report any person who may want to make quick money out of the “currency devaluation situation” to the security authorities.

The minister for the finance, commerce, investment and economic planning, Agri Tisa Sabuni confirmed his readiness to appear before the parliament to respond to the lawmakers to explain the “supposed devaluation”. He was quick though to say, “the ministry will respect the decision of the august house for the benefit of the citizen of the country”.

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

3rd Africa-Arab Summit begins in Kuwait

KUWAIT CITY, KUWAIT 19 November 2013 - With participation of 77 Arab and African Countries including South Sudan, the Third Africa- Arab Summit commenced today in Freedom Conference Hall in Kuwait City under the theme “ Partners in Development and investment”.

Opening the Summit, the chairmanship of Amir of Kuwati State His Highness Shiekh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jabir Sabah, underscored the importance of  the summit saying it provides a platform for the two regions of Africa and Arab to identify areas of cooperation in development and investment. The two-day summit is among other things expected to discuss means of improving trade between the two regions.


View of the 3rd Africa-Arab summit - Kuwait
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]

President Kiir and the accompanying delegation of five ministers, is expected to address the summit and shade lights on developmental fields in South Sudan that potential investors taking part in the summit could consider.

South Sudan as an emerging state with many untapped resources has a special taste in the summit for it is deemed a potential investment destiny in Eastern Africa.

Reported by Thomas Kenneth

Kuwait Economic Development Fund to Construct Juba Malakal Road

KUWAIT CITY, KUWAIT 19 November 2013 - President Kiir in a meeting held today at Bayan Palace with the Director General of Kuwait Fund for Economic Development Mr. Abdulwahab al- Buder discussed developmental issues in South Sudan in a meeting.

The meeting was attended by the minister of Roads and Bridges Mr. Kuoang Daniar, the minister of Health Dr. Riak Gai Kuk and the undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Amb. Charles Manyang.


H.E Kiir shakes hands with Director General of Kuwait Economic Development Fund
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]

President Kiir valued the developmental role being played by Kuwait government in South Sudan. Kuwait has developmental projects in Juba (Al-Sabaha Childern Hostpital, Schools and a complete residential area named Hai El-Kuwait).

The Director General of Kuwait Fund for Economic Development Mr. Al-Buder disclosed to the press that Kuwait Development Fund is ready to construct the Road between Juba and Malakal and Kuwait will continue supporting developmental activities and improve the infrastructure in the Country. He said Kuwait Economic Development Fund has requested South Sudan to send it an official application indicating developmental priorities.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth

H.E Kiir meets President of Zain Group Company

KUWAIT CITY, KUWAIT, 19 November 2013 - President Kiir in the margins of the third Africa- Arab summit in Kuwait on Monday met with the President of Zain Group Company Mr. Asaad Ahmed Al-Biniwan and his delegation.

The meeting also attended by South Sudan’s minister of Telecommunication and Postal Services Hon Rebecca Joshua Okwachi, discussed areas of strengthening Zain operations in the world’s newest nation, South Sudan in order to deliver good communication service to the citizens.


H.E Kiir in a meeting with President of Zain- Payan Palace, Kuwait

[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]

During the meeting, President Kiir appreciated the giant telecommunications company, Zain for its wide coverage across the country.

In a press statement, Hon Rebecca Joshua Okwachi said the administration of her ministry has taken serious steps to enhance telecommunication in the Country, and she said a regulatory body to look into grievances of communication companies will soon be formed. Hon Okwachi called on Zain-South Sudan to continue with its good service provision adding that the government will insure a conducive environment for it services.

Meanwhile Zain President Mr. El-Baniwan said Zain has the biggest network coverage in the country. “Zain has a big investment in South Sudan” he said. He appreciated President Kiir for being “cooperative” and that South Sudan has an investment-friendly environment.

Reported by Thomas Keneth

H.E Kiir arrives in Kuwait for the African-Arab summit

JUBA, 18 November 2013 - The President of the Republic of South Sudan H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit arrived in Kuwait City on Sunday 17th Nov. 2013, leading a high level delegation from Republic of South Sudan to participate in the third Africa-Arab Summit scheduled for 19th – 20th Nov. 2013 in Kuwait City, the Capital of Kuwait State.


State of Kuwait ministers waiting H.E Kiir arrival
[Photo: Thomas Keneth]

Upon arrival at El-Matar El-Amiri in Kuwait, President Kiir and the accompanying delegation was officially received by His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Amir of the State of Kuwait, and the reception ceremony was attended by a good number of the Kuwait National ministers and diplomatic corps.


