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Journalists in a four day training on the promotion of sustainable peace

By Aurelious Simon Chopee

Konrad Adeneur Stiftung (KAS), a German Non-Governmental Organization Political Foundation, working in the field of democracy, good governance, rule of law and development in collaboration with the Association for Media Development in South Sudan AMDISS on Tuesday kicked off a four-day training workshop for journalist on nation building and promotion of sustainable peace. The workshop organized at Juba Quality Hotel, brought together journalists from various media houses to interact and share ideas in a forum in order to understand what role the media can play in bringing sustainable peace and promoting dialogue within the country. Experts on the subject were drawn from experienced media practitioners from Uganda, including Dr. William Tayebwa, a long time media man and head of department of Journalism and Communications at Makerere University, Kampala, and Moses Odokonyero, an experienced practitioner in media conflict sensitive reporting and Dr. William Hai Zaza, Professor for Mass Communication at the University of Juba and appointed Chairman for Public Broadcasting Corporation.

Addressing the opening session, the Manager of AMDISS, Michael Duku, said the workshop was an initiative to continue building the capacity of media practitioners in order to deliver effectively in their area of work. He was upbeat that training would enable journalists to discover talents and compliment their ideas and knowledge for the good of the public and the nation, urging media workers to make good use of the forum. On his part, Oliver Modi, Chairman of Union of Journalists of South Sudan (UJOSS) praised KAS for taking time to include South Sudan journalists in its program. Modi said, UJOSS is seeking to partner with many organizations in order to build capacity of journalists for the better. He said with the assent of the media laws; the country has become number 11 in Africa to have media legislations enacted. “Media structures in South Sudan are complete with establishment of the three media institutions; The Media Authority, Public Broadcasting and Information Commission” he said.

He urged journalists to utilize the laws governing the media in order to inform the nation in accordance with the regulations. He stated that the laws give constitutional rights to access and disseminate information, to the public.

However, he lamented the reluctance of the government operationalise the media institutions. South Sudan enacted Media Laws which were assented by the president since December 9th, but the appointment of the officials to man the three media institutions were made this year. Currently, the officials have not taken the oath of office thereby making the laws and the institutions not operational.

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vUNITAR organizes five day capacity Building training

By Daniel Majack Kuany

United Nations Institute for Training and Research [UNITAR) organized a five days’ workshop that started on Monday at Juba Regency Hotel-Juba. Mihoko Kumamoto, UNITAR Head, Hiroshima Japan office and South Sudan, said UNITAR South Sudan is a project development and implementation fellowship programme which is a five months –long initiative being undertaken with the support of the government of Japan and United Nations Development Program [UNDP] in collaboration with the government of South Sudan through two lines ministries of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development and Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Mihoko Kumamoto said the project brought 20 fellow participants through competitive selection process from 15 Ministries, giving each ministry one, one from Juba City Council, four from Civil Society Organizations and five from Non-governmental Organizations [NGOs]. She noted that among the 20 fellows, eight are women from these various ministries and organizations.

Kumamoto pointed out that the programme aims to directly impact the knowledge, skills and attitudes by offering three workshops- two in Juba, and one in Hiroshima in Japan only to South Sudanese professionals in both the Public Sector and Civil Society Organizations. She highlighted that each workshop will be linked by training modules and participant-led projects. 

The opening Session of the training was graced by Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, the Minister of foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and the attendance included the Japanese Ambassador to Juba, Masahiko Kiya, UNDP country Director, Balazes Horvath and, Ambassador Alier Deng Ruai the Undersecretary Ministry of Cabinet Affairs among others.

UNITAR boss said the training main purpose is to promote indigenous capacity development and ownership as well as to build professionalism.  Barnaba Marial Benjamin expressed his happiness to UNITAR for considering gender equality when selecting the participants. 

He argued that it is the role of civil servants to be mindful of how they constitute the establishment of capacity building for all.

