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President Calls for a “New Page for Peace

By Deng Machol

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South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit, who addressed masses of people in Western Bahr el Ghaz- al State capital Wau on Wednesday, called on the people of South Sudan to forgive each other and open a new page for peace and reconciliation. “Enough is enough, let us for- get about tribalism and stay in

peace, the long division has not brought any change to us,” Kiir said. “We are not for war; we want peace and reconciliation to prevail among ourselves as one nation and one people”. This marks his first trips to Lakes and Western Bahr el Ghazel states after the seven month-long rebellion that divided the country along ethnic lines. He blamed his former deputy for cur- rent political crisis the country faces.

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President Salva Kiir Mayardit

“I am the president of the Re- public of South Sudan. I do not want you, my people, to con- tinue dying day and night, you voted for me in 2010 to be- come your president,” Kiir said. You are one nation, one people, President Kiir said. He warned those who divide the country on ethnic lines, saying anyone who kills anoth- er because of tribal differences will face the long arms of the law. The president said since the wake of the crisis that anyone who kills a Nuer is his enemy. “If you really support me, no one should target Nuer peo- ple wherever they are be- cause you are equally my peo- ple,” President said in Wau. “I did not kill any Nuer; thos who died were killed in their rebel- lious action against the national government, while the army de- fended the national constitution.” Despite a massive killing carried out by rebel forces loyal to Dr. Riek Machar on the Dinka tribe in Bor, Bentiu, and Malakal, Kiir said everybody must forgive another and open a new page for peace and reconciliation. However, the president re- tained his “redline” on the proposed formation of inter- im government without him and the national assembly. “There is no way for the in- terim government without the elected president and members of National Assembly,” he said, adding that all those who came to power democratically including the review committee of the Transitional Constitution, should not be removed. President Kiir has also blasted rebel leader Machar for not waiting for elections “if he was determined to become President of South Sudan”. “Dr. Riek acknowledged his unpop- ularity within the SPLM ruling party,

knowing that the party would not nominate him for the post of [Pres- idential] candidacy or the party’s chairmanship, due to his repeated bad attitude within the party,” Kiir said. President Kiir came to office by a landslide win against Dr. Lam Akol of SPLM-DC in 2010. Elections were constitutionally scheduled for 2015 until his former deputy staged a coup against him six months ago. As official opposition party, SPLM- DC says it opposes any undem- ocratic way of attaining power.

Kiir has also downplayed the inter- national sanctions threat imposed on South Sudan, saying that despite the pulling out of South Sudan’s friends from supporting the young nation in education and other developments, nothing would stop his country from going forward with development. His current strip has been praised by citizens as it has seen the inau- guration of maternity wards in Wau and Rumbek. He has also launched a currency center in Rumbek, a complex believed to improved economy through availing job op- portunities and simplifying cur- rency printing and coin minting. The president told the masses that his government is committed to end the conflict despite atrocities committed by Dr. Riek’s forces. “We are moving to achieve peace, so let us all work hard together with the international mediators to agree that war must stop and to deploy a monitoring commit- tee to observe ceasefire and to allow humanitarian agencies to as- sist affected population,”,Kiir said. Kiir also brush aside rebel Machar’s demand to be Prime Minister in agreed Transitional Government of National Unity, saying the post of a Prime Minister is not in the con- stitution. However he said that the negotiators and South Sudanese will decide what will bring peace. 

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Juba: MTC Establishes English Vocational Courses

 

By Ariik Atekdit:

The Multi-Service Training Centre (MTC) in Juba has developed an English course curriculum to provide South Sudanese working class and students of Arabic background with English language skills to simplify them provide consistent services to the nation.

Madam Aida MTC
Miss Aida Christopher Gwonza

Miss Aida Christopher Gwonza is the Head of Secretarial department in MTC. She said her department is working hard to bring about strong youth with possible job attractive skills and English language is among the priorities especially for South Sudanese who acquired their education in Khartoum.

Gwonza announced that the Vocational Training Centre has developed a well-organized curriculum and that English courses are part and will soon begin classes in July. She said that there will be three levels for the students to go through before the graduate and each level will take them 12 weeks to conclude. "We have three levels for our English courses. There are: beginners' level, elementary and intermediate. Each level will take the trainees about 12 weeks; that is three months. And for sure we have qualified manpower available to give the training," Gwonza said.

She said the specialized English syllabus was developed with the help from the IGAD experts for Civil Service Support Officer (CSSO) and a contribution from the University of Juba. "We are going to provide the application forms to those interested to fill it as request for admission.  We shall also give them entry test so that we can determine their levels. Very soon in the second week of July our classes will begin for the first time in MTC," Gwonza noted.

