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South Sudan News

Local Company Loses 18, 650, 000 SSP During Conflict

REWENG DUTY


By Garang Abraham Malak

 

The Deputy Governor of Ruweng State Mawien Makuach has hailed and commended Chopkuer Company Limited for having provided citizens with good services and their commitment to work. Makuach said Chopkuer Company Limited has played a great role and great efforts to serving “almost all the states of South Sudan with utmost good faith”

Speaking at Millennium Hotel yesterday, in an event organized by the company to celebrate its establishment the state official encouraged and called on all national companies to imitate hard work from Chopkuer Co. Ltd, as a way to contribute positively to the development of the country. 

Makuach registered his happiness to the company for boosting agricultural sector in the area. He encouraged the company to continue with agriculture as the backbone of the economy.

 He called on every company and individuals to practice agriculture to avoid food insecurity in the country.

The Ruweng state official pledged to cooperate and work in collaboration with the company to serve the common interest of the local community.   “I promise to offer a contract because the company is promising and its work is for all parts of South Sudan and that can also promote peace and unity in the country,” he stressed.

Meanwhile the manager of the company James Aniek Nyok explained that the company was established in 2008 and has been struggling till now. He said Chopkuer faced a lot of problems but they had the heart of providing services to the people.

The manager expressed his confidence toward the company and argued them to continue to render services to the people amid security challenges facing the contractor.  

The top manager revealed that Chopkuer Company is operating in many parts of the country including Bentiu, Jonglei, Wau, Warrap, Juba, Yei, Panriang, Kuajok, Renk, Aweil, Mapel, and Tonj.

 He further stated that some other branches are not operating at the moment because of instability in the country.

Manager of Chopkuer recounted some of their problems encountered at the course of its operation, noting that the company loss sum of 18, 650 000 which is equivalent to 128,000 US Dollars during the Dec. 2013 crisis in Bentiu.

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US Congress Petition Obama To Champion S. Sudan Arm Embargo Enactment

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By Majak Kuany

 

The Congressmen and women of United States of America wrote to President Barack Obama to lead the United Nations Security Council to enact an arms embargo on South Sudan to decrease the risk of recurrent violence to foster political progress. The congress letter was issued a day before the United Nations Security Council meeting last Friday that has approved deployment of 4,000 strong protection forces, in addition to 12,000 UN mission in South Sudan blue helmet.

According to the letter, the congress argued that arm embargo will reduced the flow of arms and enhances civilian protection. “an embargo would take the necessary measures to prevent, or the very least reduce and deter, the direct and indirect supply, sale or transfer into South Sudan of arms and related materiel of all types, including heavy weaponry and ammunition, military and paramilitary equipment, and spare parts or technical assistance or training related to materiel,” read the letter.

“Doing so would inhibit the ability of armed actors to threaten civilians and tenuous progress toward peace,” the letter added. South Sudan has been engulfed in violence since December 2013, when President Salva Kiir accused then-Vice President Dr. Riek Machar of plotting a coup. The conflict triggered clashes between government forces and rebel groups.

The conflict in South Sudan has claimed lives of more than 50,000 people, according to the non-governmental organization International Crisis Group.

The US widely circulated arms embargo draft alleged that once it is enacted it will demonstrate to South Sudan leaders that there are consequences for continuing to wage a war in which civilians bear the brunt of the violence.

They reiterated that the threat of arms embargo is used to coerce President Salva Kiir into signing last year peace agreement, which has been shaken by the recent renewed fighting.  

“It will encourage South Sudan’s leaders to spend government funds on rebuilding their shattered country and addressing the catastrophic humanitarian situation, rather than building their arsenal,” The congress letter read.

 The conflict in South Sudan has claimed thousands of lives and displaced tens of thousands of people according to the non-governmental organization International Crisis Group. It also estimated that 4.8 million people are food insecure and UN panel of experts has documented that South Sudan government has spent tens of millions of Dollars procuring arms throughout the conflict.

Currently South Sudan economic is ailing due to the ongoing conflict, but analyst said if the country’ leaders stop fighting and focus on delivering service they can afford to control the situation.

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Over 500 Million Youth Worldwide Live In Poverty; Says UNFPA

By Staff Writer

 

Over 500 million youth worldwide live in poverty, United Nations Population Fund, Executive Director, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin has said ahead of International Youth Day.

Dr. Babatunde reaffirmed and recognized the central role of young people in promoting the well-being of their families, communities and nations.