“For us to continue and precept, we have to encourage gender equality in our country so that South Sudan, without educating our women, we can never go ahead,” said Marial.

Meanwhile Japanese Ambassador, Massahiko Kiya said he is very pleased to witness the launching of UNITAR first Training Projects that is supported by Japan Government and United Nations Development Program [UNDP]. He said he believes that the project is very important for South Sudan as a young country with aspirations and good vision to establish strong institutions that can be built by good leaders. 

Ambassador Kiya believes the program will bring good opportunities for many young South Sudanese to have a look at Hiroshima [Japan] and see how a devastated place can be developed tremendously with in years. 

“I believe this program will train and create the key national change agent like Hiroshima would like to develop. I hope the selected South Sudanese fellows will be a hope for all South Sudanese and will acquire skills to shape the peace through this program,” Ambassador Kiya told participants The five months-long initiative that is supported by UNDP and Japan Government will focus on key strategic pillars, namely Peace Building, disbarment, human security and building capacity with the intention of sustaining peace. 

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Hunger reported in Aweil North County

By Kawac Deng

The commissioner of Aweil North County has revealed that the hunger levels in the area have reached fever pitch. The County found in the far North   of Northern Bahr el Ghazal state shares a border with Sudan’s East Darfur state.

The county Commissioner, Atak Diing Wol said they need assistance from the government and humanitarian aid   organizations that are operating in Northern Bahr el Ghazal state to save the situation from deteriorating further.

 

‘‘Aweil North County will face hunger this year, because people have tried to cultivate their crops but crops were failed due to shortage of rains. I appeal to the Government and Humanitarian agencies to hurry up and donate food items to the host communities in Aweil North County,’’ Wol told The Nation Mirror.

The commissioner also said that roads of Jaach and Majok Dengdit where food commodities from Sudan to South Sudan enter the county   are were closed by the Government of The Sudan. He stated that few traders smuggle goods to South Sudan but they (goods) cannot be sufficient for the citizens of the county.  He appealed to the Sudanese government to consider opening the roads so that life goes back to normal in the county. The lack of enough food in the state forced the Governor of Northern Bahr el Ghazal state Major General, Akot Deng Akot to ban the sale of sorghum from counties to Aweil and outside the state. 

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Three day old baby abandoned in Gudele

By Mathok Ayeldit, Juba

An unidentified woman has abandoned her newly born baby in Gudele Block seven a Juba suburb. The police officer, William Andrew and local residents in the area, told The Nation Mirror Newspaper that the newborn baby girl was abandoned under the tree without any documentation about her and her mother.  The neighbors who discovered her after hearing persistent crying alerted the police Emergency Response Team which took her to Juba Teaching Hospital for medical attention. After receiving medical attention, the girl was handed over to Regina Anthony, Staff at the ministry of commerce in the Central Equatoria State, Juba.

She said that some people have donated to her some money to buy clothes and for feeding for the baby.  She said however that she needs any support to look after the baby.  “We as the family who is in short- term own the baby are appealing to our government and the child social welfare organizations or anyone of goodwill to help in caring about the kid.” Regina said. 

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MP calls for the protection of People’s rights

By Abraham Garang

The Chairperson of Legislation, Legal Affairs and Human Rights, in the Council of States, Aldo Ajo Deng says that the rights of citizens to life is very essential and must be a concern of everybody in the country.

Aldo who was speaking to The Nation Mirror in his office said that the situation in the country has cast a dark shadow on the Rights of the citizens to have food security, adding that poverty has become a problem that has infiltrated into communities leaving people with nothing to call their own.

According to Deng, there are permanent rights which must be of concern of government such as the Right to education, employment, to own property and to earn a living.

“These basic rights should be of concern of all of us. It should be seen together with war and violence. Violence comes and goes, peace comes and can go but there are permanent rights which must be of concern to the government. The right to life, the right of an individual to live a healthy life, the right to education, the right to employment, you see. These are the basic rights,” Human Rights Committee Boss said.

