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Twic- East Community Raises $15,000 To Rehabilitate Roads

By Achol Achien Kiir

 

The sons and daughters of Twic East County in Diaspora have raised the sum of $ 15, 000 in funds to rehabilitate roads in the county, Commissioner Dau Akoi Jurkuch has revealed.

According to Akoi, the contribution was made by those residing in the United States of America and has as well called upon those in Australia and Canada to imitate the same

Akoi disclosed to The Nation Mirror in an exclusive interview this week that the donation will be used to complete the road rehabilitation as he assured the public that they have fully received all the funds. He said the money was directed to the community bank account. “We are still appealing to our dear sons and daughters of Twic East County in Canada and in Australia to do the same,” Akoi said. “Community of Twic East believes in self-reliance and that is why we are now mobilizing our people wherever they are, to contribute for the development of the roads that are connecting the payams and to other neighboring counties,” he added.

The commissioner further stated that some of the achievements made through contribution since he assumed office last year includes construction of county headquarters in Panyagoor, rehabilitation of Dyke, renovation of former Jonglei State canal and rehabilitation of roads currently.

Akoi appreciated community members for their generous contribution to the county’s development and reiterated his commitment to cooperate with the local people to restore unity and reconciliation among them.

However he failed to disclose an amount of money needed to complete the rehabilitation of the road construction in the area.

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Speaker Urges International Community To Strengthen MPs Capacity Building

By Achol Achien Kiir

 

The newly appointed Speaker of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly Anthony Lino Makana has urged the International Community to build the capacity of country’s legislature in order to deliver their work.

Speaking in an interview with The Nation Mirror at the Parliament, Makana said his first role as a speaker is to unite the people and that they are going to work with States parliamentarian for effective legislation work.

 “There are 28 States which are created and their lawmakers still need capacity building. So we are urging international community to assist us in this process so that the capacity of the MPs is developed,” Makana stressed.

He said once their capacity is built it will give them privileges on how to conduct business and make good laws in the country. He said it will be their role until the next election in 2018.

Among the lists of the priorities he disclosed was to ensure that there is no more going to back war but to fully implement the agreement among others. “Once all these things are achieved and our economy is revived, then we can join the league of nations as other nations that are moving forward in terms of development,” Makani explained Makana acknowledged that he was warmly welcomed by his colleagues since he was assigned the work of a speaker last week.

Makana has been a member of parliament for 11 years and appreciated all August house members that accorded warm welcome and pledged to work together with the lawmakers to bring peace into the nation. “I can see from their eyes, I can see from the way they talk, the parliament is more united than before,” he assured. On other hand, the speaker urged people especially youth to shun violence and work for unity of the nation.

“So I am urging the youth don’t waste your time, let nobody whose children are studying in America tell you to fight war while his children are studying abroad,” Makana advised.

 Last month Lino Makana was endorsed as speaker of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) in accordance with the provision on the agreement on the resolution of the conflict in South Sudan signed last year.

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Journalists Trained On Handling Refugee Issues In Nairobi

By Emmanuel Malual Makuach

 

South Sudanese journalists living in Kenya has joined some East African regional journalists for a weeklong dialogue under the theme “Refugees and East African media”

This media dialogue is generally based on the will that will enhance their skills in different field of specializations.

The training was organized by Deutsche Welle akademie (DW-Akademie) and sponsored by the Germany government. The media dialogue is among other pilot projects that focused on the African countries in relation to Refugees plights.

The training involved some experts from UNCHR, Media Council of Kenya (MCK) Moi University, Professor Duolo, who is also head of center for peace and Security studies as well as other experienced journalists from Kenya, Somalia’s and Ugandans. 

Media has an immense role in reporting issues that affect the society at large. In this case, according to the practitioners, East African Media had not done enough to curve down the plight and problems that affect refugees’ within the region.

For the past few years, regional countries had been in conflict, political and economic turmoil, as a result of all these havoc and mayhems, it resulted into vulnerable civilians to seek safe haven in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Sudan and Ethiopia.

Of recent, refugees from countries which have conflicts and political instability like South Sudan and Somalia, Burundi and Congo are among the top east African Countries whose state of stability is sabotaged.

Acording to organizers of the dialogue, East African media dialogue was meant to bring regional journalists to dialogue on refugees’ issues.