This year’s commemoration will be observe under the theme “The Road to 2030: Eradicating Poverty and Achieving Sustainable Production and Consumption,” couldn’t be more relevant and timely. “More than 500 million youth worldwide live in poverty, and often cannot afford their basic needs. They lack access to vital resources, and are disproportionately represented amongst the world’s poor,” Dr. Babatunde said in a statement.

He said youth have the most to gain if UNFPA succeeded in eradicating poverty, and will have the most to lose if the organisation failed. He said however that young people are not the problem, as is often thought, but, in fact, they are the solution. Last year, the United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which requires global to balance the needs of present and future generations, create economic growth without destroying natural resources and reduce consumption while enforcing well-being and dignity.

The UN official underscored that to achieve these goals, a fundamental shift is needed.

“We must make decisions on the allocation of resources while keeping the interests of future generations in mind. We must make investments in social sectors that improve the resilience of individuals and communities. And we must place the fulfilment of human rights at the centre of development,” read the statement. 

Globally, large youth populations represent a historic opportunity to introduce progress and adopt innovative solutions to ignite this change. Essential to this is the realization of young people’s rights to participate in the political, economic and social life of their communities and countries, and to freely make informed choices regarding their bodies, sexuality and reproduction without discrimination, violence or coercion.  The statement added that empowering young people means giving them the tools to become even more influential, productive actors in their societies.

It underscored the need by countries to end all forms of discrimination faced by young people, particularly adolescent girls, such as forced and child marriage and sexual violence, which can result in unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions and HIV infections, and risk derailing their future.

Central to these efforts must be the promotion of access to education, health services, including sexual and reproductive health and family planning. These combined interventions are critical in order to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty, strengthen the resilience of populations in the face of all challenges and seize the opportunities of the new economy.

Young people are already driving innovations in science and technology, making conscious choices that are drastically influencing patterns of consumption and production, and mobilizing to make companies, organizations and governments more socially and environmentally responsible. Where they can get information, technology, financing, mentorship, and platforms for collaboration, young innovators are able to turn their ideas into transformative solutions.

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UK Reaffirms Commitment To Support South Sudan

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By Lindri Godfrey Alex

 

The Ambassador of the United Kingdom to South Sudan, Tim Morris on Friday met with Stephen Dhieu Dau, Minister of Finance and Economic planning to discuss current economic and political development in the country besides bilateral relations between Juba and London.

 UK Ambassador to South Sudan(L)Tim Morris and Finance Minister Stephen Dhieu Dau shaking hand in the office

 Addressing Journalists at Ministry of Finance Headquarters after the meeting, Ambassador Tim Morris expressed his government’s long terms commitment to supporting South Sudan in areas of health, education and particularly in areas of humanitarian assistance.

He explained that, they want to maintain the cooperation as he expressed support for the minister’s plan and visions for the economic recovery and creation of jobs and support for public and private sectors. The diplomat showed profound interested in keeping tight relations with South Sudan in support during the challenges it faces on the economic. 

He described the challenges as shared problem with regional and international community. He congratulated the minister on his new assignment to control finance and plan for the economy in the new unity government as he reiterated his government commitment to strong continued support.

On his part, Dhieu assured the ambassador of the commitment to cooperate with UK and other major partners in the areas of humanitarian aid adding that the government is committed to working with international community in the country.

He outlined the vision of his ministry on how to run the public financial economic affairs and also discussed on bilateral relations with UK being one of the major partners to South Sudan and the ministry of finance.

The Minister further thanked the effort of the diplomat to continue support to the people and government of south Sudan in the current economic difficulty and political situation in the country.

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Number Of Street Children Increases In Aweil State

By Kawac Deng    

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Aweil State authorities have said there is ongoing influx of street children to the Town. Officials said hunger remained as main factor causing the move.

Joseph Mel Mel, Director for Gender, Child and Social Welfare said number of street kids is increasing this year in comparison with last year.

He said some children left homes to the roads because their parents are deceased and some whose parents are alive choose it as trend to make up their own life out of the families. “Number of street children was about four hundred which now becomes too high,” said Joseph Mel. He urged families to have full responsibilities in rearing   up young children   by offering necessary needs.  “Lastly and finally our community at large should take care of their children, many children come to the Town. The Town is full of children simply because of mismanagement in their families. I assure our people to let their children be reunited with their families”

Aweil state is experiencing hunger condition since the beginning of this year, hundreds evacuate to Sudan in search for food, and meanwhile World Food Program (WFP) is supplying the state with food air drops. The Aweil state Governor Ronald Ruai Deng said  hunger is a challenge in his state, and  called for more assistance from humanitarians agencies.

