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South Sudan News

Minister Dhieu Dau, UN’s Owusu Explore Avenues For Partnership

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By Lindri Godfrey Alex

 

The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Stephen Dhieu Dau and the United Nations Resident Coordinator, who is Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, Eugene Owusu, recently met in the Ministry Headquarter in Juba to discuss issues related to the economy in the country.

 Deputy Special Representative of Secretary General UN Resident and Humanitarian Representative in South Sudan Mr. Eugene Owusu (L) and the Minister of Finance & Planning Stephen Dhieu Dau®Speaking to Reporters in Juba.(Photo: By Lindri Godfrey)

Speaking to Journalists, shortly after the meeting, Mr. Owusu they discussed areas of cooperation with the minister in a bid to explore avenues to help the unity government. Owusu said the ministry of finance is a critical partner in the pursuit of peace and plays an important role in engaging all stakeholders in recovery process as the country embarks on the path towards sustainable development.

He explained that the purpose of the courtesy call was to discuss with the minister on how to work together closely on the strategic areas, including national development strategy, critical economic reforms.  Owusu further explained how the partnership can be enhanced to leverage the Africa agenda and the global goals on sustainable development. 

Owusu said United Nations agencies, funds and programs remain committed to support the people and government of south Sudan. 

Owusu is also United Nations Development Program (UNDP) resident representative.  On his part, Minister Dhieu Dau thanked UNDP for supporting the government in oil sector, governance, rules of law and private sectors as well as development of youth and women. 

Dhieu assured government’s commitment to strengthen and deepen cooperation between UNDP and the ministry of finance.  He further appreciated UNDP for continued support and promise to work with all the UN family.

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Moving Story Of Health Students Stuck In Lainya

By Achol Achien Kiir

 

Two Students of Health Science Training Institute (HSTI) in Juba who paid courtesy visit to Lainya County recently said they are stuck with families in the bush and couldn’t access way out amidst severe humanitarian condition.

Last month, fighting erupted between two rival armies outside presidential palace killing more than hundreds and displaced 10,000 people. Since then the fighting spread to the outskirts of Juba, with mostly Juba-Yei road and Juba-Mundri road seriously affected.

Speaking to The Nation Mirror yesterday on phone, the two students separately said they are trying to get their way to come out of the bushes but in vain because of continued fighting.

Tabu Samson, a second year student said the major problem is to relocate from the main roads to either Yei or Kajo-Keji.

“I am not okay because the situation I am in is really not good, I am in the bush since the crisis and the IO and the government keep on clashing,” Tabu told The Nation Mirror.

“We are trying our best to come out if we can make it from here to Yei or Kajo-Keji so that we will also go and try our way to Juba,” Samson narrated in soft tone. Tabu when asked about where they got power that keeps their phones on, said they are moving in the bush with small solar and chargers that they use so that they get connected with their people and friends. 

The student confessed that only able people go back to Lainya town in search of food after trekking five to six miles in the bush.

 He recounted that the weather is very bad adding that it has threatened the lives of weak people and small children.

“This is a very bad situation, the weather is very cold and people are walking with small children,” he added.

Tabu noted that some of the people with kids were very sick and had no medical kits with them to rescue their situation.

“The crisis has much affected us and the whole civil population of Lainya County is in the bush,” he said.

Tabu however said the main road was very far from them and the distance they left was also very far. He narrated that he went with his brother who also went for holidays but the fighting caught them in Lainya together with their parents. Bakata Lasu, another second year student also in some parts of the bush said they have reached the main road toward Juba but didn’t get vehicles coming to Juba.

He said they are footing and the situation is bad for them with no vehicles which could help them adding that children were much affected.

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One Dead, Two Injured In Police Car Accident In Aweil East State

By Kawac Deng

 

One police personnel was killed and two other people were left with bad injuries last week, after a police vehicle which departed from Aweil state heading to Aweil East state overturned in Akuem, an area in Aweil East State, said police officials.

