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Gov’t Approves 20 Million SSP To Renovate Children Hospital

By Chuty Anyar

 

The Government has approved 20 million South Sudanese Pounds to renovate Al-Sabbah Children Hospital following last month assessment made by Juba City Council team, the official has said.

The approval according to the official was made on Friday during the Council of Ministers deliberation.

Michael Lado Allah-Jabu, Speaker of Juba City Council Legislative Assembly said the government made the approval through the initiative from City Council. He said the City Council had visited children hospital last month and discovered dire condition of the hospital thereby recommending the soliciting of funds to reconstruct the health facility.

“National   government   has prioritized the country’s children hospital and that’s why they approved 20 million South Sudanese Pound to secure and embrace efficient treatment,” Lado said. He narrated that during legislators visit to the hospital in July the team found out that window glasses and ceiling board in the hospital got worn out including many wards roofing and offices.   “We found that the hospital has cracks everywhere making it unnecessary (sic) facility for children treatment,” he said.

Al-Sabbah Children hospital is the only   healthcare facility for   children owned by government to treat sick children nationwide.

He explained that the cash will be used to improve the facility to deliver health services to children. “Al –Sabbah   is one of important children hospital   in the Country,” the lawmaker stressed. Currently, the facility is the only children referral facility in the country and it is treating thousands of children amid lack of equipment needed to deliver services as required.

He thanked the transitional cabinet in the unity government for considering health as a priority. He also appealed to the ministry of finance and economic planning to urgently release the money as directed by the government.

Al-Sabbah   hospital was handed over to the government in 2008 by Kuwait Islamic State and is now under Jubek State Ministry of health.

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Gov’t Accuses UNMISS Of Targeting Its Forces, Tanks Destroyed

By Majak Kuany

 

The Transitional Government of National Unity (TG0NU) has refuted reports that government forces targeted United Nation Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) compound and instead accused the peacekeepers of opening fire on its troops.

 “The TGoNU forces did not target any UN Compound, nor did they attempt to prevent civilians from getting protection,” read the cabinet response.

On the contrary the cabinet stated that it was UN forces who targeted Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) soldiers on self defense to recapture its security checkpoint from opposition forces. “It was UN forces targeting SPLA soldiers advancing to recapture its post from the SPLA-IO and destroyed two T-72 tanks and killed several SPLA soldiers,” read the statement.

While on the revision of UNMISS Mandate, the Council recalled that the Mandate of UNMISS was reviewed in November, 2015, and that UNMISS currently has a force of over 12,000 troops. The cabinet underscored that fighting has come to an end and the security situation is returning to normalcy. Therefore, the Council sees no justification and strongly believed that the establishment of an Intervention Brigade will actually complicate the situation and increase insecurity.  As for the demand of the IGAD Council of Ministers to increase troops inter alia to secure Juba, the cabinet referred the regional body to  chapter two, article five of the agreement on the resolution of the conflict in South Sudan. The statement further noted that with the current improvement in the Security situation in Juba the Council again sees no reason for deploying intervention force. On opening humanitarian corridors, the TG0NU explained that humanitarian assistance and secure delivery corridors have always been a high priority policy of the government since the eruption of the conflict on 15th December 2013. “It remains a cornerstone policy of the TGoNU, which has been reinforced by Presidential Orders to all the Governors of the States of South Sudan and SPLA Commanders to remove illegal roadblocks and allow unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance to those in need all over the Country,” it adds. Adding that the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, in collaboration with the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC), has developed a plan of action to implement Chapter-III of the ARCSS on Humanitarian Assistance and Reconstruction.

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Parents Warned Over Alcoholism

By Daniel Laat M’ Kon

 

Local chiefs in Rumbek on Saturday warned parents over too much indulgence in drinking alcohol to avoid creating mayhem to their children.

Many chiefs attested to this reporter that many parents in the State have become addicted to alcohol to the extent that they forgot to give parental care to their children and that has separated many families with their children.

“In Rumbek, many children are living on streets because they lack parental guardian. Others are forced out of their homes and become thieves due to lack of care,” Chief Mading Deng of Rumbek East County told The Nation Mirror in an exclusive interview this week. Chief Deng underscored that many parents do not share with their children good ideas in order for a child to distinguish between good and bad habit as they grow. He stated that it has resulted to loss of respect from many children whose parents devote much time at drinking joints.