H.E Kiir being received by His highness Al-Jabir Al-Sabah Amir of Kuwait
[Photot: Thomas Kenneth]

H.E. Kiir is expected to hold talks in the margins of the 3rd Africa- Arab Summit with Amir of Kuwait His Highness Shekh Al-Jabir Al-Ahmed, to discuss issues of bilateral relations between Juba and Kuwait.


H.E Kiir and His Highness Al-Sabah sitting at the Airport
[Photo: Thomas Keneth]


Besides, President Kiir is also expected to hold series of meetings with a number of heads of state and governments of Africa and Arab Countries currently taking parts in the summit.


National ministers accompanying H.E Kiir to Kuwait
[Photo: Thomas keneth]

Reported by Thomas Keneth and Nazario

Egyptian investors express interest to invest in South Sudan

JUBA, 17 November 2013 – A group of Egyptian investors have expressed interest to invest in South Sudan in the areas of aviation, river transport, road and bridges construction, the
Deputy Minister of Transport, Road and Bridges Simon Mijak Mijok has said.


After a meeting with Egypt’s Minister of Trade and Industries Hon. Gala M.Elaswy, Hon. Mijak told journalists on Friday that a high level delegation from Egypt is expected to arrive in Juba soon to present their projects to the ministry. The meeting among other things discussed areas of cooperation between South Sudan and the republic of Egypt, the minister said. Mijak warmly welcomed the idea and said the country needs investors to invest in “these” key areas.


The Egyptian Minister said his visit to Juba is to explore investment opportunities and cooperation between the ministry of transport, roads & bridges and the Egyptian government. Accompanied by some Egyptian businessmen, Hon. Gala further reiterated his delegation interest to construct a beef factory in Juba and a railway line to connect South Sudan with its southern neighbor Uganda.


Reported by Lindri Godfrey Alex

RSS to participate in 3rd Africa-Arab Summit in Kuwait City

KUWAIT CITY, 15 November 2013 - The Kuwait City, the Capital of Kuwait will on 19th – 20th Nov. 2013, host the third Africa- Arab summit under the theme “Partners in Development and investment” in which the Republic of South Sudan is expected to participate.


President of the Republic H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit is scheduled to attend. The country's advance team comprising of four National Ministers [Minister of Petroleum, Minister of Health, Minister of Telecommunication and Postal Services and Minister of Roads and Bridges] among other senior government officials arrived in the Kuwait capital on Thursday.


Kuwait city to hold the African-Arab summit
[Photo: thomas Keneth]

The delegation is headed by the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Charles Manyang. Upon arrival, the South Sudan delegation took part in the African-Arab Senior Official Meeting held on Thursday. The Senoir Offical  summit was followed the third African-Arab Ministerial meeting that tood place today. The recommendations from both the Senoir Officials and the Ministerial Summit will thereafter be submitted to the 3rd African-Arab summit.


Development and investment, food Security and trade were some of the key talking points in the meeting.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth in Kuwait City

South Sudan launches $1.1billion consolidated humanitarian appeal for 2014-16

JUBA, 16 November 2013 (NASS) - The government together with the aid agencies on Thursday launched the consolidated humanitarian appeal for 2014-16, unveiling an innovative new direction for humanitarian action in South Sudan.

This three-year appeal seeks 1.1 billion US dollars to meet the needs of most vulnerable 3.1 million people across the country in 2014. This comes to some 355 dollars per person targeted to receive assistance including emergency health, food and nutrition support. While the core humanitarian action remains to save lives in emergencies, two pillars of action will enhance the impact of emergency relief in the next three years.


Presentatives of the humanitarian organizations, Government officials and civil society organizations during the launch of the appeal
[Photo: Martin Jada]

Foreign Affairs minister Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin said the consolidated appeal falls under government new deal concept, which is geared towards addressing millennium development goals.

Though South Sudan remains one of the poorest countries in the world, with one of the largest humanitarian operations globally, the 2014-16 consolidated appeal highlights improvement on several fronts in 2013. Overall needs reduced for the first time in 2011, the arrival of Sudanese refugees slowed and the arrival of South Sudanese from Khartoum decreased.


According to UN OCHA food security for many South Sudanese improved although the number of people are severely food insecure and remain worryingly.

In a separate news, the government has signed with the United kingdom memorandum of understanding allowing the repatriation of South Sudanese who have been serving prison sentences in the United kingdom under various charges.

In a press statement after signing the memo, the UK’s Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for African Affairs, Mark Simmonds said this memo will also benefit the country in terms of economy growth and social development. Dr. Benjamin said the government is committed to the memorandum and will respect the relations with the United Kingdom.