The Aweil   Deputy police Commissioner Mareng Deng Akuei told The Nation Mirror on Tuesday that the incident occurred a week ago after he commissioned his guards to bring his properties from Majok Yienh-Thiou, the rich South Sudanese customs zone.

The vehicle was a landcruiser carrying five people of which three of them were police personnel, while other two people are not identified.  A Sergeant, and special body guard to the police chief was killed after the car overturned. Two others sustained serious injuries.

“There were five people and on the car, the car departed at six o’clock in the morning, when it reached Akuem, the car encountered with water floods when it overturned killing sergeant who was responsible for that mission,” he said.  “Earlier   investigations show that the car was got loaded on the way that might be behind the event,” he added.

Mareng said the vehicle started at dawn from Aweil at 6:00am in the morning contrary to the 9:00 schedule.  “It was supposed to   leave at 9:00 after my arrival at the office; unfortunately, the driver didn’t   manage to wait for the time.”

The car according to the police chief was seen by eyewitnesses, speeding as if it was pursuing a target or was escaping its hunters.  The van didn’t come   under attack. The wounded persons are seeking medical treatment at Aweil State hospital, while police investigations are on going to find more behind the incident. The car was not attacked on the way.

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Aweil State Launches Planting Of Over 500 Seedling

By Kawac Deng

 

Aweil state Governor, Ronald Ruai Deng, has launched the planting of more than 500 different types of seedling on Thursday, starting at the state council of ministers, state house road and to be carried out at state main roads.

Governor Ruai said the event is ultimate as it will go down in history of Aweil state to benefit the coming generations. He said the next generation will praise officials who initiated the project. “It is our motto with my Mayor, to keep Aweil clean and green,” says the Governor during the ceremony.

The Governor also said hunger is another challenge affecting the state communities. However, he added that the hunger will not come to an end unless state communities embark on agriculture to produce sufficient food at local levels.

On the other hand, Aweil state minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Awein Mawein Diing said the flood surges every year as result of mass clearance of trees in bushes in the state. She said growing trees protect land from erosion and gives them fertility.

“Trees stabilize the soil, prevent erosion, enhancer’s capacity to store water and temperature in the lands,” she revealed.

Aweil Parliament Acting Speaker, Kon Deng Chan welcomed the plan and urged line ministries and other government institutions to bring in their policies to the assembly for endorsement. “I call upon state ministers to prepare plans and bring them to state parliament for approval” he said. Simon Tong Deng, the Aweil Mayor, on his part called on every family across the state to plant at least two young trees. “We do this to make our city be green,” the Mayor explained.  

Speaking also in the launching party, the UNMISS State Coordinator, Ataklti Hailu, applauded the government for the historical achievement. He urged the Government to put plans ahead in managing issues affecting its citizens.

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Interior Minister Urges Law Enforcers To Uphold Professionalism

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By Aleer P. David

 

The new Minister of Interior Michael Chanyjiek in his tour this week in an effort to acquaint himself with the law enforcement institutions, has urged officers to execute their national duties by expediting proficiency.  

Minister Chanyjiek cautioned police officers in his speech at the department of Nationality, Passport and Immigration to handle foreigners politely and with utmost respect. “Treat foreigners politely, don’t be rude to them though they might have committed any crime,” Chanyjiek said.

The government official encouraged the police officers to adhere to law in order to portray good image of the country abroad. “You need to change the way you behaved towards foreigners. Portray the world that it is not the overall behavior of all the people in this country,” he said.

Chanyjiek underscored that the way foreigners are treated here could implicate the way citizens of the country can be treated at their respective neighboring countries.

“Any wrong thing you do to a foreigner will affect your brother and sister who is living in foreign countries”, he stressed. The minister requested the policemen to act as ambassadors of peace to help the good quest for peace, reconciliation and harmony, the African young nation is seriously yearning for.

