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Juba City Council to register all foreigners

By Dach Agoth Mayen

Juba City Council is set to register all foreigners residing in the town in order to obtain accurate data of foreigners within its jurisdiction, Mayor Stephen Wani Micheal has said.

Wani recently paid a courtesy visit to a number of Payams under his jurisdiction including Kator, Juba and Munuki Payams in order to acquaint with situations in the residential areas and number of foreigners. He was accompanied by his two deputies.

In his remarks, he announced that the city council would launch registration of foreigners as part of the plans to understand the work being undertaken in the town.  He stated that the exercise would be done to provide protection in various locations.

 On the other hand, the Mayor also unveiled plan to form residential popular committees among the citizens in different areas in the town. He explained that the City Council would issue residential certificates through popular residential committees who would have best knowledge of residents. He pointed out that the committees would help and support the city council to combat crimes and insecurity in the town. He said his top priority was security and narrated that there would be a need to surge police numbers in town to bring down rampant insecurity in Juba. The City Council has been grappling since its establishment in 2011, with rampant insecurity in town and many attempts were made to stabilize the security situation. So far the latest plans by the Juba city council to launch the registration of foreigners and obtaining their data including their work, will be a positive step to re-organize Juba town into an orderly town and

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Save the Children Director castigates Violence as first recourse for conflict solving

By Emmanuel Thon

Pete Walsh the Country Director of the International Children charity organization, Save the Children, has castigated the violence that erupted in the United Nations Protection of Civilians (PoC) site in Malakal that led to the death of at least 18 people, injuring other 90 others. Among those killed include two staff members from the charity MSF. There are varying accounts about the exact cause of the violence, with some reports suggesting that it was sparked by a tribal feud inside the PoC.  In a statement seen by The Nation Mirror, Walsh said that, “This is a very worrying development indeed, and as Save the Children, we condemn any kind of violence, especially when it’s between or directed against the most vulnerable people in society – including women and children who are seeking protection in United Nations facilities.  We also condemn in the strongest terms the killing of the two humanitarian workers from MSF who were putting their lives on the line to provide life-saving services to people who need it most.” Walsh said in a statement. He added that attacks on humanitarian aid workers do not only violate international humanitarian law, they are also a direct affront to the sacrifices that humanitarian organizations are making under very difficult conditions to ensure that they continue providing life-saving services to the most vulnerable people in South Sudan.  “And let’s be absolutely clear: South Sudan can never prosper if violence continues to be the option of first recourse for resolving even the most minor disputes – that simply has to stop. If violence continues, then there is a very real risk of a return to full scale conflict, and that would make an already bad situation even worse – especially for the millions of defenceless children whose futures have already been put in jeopardy by the conflict.” Walsh said. He called upon the relevant authorities to provide sufficient security to people who are seeking safety in PoC’s and IDP camps.  The Malakal violence that was attributed to Dinka and Chollo youths has been condemned far and near. President Kiir last week condemned the attack but as quick to distance his government and the SPLA-IO as being complicit in the violence that led to the burning of peoples’ houses leading to displacement within IDPS camp.

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UNMISS says no evidence of chemical weapons used in Mundri

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has investigated recent reports alleging use of chemical weapons in Mundri but found no evidence so far for the use of chemical weapons, the mission spokesperson said today.

A number of online media including Nyamilepedia, Sudan Tribune, and Wangdunkon Media had cited rebel officials as saying governemnt forces bombarded areas with chemical weapons in Western Equatoria.

“We have been investigating reports of chemical weapon uses in Mundri, especially the United Nations Mine Action service. We have been visiting people in the hospital – there is absolutely no trace of the use of the chemical weapons,” said Ariane Quentier, UNMISS spokersperson.

She said one woman was admitted to the hospital with eye problems and two children with breathing difficulty suspected to be from smoke inhalation. She said they were treated and released, noting no signs of chemical weapons.

Ariane said the smoke inhaled by children could have come from either conventional weapons or tear gas, stressing not chemical weapons.

Separately, the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM) is reported to be working on an incident report about ceasefire violations in Mundri. The group met yesterday to discuss a report that has not yet been made public, though CTSAMM did not confirm whether the report was about Mundri.

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Aid Agencies construct base camps for humanitarian work

 By Daniel Majack Kuany

The International Organization for Migration [IOM] in partnership with International Humanitarian partnership [IHP], a voluntary network of seven European emergency management agencies as ways to alleviate and increase the humanitarian presence in deep-field locations within the country.