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

Information minister urges traders to desist from hiking prices

JUBA, 14 November 2013 (NASS) – Information minister Hon. Micheal Makuei Lueth has called on traders to desist from hiking prices in the market.

Following the Monday’s decision by the central bank of South Sudan to devalue the country’s currency against all foreign currencies, most traders acting under speculation, moved to hike prices of almost all essential commodities. The bank, under directions by the national parliament on Wednesday revoked the decision.


Hon. Makuei briefing the delegation from Abyei at the ministry of Information headquarters
[Photo: Francis Oliver]

Hon. Makuei on Thursday was speaking to a delegation from Abyei Area headed Dr. Chol Deng Alak when he made the remarks on Thursday. Minister Makuei, who is also a government spokespersons said the national parliament yesterday rejected the exchange reform policy of the central bank and has summoned the Governor of the bank Kornelio Koryom Manyik and the national minister of Finance Hon. Aggrey Tisa Sabuni to appear before the law makers on Monday next week to explain their decision.


Ambassador Marie and Hon. Makuei during the meeting
[Photo: Francis Oliver]

In another news development, the minister held a meeting with the Norwegian ambassador to South Sudan Mrs. Hanne Marie on Wednesday where they discussed  matters of bileteral relations. Mrs Marie said a support from the Norwegian Government to help South Sudan preserve its history through establishment of modern facility for its Archives’ would be availed early next year.

Hon Makuei recommended the support of the Norwegian government to the nation country especially its effort in promoting the development of media in the country.

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

Central Bank revokes devaluation of South Sudan Pounds

JUBA, 13 November 2013 – The central bank of South Sudan has revoked a decision it had taken on Monday to devalue the local currency (South Sudan Pounds) following summon by the country’s parliament.

The Governor of the central bank Kornelio Koryom Manyik on Monday issued a statement to announce exchange reforms. The decision (exchange reform) according to him, was reached “to unity the official and parallel exchange rates”, a measure he said would ensure price stability. The official rate (central bank exchange rate) of the South Sudanese pounds stood at 4.5 against one United States Dollar from 05pm local times as of Monday when the decision to effect. 


With most goods imported, the announcement came as a shock to most people throughout the country. Main motorists were seen lining up in petrol stations to refill their tanks in anticipation. Food prices also shotup.

Following the decision, the South Sudan National Parliament on Tuesday summoned the Governor and Finance minister Hon. Aggrey Tisa Sabuni to explain their decision and its subsequent impact on the economy besides a written response. Finance minister Hon Sabuni was reported out of the country on an official duty.


MPs before the session, As representatives of the people, they demanded for an evidence based explaination on the dicision to carryout exchange reforms
[Photo: Matata Safi]

Appearing before the parliament on Wednesday morning, Governor Manyik pleaded for more time to prepare a the report on the banks decision as requested by the parliament. He said he received the summon letter late Tuesday which could not give enough time to prepare his report.

While citing the absence of the minister of Finance, Manyik said, since the reforms announced are a package comprising of monitory policies under the central bank and fiscal policies which are under the ministry of finance, he underscored the presence of the minister in reporting to the demands of the law makers.

“As we have listened to the initial statements of the Governor, the delay for not having formulated a full written response to this August house is not justified, for the simple reason that his declaration on November 11, made several children and mothers go hungry…….. They could not afford buying food yester night”, said Hon. Paul Mayom Akech representing constituency No. 5 Rumbek East of Lake State.

Chanting. …revoke now, now now……., the MPs unanimously agreed to a motion moved by Ann Lino Abyei, a member of SPLM party, on women list representing Duku country of Jongolei that, the debate be terminated and that under the direction of the assembly, the Governor of the central bank immediately revoke the decision. Moreso, that the assembly directs the Governor and the minister of finance to report to the August house on Monday 18, November.

“Right Hon. Speaker, members of the August house, I have listened and followed very closely the decision of the house…… I have respected it, this is the will of the people, so we cannot do otherwise”, the Governor of the Bank said. He said the “bank shall immediately revoke the decision”.

The sitting number 51/2013 was chair by the Deputy Speaker Mark Nyipuoc and attended by 207 legislators.

Reported by Matata Safi

"We need media that promotes culture of tolerance and co-existence", deputy information minister

JUBA, 12 November 2013 – After what was once African’s longest civil war, the two countries of Sudan and South Sudan need a responsible media that promotes the culture of tolerance and peacefully co-existence, the deputy information minister has said.


Hon Racheal Nyadak Paul said the media [Sudanese and South Sudanese] should dialogue in order to report in a manner that narrows the differences that still exist between the two Sudans.