“President Kiir cannot go to all parts of the country to preach peace and reconciliation”, he said.

He said that the implementation of peace agreement is a collective responsibility and should not be left to few individuals.

This week, the new minister has so far nearly toured all the law enforcement agencies institution in the capital.

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FVP Gai Seeks Economic Support From Kenya

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By Chuty Anyar

 

The First Vice President, General Taban Deng Gai has returned from the Kenyan capital Nairobi, where he has been heading high-level delegation to lobby with the region in regards to the deployment of regional protection force, as approved by the UNSC last Friday.

The FVP told media upon arrival at Juba International Airport that his visit to Nairobi was to seek economic support from President Uhuru Kenyatta administration to salvage the ailing country’s economy.

Akol Paul Kordit, deputy Minister of information who was among the delegation including the Minister of Defense and Veterans Affairs, Minister of Cabinet Affairs, top officials in the Ministry of National Security Services among others, explained that government delegation while in Nairobi presented economic packages plan to Kenya. He said the plan will be followed up technical committee agreed to be formed by both sisterly countries.

“We are grateful as government delegation that went to the Kenya led by first vice president and accompanied by TGoNU cabinet ministers.  The government of Kenya has shown us warm welcome and friendship,” Akol said.

Akol reiterated that the delegation has extended invitation to President Kenyatta to visit South Sudan within the coming period.

He stated that President Kenyatta who served a Special rapporteur of Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) promised to support people of South Sudan in rebuilding the nation through implementing the one year peace deal.

“Kenyatta has promised to continue supporting people of South Sudan and   transitional government of national unity until peace and stability return to the Country,” said Akol.

The deputy information Minister said President Kenyatta has welcomed the economic packages plan   and he will direct   relevant financial institutions to study the detail of package plan.

Akol revealed that the region and international community welcomed the move taken by president Kiir to continue implementing peace despite Machar’s absence.

Since the new first vice president took over the leadership of SPLM-IO, he has so far travel to two neighboring countries of Ethiopia and Kenya in search for peace and support.

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37,200 IDPs Shelter In Juba Poc Sites, IOM Says

By Achol Achien Kiir

 

An estimated 37,200 displaced persons are currently seeking protection at one of the two UN peacekeeping bases in Juba, according to a population count held at the UN House protection of civilians (PoC) site in Juba recently.

According the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the renewed violence and instability have generated new displacement in the country in recent months.

IOM said in a statement that many people are facing insecurity and hunger and more than 190,000 people continue to seek protection at PoC sites across the country, in Juba, Bentiu, Malakal, Wau, Bor and Melut.

The majority of the 37,200 IDPs living at the UN House PoC site fled the violence that erupted in Juba on 15 December 2013 and quickly spread throughout the country according to IOM and thousands more fled to the base when fighting resumed in the capital between government and opposition forces in July 2016.

To determine the current size of the IDP population in the site, IOM joined ACTED, camp manager of the UN House PoC site, and other UN and non-governmental organizations to conduct the population count. “The exercise began before dawn to ensure accuracy, with a house-to-house operation,” read partly the statement.  It further noted that the population count is important for the delivery of services, particularly food assistance. “The exercise will improve planning for humanitarian assistance and enable the UN World Food Programme to provide food for the full population registered at the site,” it adds.

“Interagency cooperation was essential to the success of the exercise. Staff from 15 agencies participated in the population count, from planning to logistics to implementation,” said Andrea Paiato, IOM Camp Coordination and Camp Management Programme Coordinator.

UNMISS peacekeeping troops and UN Police provided security, while camp management and partners conducted a messaging campaign before registration, the organisation stressed. The fighting in Juba in July displaced at least 15,000 people, of which more than 12,500 remain displaced at the UN House PoC site, UNMISS peacekeeping base in Tong Ping and collective centres.