He stressed that all these rights must be given strict attention by the government.

Aldo Ajo Deng explained that many people tend to talk much about political rights casting eyes on the basic human rights. He lamented the extent that crimes have penetrated the nation in big cities and towns, pointing out the forces entrusted with the task of protecting people and their properties are weak and advocating for empowering the judiciary. “In our country, the crimes being committed by individuals are outrageous. Law enforcement agencies have no necessary devices to deal with the criminals. Arresting people, processing investigation and taking them to courts are difficulties that face the agency”, he argued. Ajo suggested that the prevailing situation, in terms of crimes, need the country’s leadership to come up to handle, reorganize and strengthen law enforcement agencies by giving it necessary tools and facilities to deal with the crimes. Otherwise, he warned, “the crimes being committed are expanding and increasing to the extent that one day they may not be handled,”.

He said, putting much blame on the government is not enough, and explained that the solution lays in building law enforcement institutions and providing necessary support to the judiciary, by giving it (Judiciary) the facilities needed for its work. He said it is vital to make sure that the judiciary operates independently.

According to him, South Sudan has got Laws similar to those used in the English Speaking countries worldwide, that could curtail crimes. “Let us see the human rights and humanitarian laws issues with our own eyes because the country is not  developed enough like the countries in  the Western World . Simply we want to feed our people”, he said. 

Deng argued that the people should concentrate on safeguarding the basic rights, adding that the young people must be given the right and chance to acquire knowledge desired for the nation building process.  

“We are at the bottom of all rights and we must get out on our own. Without that the country would break down like other countries in the region”.

Commenting on the conditions of detention facilities in the country, Aldo Ajo Deng said, “The Prisons are in bad shape as they are congested. The facilities built during the British Rule longtime ago are very old and not enough to host ever increasing number of inmates,”  When asked to comment on the case raised by Chol Kiir, the lawyer of John Agou and seven others detained with him accused of forging the signature of  President Salva Kiir to withdraw money from the Central Bank, Deng argued that People should not talk much about the case now as it is (case) is still under investigation. According to him, the investigation process takes time in order to gather substantial information needed to avoid miscarriage of justice. 

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Western embassies in Juba welcome AU report; urges parties to act on its findings

By Our Reporter

The European Union Delegation, the Heads of Mission of Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, The United Kingdom and the Heads of Mission of Canada, Norway, Switzerland and of the United States of America have commended the efforts of the African Union in South Sudan and welcomed the release of the AU Commission of Inquiry report into the early stages of the conflict. In a press release seen by The Nation Mirror, the foreign embassies said that “This is a serious report and all parties should take its findings and recommendations into due account as the South Sudan peace process moves forward,” The statement added that the reported and ongoing widespread human rights violations against civilians are appalling and it is not tolerable that ceasefire commitments are being flouted. “Accountability for crimes committed, including for violations of international humanitarian law, in the course of the conflict and reconciliation are essential to lay the foundation for sustainable peace,” The statement added.  

It added that as the recent IPC study shows, all parties urgently need to lift obstacles that prevent access of humanitarian organisations. This is crucial to avoid the looming famine in certain regions of South Sudan. “The European Union Delegation, the Heads of Mission of Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, The United Kingdom and the Heads of Mission of Canada, Norway, Switzerland and of the United States of America will continue to support efforts in this direction and call for rapid, complete compliance with the terms of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan,” The statement added. The AU Report on the South Sudan conflict was released on Tuesday last week with many revelations and recommendations. Government has disputed some aspects of the report like the assertion that what happened in Juba in December 2013 was not a coup. 

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Teachers trained in comprehensive sexuality education

By Alex Tulyakira

A total of 70 teachers and teacher educators are to benefit from the Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSO) facilitated by United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the government of South Sudan through the Central Equatorial state ministry of Education Science and Technology within the next two weeks.