“We all know we have come a long way, the two countries have had enough……..and we are all aware of the past. I believe it is the wish of every Sudanese and South Sudanese to see that the people of the two countries live in peace, and you as the media have an important role to play”, she said.


Hon. Nyadak giving her remarks at the opening of the media dialogue
[Photo: Matata Safi]


While underscoring the importance of media, she said media too can be destructive. “Responsible reporting in Juba and Khartoum will encourage the two Governments to consolidate what they have achieved and move forward. But when you [both] distort the message, it will spoil every success that we have made. media is an important instrument which should be governed by laws”, she said.


A media that has no ethics is a media that has no principles, she added. Hon. Nyadak made the comments on Monday while opening a four-day media dialogue at Paradise Hotel in Juba. The dialogue organized by the Deutsche Welle (DW) Akademie drew media stakeholders from both Sudan and South Sudan.


She urged media to apply their professional ethic while reporting, while emphasizing that at the end of the day, regardless of the where journalists belong; their major objective is to promote peace and prosperity.


Participants at the media dialogue
[Photo: Matata Safi]


In September last year, media practitioners from the two countries gathered in Berlin in Germany to discuss the issues that tend to divide the two countries with a view of bring better understanding and cooperation.


Maria Frauenrath, Media training and management consultant with the Germany’s DW said, the Juba media dialogue is a follow up of the Berlin dialogue. Germany, like what used to the Sudan, has the same history with Sudan and South Sudan; history of the two major world wars.


Some times people still refer to the world war despite the many years that have past, she noted. Under a post conflict situation, she said it is important for the media to dialogue and have understandings of the issues at hand. It is always go to have direct contact with the other side, she said.


Reading the September 2012 Berlin Declaration, Frauenrath said the journalists agreed to launch a comprehensive media dialogue to enhance positive reporting, they agreed to work towards creating a common media agenda to enable journalists to shoulder their responsibility in promoting peace and development in both countries.


Furthermore, she said the group called for the adaptation of media code of ethics to address professionalism, hatred and inflammatory language among others, called for journalists to focus on social, economic, cultural issues rather than the political matters.


Prejudices and discrimination, reporting in a crisis region, addressing the crisis between Sudan and South Sudan by positive reporting are some of the key topics the media dialogue seeks to address.


Reported by Matata Safi

Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) for the upgrading of Nadapal – Juba road

JUBA, 11 November 2013 - The Government of the Republic of South Sudan with assistance from Multi Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) intends to upgrade a 341.2km Nadapal Juba road from gravel to paved (bitumen) standard. This road provides transport connectivity between the capital town of South Sudan (Juba) and various County headquarters (Torit, Budi and Kapoeta) in Eastern and Central Equatoria States.

In view of the potential destruction of properties (buildings and other structures) and livelihoods (loss of sources of income), a Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) has been prepared to provide a comprehensive framework and procedures that the road project is to follow in the acquisition of land and compensation for destroyed properties and loss of livelihood. The RAP has been prepared in accordance with the guidelines and requirement of both the Government of the Republic of South Sudan (GRSS) and the World Bank (WB).



The preparation of this Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) is intended to provide details on procedures of land acquisition, compensation and resettlement of affected persons. It has been prepared based on the findings of resettlement impact assessment done during the month of July 2010 and April 2013, the latter of which is determined as the cut-off date by the MTRB. The assessment identified the impact on property and income sources of affected persons and document the losses therein (Loss of land, houses, trees etc) within the Right of Way (ROW) of the road upgrading project.


Read more


Juba Human Resource Training Centre to be transformed into a management development institute

JUBA, 9 November 2013 - The Human Resource Training Centre at Jebel on the Juba-Yei road will soon be transformed into the South Sudan Management Development Institute.


This was one of the recommendations of a draft strategic plan that was prepared during a five-day workshop convened at the centre by the national Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development.


Speaking when he officially closed the workshop, Mr Deng Chuol Malang, an Adviser to the Minister for Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development said the draft five-year strategic plan when fully implemented would transform the institution into a centre of excellence for training public servants in South Sudan. Deng Chuol said the Ministry would prepare appropriate legislation to accompany the draft when it is presented to the Council of Ministers for approval.


The Adviser said the centre which was built with funding from the African Development Bank was currently not operating to its full capacity due to lack of human, financial and material resources, adding that the proposed plan was meant to address these challenges.


In his remarks, Mr Wilberforce Turyasingura of the Uganda Management Institute who facilitated the workshop, said some of the key priority areas addressed in the draft strategic plan include leadership and management, human and financial resources, infrastructure development, and capacity building.