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Days Numbered For Norwegian Ambassador To Leave South Sudan

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By Lindri Godfrey Alex

 

The Ambassador of Norway to South Sudan Tones Tinnes has disclosed that she will be leaving the country in few days to come.

She disclosed the plan in her meeting with Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Stephen Dhieu Dau on Thursday. “This is my welfare wish to South Sudan; I will be ending my term as Norwegian ambassador to South Sudan in a few daytime” Ambassador Tinnes told journalists in a press conference after the meeting.  

 However, the ambassador assured the minister good cooperation between Kingdom of Norway and South Sudan and stated that the two countries will continue staying in good friendship and will continue to work for peace and stability in the young nation. The diplomat described the meeting with the minister as very fruitful and good.

She said Norway has been working well with the Minister in his capacity as Petroleum minister. She said they look forward to working with the minister and used the opportunity to thank the minister for the work done and good relationship between the two countries. The meeting between the two sides discussed about necessary reforms in the economic sector, that minister has started on even although he had been in the office only for few days.

During the meeting, they discussed the needs for the humanitarian access and to ensure that there are possibilities for access to South Sudan for humanitarian aids and distribution. Meanwhile, Minister Stephen 

Dhieu described the meeting productive and constructive. “She is living the country to other country for new assignment” Dheiu confirmed. Dhieu further stressed that the diplomat came to congratulate him and added that they shared ideas and views because they have been working together as friends. “The Norwegians government and the people, e are friends and partners to the people and the government of South Sudan as she mentioned” Dhieu emphasized. He added that the country enjoyed Norwegians support in oil sector without which could be difficult to manage the oil sector.

He thanked Norway for continued support to the people and assured the ambassadors that he will continue to work with Norwegians as minister of finance in the areas of economic reforms.

Minister Dau said, the government would provide the needed assistance for humanitarians who will provide aid to the people through UN and NGO’s. He assured the commitment of the government to work with the UN, NGO’s agencies.

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Economic Crisis Hampers Juba City Cleanness Campaign- Mayor

By chuty Anyar

Stephen Wani Michael Commissioner of Juba County Central Equatoria State CES speaking in an interview with Radio Tamazuj 1

The Mayor of Juba City Council his worship, Stephen Wani Michael has said the ailing economic situation in the country has hampered cleanness campaign in the city.

His worship who is the former Juba county commissioner while addressing members of press on Wednesday stated that since last year’s currency devaluation and the recent renewed fighting the incident has paralyzed all the city council activities.

The Mayor said many factors has halted the collection of garbage in the city and caused delay to pick the accumulated garbage as previous garbage trucks under former Mayor Administration are worn off with only two left out of 10 that cannot cover all 54 quarter councils in the city.

 “The garbage vehicle which were used by the previous administration to collect all the waste product  in the city become old and good number of them got broke down with no swift repair because of economic crisis,” Wani said.

Wani further elaborated that the former leadership had a good bilateral relationship with partners like UNICF and through that cooperation with some non-governmental organizations the city authority was then promised three trucks currently in Nimule.  

However, he said the City Council is working very hard in-collaboration with the Ministry of finance to produce a letter of exemption for the trucks to be cleared and released to rescue the dire situation amid cholera outbreak.

The city official said the city authorities are trying their best to ensure that other mechanisms are explored to collect garbage in a bid to maintain sanitation in the capital.

“This time the quarter councils will design blocks on how wastes can be collected base on the time arrangement allocated to avoid phenomenon of diseases outbreak in the city.

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Media Upholds Justice, Good Governance And Accountability-Experts

By Majak Kuany

 

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A group of researchers and legal experts from United States of America in conjunction with African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministers (ALARM) and Christian Lawyers Association of South Sudan (CLASS) on Friday recounted how media can promote peace, Justice and accountability in the country.

The group paid a courtesy visit to The Nation Mirror offices in Juba where they interacted with the management as they explore the contribution of media in strengthening peace building.

Justice Jeff Boyd, of Texas Supreme Court, exclusively told this medium that it was significant for judicial system and media to jointly fight alongside political leaders to unite the country.

He emphasized how media can encourage and ensure transparency for good governance.

“The importance of transparency in governance, the importance of education of the public, the importance of knowledge among the people is all crucial to the development of good governance,” said Justice Boyd.