He called upon religious leaders to teach children words of God, to know the difference between good and evil deeds that can destroy human life and dignity. “Bible teaches a lot on how to respect elders and people of God and that is what our nation need from young people,” he said. “Many families are separated because of daily misunderstanding due to influence of alcohol at home”. The local chief encouraged couples to imitate the life of Jesus Christ for them to live a happy life on earth and asked the faithful to be honest in carrying out their mission.

Meanwhile Garang Chol Bok, a community police officer explained that people should learn to drink responsibly or reduce the tendency of over drinking and embrace spiritual teachings.

The officer said that authorities in the country are very much concerned about the current situation of the people and that it needed everybody to work for love and change.

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Eastern Lakes State Agriculture Minister Tour Farmer’s Cooperative

By Garang Abraham Malak

 

Eastern Lakes State Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Animal resources and fisheries, Hon. Philip Kot Job and his acting Director General, David Tong Koriom paid a two day visit to cooperative farmers’ groups across the State.

Minister of information Dut Makuct told The Nation Mirror yesterday that what the minister did was a great move towards solving the problem of food insecurity in the country which is the main problem the nation is facing.

Philip Kot visited Buk-mat farm, Greater Yirol women’s farm, Liet Akon farms of Pan-liet Payam, Madul farm and Buk-kat farm of Genggeng Payam.

Kot said the purpose of their visit is to acquaint themselves with credible information from the farmers about their achievements, challenges and ways of cultivation.

Monica Nyachut Arok a representatives from the national legislative assembly said farmers in the State are facing numerous challenges which need collective attention between farmers and the State government in order to combat hunger.

Some of the challenges she mentioned includes, lack of water sources, agricultural tools, insecurity caused by animals, lack of seeds, fertilizers and pesticides/insecticides.

Kot promised that in collaboration with the State government leadership they will invite investors to invest in the agricultural sector so as to improve the livelihood of farmers.

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EU Boost Funding For Humanitarian Response, €40 Million Released

By Aurelious Simon Chopee

 

The European Commission said it has released €40 million to boost funding for emergency humanitarian assistance for people affected by the crisis in South Sudan.

According to the Commission, the latest amount brings to €103 million the total support from the Commission for 2016.

The funding comes as the humanitarian situation worsens in the country, with more than 40,000 people displaced following the eruption of renewed fighting in the capital Juba earlier this month.

“The recent deadly escalation of hostilities in South Sudan is extremely worrying and threatens the very fragile situation in the country. The EU stands by those most in need caught up in the conflict” said Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management.

He said the emergency aid will address the overall deteriorating humanitarian situation in the country; provide crucial supplies such as food and nutrition, water and sanitation, protection and healthcare.

The recent violence has made the already fragile food supply and nutrition situation in the country reach critical levels in many areas. Access to medicine throughout the country is limited, with humanitarian organizations providing the majority of healthcare. “I urge all parties to respect their obligation to grant unhindered and safe humanitarian access to those in need. Furthermore, the systematic looting of humanitarian facilities is unacceptable and must stop immediately,” he stressed. 

In the statistic of overall humanitarian response in the young nation, the European Commission and Member States are providing more than 43%.

 South Sudan marked the 5th anniversary of independence in July 9th , yet it is already facing one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters.

Over 2 million people have been displaced both inside and outside South Sudan with nearly 5 million people out of a total population of around 11.2 million estimated to be severely food insecure according to UN reports. The South Sudanese conflict has also been marked by violations of international humanitarian law and serious human rights abuses.

Humanitarian access remains difficult and challenging. Before the latest upsurge of violence, 55 humanitarian workers were killed in the country since the conflict started in December 2013. The operational environment for relief agencies worsened in 2016 due to rising criminality, insecurity in large parts of the country and as a result of obstruction and taxation by authorities. The recent conflict has also been marked by extensive and systematic looting by all armed actors.