Prior to independence of South Sudan, Arabic was imposed as lingua franca pavinga way forpolicy of arabization on South Sudan by the successive Khartoum regimes, which has kept South Sudanese from learning English. When South Sudan succeeded from Sudan Juba government announced that English would be the national official language in the country making it very difficult for those under Khartoum who did not get a chance to learn English.

Gwonza said after the course, the trainees would be given a government-recognized certificate from MTC. "I am sure our trainees will communicate and use English properly even after completing the beginners' level. Our course is more interactive and encourages and helps students to learn very quickly," she assured.

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UN: Global Sharp Increase in Number of Refugees

UN says the world have experienced higher number of refuges in 2013 more than it were during World War Two. The number of people forced to flee their home  seeking refuge in countries other than their homes have drastically increased in the recent years. The number of people either forced out of their home by war or persecution grew higher than when world was at war with itself. The figure hits 51.2 millions person living under UNHCR cares. The year 2013 have seen more people seeking asylum more than any year in history of UN.

UNHCR head Antonio Guterres said the rise is a "dramatic challenge" to aide agencies. He lamented that the "conflicts are multiplying more and more, and at the same time the old seem never to die".


"Protracted refugees situation" as termed by UN, engulf Afghanstan with 2.5 millions of her citizens live as refugees in other countries. This situation has turned Afghanstan to be the world leading in higher number of refugees.

2FCEF8CD-E3F2-4EC3-B557-642CF7E21525 w640_r1_sSouth Sudanese forced out of their homes

 

Conflicts in Syria, South Sudan, and Central Africa Republic are reported to have fueled sharp increase of refugees. Violence in South Sudan have seen over hundred thousands  fleeing their homes and 5 million others in need of food aide.

The Syrian conflict has caused hundred of thousands to flee to Europe, and countries neighboring Syria. Antonio Guterres, UNHCR head said,  "What frustrates me is the suffering of people, to see so many innocent people dying, so many innocent people fleeing, so many innocent people seeing their lives completely broken, and the world being unable to put an end to this nonsense."

The number of people forced to flee their home in 2013 exceeded 50 million. Antonio Guterres term refugees situation as protracted refugees. It includes more than 2.5 million Afghans. "Burma, 120,000 people from Burma's Karen minority who have lived in refugees camps for more than 20 years". BBC Imogen Foulkes.


According to UN a refugee should not be forced to return home even when peace returned to their original homes, unless the individual under UNHCR protection feels safe to return. This is the case of over 300,000 Somalis living under UN protection for over 22 years in Dadaab camp in Kenya

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Lakes State: Eighteen Feared Dead

 

By Staff Writer:

Inter-communal violence claimed more than 17 lives in Cueibet County of Lakes State. The death occurred as the armed youths from Ayiel and Panyar of Dinka sub-clan fought each other. The fighting broke out on Monday, the 16th June 2014, leaving 18 dead and many others wounded.

Official who don’t want to be named said, “The fighting started between two individuals from Ayiel and Panyar, who fought one on one. A member of Ayiel clan got killed in the fight”. The deceased family and members of his clan went on a revenge attack against Panyar. The details account of the casualties is still sketchy. 

453290Anti riot police patrol

Local authorities in Lakes State quickly move in to restore the order in the area. State government has deployed more police force in the area as to prevent further violence in Cueibet County.

An eye-witnessed who spoke to Daily Nation Mirror on condition of anonymity said, “I saw more than ten bodies lying on the ground as wounded were being carried to nearby clinic”. There were more than ten persons wounded in this violence conflict. Violence conflict is common phenomenon among the cattle keepers in South Sudan as communities compete over grazing rights. Communal territorial defense is another factor that leads to violence conflict.

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Tanzania: Elders increasingly killed over witchcraft suspicions

Dar es Salaam. As the world marks Elder Abuse Awareness Day today, senior citizens in Tanzania are increasingly persecuted over witchcraft practising allegations. Data from Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) revealed that between 2005 and 2011, an average of 500 elderly people were killed due to suspicions that they were witches.

The LHRC figures also showed that in 2012, six hundred and thirty people were killed due to witchcraft beliefs, a figure that rose to 765 (505 of them women) in 2013. An NGO which advocates for the rights of elders, HelpAge International Tanzania, said although violence against older people is a global issue, the situation in Tanzania must be properly addressed.

tanzaniaelders

Activists take part in the Age Demands Action for Rights campaign in Dar es Salaam recently.

