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South Sudan News

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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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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Government To Conduct Comprehensive Disarmament

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By Aurelious Simon Chopee

 

The government has expressed interest to register all firearms in the country which it has described as ‘unacceptable’ and therefore need to design a strategy to conduct comprehensive disarmament.

“There is an abundance of unregistered firearms in the hands of the military and other organized forces, as well as those being held illegally by civilians. We will initiate registration in the military and collect these weapons, enforce regulations and the law and prosecute offenders” President Salva Kiir Mayardit said during the inaugural ceremony of the Transitional National Legislature on Monday.

“The idea of unauthorized civilians carrying weapons is unacceptable and TGONU will design a strategy and program of comprehensive disarmament” he further explained.

Early this year, the then National Legislative Assembly passed Fire Arms Act, 2016 to regulate and control fire arms in the country. The Act is to ensure only authorized personnel have access to firearms while those organized forces who are not on duty are supposed to have their arms stored in warehouses. Also emphasized by the President, is renewed opposition to the coexistence of the two armies as provided for in the peace agreement. President Kiir argued that two armies coexisting side by side is dysfunctional and has proven to be disastrous as witnessed in July clashes. “There will be one army by May 1st 2017. Last week, I instructed the army Chief of General Staff to start the process” Kiir said. He elaborated that the recruitment, training, command and missions will be professionally determined and based on merit, not according to ethnic or political affiliations.

Already there has been accusation of ethnic domination of the armed forces by particular tribes and serious outcry on the conduct of the military in regards to relations with civilians.

Kiir acknowledged that there have been problems in as far as indoctrination of the army to relationship with civilians is concerned. “The transition from liberation struggle to statehood exposed a gap in military-civil relations. Our military is yet to be fully indoctrinated in line with the duties of the military in peace time and within the context of fully fledged independent democratic state” Kirr acknowledged.

“We still have to achieve military uniformity” he added. He promised to start military reforms by January 2017.

On alleged sexual assault on civilians, the President said it was a serious matter which he said will show “zero-tolerance” towards such incident.

“We have already begun an initial investigations and we are reviewing medical reports and intend to prosecute those who will be found involved” he promised.

He also promised to appoint a commission of inquiry into widespread looting in the aftermath of the July clashes.

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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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US ‘Outraged’ By Sexual Assault On Aid Workers

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By Aurelious Simon Chopee

 

The United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Samantha Power has urged leaders in the country to investigate reports of sexual violence against aid workers that was allegedly carried out in Terrain Hotel in Juba and hold individuals responsible for such incident accountable.

Power issued a press statement yesterday following reports released by Human Rights Watch and Associated Press Agency implicating South Sudan Army of targeted assault on civilians, sexual assault on aid workers and killing of journalist based on ethnicity.

“The United States is outraged by reports of assaults and rapes of civilians, including humanitarian aid workers and journalists, by South Sudanese soldiers in Juba at the Terrain Compound last month. Attacks against brave individuals attempting to help the people of South Sudan are attacks against humanity itself. All innocent civilians deserve protection” Power said in a statement.

In part of the AP report, soldiers allegedly gang-raped and targeted American aid workers while the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) troops ignored calls to rescue the trapped foreigners. “It is especially reprehensible that the perpetrators appear to have targeted those who came to South Sudan despite risks to their own personal safety to help the country and its people – thereby depriving the South Sudanese people of urgently needed assistance and compounding this man-made humanitarian crisis” Power stressed. She accused the government of routinely allowing impunity for murder and sexual violence.

“This must end. South Sudan’s leaders must investigate this incident and hold accountable the individuals responsible for these cowardly and brutal assaults” she stressed.

She explained that the U.S. embassy in Juba responded to distress calls from the compound and urgently contacted government officials, who sent a response force to the site to stop the attack. “We are deeply concerned that United Nations peacekeepers were apparently either incapable of or unwilling to respond to calls for help. We have requested and are awaiting the outcome of an investigation by the United Nations and demand swift corrective action in the event that these allegations are substantiated” Powers further stated. She said the horrific incident further underscores the need for an enhanced, assertive, and more robust international peacekeeping presence in Juba in order to better prevent crimes against civilians and further deterioration of security. On the approval of additional forces in Juba, Powers said the mandate to create a robust unit of 4,000 peacekeepers is to respond swiftly to security challenges in the country. “The parties to the conflict must immediately cease attacks against innocent civilians and recommit to settle the conflict and leave the South Sudanese to live in peace at last” she concluded.

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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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Woman Shot Dead In Mauna Area

By Aurelious Simon Chopee

 

Residents of Mauna woke up to a shock on Tuesday morning when they discovered that one of the neighbors was shot dead the previous night by unknown armed people. The incident happened in Mauna Block B few kilometers from Custom Bus station just next to Abyssinia Bar and Restaurant, where residents were gathered at the crime scene.

According to a resident who spoke to The Nation Mirror on condition of anonymity, the attackers came late in the night and opened fire on the sleeping woman.

The crime scene indicated that the woman was shot dead on her bed through the window. Moreover according to the residents, the door was not broken into and no property was taken away.