Despite having relocated some non-essential staff from the most affected areas in this last escalation of violence, EU humanitarian partners said they remain active in the field and already provided much needed life-saving assistance to the most affected. According to the Commission, the boosted funding announced today will allow them to respond to newly arising needs.

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SDA Wau Office Moved To Aweil Following Deadly Clashes

By Kawac  Deng

 

The Seventh day Adventists (SDA) church in greater Bahr el Ghazal region has relocated its head office from Wau to Aweil, following deadly clashes between government forces and rebels under escaped and sacked first vice president, Dr. Riek Machar.

Isaiah Malek Garang, the regional field president of the SDA said the office was moved to Aweil and will be there for a time determined by the leadership, avoiding to say when the church management will decide to transfer office back in Wau. He said, “Our head office is moved from Wau to Aweil, we did this because, Wau incidents has affected around communities including the church administration. In the process we lost valuable tools and asserts, as several were looted amidst incidents”. Hundreds of SDA church members in greater Northern Bahr el Ghazal hoped that the church headquarters be situated in Aweil, because of the fact that majority of the church members are hailing from Aweil. “This is what we have been looking for long time, to have Field main office in Aweil. Let us pray hardly so that God brings other more blessings,” the church believers welcome the progress.

Conflict erupted in Wau in June last month between rival forces of President Kiir, SPLA and rebel army who claimed to have connection with former first vice president, Riek Machar. The church leadership decides to relocate the office in Aweil, saying that security is stable in the area. The church authorities call on worshippers to donate funds in supporting   of the church’s mission in the region.

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Bul Community Calls for Release of detained Generals

By Aurelious Simon Chopee

The Bul Nuer Community of Northern Liech State say two Generals hailing from their community, Gen. Stephen Buay Rolnyang and Joseph Manyuat Manyzol, are being detained illegally in SPLA General Headquarters in Juba. Both Generals served in SPLA 4th infantry division under sector one command according to a press statement released by Bul Society South Sudan, a community based group. The statement pinned Northern Liech State Governor Joseph Nguen Monytuil for being behind the arrest of the two Generals. It stated that the governor arrested the generals for allegedly despising his protocol and restricting his movement in the new state.

“Mr Governor  distress and felt jealousy by putting  disgusting allegation that the two Generals Buay Rolnyang and Manyuat Manyzol ignore his constitutional  protocol in Bentiu  that called the Generals to be insubordinate in manner of not respecting him” the statement read in part.

The statement signed by Michael Tuak Toang, Chairperson of the Community and his deputy Simon Kai Yaka, further accused the governor of undermining the reconciliation process within the society. “Bul community is very pleased with the recognitions mechanism that was made by His Excellency Salva Kiir Mayardit, for his trust and confidence towards Bul Community who have stood firm with the legitimate government and constitution” the Community release said. “Bul Community denounces ethnic tension that engulfed the nation for almost three years, that’s why Mr. President placed the trust in three Major Generals who hail from Bul Community in the recent deployment, Div 4th under command of General Stephen Buay, Div 6th under command of General Manyang Mayak and div 5th under Command of Thayip Gatluak” they further elaborated. It stressed that the reward for their effort has been shattered by the Governor by locking behind bars the very commanders who have worked tirelessly to restore law and order.

“How can Nguen Manytuil turn the balance score Card or (Strategic relationship between community and President) in to displeasure accusation and then resentment to undermine this confidence by president?” they asked.

“These are Malicious and groundless accusation which would not even be recognized by any competent court in South Sudan. He doesn’t know even reconciliation instead he just divided the Bul Community and we will not accept it”.

It further stressed that the detention of the two generals leaves the community in shock and they feel cheated. “Our community in USA, Australia, Canada , East Africa, South Sudan and various countries abroad have condemned this barbaric allegation labeled against these two Generals” they explained.

They called on the country’s leadership to intervene in order to prevent the community from disintegration and division.

“Bul Nuer community are and were loyal to the SPLM/A system since General Stephen Buay Rolnyang, General Manyang Mayak and Late General Philip Bepean Machar defected and Mutinied against the rule and system of the oppressors in Khartoum in 1998 and later they were followed by Peter Gatdet defection in 1999” the statement said. The Nation Mirror was not able to independently verify the claim and was not as well able to contact the governor for his response to the accusation.  