IOM is coordinating with relief agencies to provide emergency assistance to IDPs at the Tong Ping site, managing an emergency health care clinic, providing shelter and ensuring access to safe drinking water. ACTED continues to facilitate humanitarian operations at the UN House PoC site.

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Overcrowding In Juba Central Prison Alarming

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By Aleer P. David 

 

Designed to accommodate only 150 inmates, Juba Central Prison, the leading prisons centre in the country currently accommodates 1376 inmates about ten times beyond its carrying capacity, the Prison Director Brig. Gen. Michael Makuach has revealed.

 He said the prison was established in the colonial era by the British government and no other expansion program has been put in place to cater for the overwhelming population of prisoners. He said some people are being held for many years in detention for minor offences such as stealing mobile phones and goat’s head. Gen. Makuach decried lack of drugs for inmates.

 “We do not have enough drugs in the health center and ambulances to carry referred inmates to Juba Teaching Hospital for further management” he added.

The revelation followed the tour yesterday by the new Minister of Interior, Michael Changjiek to the facility.  Addressing the prison officials at the department headquarters at the welcoming ceremony, the deputy Director General in charge for Administration and Finance in South Sudan Prison Service, Lt. Gen. Andrew Monydeeng Kuot said his department is in dire need of help from the new administration in the ministry of interior. “We are very glad and happy to receive you in our poor environment today, because it is said “seeing is believing”, so that you witness by yourself” Monydeeng said. Gen. Monydeeng revealed food was also a problem in the prisons. He said about 21 contractors who used to supply food to the inmates were reluctant to avail food to the prison service because of their accumulated bills that have not been paid by the government. He said lack of enough food as a big problem which should be tackled.

 In an effort to alleviate the suffering of those living behind bars and production of enough food in the country, the government allocated 20 tractors to prison service this year so that prisoners can farm and feed themselves. However the above mentioned tools have not put into use going to solve the problem.  

The Director General of the Prison Service, Lt. Gen. Henry Kuany Aguar reported that many of the farms established were not currently functional due to insecurity across the country.

 “It is only Comrade Alfred Manyang, the director for Prison Service in Bor who had tried to do some farming but the crops were spoiled by floods” Gen. Kuany explained.

The Director highlighted that the prison had farms in Yei and Torit but have been shut down due to insecurity.

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British Government Pledges To Support Justice In South Sudan

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By Chuty Anyar

 

The British Ambassador to South Sudan Tim Morris has said London administration will support Justice System in South Sudan.

The Ambassador was speaking to journalists during courtesy visits he paid to the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs on Tuesday. The British envoy lauded the Minister for the cordial reception and reiterated to help people of the young nation through capacity building despite country’s political turmoil.

“The British government will continue to help people of South Sudan in this moment of crisis when we need to think critically and carefully about how we work together   for the better future of this Country. I know my country will be part of this process,” Morris told Justice Minister, Paulino Wanawila.

He highlighted that the British government will continue to strengthen its bilateral ties with Juba and work closely with the justice authorities to ensure justice prevail.

“We discuss justice system in the Country with Minister and he explained to me   some of the challenges faced,” Morris said. The British diplomat underscored that the challenges faced today by the world newest nation are not exception from other developing nations and there is hope that they will improve on the circumstance.

“I am very pleased that my government will help justice program by accessing justice system in the country that will help future generations,” he explained.

On his part, Wanawila thanked Ambassador Morris and described British government as an ‘iconic’ friend of South Sudan.

Minister Wanawila said the visit was for the ambassador to acquaint himself with challenges impeding the country’s legal institution.   The official revealed that Ambassador Morris applauded President Kiir speech which he delivered during inauguration of transitional parliament on Monday.

On Monday President Salva Kiir said the young nation is not against international community nor is it in conflict with the regional bloc.

“When you talk of Justice  system  in the Country  you need to build the capacity  of those who are involve in the laws enforcement, whether they are prosecutors,  investigators  and Judges.  They need to be involved, to have appropriate justices in the Country,” Wanawila told the British envoy.  He said there were so many laws which are contradicting the constitution and therefore need to be revised.