 In the Statement extended to The Nation Mirror newspaper indicates that the light base camps will allow relief workers to remain in areas of need for longer periods of time and support consistent humanitarian access.

“The tented camps provide accommodation and office space, as well as solar-powered electricity and sanitation facilities,” The press released reads in parts. Adding that IHP engineers and IOM technicians are deployed and set up each camp, this is individually managed by a host organization.

The UN Agencies mention that despite the signing of a peace agreement in August 2015, insecurity and humanitarian needs continue to drive displacement in South Sudan, where an estimated 1.69 million people are internally displaced. The majority of these are living in remote areas beyond displacement camps.

 “Accessing households in hard-to-reach areas is critical. As the crisis persists, families across the country are exhausting their coping mechanisms, experiencing multiple displacements and facing severe food insecurity. The light base camps are helping the humanitarian community to expand its reach to these communities,” said IOM South Sudan Chief of Mission David Derthick.

 Last month, IHP and IOM completed a light base camp in Melut, Upper Nile, to host nearly 40 humanitarian staff working in the nearby UN protection of civilians (PoC) site and other remote areas of Melut.

The agencies statement reiterated that IHP and IOM teams are preparing to construct camps in other areas, including Unity’s Leer and Koch counties and in Upper Nile’s Wau Shilluk, where IOM recently registered more than 20,400 internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host community members.

“Due to restricted access to Wau Shilluk during much of 2015, thousands of families fled to the nearby PoC site in Malakal in search of food and other relief assistance in July and August,” The statement further added.

 Since access to Wau Shilluk opened in October, many IDPs have returned. As such, the light base camp will enable sustained and effective relief operations that reach the communities where they live.

The Agencies further said that they are extending humanitarian aid in areas far from UN PoC sites, IOM also deploys frontline response teams as well IOM technical staff do travels to displaced and host communities to provide lifesaving health assistance and shelter and households supplies, as well as improved water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) conditions.

The statement noted agencies recent rapid respond operations by providing WASH assistance in Lakes and Jonglei and helped communities in Wau Shilluk to rebuild shelters.IOM is also continuing its humanitarian operations for IDPs seeking protection in UN PoC sites. While the population is stable in most sites, the Bentiu PoC in Unity continues to receive new arrivals, with over 1,700 IDPs arriving last week alone.

IOM was established in 1951 out of the chaos and displacement of Western Europe following the Second World War and it is mandated to help European governments to identify resettlement countries for the estimated 11 million people uprooted by the war; it arranged transport for nearly a million migrants during the 1950s.

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Increase in newspaper prices curtails information flow

By Daniel Majack Kuany

The Vendors and News readership in Juba have expressed numerous concerns over the latest increase of newspaper prices from five South Sudanese Pounds to 10.

The Nation Mirror newspaper, the leading information source and promoter of the freedom of expression in the country went out yesterday to gather various opinions from both distributors and readership to find the reactions. Variety of the opinions indicates the disappointment in the latest increase which they argued will curtail the information flows that educate the public.

Kiir  Akwang a news vendor operating at around University of Juba said he has been working in the field since 2012 before he could move again to Awiel and later return to pursue the same business. He said the business was profitable.  

 Akwang noted that, before the decision to increase the price of newspaper from five pound to 10 pound he used to sell around 700 to 800 copies of various printed newspapers in the capital but since the beginning of the week, not even a copy of some newspapers got bought.

 “There is nothing we are getting now after the increment to 10 pound. Since yesterday [meaning Monday] I have sold only 100 copies,” Akwang told the Nation Mirror in a brief discussion at his point of sale.

He cited that, it was only those papers with good information to the public that can sell slowly.

He acknowledged that newspapers operate at lose but still argued that the decision could be better if it was increased by one pound.

 However the printing cost has risen dramatically according to the latest rates from Universal Printing Company Limited UPCL, the only printing press in the country. Currently, the printing press charges between 6-8 pounds per copy that leaves vendors to move away with two pounds and newspaper companies with none.

A Reader who preferred to be identified as Aleu said the decision to increase the prices requires media practitioners to convene a meeting with media regulating bodies especially the Media Authority, whose members took oath of office recently. He said the media institutions could come up with resolutions on how the government can intervene and reach agreement with printing press companies for the sake of public welfare to get reliable information.

Upton Thon, A graduates from University of Juba on his part stressed that the increment of newspapers will greatly affect both the readerships and the newspapers owners as the operation cost could render them closed.  