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Media Authority To Meet National Security Over Journalists’ Arrests

By Aurelious Simon Chopee

The newly constituted Media Authority said it was planning to meet the Director General of National Security to discuss the issue of arrests of journalists in the country. 

Ms Atong Majok, Acting Chairperson of the Media Authority told The Nation Mirror Newspaper on Thursday that they had written to the Director General of National Security Services awaiting appointment to meet on issues pertaining to the treatment of journalists.

“We really feel sorry for what has happened for the second time. Last time when the issue of Affendi was out; we thought when he was released, it was the response from our voice. But we are still looking for the chance and we have sent a letter to the office of the Director General of the National Security and he is supposed to call us soon, may be tomorrow or next week to discuss actually on this issue”    

This followed a press statement by two media organizations; AMDISS and UJOSS expressing shock over surge in cases of abuse against journalists in the country. Over 12 cases involving threats, intimidation, detention, kidnapping, shooting and torture of journalists have been recorded in barely four months from late December 2015 to March this year, a record high, according to Association for Media Development in South Sudan (AMDISS) and Union of Journalists of South Sudan (UJOSS).

The media fraternity described the cases of torture and dumping journalists in a cemetery as a new trend which is dangerous to the promotion of freedom of expression in general and freedom of media in particular.

“Crimes of this nature against journalists also constitute crimes against the rights of ordinary citizens or the general public to know and access information” the press release on Thursday said.

The media organizations detailed the arrest of writer for Al Taaber Newspaper, Joseph Afendi last December and release in early February 2016; however were astound to learn that the same Affendi went missing for two days on March 4 only to resurface on March 7 2016, beaten, tortured and dumped near Hai Malakal Cemetery in Juba.

Similarly, an opinion writer with Al Maugif Arabic Daily Newspaper Joseph Chan Awer was found unconscious on Tuesday March 1 2016 morning at a Cemetery along Juba-Yei road in a bad condition.

In Wau, a radio technician working for State owned South Sudan Radio was reported to have been shot and wounded by an unknown gunman besides attack on Miraya reporter in the same town by five armed men, while in Yambio, a radio journalist was also reportedly detained and later released. “This trend, which has newly emerged, is dangerous to the promotion of freedom of expression in general and media freedom in particular, as it grips journalists with fear and uncertainty within the media profession” the release stressed.

The local media based organizations urged the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Justice to credibly investigate the cases which they described as “horrible crimes”, find out perpetrators and hold them accountable.

Besides, the National Legislative Assembly’s select Committee on Security and Information are urged to speak out and ensure the safety, security and protection of journalists in the country.

The Media Authority, a body whose mandate is to oversee and regulate media, journalists in the country was established by law in 2013 after President Kiir assented to the Media Legislations. However, appointment of the board members was decreed in 2015 and swearing in was done early this year.

The Authority has a mandate to regulate media and oversee its development. Currently, the body has not yet secured an office and established required institutions including recruitment of Managing Director due to financial constraints.

In her previous statement during an acquaintance visit to AMDISS after swearing in, Ms Majok promised that no journalist again will be arrested by the security organs without their consent. With their plans to discuss with the security, we are yet to see the effectiveness of the Media Regulatory body, which is expected to be independent by law.

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Gov’t has the primary responsibility of protecting its people-UNMISS

By Our Reporter

 The spokesperson of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan Ariane Quentier has said that people should stop blaming the UNMISS entirely whenever there is a security lapse that result in the death of people like what happened in Malakal a fortnight ago. “It is the primary responsibility of the national authorities and law enforcement agencies to protect their population. If there was peace in this country, people would be protected by the authorities, and would not have to seek shelter and protection with UNMISS.” Queniter said. She was speaking on Wednesday at a weekly press briefing where a number of issue such as discrimination and stigmatization of people living with HIV were tackled. Below we bring you a slightly abridged version of the press conference where different journalist asked questions.

 

Justin Lynch (Freelancer): Could you please elaborate on the government statement to allow access for humanitarian assistance?