The online training whose first batch enrolled on 19th October this year is intended to benefit teachers and teacher educators in the East and Southern Africa (ESA) region who carry the responsibility for teaching Comprehensive  Sexuality Education (CSO).

According to Castarina Lado –the course facilitator and senior staff at UNESCO, the course is a fulfillment of the agreement reached at, in Cape town in South Africa in December 2013 by 21 East and Southern African (ESA) member states to combat HIV and AIDS, reduce early and unintended pregnancies, delay sex, and to reduce risky behavior among young people. She further elaborates that all ministers of education from the member countries agreed to integrate Comprehensive Sexuality Education in their school curricula in order to achieve the above objectives.

 According to Winnie Aduonga a participant from Yei TTC ,”the training is good and very important . ‘It’s such an interesting program, I like

it.”   The online training has attracted teachers and members of the Non Governmental organizations from the counties of Yei River ,Kajokeji ,Juba ,while others came from as far as Jonglei State .

“ We were allocated 70 slots but so far less  than half have turned up .Some are dropping out after a day or two. We are appealing to school heads to allow teachers to come for this training because they need the skills to deal with sexual education that was incorporated in the new South Sudan curriculum.”

The next batch of participants is expected to begin on Monday 2nd November and it will last for five days upon which, participants will receive certificates. South Sudan is grappling with high levels illiteracy, teenage pregnancies, early and forced marriages and high HIV prevalence rates. The training is funded by the Swedish government (Sida),USAID ,among other American organizations.

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South Sudan forms Human Rights monitoring committee

By Aurelious Simon Chopee

The Cabinet on Friday  approved the formation of the standing National Human Rights Forum to monitor daily human rights record in the country in a bid to assure the international community of its commitment to human rights charter.

The Minister of Justice Paulino Wanawila presented two memos of Human Rights Forum and African Youth Charter that were both approved although with some reservations.

“The Human Rights body will be composed of a number of ministries from South Sudan and will be engaged in making policies and continuously incorporating human rights issues in the ministry so that each ministry will have records and monitoring and evaluation mechanism on how the ministry is performing in implementing issues to do with human rights” Dr Martin Elia Lomuro, Minister of Cabinet Affairs told journalists after Council meeting.

 “I think this is a very good development for us because we have been under severe pressure from the UNSC on human rights reports from various agencies, from UNMISS, from other NGOs concerned with human rights, so having his particular forum, that will have two bodies; the ministerial body that will make policies and the technical body that will analyze and give guidance on the technicalities of human rights will be of importance” he stressed.

He said the standing committee will be forwarded to the National Legislative Assembly, and hoped that it is approved to monitor human rights locally on daily basis.

On the memo on the African Youth Charter, Dr Lomuro said the Council has approved the accession of the country although he said there was reservation on article 16 of the charter.

The provision of Article 16 makes reference to the freedom of youth to identify their reproductive and health needs but the Minister of Cabinet Affairs said, “We interpreted reproductive needs to mean our youth could if they wish could to show or have hormones that suggest that they have a tendency towards gayism or towards lesbianism that it should be accepted but we said no, in our culture it is not acceptable that’s why we have reservation on that” he said.

However, he said the Charter gives a lot of benefits to the youth especially on social, economic and political development. He said the government considered the charter to be important because South Sudan has a large population of young people.

“So this is a great day for the youth, hopefully the parliament will also approve it and you should then enjoy your rights as youth” he stressed.

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Survivors of the deadly Jalle cattle raiding clashes tell ordeal

By Anyang John Kur

The survivors of the Friday Jalle cattle raid have been brought to Bor Hospital for specialized medication attention.

The hospital administration told The Nation Mirror that a military helicopter brought in 10 injured men, among whom 4 are sustained serious bullet wounds and the 6 have minor injuries.

Abraham Anyang one of the survivors said they were over 27 people both civilians and soldiers in vehicle they were travelling to follow their raided cattle. “The attackers ambushed us, they shot the driver. After that they shot at us from all corners as if we were in the middle of a war zone” Anyang said while on his hospital bed.