“Now some people used to purchase nearly three[3] copies of each newspapers for him/her to get different news aspect at the cost of 15 pounds but now they  buy 3 at 30 pound given the current economic situation. Yes he may buy but still it will have side effect to his family at the end of the day”.

He reiterated that the business of the newspapers at the time of economic hardship will only depend on how good the papers can provide the public with reliable news into public domain.  

The decision to increase the newspapers from pervious price of five pound to 10 pound came after the Editors of all the operating English and Arabic newspapers held series of meetings since the devaluation of currency announce by the key financial institutions in the country last year.

The Editors sat last year after having been noticed by the UPCL about the decision to increase the cost of printing of newspapers based on the current economic hardship.  

Previously, as early as 2008 to 2010, newspaper   used to trade at two pound per a copy but after the decision to shut down the oil production in 2012 and introduce what was called austerity measures, prices increased to was instantly increase  to three pound.

Meanwhile, during the 2013 conflict which dragged the country into uncountable challenges, the newspaper business also drastically followed suit to increase the prices but later increased to five pound between 2014 and 2015 and currently to 10 pounds.

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Civil Society warns against tribal politics

By Chuty Anyar Michael.

Civil Society activist has warned tribes to keep away from politician who instigate fight for their personal interest in order to be accommodated in the government institution.

“Pushing innocent people to fight what they will not benefit in is bad culture embraced by the politicians” the Executive Director for the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) Edmund Yakani said.

 Yakani was speaking last week in Juba last to shed light on how politicians exploit tribal identity to instigate violence.

According to the executive director, politician use tribes as shield to fight for position in government institution. He warned that politicians are not transparent in decision making and can resort to conflict by dragging their tribes into war.

“The 64 tribes of South Sudan are loving and patriotic citizen who need this nation to be in peace but they are disadvantaged and  used  by the tribal politician who preach bad politics to win the positions that they need in the government by causing conflict between tribes,’’ Yakani stressed.

He explained that any crisis that happens in the nation result from people being used by politicians who hide behind the shadow of their communities and cause violence if they miss to win the post in the government institution.

He advised politician to encourage their tribes to create peace instead of attaining positions from bloodshed as he accuse politicians of instigating tribal animosities that cause people long suffering.  

“Tribes of South Sudan do not belong to anyone of us, politics and tribes are different entity which have different agendas,’’ Yakani said.         

He argued that nationality identity will be a problem among the people if the relationship between tribes is not harmonized. He stressed that different tribes struggled during the 21 years of liberation struggle in unity through peaceful manner.

“We need to reverse back and recall how we have been doing during the years of struggle. Let’s build our identity as one nation and put aside the strong believe that I belong to certain tribe and look others tribes as minor said,” Yakani stated.

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Aweil Health Science Training Institute appeal for Support

By Kawac Deng

The Aweil Health science training   institute has called upon interested national and international willing donors to support the facility to operate effectively’ after the Institution faced with unbearable factors.

The main challenges that face the Institute were shortage of fuel for the Institute electricity system, lack of Internet in the compound to enhance the capacity   of the trainers to prepare lessons as students were not able to join their lab lectures due to the lack of power in the facility.

Speaking to The Nation Mirror, the Aweil Health Sciences Training Institute Principal, Achier Adub, expressed high demand for donors and developmental actors to collect funds quickly to keep the institute alive.

“Currently we have started the courses last year but we are facing a lot of challenges. We need donors and those interested in supporting the institute should come with funds and they will find us ready to welcome their aids,” he appealed.

He said the   institute inaugurated since last year registered more than 120 students for the three Institute’s Courses specifically:  Midwifery, Clinical Officer and Nurse. The minimum   course duration for the courses   is three years with effect from a day when new students are admitted.

Adub   explained, “We basically have three courses: Midwifery, Clinical Officer, and Nurse, the minimum period for these courses is 3 years. We registered more than 120 students but we are still looking for additional students to join the school.”

According to the principal, the creation of other new states in former Northern Bahr el Ghazal wouldn’t affect the Institute because it is National Institution. He confirmed, “the creation of 28 states where Northern Bahr el Ghazal State was split into three separate states will not affect the Institution because it a National institution.

The school is a National Institute meant to scale up and promote health sector in the state. Few years ago, the state experienced major problems in human health due to the lack of health training facilities, health carders used to gain courses from other parts of the Country. The Aweil State authorities expressed pride to have the Institute saying that it would help the Government to train health practitioners in the main land.