It is not clear why the woman was killed in seemingly targeted way. According to the anonymous source, the woman operates a clinic along Customs road, but any suspected armed robbery could have resulted into breakage into the door to take away her property or money, if that was the motive.

Mauna has been known for violent crimes and robbery in Juba City with residents fearing to stay out until late night. However, the latest killing seemed to have taken advantage of the non-functional police patrol since the outbreak of conflict in early July. Before the outbreak of conflict in July, residents of Mauna told Radio Tamazuj about the explosion of Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) shell in the area injuring three people. Despite calm in the security situation in Juba City, residents have been afraid of violent robberies as a result of proliferation of arms to criminals who use them to rob citizens of their property, in addition to worsening economic situation.

During the opening ceremony of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly on Monday, President Salva Kiir Mayardit had told lawmakers about plans to conduct comprehensive disarmament in the country in order to reduce such violent crimes.

It however so remains a wish as several attempts to disarm the civil population has never yield any positive results.

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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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Situation In The Equatorias “Alarming” Says Youth President

By Achol Achien Kiir

 

Equatoria Youth Union on Monday revealed a plan to hold an extra ordinary conference to discuss impacts of recent crisis in Equatoria region and how best to resolve it.

The conference according to plans is expected to draw together youths, women, elders, ministers, MPs and governors of the eight Equatoria states to discuss efforts to sustain peaceful co-existence in Equatoria Region and other parts of the country.  

 Speaking in a press conference Equatoria Youth Union President, Daniel Abocha Ali, said the conference will take two days and will be conducted at Nyokuron Cultural Center from 17 to 18th August 2016 under the theme: “Reconciliation for sustainable peaceful co-existence,”

He observed that the current crisis directly attempt to transfer war from Upper Nile to Equatoria.

He said the war has already caused adverse effects on the lives of people of Equatoria especially in Lainya, Yei, Wondruba, Mundri, and Eastern Equatoria. He said people are scattered in the bushes and others have sought refuge in the neighboring counties in fear of their dear lives.

Ali observed that there have also been consistent attacks and ambushes on the highways and lives continue to be lost on daily basis.

He said women, children and elderly people continue to die with hunger and diseases because of no access to humanitarian help as all the roads have been blocked.

He worried that the crisis presents a security threat to the people of Equatoria and the Country at large.

“The situation in Yei, Morobo, Lainya, Wundruba and Amadi state among others is alarming. Atrocities such as killings, rape, torture and other inhumane behavior unfold on daily basis,” said Ali.

“We categorically condemn these despicable acts in Equatoria region. We call up on all those who are actively involved in these heinous behaviors to immediately ceases hostilities and give peace a chance to prevail,” he added.

Moreover, Ali appealed to the youth who have taken up arms against the government to observes maximum restraint and consider the suffering and pain the people are undergoing.

Ali aspired for dialogue as the only means to resolving conflicts in the country rather than the use of force and military confrontation.

Meanwhile, he also called upon the humanitarian agencies to do more to assist the victims of violence in Equatoria and other affected areas.

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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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Over 1 Million Pupils Enroll In Schools This Year

Torit East primary school pupils PS

Our reporter

 

Girls’ Education South Sudan a program designed to retain girls in schools has reported that some 1,244,878 pupils have so far enrolled in schools this year with 526,323 girls and 718,555Boys respectively

The program initiated by the ministry of education and funded by the government of the United Kingdom is currently operational according to a press release by the program management.

“Girls’ Education South Sudan Programme is fully operational and is continuing to support the people of South Sudan to maintain its education sector” Hannah Rollings said in a statement.

She said the program continues to operate, helping girls and boys access quality education. “As the Honourable Minister of Education, Deng Deng Yai, recently stated: “Education cannot wait. We cannot wait until conflict ends. The right time is now.” She repeated the statement.

 According to the information, more pupils than ever before have been enrolled on the South Sudan Schools’ Attendance Monitoring System (SSSAMS), – a total of 1.24 million in 3,354 schools.  “Schools have also reported pupil attendance reports to SSSAMS via SMS more regularly: 56% of schools that have submitted enrolment figures have reported this year, and 43% of schools have sent at least five attendance reports so far in 2016. Enrolment totals registered in 2016 to date: a total of 1,244,878 pupils; Girls: 526,323; Boys: 718,555” she elaborated.

 She further stated that a total of 2,116 primary schools and 117 secondary schools have qualified for a school Capitation Grant in 2016, to date with additional schools expected to qualify over the coming months. 

“The number of girls eligible for cash transfers as of August 3rd was 182,626, compared to 138,000 last year. This is a result of increased enrolment in 2016. The validation process for cash transfers for girls has started and schools are expected to complete this by mid-August, upon which the payments can begin” she added. According to Hannah, the Programme continues to broadcast ‘Our School’ radio programme on 29 partner radio stations throughout the country, as well as ensuring that community mobilization and teacher training activities continue to take place throughout the country.  She said the evident resilience and determination of government officers, teachers and pupils throughout South Sudan is inspiring.

“There are many who continue to be committed to delivering and achieving quality education, even in the face of the most challenging circumstances. As one student at a secondary school in Yambio, Western Equatoria, put it: “We struggle, but… school is the best thing all over the world”.

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