In the forum, it was found out that journalists are more focused on stories that can gain market rather than publishing stories that do not gain readership. Some journalists said editors do not like stories on refugees and this further made journalists not to literally deal with refugees’ stories. Recently, the mass migration of refugees in Syria, Afghanistan, including some East Africa countries had brought the attention of the world leaders to critically look into issues that trigger the conflicts in those respective Countries. As a result, journalists too had gained momentum to cover refugee stories.

 The DW-Academia group found it very vital to bring East Africa journalists together in order to dialogue as to why there are no stories on refugees. The response by Western countries for instant in accepting refugees in to their countries was a great move to safe the lives of innocent refugees fleeing conflicts and violence.  Prof Dulo cited that the issue of refugees is not recent stories but it has been there in Kenya since 1990 where government has created two camps in the country.

UNCHR representatives in Kenya came up with the statistics that South Sudanese refugees living in both Camps totaling to 89,000. According to UNHCR (United Nation High Commission for Refugees) the number of refugees is significantly increasing day by day. At least 600 to 1000 families crossing Kenyan border from Nadapal and a new site of hosting refugees had already been set aside for this growing number of refugees.

Duke, a UN spokesperson in Nairobi told journalists in the forum that, Dadaab camp will be closed as said earlier. “No change has been made but then there will be no force repatriations of refugees to their country” he said. But he emphasized that the process is solely voluntary. “We respect the human nature. Refugees are innocents’ people and they deserve immense respect” he stressed.

The training also highlighted the challenges of social media in relations to journalism. The trainer urged journalists to be objective and accurate when reporting their stories.

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TNLA Forms Committee To Amend Conduct Of Business

By Roger Alfred Yoron

 

The Transitional National Legislative Assembly TNLA has approved a seventeen member committee to amend the assembly’s Conduct of Business and Regulations, 2011. The decision was unanimously endorsed during the third “procedural sitting” of the TNLA yesterday.  The Parliamentarian nominated Paul Mayom Akech to steer the 17 ad-hoc member committee, deputized by Kom Kom Gengdit, Dengtiel Ayuen Kor as the secretary and Justice Edward Modesto as the legal adviser.

The members include Mary Kiden Kimbo, Beatrice Aber Samson, Scopas Lokobang, Abraham Biar Deng, Veronica Luis Renzi, Felix Sunday Khamis, Deng Arop Kuol, John Clement Kuch, Catharine Peter Laa, Mathou Kol Diet, David Oker and Andrew Ukony Ayom.

The committee composes of SPLM, SPLM IO, and other Political Parties.

TNLA speaker Anthony Lino Makana, announced the 17 nominees to the committee informing the legislators prior to approval that they have the right to “remove or add” members.

On Monday, while calling for formation of a select committee to amend the Conduct of Business, Makana urged member to be “likeminded” with the peace agreement.

 “I will go and sit and select some people which I will bring to this August House because now in this August House we have four parties and that means each party should own chief whip.  It will be chaotic if somebody is nominated and later the members in the committee disputed the selection,” Makana told lawmakers. “So you give me time, I will consult then I will form something which I will bring here for your blessings,” he added.

According to the speaker, the Committee consists of lawyers “so that they can be able to give certain view on legal thing which are there in Conduct of Business,” people with a lot of “experience” and then people with “diverse experience.”

Details of what the Committee will exactly be amending in the Conduct of Business Regulations remained unclear. 

A member of the Committee for Legislation and Justice in the Assembly yesterday declined to comment on the story when approached by The Nation Mirror. However the MP said the Committee Chairperson and the deputy are both absent.

Makana, while addressing the MPs during Monday’s sitting direct that “when a Conduct of Business is not in conformity with the Constitution of the country but conforms to the agreement then there is justice. 

This is the legal interpretation. So always put this in your mind.”   The Committee is given good two working weeks to carry out their functions and then report back to parliament. “When the house approves ‘everything’, we will print many copies,” the TNLA speaker asserted.

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South Sudan Refugees In Uganda To Reach 80,000 By Yearend- Aid Agencies

Our reporter

 

Some 70,000 South Sudanese have fled the country to Uganda since the recent outbreak of violence in July, and agencies are planning for an additional influx of 80,000 people by the end of the year, Norwegian Refugee Council has said.