Today, older activists from Tanzania join 40 countries to call for a UN convention on the rights of older people to protect them from abuse and bring the perpetrators to justice. A convention that prohibits discrimination on the basis of age would help to protect older people in Tanzania in the same way as there are UN conventions for women and children, says HelpAge International Tanzania.

This, it says, would bind the Government to formulate legislation, policy and practice in line with the standards of the convention.

"It is often the most marginalised in society and those that are least able to defend themselves that are accused of witchcraft. No one should have to live in fear of growing older. Leaders in Government, educators and the media should use their influence to challenge the beliefs and practices that violate the human rights of older men and women," said Amleset Tewodros, Country Director at HelpAge International Tanzania.

Clotilda Kokupima, an 80 years-old-granny from Kasulu in Kigoma region said women are often accused of practicing witchcraft because they have red eyes, but she said that is because, "Women do the cooking at home and the redness comes from cooking with firewood, not from witchcraft...We need a programme for older people to help stop the killings so we can live in peace."

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S Sudan leaders agree to form new government

President Kiir and rebel chief agree to form transitional government within 60 days in move hoped to end civil war. South Sudan's president and rebel chief have met in Addis Ababa in a bid to end six months of civil war, agreeing to forge a transitional government within a 60-day deadline, Ethiopia's prime minster says.

President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar met on Tuesday on the sidelines of a regional leaders' summit organised by the East African regional bloc the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which is brokering the slow-moving negotiations.

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President Kiir and Riek Machar met only for the second time since the conflict begun in December

"They agreed to complete the dialogue process within the coming 60 days on what how, when and who... (for) the formation of the transitional government," Ethiopia's Hailemariam Desalegn said, after the rare meeting between Kiir and Machar.

Mediators, frustrated by the failure of previous deals including two ceasefires, threatened tough action if the rivals once again ignore agreements made. "Any attempt to stand in the way of peace will have consequences," Hailemariam warned.

The crisis in the young nation has already killed thousands and forced more than 1.3 million people from their homes. Both Kiir and Machar had also agreed to "fully to commit themselves to already signed agreements," Hailemariam said.

"If they don't abide to this agreement... IGAD as an organisation will act to implement peace," Hailemariam said, warning of possible "sanctions and punitive actions" without giving further details.bUS envoy to South Sudan Donald Booth said the talks offered "the last, best chance for the warring parties to prove their commitment to holding their nation and their people together".

It was the first encounter of the enemies since signing a May 9 ceasefire - broken within hours - and only their second meeting since the civil war began in mid-December.

"The time for military action to change the status quo on the ground has passed. It's time now to move forward," Booth said, at the summit opening. Delegates for Kiir and Machar have been meeting in luxury hotels in the Ethiopian capital since January, with both sides bickering over the agenda and even the venue of discussions.

Previous rounds of peace talks have made little progress and been repeatedly delayed, and have so far cost more than $17m, IGAD officials said. Earlier, mediators issued a stinging rebuke of both rivals, accusing them of seeking military victory rather than a negotiated end to the civil war.

Mahboub Maalim, IGAD executive secretary, said both Kiir and Machar were "stupid" if they thought they could win on the battlefield. "If we want to apportion blame, it's theirs. I think sometimes they thought they could win on the ground militarily, something which is very stupid," Maalim said.

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Kenya attack: Mpeketoni near Lamu hit by deadly raid

At least 48 people have died after unidentified gunmen attacked hotels and a police station in a Kenyan coastal town, officials say. Witnesses in Mpeketoni said gun battles lasted for several hours and reported seeing buildings set on fire.

The town is on the mainland near Lamu island, a well-known tourist resort. Kenya has suffered numerous militant attacks since 2011 when its forces entered neighbouring Somalia to combat the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group.

mpeketoni2Hotels, restaurants and the police station were attacked

This is the most deadly attack in Kenya since at least 67 people were killed during a siege at Nairobi's Westgate shopping centre last September carried out by al-Shabab. Kenyan army spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir said the attackers were "likely to be al-Shabab, but the group has not yet commented.

Other unconfirmed reports said the attack was linked to a land dispute between rival communities in the remote area.  The BBC's Yusuf Dayo in Nairobi says the attack started at 20:30 local time (17:30 GMT) on Sunday as locals were watching a football World Cup match on television.



mpeketoni5Mpeketoni is on the mainland near the tourist resort of Lamu

Local residents told the BBC the gunmen hijacked a van and used it to attack various locations across Mpeketoni, which tourists travelling by road pass through before crossing to Lamu. Witnesses said gunmen, who had their faces covered, threw explosives into the local police station before entering and stealing weapons.


mpeketoni7Police say they are searching for the attackers

Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-27862510

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