It was hard for the either the state or County authorities to immediately reach the victims of the attack to the hospital on Thursday due to lack of means of transport. It was Friday morning that the helicopter was ordered from Juba under the request of the State government to airlift the injured to Bor for treatment, according to local reports.

The director of the state hospital Abraham Gai told The Nation Mirror that they all do whatever it takes to see that the injured receive appropriate attention.

“The real status of the patients will be seen as days pass, some of them are still unconscious,” Gai said.

Mamer Ruuk the Commissioner of Bor County said he has not yet spoken to the leader of the Greater Pibor Administrative Area David Yau Yau on the matter. However some youths said the youths from Murle might have decided to raid Bor County as a revenge for an earlier raid by suspected Bor youths in Pibor. The Commissioner of Bor County however has not confirmed neither denied this claim from the local youths who saw the stolen cattle being distributed among the participants in the raid.

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Readers excited about the reopening of The Nation Mirror

By Aurelious Simon Chopee

As The Nation Mirror Newspaper resumed printing today, the readership and customers have welcomed the decision of the security organs to reopen the paper to resume its role in informing the public.

On Saturday, this reporter went to the market in Juba to solicit the opinion of the public on the reopening of the newspaper and these are some of the views;

“It is really a good development on the side of media industry. I used to read this paper but when I heard that it was shutdown, I became stranded, although I read other newspapers, it really could not substitute my prime source of news. I really welcome The Nation Mirror back” said one Philip Akon at Custom Bus Park.

“I am worried that it might not get customers as it used to as we have many newspapers at the moment. I used to sell and get good money when The Nation Mirror was operating those days, when it closed down all customers used to ask only about it. But I think when it comes back with diverse news many customers can still trust it” said one Kenyi John, a vendor at Customs market.

“The Nation Mirror is really a reliable source of news, getting exclusive information that the public need, I think if it continues with its former spirit, it will regain its past glory. Sometimes I do not know why it was closed.” another citizen Benjamin Lokwang said.

Meanwhile Lily John found near the Ministries Complex said she has great trust for the paper and would be the first person to buy when the paper prints.

The Nation Mirror Newspaper was ordered to cease printing in February 2015, after publishing a story that authorities said lacked in facts, but later wrote an apology. The Management since then has been negotiating with the security to allow the paper to resume operation, the process that turned out to be successful last week.

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GPAA welcomes creations of 28 states; pledges to engage the youth


By Achol Achien Kiir

Greater Pibor Administrative Area on Wednesday welcomed the creation of Boma State and called on all South Sudanese to use the states as a chance to create youth development programs.

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Sam David, the spokesperson for the GPAA said the creation of new states will create job opportunities for the youth and will reduce cattle raids.

“The creation of new states will help our youth in the country to get jobs. When the youth are engaged in development programs, they will not be able to engage in the issues of cattle raiding and killings,” David said.

Suspected armed civilians from GPAA are often accused of abducting children and stealing cattle from their neighbors – a charge, authorities vehemently deny.

David, in a rear admission of existence of raiders in GPPA, urged neighboring states to embrace peace through the decentralization of the country by creation of more 28 states.

“The decision by President Salva Kiir Mayardit to create 28 states according to geographical areas is in line with Dr John Garang’s slogan of taking towns to the villages,” he said, referring to the late SPLM and South Sudanese leader who died in 2005.

“As Boma State community, we welcome and support the creation of 28 states; we will now get equal services from the national government waited for; for a very long time,” he said.

David boasted of enormous resources in Boma State that are not tapped due to insecurity in the area.

“When we go to the resources which are here in the state we are not worried. (The national) government will benefit and state government will also benefit,” he assured without naming the rich which resources he was talking about.

 

GPAA welcomes creations of 28 states; pledges to engage the youth

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