Most people fleeing, according to the organization, are women and children who fled in the last 20 days than during the whole of 2015. 

The latest figures from the UN refugee agency report that an average of 2,000 people arrived into Uganda each day in the past few days.

“If the hostilities in South Sudan continue, people will flee to Uganda in high numbers in the months ahead. We urgently need funding now so we can scale up and respond to the people arriving. Additional sites already need to be built to host families who have arrived. The sites need shelter, toilets, clean water – and that’s just the basics,” said Enock Mambilli, the Norwegian Refugee Council’s (NRC) Acting Country Director in South Sudan.  “Aid agencies need $600 million to respond to the South Sudan refugee crisis in Uganda, but have only received 20 per cent of that so far.” According t the organization, women and children make more than 90 per cent of the new arrivals many of whom had walked for several days to get to the border, fleeing violence and insecurity along the way.

“NRC is working around the clock with the Government, UNHCR and aid agencies to register and provide relief to the new refugees in Uganda. We are constructing shelter and toilets. As people are arriving with little possessions, we will also provide household items like soap, mosquito nets and tents,” said Hosana Adisu, NRC’s Country Representative in Uganda.

Many South Sudanese are fleeing to Uganda for the second and third time. Taban first fled to Uganda as a refugee in 1997, where he spent 9 years. When he returned home in 2006, he was certain that he would never be displaced again. Sadly, Taban fled to Uganda for a second time in July.

“When we first sought refuge in Uganda, we were not as many as we are now. I have more family members with me this time round,” said Taban. “However, my wife and 7-month-old baby are stuck in Yei. People are finding it difficult to move. The stress about their safety is weighing down heavily on me.”

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Authorities Urged To Protect Rights Of Journalists

By Aleer David

 

When conflict broke out early July 2016, media experienced turbulent times with reports of journalists being killed, arbitrary arrests and detentions. 

But that has to stop, according to Executive Director of Agency for Independent Media (AIM), David De Dau.

 On Wednesday, the Media Defense Board, an institution formed through the initiative of AIM convened a meeting at Regency Hotel in Juba to discuss media situation countrywide following weeks of skirmishes between forces loyal to President Kiir and his former First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny.

Speaking during the meeting, David de Dau, Executive Director of Agency for Independent Media (AIM) decried the situation of media during the recent conflict and reluctance of people in authority to understand the impact of their decisions on the media fraternity.

“South Sudanese authorities need to know the impact of their decisions on the media family, what affects the media family affects the whole country” De Dau stressed.

He acknowledged that two journalists lost their lives in the recent conflict and what he could not disclose were the identities of those journalists.  One renowned journalist who caught the attention of international media was one John Gatluak, who manages Community Radio project of Internews. Gatluak was found killed in one Hotel South of the capital where two women were allegedly raped by unknown gunmen.

Also in his speech, Dau mentioned the arrest of Alfred Taban, Editor in Chief of Juba Monitor, who was arrested by National Security over the article he wrote calling for President Kiir and Riek Machar to step aside. Also the Editor in Chief the Dawn Newspaper and Michael Christopher of Arabic Daily Newspaper Al Watan was also arrested for allegedly misquoting the government on regional intervention forces.

In yesterday’s meeting, AIM urged all institutions in the country to respect and protect the rights of the journalists.

MDB comprises of representatives from South Sudan Bar Association, Ministry of Information, Ministry of Justice, National Elections Commission, Faith-based Organizations, Civil Society Organizations, South Sudan Political Parties Council, Information Commission, Media Authority, Broadcasting Corporation, Editor’s Forum, Union of Journalists, National Security Service, Women Bloc and Islamic Council. This institution is to offer advisory roles and to regulate and protect the rights of media actors. 

 On her part, Atong Majok, the Chairperson of Media Authority said their work has been hampered by lack of funds. She said that since the Authority was instituted, they have never had budget to operationalize their activities. 

“Our committees have not been formed for us to be receiving complaints from the media institutions, the budget is not yet there” Atong said. 

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President Kiir To Inaugurate Assembly Next Week Amidst Protest From Machar’s Camp

By Roger Alfred Yoron

 

President Salva Kiir Mayardit will inaugurate the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) on Tuesday next week, according to the Chairperson for Information and Communications in the Parliament, Oliver Mori Benjamin.