Ariane Quentier, UNMISS spokesperson (AQ):

According to the Government spokesperson and Information Minister Michael Makuei, following the Council of Ministers last Friday, and here I quote the minister: “the government will take stern measures against anyone found obstructing the movement of humanitarian convoys.” This statement followed the call made to the government by both the UN Secretary General and the Assistant Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs during their visit last week to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid. The UN need to access areas to support people in need, and we need that now ahead of the rainy season, not in six months.

 

Justin Lynch (Freelancer): Why CTSAMM (Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism) is not reporting publicly on these violations of Freedom of Movement (FoM)? Is there a model being used to report to the public on this issue of UNMISS lack of access?

AQ: CTSAMM is the body responsible for monitoring and reporting on ceasefire violations directly related to the implementation of peace agreement. CTSAMM is not meant monitor violations of the Status of Force Agreement ensuring FoM, which has been signed between UNMISS and the Government. We have our internal system, we are monitoring FoM violations, and we have repeatedly called the government to respect FoM.

 

Justin Lynch (Freelancer): But why isn’t the UN reporting to the public? Is it possible to get any concrete figures on the latest SOFA violations being reported by the UN?

AQ: Security, operational and humanitarian issues remain UNMISS priority. Violations have taken place by all sides and everywhere in the country.  UNMISS said it loudly. UNMISS does not have anything to hide and again, the UN senior management, both in South Sudan and in New-York, have repeatedly stated the need of access for humanitarian aid delivery. This was reiterated to the government but also publicly a number of times to the media. FoM is a major issue. And no we are not publishing numbers. We are monitoring, we are engaging with local and national authorities in the framework of our priorities which are operational, security and support to the delivery of humanitarian assistance to people in need.

 

Waake Simon Wudu (Voice of America): UNMISS reported lately that it couldn’t access Western Equatoria because of the instability of the area. What is the situation now?

AQ: CTSAMM spent some time in Mundri last week to investigate ceasefire violations. As you may know, UNMISS has a Temporary Operating Base (TOB) in Mundri and we are able to patrol in some parts of the region. We are engaging with the authorities to have additional access, something I will not comment any further.

 

Waakhe Simon Wudu (Voice of America): Is the lack of FoM committed by other parties? What are the main areas where this is an issue of concern?

AQ: We have reports of restrictions of movement from all parties and in all parts of the country although, I am not aware of issues of access within the last days.

 

Adol Majur (The Stance): My question is to Mumtaz and Lole. As you mentioned, South Sudan has the highest rate of illiteracy in the world. So what are the programs you put in place to reach the population and raise awareness among the communities in remote places?

Mumtaz Mia, UNAIDS Program advisor (MM):

The South Sudanese population is much dispersed and therefore difficult to reach. Today, we can only reach 6 percent of the people who need treatment. In order to inform the population, we work with local organizations, civil society and NGOs by providing materials. Back in 2010, a study revealed that only 27 percent of the population in the country had some knowledge about HIV. Another challenge is the minimum healthcare in South Sudan but indeed, the biggest one remains improving knowledge and raising awareness.

 

Adol Majur (The Stance): You said that courts in South Sudan can condemn persons tested positive for having sexual relations? How do you explain that to the population?

MM: There is no legislation for taking to court a person who is HIV positive.

Lole Laila Lole, Chairperson of the South Sudan Network of People living with HIV - SSNeP+ (LLL):

There is no policy saying that people being positive are criminals. Of course, if the transmission of the virus through sexual intercourse is done purposely, that’s a different story but when the person doesn’t know his status, there is no law to render a judgment.

Evelyn Letio, Chairperson of the National Empowerment of Positive Women United - NEPWU (EL):

 There is no ground for taking someone to court for being HIV positive. If the court decides that the person should get tested, this is again a discrimination because you cannot force someone to be tested, it is not compulsory. Allow me to add that 70% of the infected population are women and children. I will tell you the story of Maria to illustrate this fact (see attached). This story shows that infected women are victims of double discrimination, as women but also as HIV positive. Stigmas and discrimination destroy our lives, prevent us from accessing treatment and force us to remain silent and that’s the biggest problem. If we don’t speak up, HIV will continue to grow.