Speaking on behalf of the participants, Mr Ephraim Wani Peter said a fully functional South Sudan Management Development Institute would save the government millions of dollars spent in training civil servants abroad.


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



Reported by Justin Jada and Simon Owaka

121 Civil servants acquires skills in public financial management and good governance

JUBA, 9 November 2013 - The African Capacity Building Foundation through the South Sudan Capacity Building Project has so far trained 121 senior civil servants in public financial management, good governance, budget preparation, auditing and accounts.


Mr Jacinto Lee, a national consultant at the Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development, further said the training was aimed at equipping civil servants at the national level with professional skills in financial management.


Mr Lee who was closing a five-day training workshop in fiduciary management for 65 top civil servants at a Juba hotel said the government was keen on locally conducted training programmes because practically it was not feasible to train all civil servants abroad.


“We all know that it is not practical for the government to afford training of all civil servants overseas. Please keep up the spirit as this in-country customised training is one of the cost-effective ways of meeting the challenge of training needs in government institutions,” he said.


The workshop was facilitated by the Galilee Management Institute which is based in Israel. Speaking at the workshop, the Undersecretary for Public Service and Human Resource Development, Madam Angeth Acol de Dut, said the government was keen on training all civil servants including director generals, undersecretaries and ministers to enable them perform their duties more efficiently.


“Some of the DGs here might have benefited from a training that we conducted through the Kenya-South Sudan Technical Assistance programme where we sent them to Nairobi for three weeks then followed by one week of attachment in the respective institutions in the Government of Kenya,” said the Undersecretary.


Madam Angeth said the government would appraise the performance of its workers especially on whether training they underwent helped improve service delivery. “Through a training tracker that we have implemented in our Ministry, we want to be able to assess who went for what training, what training they have benefited from, and whether it has really made a difference in the way they do their work,” she said.


The South Sudan Capacity Building Project Coordinator, Mr Peter Juma, disclosed that women constituted 30 per cent of the total number of trainees, adding that 75 per cent of the trainees were officers in the top management of government ministries, commissions and chambers. Mr Juma said the training would go a long way in building the capacity of the trainees in corporate governance, strategic planning, policy making and public finance.


Madam Ayen Alier of the Bank of South Sudan who attended the workshop said the training would help foster change for the better in management of public finances in the country.


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


Reported by Justin Jada and Simon Owaka

More negotiations on RSS EAC membership to commence in March 2014, Sabuni

ARUSHA -TANZANIA, 9 November 2013 (NASS) – Major negotiations into South Sudan’s application to join the East African Country (EAC) are set to begin in March next year, after a high level delegation from the country completed phase one (assessment) of the negotiation process.


More negotiations will start in March thereafter to be followed by a treaty that shall determine South Sudan’s membership status, South Sudan’s minister of Finance and head of the delegation Hon. Aggrey Tissa Sabuni said on Thursday.


The delegation comprising of ministers, members from national assembly and senior government technocrats made a number of presentations in the EAC headquarter in Arusha, Hon Sabuni said.


Three months after declaration of the country’s independence, South Sudan applied to join the regional economic bloc. The East African Community (EAC) is an intergovernmental Organization comprising five countries namely Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi of the Great lakes region.


South Sudan's delegation and officials from the EAC
[Photo: Martin Jada)


Originally founded in 1967, it collapsed in 1977, and was revived again on 7 July 2005. In 2008, after negotiations with the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the EAC agreed to an expanded free trade area including the member states of all three.


The secretary general for the east African fast growing economic bloc the EAC, Dr. Richard Sezibera said the this vibrant body is ready to start negotiations with the South.

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

Coordination is vital in promoting agro production in the country, state minister of agriculture

JUBA, 07 November 2013 – For South Sudan to improve on its agro production and boost food security, there is need for inclusive cooperation and coordination between the national Government and the states Governments, Central Equatoria state minister of agriculture and forestry has said.

Hon. Jacob Kwajie said on Monday was speaking in a meeting with the national minister of Agriculture Hon. Beda Machar when he made the call. “In the last few years, there has been lack of coordination between the national government and particularly my state on issues pertaining agriculture”, he said. 


He also called on the development partners in the country to support agricultural projects in the states in order to boost food production. Another state minister for Animal Resources and Fisheries Hon Dr. Ghada James Kila urged the citizens to engage in farming if they are to turn away from poverty.

Hon: Machar Deng said the national ministry of Agriculture is committed to working with the ten states governments particularly in the area of promoting agriculture. He said the government has robust programs to transform agriculture.

Reported by Abdulrazig Juma Abdall

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)

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)

Latest Republican Orders

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.