Mori told The Nation Mirror yesterday that a committee would be set-up “latest” yesterday Tuesday 10th to organize for the ceremony.

Members of the Council of States shall also attend the inauguration, he said. So far the Assembly held two sittings which according to speaker Anthony Lino Makana, are “procedural” stressing that TNLA is awaiting official inauguration by the president in order to discharge its normal duties provided for by the Agreement and the Constitution.

Morri said the Chairpersons of Specialized Parliamentary Committees of the former Assembly will continue to hold offices until new arrangements are made.

“Consultations are taking place between the leadership of the Parliament and the Parties to the Agreement in regards to chairpersons of the Committees. Will the TNLA continue with the present eighteen [parliamentary committees] or the number will be increased? If they will be increased by how many? Once they reach agreement, the new arrangements will take place,” he said.

So far, the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission which is responsible for monitoring and overseeing the implementation of the Agreement, the mandate and tasks of the Transitional Government of National Unity, has not made a public statement on the new developments in the Parliament.

On their part, the IGAD-Plus latest Communique signaled to work with the current setup of the TGoNU as it regarded leadership changes in the SPLM-IO as an internal matter. “A Leadership change in SPLM/A-IO is solely an internal matter and the region should work with the current setup of the TGoNU.” Through his spokesman, Dr. Riek Machar on one hand said they have welcomed the IGAD-Plus communique reached on August 5th in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

However, on the other hand, Machar and SPLM/A-IO members loyal to him have maintained that the recent developments in the parliament and the Country at large are “illegal.”

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Former Tonj South Commissioners Arrested

By Garang Abraham Malak

 

The former commissioner of Tonj South County Wol Mayom Bol has been locked behind bars with Andrew Kuach Mayuol, former Warrap deputy Sudan People’s Liberation Movement chair for allegedly joining Sudan People Liberation Movement-In Opposition (SPLM-IO).

Josephine Abuk the wife of Mayom Bol told The Nation Mirror on phone that her husband and one other were arrested by Governor of Tonj state, Akech Tong Aleu for allegedly joining SPLM-IO.

Abuk stated that her husband was ordered by governor Aleu on July 28 together with Mayuol to report to his office before forcefully arresting them.

 She said since the arrest, her husband with his colleague has so far spent more than 10 days behind bars without clear charges. “I think the governor might have taken my husband (Wol Mayom) to Malualdiit Police Station.  My husband is one of the accused members who were said to have joined SPLM-IO in Tonj State which is totally a lie.  The signature in the list of individual accused is totally different from his signature,” Abuk pondered. “Another issue behind my husband arrest is about Majakkore land, the land belongs to Fishermen of Malual and the governor says the land belongs to Ngok people as Wol has been settling this land issue with governor for long period” she added.

She reasoned that the issue of land might have also triggered the arrest and detention of her husband amid accusation of SPLM-IO membership.

Abuk reiterated that joining SPLM-IO in Tonj state has been used by the enemies as a cover to arrest and kill innocent citizens in State.  “I urge all authorities in Tonj State not to listen to lies label against Mayom joining SPLM-IO because the signature among the list does not belong to my husband,” she said.

 Adding, “I called every Tonj citizen to ignore and correct individuals who debates about Mayom joining SPLM-IO.  We are peace loving family and we want peace to prevail in our nation,” Abuk concluded.

When The Nation Mirror contacted Governor Akech to comment on why he arrested the said individuals, this was what he said; “These are security issues which needs you to consult security personals but not me” Governor Akech said before hanging his phone.

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Aweil’s new Mayor vows to improve the Town

By Kawac Deng

 

Simon Tong Deng, the newly appointed mayor for Aweil Town has vowed to improve Aweil Town from crimes, eradication of debris   as well as organizing Town’s markets. Speaking to the Nation Mirror, Tong said his first priorities are to address issues that affect the community such as rocketing price of food and non food commodities. 

He announced that local harvests has appeared in the Town, and that would bring down food prices gradually.   “I have visited Aweil Main markets, after   citizens complained with   shooting price of meat, non-food items and other food stuffs.  But now price started to decrease because some local harvests are being brought to the markets for daily consumption. These types are maize, cane and many more which accounted as New Year’s productions,” he said.