AQ: HIV is a ticking bomb, especially because of the ongoing conflict. This will be a major issue in 10 years and it could become a huge epidemic if not addressed now. That is the reason why it is very important to raise awareness. This could be the next catastrophe when peace comes and I am very happy to use this forum as a platform to raise this issue.

 

Richard Sultan (The Dawn): My first question is for UNMISS. Coming back to the lack of funding, are you confident you will get more funding ahead of the rainy season? The second question is to Evelyn Letio, did your association provide legal backup to defend Maria’s case? And finally to Mumtaz, there is no policy to take HIV victims to court. What about if it is a case of rape?

AQ: We have 6.5% of the entire humanitarian funding needed for 2016 available so far. We are still hoping to get more funds, including for the delivery of humanitarian assistance before the rains come. In this respect, USD 220 million are urgently needed. Our biggest hope is peace for all these issues not to be issues anymore.

MM: Gender based sexual violence is a big issue; legislation is needed to protect the victims. UNAIDS is cooperating with the Ministry of Gender together with UN agencies, civil society and NGOs on the Child Act and Family Act but these policies are hard to implement because of the current conflict.

AQ: With the ongoing conflict rape is unfortunately a far too common occurrence and a major vehicle for the spread of the disease.

 

Emmanuel Tombe (M.B.C TV): What are the financial resources needed to combat HIV?

MM: I don’t have specific figures with me but I would be happy to communicate them to you later. There is a national HIV response plan for 2013-2017 but this budget is only 30% funded. The Global Fund provides USD 40 million over a period of two and half years, and the government has allocated USD 22 million per year, this also includes the contribution from UN agencies.

 

Samir Bol (The Mail): Due to the economic situation, people cannot afford to buy condoms. What are the other means of protection available?

MM:  The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) provides free condoms in South Sudan, through the Ministry of Health, health facilities and other NGOs. Thanks to the International Organization for Migrations (IOM), the distribution is also possible in Malakal and Bentiu.

EL: The South Sudan AIDS Commission is also distributing condoms, and so do we. The problem in South Sudan is that men do not want to use condoms.

 

Michael Mayor (Sout El-Shaab Arabic Newspaper): Regarding the peace process, SPLM-IO does not want to come back to the country unless their troops are being transported to Juba. Is the UN putting a system in place to bring back opposition forces to the country? And on Malakal incident, is there an investigation being conducted?

AQ: AS per the peace agreement, UNMISS is assisting and supporting the peace process at the request of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC). So far, no request has been received. Regarding the Malakal incident, of course, there is an internal review in process but I will not comment on it since it is ongoing.

 

Justin Lynch (Freelancer): Do you have an updated death toll for Malakal? There were some reports that SPLA soldiers were involved in the clashes. Do you have more information on that? Do you have a timeline for when the report will be released?

AQ: According to Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), the latest death toll was 18 dead plus, six more bodies found in the days following the clashes. Regarding men wearing SPLA uniform, the language used by the UN Security Council is very clear. There is “credible evidence that men wearing SPLA uniforms have entered the compound.” We are currently clarifying the issue with the local and national authorities. I have no timeline on the publication of our review and I do not know if it will be made public. We are in the process of putting elements together and you will understand that I cannot comment further on this ongoing review.

 

Adol Majur (The Stance): The government said that UNMISS failed to act quickly causing death of civilians in Malakal. How do you justify that? Why do such incidents always happen in South Sudan and not in other countries?

AQ: First of all, let me remind you and all listeners that it is the primary responsibility of the national authorities and law enforcement agencies to protect their population. If there was peace in this country, people would be protected by the authorities, and would not have to seek shelter and protection with UNMISS. Let me also remind you that the case of South Sudan is unique. What UNMISS did when opening its gates in December 2013 is unprecedented. With the conflict, up 200,000 people flocked to our bases. This was unprecedented, in scope and scale. Civilians feared for their lives, and were seeking physical protection. It is something UNMISS is proud of, having saved 200,000 lives. UNMISS also prevented more deaths from happening at the onset of the conflict. But it has been a challenge to protect civilians on UN bases, usually on flat ground next to airports, with poor drainage and lack of sewage system, hence prone to floods and stagnant waters with the associated water-borne diseases, the worst of which is cholera.