The Government said students who will enrolled should be paid 400.00SSP to motivate them and promote their willingness to continue with the courses against dropout from the school.  Unfortunately some students complained that they were not paid  and they called for the Institute and Government authorities to solve this matter and to allow their allowances come at the right time.

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Order Establishing 28 states Is Irreversible - Nhial Deng

By Dach Agoth Mayen

The Government Chief Negotiator, Hon. Nhial Deng Nhial, said 28 states established by presidential Order No. 36 can never be changed and if there would be any change it should be upward increment. Hon. Nhial was speaking at Nyakuron Cultural Center in an occasion organized in honor of Tonj State and appointment of Akech Tong Aleu as Governor of Tonj. “The government stated it clearly that there is no going back on the 28 states created in the Republic of

South Sudan”, he said. Adding, “It has been a long standing demand of the people of South Sudan. President Kiir only promulgated this popular demand of the people”, he said. Nhial said that the government is consulting with the leaders of former IO and G10 that they can come up

with way forward without touching the 28 states.  Nhial also argued that 28 states have given to the people opportunities to administer over their respective states. He encouraged people of Tonj to embrace Tonj State without further demanding for more states from Tonj, stressing that the benefits of having one solid Tonj would only be realized in the future. Earlier some quarters within Tonj State demanded for additional states arguing that Tonj is bigger in

size and population than the other states established by Order No. 36. However, Hon. Nhial thanked President Kiir for preserving Tonj as one State and called on the community to appreciate the decision taken by the president.  “You the people of Tonj let us thank the president for his decision to make Tonj as one of the 28 states and for making Tonj as single entity… it is a blessing to us as people of Tonj”, he stressed. He explained that the benefit of making Tonj a one state will be realized only after two to three years to come and those who are not contended with this would appreciate it. The function was organized by Tonj Youth Union in Juba.

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War after two Years of independence was Immoral- Archbishop Paulino Lukudu

By Chuty Anyar Michael

The war that has been going on for the last two years was a bad starting point for South Sudan after gaining its independence, said the Archbishop of the Juba Catholic Archdiocese, his Grace   Paulino Lukudu Loro. The bishop made the remarks while addressing the general public in the welcoming ceremony of the three Governors of Jubek, Terekeka and Yei River States at the former Central Equatoria State Secretariat last year. According to Bishop Loro, there was no reason for a nation, which worked tirelessly day and night to get freedom and sovereignty to ultimately divide itself on tribal lines and encourage killings for two years because of political interests.  He said the nation should have learnt from the previous war and make the best stance out of that experience. The bishop urged the people of the country to start a new phase with the spirit of forgiveness and to receive the New Year by leaving behind grudges and work collectively to heal the wounds that might have been inflicted on individuals or communities during Mid December 2013 crisis. He appealed to the former officials of the Central Equatoria State government to maintain peace and harmony in their respective new states.  ‘’Let us leave behind our weakness and work together as people of one State.  You are still one as you will be gathering here in Jubek State, which will still serve   as the Capital City of South Sudan. You are three governors born among us to be our elder brothers, who will be leading us to the prosperity,’’ he said. “You are not parted; you are brothers from the same family, who can work under one banner of single identity to do better things for their families.” The Prelate encouraged the three states to cooperate with other neighboring states in order to maintain peaceful coexistence.   “Let us accept and love our states and our Government with one heart. God has chosen you through the voice of the people that you will govern in your three States from the mother Central Equatoria State,’’ Said Lukudu. He added that religious leaders will continue to pray for the new governors so that God showers His blessing on them and their people,” as you know that there are no States without God. Your three States are the heart of South Sudan as you are hosting the National capital.

As you will be Starting delivering services to the people of the newly three States, you start it with well arrangement of giving services to the people of your states equally so that your states will remain united,” said Loro. He urged   the governors to be exemplary in keeping the people united. “Let us not talk about boundaries between your tribes.  You live as one family,” he said.

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Eastern Lakes State Governor vows to fight for Justice

By Abraham Garang

The Governor of Eastern Lakes State Rin Tueny Mabor has stated that his leadership is going  to implement fully the SPLM’s Women Affirmative Action of 25 percent and that youth will be involved  in decision making on issues pertaining to the running of the affairs of the state as well as in the power structure of the state government.