The mayor also added that he ordered traders to use recognized weighing machines by the ministry of trade and investment. Those who were caught   having the weighing tools were arrested and asked to put the scales in use soon after release.

 

Citizens have been complaining   about   traders   using   illegal weighing scales, which forced the government to arrest accused business people.  “We told them to use right ones that approved by the Ministry of trade and investment” the Mayor stated.

Tong was appointed to replace Andrew Lual Buol who was sacked by the Aweil state Governor, Ronald Ruai Deng earlier last month. 

A moved was explained by the government as normal reshuffling, meanwhile the ousted Mayor, Lual Buola accused some ministers of being behind his removal.

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SSCSA Pins Peace Partners For Undermining Peace Accord

By Chuty Anyar

 

 South Sudan Civil Society alliance (SSCS) has blamed the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) together with its peace partners for undermining the agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS). 

The Chairperson for the Alliance, Akuoch Ajang termed the approval of the protection forces by the IGAD Plus Summit as a violation to the agreement.

Ajang told journalists in a press conference that the government has failed to stick to the rejection of the intervention of foreign force into the country and that has violated the agreement.

“Government should now tell people if the agreement is not binding in which the civil population are much concerned to adhere to,” Ajang said.

“We the civil society hereby inform people of this Country that the agreement on the intervention of foreign troops in the country conflicts with peace agreement,” he stressed.

“We the alliance will never be part and parcel of the violation of peace agreement in exchange of initiating the all-out regional war in the country.  Bringing in military intervention or protection forces in South Sudan is not in line with the agreement,” Ajang said. 

He explained that article 3 of ARCSS stipulated that the agreement cannot be amended by the parties unless with at least two-thirds of the members of the Council of Ministers and at least two-thirds of the voting members of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission.  

He added that there is no need for the country like South Sudan to have more armies in its territory, arguing that the SPLA, SPLA-IO UNMISS and proposed forces cannot be in the same country.

Meanwhile he said South Sudan army can protect people of South Sudan including UNMISS 12, 000 peacekeepers.

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Top UN Official Demands Justice For Slain Aids Workers In South Sudan Conflict

By Majak Kuany

 

The United Nations Under-secretary-general for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien has called on President Salva Kiir to unveil justice for 57 aids workers killed in the country since December 2013.

“Today, the number of aid workers killed since December is 57 and many more are still missing. This is absolutely unacceptable, and I urged the president to take immediate action to end impunity that has prevailed to date,” O’Brien told journalists during the press briefing in Juba on Wednesday. The top humanitarian relief official reiterated the need for humanitarians to be granted free, safe and unhindered access to all people in need and for humanitarian workers and their assets to be treated with respect. O’Brien arrived in South Sudan on August 1, 2016 to see first-hand the appalling humanitarian situation and call for urgent action to alleviate suffering through safe access to services and resources with dignity. The visit came after the United Nation Security Council late last month extended United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to August 12, to make its membership to consider options on adapting the operation’s mandate amid renewed violence in the world’s youngest country.

He said last year, 27 of humanitarians workers lost their lives and many more were missing and unaccounted for. During his three- days visit, the UN official met with President Salva Kiir, humanitarian partners and members of the diplomatic community in the country and discussed the grave situation and ways to scale up the humanitarian operation. “I stressed my admiration for the unwavering commitment and courage of aid workers across the country. I paid special tribute to the non-governmental organization (NGOs) that are on the frontlines of humanitarian response,” He said. “I also met with UNMISS leadership to discuss the many challenges facing South Sudan and efforts underway by the United Nations to better protect civilians both inside its bases and beyond,” the official added.

He also paid visit to Wau and Aweil, where he meet with displaced and severely food insecure people and hear first- hand stories of their plight. Over two million people have fled their homes since December 2013. Some 1.6 million people are displaced inside the country, with more than 900,000 people having fled to neightbouring countries. According to UN agencies more than 60,000 people crossed the border into Uganda apart from 4.8 million people who are severely food insecure and a quarter of a million children are severely malnourished.

“Despite the violence, intimidation, and interference they have faced, aid agencies are determined to assist civilians across this country who have already suffered too much,” O’Brien said.

He concluded his remarks by appealing to international community to support aid workers in averting an even worse humanitarian tragedy in the world youngest nation.

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