“The media plays important role in that because they are able to be a neutral player to help people to see what is happening in the government and the good thing the government is doing in gaining confidence in government. And also bad things the government may be doing make government understand how the people are responding. So the media is crucial element,” he added.

This week ALARM and CLASS conducted a four days conference on building Peace and Justice.

The conference which was held in Nile Beach Hotel in Juba drew participants from faith-based group, lawyers, legislators and military Chaplain as a way to promoting peace in post-conflict societies.

The experts said Media as the fourth estate of government in given nation like South Sudan play critical role in shaping people’s attitudes towards peace and reconciliation.

Leah, one of the experts coordinating ALARM and CLASS said it was significant to train Lawyers, Legislators, religious leaders and media fraternity to know their ethics in order to execute their duties and make things work professionally. She said that can bring peace and reconciliation into the country.

Steve Long another American researcher and peacemaker lauded the cordial atmosphere he experienced in the past days in Juba.

He said he was delighted to be in the country and to get chance to talk about peacefully transition society to respect human rights and to find peaceful way to accomplish to advance peace.

“The integrity I have seen in the country, generally across the people I have met has been very encouraging,” Long told The Nation Mirror.

The American experts said they were happy to help South Sudan to achieve its goals of becoming the peaceful and vibrant nation in Africa.

Juma Mabor Marial, ALARM programme Coordinator in South Sudan concluded that the conference was annually organized to bring religious leaders and other stakeholders to do community transformation.

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TNLA Boss Vow To Adjust Public Universities Budget

By AcholAchien Kiir

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The newly appointed Speaker of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly Anthony Lino Makana has promised to work hard to see into it that the budget for all the five public Universities is increased. 

The Speaker told the Nation Mirror in an interview on Thursdayin the Parliament after meeting with executive body from the University of Juba students’ Union. The delegation on behalf of students from Juba University presented their challenges facing the high institution of learning to the speaker before assuring to students to address the challenges confronting the university.

The challenges discussed during the meeting include inadequate number of lecture halls, reduction of tuition fees, accommodations, and transport among others. The agenda was to congratulate the speaker for winning the trust of the president, and to share with him and requesting him to be the voice of the students in solving the issue of students’ welfare funds.

The university has problem with the number of lecture halls adding that the university has very many students but the lecture halls are very few that they cannot accommodate all of them. Abuba Evelin, the first Juba University female Student president stated that the number of students was very high but have inadequate lecture halls and could not accommodate students to take their lectures in comfort.

She mentioned that there are few books for reading and that there are challenges in paying for transport which she stressed that it has prevented most students from attending lectures.

“Another thing is also most of the students come from different states and they always wish that after their academic activities, they should also go and enjoy with their family members,” said Evelyn. “The condition is many students are not working and they come from families that earn low incomes,” she added. She further stressed that tuition fee, lecture halls for the students and accommodation among other agenda are very importance.

“We discussed with them and the parliament promise that they will work hard to see that the  budget for all the National Universities are increase so that they can be able to address these challenges of accommodations, feeding, laboratories and all other things,” Makana stated.

He said that the meeting was very nice and also appreciated that it was the first time in the history of the University of Juba that they have elected a female president. The university according to him has more than over 15,000 students who need government support.

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UNHCR Warns Of Overcrowding, Funding Shortages Amid Worsening South Sudan Displacement

Our Reporter

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The United Nations High Commission for Refugee (UNHCR) has expressed worry over swelling numbers of people fleeing South Sudan following recent conflict to the surrounding countries. The Agency said in the report that the number of refugees is straining under the weight of large numbers of displaced people and critically underfunded operations.

“Already there are some 930,000 refugees in the region, and more are arriving daily. UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is extremely worried that even as the refugee population grows, funds to meet basic needs are becoming exhausted” UNHCR Spokesperson Adrian Edwards said. The reported cited sporadic armed clashes, human rights violations including sexual and gender based violence by armed groups and worsening food insecurity following outbreak of violence in Juba which tipped the scales against an imminent political solution to the conflict.