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Citizens to be included in monitoring of Ceasefire violations-JMEC

By Aurelious Simon Chopee

The Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangement Monitoring Mechanism is set to include citizens in the monitoring process of the ceasefire through receipt of complaints and allegations from members of the public through writing and phone calls, Deputy Chairperson of Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, Francois L. Fall announced yesterday.


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Fall was speaking during the launch of US sponsored National Peace Centre in Juba yesterday.

In his remarks, JMEC Deputy Chairperson stated that it was important to consider the views of ordinary citizens in the agreement, stressing that the agreement will be incomplete without participation of the ordinary people.

He said stakeholders must do more to ensure that people are consulted.

“I am pleased that we are making some progress in this regards. I am glad to announce that the CTSAMM, which plays a crucial role in monitoring the ceasefire, will very shortly this week , have the means _in writing and by telephone__ to formally receive from ordinary citizens, organizations and civil society, complaints and allegations related to the violations of the permanent ceasefire, which will be investigated where deemed credible” he said.

The JMEC Deputy Chief said it was important to embark on inclusive peace process that brings all stakeholders on board.

“I agree wholeheartedly that an inclusive process is what we should strive for” he stated.

He said he intends to visit parts of the country to interact with the people and to tell them more about the realities of peace in the country. He also said he would ensure that all voices are reflected in the peace process.

Fall equated the conflict that befell South Sudan to Ebola that ravaged the West African Nation of Guinea where he came from killing thousands of people. Coincidentally, Ebola outbreak in West Africa happened the same year when conflict broke out in South Sudan. However Mr. Fall said the differences between the two is that war comes as a choice that can be avoided.

“Unlike disease, war is a choice. Peace too is therefore a choice. Peace is only meaningful if it includes everyone. And while there only ever be but a few signatures on the pages of any agreement, __people signing on behalf of others__ our responsibility as participants in the implementation of the peace process compel us to listen, to consult, to include those who are not always at the meeting table” he stressed.

While the JMEC Deputy commends the Civil Society Organisation for speaking out, he encouraged them to continue without giving in. He said the organization should speak independently so that peace comes whether being formally asked or alone.

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CEPO says airlifting SPLA-IO forces to Juba will accelerate peace

By Chuty Anyar Michael

The Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) has welcomed the latest commitment by Troika Countries to airlift SPLA-IO Forces to Juba. The Troika Countries; United States, Norway and United Kingdom  recently committed to transporting members of the SPLA-IO security team from Pagak to Juba in order to push forward the implementation of the peace agreement and form the transitional government of national unity.

Speaking to members of the press on Saturday in Juba during the 3rd Oversight Observation Report on security arrangements implementation, the Executive Director of CEPO Edmund Yakani praised the initiative to airlift the forces of the SPLM/A-IO and expressed hope that it would lead to the formation of the much awaited government of national unity.

“This press conference is to brief you on our 3rd oversight observation report as you know we CEPO have been engaging and monitoring the implementation of peace Agreement,  this report is only  concerned on security arrangement,” said Yakani.

He expressed frustration over several failure to bring  forces of Dr. Riek  Machar  to Juba  which  has derailed prospect of the formation of government, but was appreciative of Troika’s intervention which he was upbeat will lead to expeditious implementation of the deal.

Yakani urged both parties to respect permanent ceasefire as he highlighted various accusations of continued attacks in Western Equatoria States. He added that attacks on Malakal PoC site was a violation of ceasefire and lack of protection of civilian by both parties.

 “The military commanders on the ground should be the people to blame for any further violation of ceasefire. what did they tell their soldiers, and  in army the line of duty and conduct can go per the orders; following the hierarchy  as soldiers cannot decided   and work on their own unless they are told,” said Yakani.

On demilitarization of major towns, he explained that it was necessary to take away mistrust between forces and to ensure safety and security for civilian. He said it was hard to label any armed group loyal to the government or SPLA-IO as militias for what he called mixture of politics and military matters within communities. He added that politics is too much associated with the process of demilitarization.

Yakani advised the opposing factions to brief their forces to avoid confrontation before the coming in of First Vice President designate, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, while he urged Troika to speed up the process to bring the forces to Juba by at least March 1, 2016.

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