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Insecurity Stalls MTN Services Outside Juba

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By Chuty Anyar

 

The giant Telecommunication network Company MTN has complained that insecurity in the outskirt of Juba following the eruption of the renewed fighting has stalled their activities.

The head of corporate Service (legal and Regulatory), Mr. Khlumbulani Dhlomo said in statement extended to The Nation Mirror that the outbreak of the conflict has lowered company operations in the country. “MTN network in various States has been affected as a result of the ensuing insecurity in many areas including along the roads to such States far state where there is insecurity,” he said.

Khlumbulani noted that the routine maintenance, refueling generators for effective communications by the network users has been seriously affected. “Most fuel suppliers have not been able to access these sites due to insecurity. In many other instances we have witnessed increased vandalism at our sites where fuel, generators and other network elements are stolen,” he said.  He explained that MTN is working closely with the authorities to obtain security support at the areas which were vandalized.  He appealed to the government to grant them security escorts team to restore services within the areas which are mostly insecure.

The company apologies to their esteem customers and the general public for the inconveniences caused and promised public to restore hope and trust to the network.

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Japan suspends Freedom Bridge, Juba Clean Water projects

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By Roger Alfred Yoron

 

Japan has put on hold most of its developmental projects in South Sudan citing security concerns after  July 7 incident in Juba.

The Japanese-funded  construction of Freedom Bridge along the Nile and the project for provision of clean water in Juba have been suspended until “peace is back and security is ensured,” Japanese Ambassador Kiya Masahiko told The Nation Mirror in an exclusive interview  yesterday.

Masahiko said engineers working on the two projects left the country since July 13th due to “deterioration” of  security in Juba.

“Everything was on track, even more than scheduled.  We were looking very much to the start of clean and safe water provision in Juba in September 2017. That was the plan. But due to the incident, everything stopped. Already one Month has been lost and we do not know when they can come back to resume the work. Every day, every month is a lost time which is really a sad thing,” he regretted.

The envoy added that his Country also had to suspend for a second time the project for expansion of the river port in Juba which had been scheduled for mid-July 2016.

“Without this incident, we planned to launch the ground breaking ceremony of Juba Water River Port. The staff [of the company] already came here to prepare for the launching of the massive expansion of the port. That was simply postponed… And that was the second time. They came here to do that in November-December 2013. So it was put off for the second time,” Kiya stated, emphasizing that “Peace is paramount. Without peace, we cannot support your development. And we cannot enforce peace. Peace can only be achieved by South Sudanese. So it is up to you.” Kiya further said the July clashes made his country to put on hold a UNITAR Hiroshima Training program, where some 25 South Sudanese from the government, civil society and the private sector have been nominated to take part in a one week Leadership and Management training program in Juba and were to be sent to Japan for another one week prior to a final session to be held in South Sudan. “So we hope that we could hold it somewhere maybe not in Juba but in some neighboring countries and also in Hiroshima, Japan,” he added. The ambassador however pointed out that some Japanese funded programs and projects through internationals partners are continuing, with some in a “much smaller scale.” “I talked to Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Country Director last week over the phone and he has established a JICA-South Sudan office in Tokyo. All the staff got together in Japan in JICA premises and that they work very hard to check what’s taking place here and how to have reorganized support so that they could continue implementing the project in a remote controlled manner from Japan,” Kiya said.

He said the government has made assurance to protect the sites and materials of the Japanese projects. “That’s a concern. I think the government is working a lot. As far as the Freedom Bridge construction site is concerned, I got assurance from the honorable minister of roads and bridges that the site is well protected by the government. So I don’t think that there is any looting or any damages at the moment and the water (project) is the same, I hope. I request for the people not to loot Japanese projects sites. It’s my humble request. It’s not for the Japanese people, it’s for you,” Kiya appealed.

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