“ General security conditions are unpredictable with renewed clashes reported in Central and Western Equatoria, Western Bahr el Ghazal, Upper Nile and parts of Unity” UNHCR said. Uganda and Sudan have received an estimated 110,000 and 100,000 new arrivals respectively in 2016, together accounting for more than 90 per cent of the new arrivals in the region this year according to the agency. “Most of those fleeing to Sudan arrived in the first six months of the year, driven by fighting in previously stable areas in Western Bahr al Ghazal state, as well as the worsening food security. In addition to the refugee numbers, there are 1.61 million people who are displaced within South Sudan” it added. In the case of Uganda, more than 8,000 arrive in one day according to the report. Consequently,  Uganda has opened a new settlement in the north-west of the country at Yumbe with capacity for more than 100,000 individuals.

“Funds are urgently needed to speed the relocation of more than 45,000 refugees out of overstretched and severely congested reception and transit centres. With so many people living in such close proximity, the potential for disease outbreak is high” UNHCR said.

It stressed that their teams are monitoring the situation closely, but need further resources to respond effectively. “With some reception sites accommodating more than five times their capacity, protection interventions, particularly prevention and response to sexual and gender-based violence including psychosocial services, are critical” it stressed.

High numbers of refugees are creating a burden on local health and education services. The development of the Maaji III settlement, which was opened earlier this year, has been put on hold leaving the new settlement without key basic infrastructure and services (medical services are being provided in tents). In Adjumani (some 20km from the South Sudan border), clean water is being trucked, which itself is expensive, until resources become available to drill more boreholes and extend water systems to reach new settlement areas. At the same time, the development of newly opened settlement areas in Adjumani and Yumbe districts will require significant additional investment. 

Torrential rains are hampering relief efforts, slowing relocation efforts and requiring immediate road repairs. And there are fears that in the event of outbreak of disease, existing capacities and resources will be inadequate to respond effectively.

In the face of desperate needs for the population of South Sudanese refugees now standing at 930,000, UNHCR is facing critical funding shortages. With US$ 122 million received, representing 20 per cent of the $608.8 million needed by UNHCR for refugees in South Sudan and the six countries of asylum, many activities have been suspended in favour of providing critical life-saving support to new arrivals. Worst affected are remote regions in Uganda, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic where UNHCR had no previous presence. Ethiopia and Sudan, which have experienced mass influxes, are also badly affected. UNHCR continues to commend the generosity of countries that are keeping their borders open and providing South Sudanese refugees with land for settlement. In particular, we applaud Uganda’s generous refugee law and policy regime, which among other benefits grants refugees freedom of movement, the right to seek employment and provides them with plots of land on which to build new homes and to grow agricultural crops.

UNHCR is appealing to the international community to support countries of asylum to protect and assist South Sudanese refugees. Continuing funding shortages will further disadvantage women, children and men who need urgent sustained help to overcome the trauma of forced displacement and get on the path to recovery, self-reliance and human dignity. The inability to provide food, shelter, basic services, psychosocial assistance, education and livelihood opportunities increases and prolongs vulnerabilities.

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Government Requests $1.9 Billion Loan To Boost Economy

 

By Majak Kuany

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The government has asked the People’s Republic of China for a loan of 1.9 billion US Dollars in a bid to boost the country’s ailing economy.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Deng Alor Kuol told journalists on Tuesday that the country had asked China to consider its request out of its $60 billion pledge to support Africa development made during China-African Cooperation Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa last year. Alor was speaking in a press conference in Juba yesterday.

“We asked for 1.9 billion US. Dollars because of our project proposal sum to 1.9 US. Dollars billion,” Alor said.

Last year Chinese President Xi Jinping announced a pledge of funding support to African’s development, worth of $ 60 billion during a forum on China – African cooperation (FOCAC) in Johannesburg. In that regards, Deng Alor stressed that during their visit to Beijing last month, they met with Chinese Minister of Commerce who is a focal person responsible for $ 60 billion pledge to support African and discussed the details of South Sudan priority list as proposed last year in September. “We agreed on priority list and we then went to China and attended the forum on African China cooperation (FOCAC) submission of the proposal to benefit from 60 billion pledge,” he said. He said the delegation in series of bilateral talks seeking to bolster economic ties between Beijing and Juba met with Chinese X-zhang Bank President to push for the release of the loan.

 “The meeting was fruitful and the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and X-zhang bank promised to consider most of the projects we presented, if not all of them,” Alor explained. Alor said the loan will be used to boost good number of projects which includes education, physical infrastructure, civil aviation, Security sector, information, among others.   In his address, Alor said South Sudan also asked China to increase its oil production and agree to protect the oil workers as well as extending all Chinese oil companies contract.

The China $60 billion offer is divided into three phases, and in a phase in a year will gives Africa $20 billion and for the period pledge end.

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