Governor Mabor was addressing thousands of sons and daughters of Eastern Lakes state at the Freedom Hall in Juba, in an event organized to honor him for winning President Kiir’s trust by appointing him the governor of the newly created state. The governor pledged to work towards preparing the youth for job opportunities by making sure that vocational trainings and capacity building programmes are put in place with an aim of creating future leaders “Not only for the state but also for the entire nation,” He said that his government shall uphold democracy as a corner stone of his leadership. During the swearing in ceremony of the new governors, President Salva Kiir and his Vice President Wani Igga advised the governors to work to strengthen the SPLM party structures in their respective states by cleaning its image, recruiting new members in addition to fighting corruption that they (Kiir and Igga) referred to as a cancer that has pinned down the government and the nation. In line with this advice, Governor Tueny Mabor pointed out that preparation of SPLM cadres and organizing them in order to make the SPLM stronger at all levels, will be one of his administration’s objectives to ensure fair representation of the will of the people. The Governor of Eastern Lakes State, who is a Major General in the SPLA, asserted that his administration, in collaboration with the Law Enforcement Agencies, will work to ensure that the Rule of law takes upper hand and those Human Rights, enshrined in the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan 2011 and the SPLM Manifesto, are respected. “Justice and Equality before any court of law is paramount regardless of whether the accused is a native of Eastern Lakes State, South Sudanese from other states or a foreigner,” Governor Mabor said, adding that “freedom cannot survive in a society that does not strive for justice. Such a society is doomed to division between those whose freedom is backed by material wealth and those whose freedom implies merely a state of devastating poverty. Such a division may result either in social upheavals or dictatorship of the privileged minority.”

In line with the SPLM’s Vision of Justice, Equality and Freedom, Governor Rin Tueny Mabor, explained that the state government will work for laying a better foundation for the new Eastern Lakes State by distributing job opportunities equally to the qualified people of the three diversities of Yirol. “So that the government look itself in the face of people of Eastern Lakes State.”  Mabor said his economic development policy will be centered on developing agricultural activities such as farming, cattle keeping and fisheries. Included in his policy are road construction, provision of clean drinking water and electric power. He explained that to ensure development in agricultural sector, international investors will be wooed to seek their fortune in Eastern Lakes State. A conference for investors will be organized in the state whereby the investors would interact with the situation at the grassroots, he said. The state administration is going to discourage rural migration to the urban centers by implementing the SPLM Vision of taking towns to the people through agricultural development. “Eastern Lakes State being one of the richest  states in Agriculture will prioritize this field in order to implement the SPLM Vision by ensuring that both subsistence and large scale farming are initiated by attracting investors,” Said, Governor Mabor.

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Governor Phillip Aguer promises to fight ‘unknown gunmen’

By Chuty Anyar Michael

The newly appointed Governor of Jonglei State, Former SPLA Spokesperson, Col. Philip Aguer Panyang has promised to fight the so called “unknown gunmen” and to tackle food insecurity, which he said, contribute to the fleeing of the citizens from their areas, discourages and interrupts the settlement in rural areas and forces village population to settle in urban centers in the state. Governor Aguer was addressing the faithful, who attended the prayer at St. Stephen Parish in Jebel on Friday, marking the New Year. Speaking to the congregation he said, the insecurity has exposed the people of the state to hardships in towns as many of them had escaped from their villages and settled in the towns, especially in the Counties’ headquarters.

Philip Aguer won the trust of the Greater Bor Community who nominated him for the gubernatorial position among other two competitors from the same community.  

 He expressed his appreciation to President Kiir Mayardit for the decision of creating 28 states and appointing him as the first governor of the new Jongeli State. He also appreciated his state officials and the whole civil population of Jonglei   for the best support and trust they have bestowed on him.

The governor assured the people of Jonglei State, who have fled their homeland and sought refuge in camps inside the country and in the neighboring countries to come back home as his government’s top agenda prioritizes the issue of restoring calm in the area. “As you delegated me to be your governor for the newly created State, I will make sure that your trust in me will be rewarded with  making sure that 2016 will be a year of peace so that  people come back to their houses in the villages,” he said, adding that  “As the governor, my obligation is to assure residents, who have fled their areas because of  insecurity, to  come back to their areas and enjoy the peace as the whole  country will  be in peace,’’ he said.

 The governor asked the State officials to work together for the interest of their people and he stressed the importance of collective efforts of all sectors of the society in the state in making sure that agricultural activities are reactivated for the achievement of self-reliance in term of food security.

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