Archive for September, 2011


Posted on September 30, 2011 by Editorial Team

LETTER FROM JUBA:

From Marvis Birungi

No one can blame President Salva Kiir Mayardit if he looks unhappy in this snap. With barely three months in power and after more than 25 years of war, a rebellion is the last thing he needs.

Barely three months since coming to power and heading what is still Africa’s youngest country, South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit is facing a rebellion after a rebel movement was formed this week and went on to call for his ouster. The news is a major talking point here in Juba this week and first appeared on South Sudan News Agency, a pro-government news website.

The NDF is led by one Jack Deng whose details still remain a mystery. It joins more than three other insurgent groups in the just independent South Sudan. The country experienced a number of militia groups after the April 2010 general elections where the latter accused the government of rigging elections in favour of the ruling Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM) candidates. Among these groups is one led by George Athor, a former gubernatorial candidate in South Sudan’s Jonglei State. Athor signed a ceasefire with the government early this year but broke it a month later when he attacked two of the national army’s bases in Jonglei state.

Athor accused the army for launching the attack first but said he was ready for further peace talks. He still remains the most active militia in the south. Officials here accuse the Khartoum government of arming and supporting him. He was also accused of last month’s tribal attacks between the Murle and Lou-Nuer tribes that left more than 600 people dead and thousands displaced in Jonglei State. The group’s statement says it will unite all the fighting groups in order to fight for the change of the regime. Other notorious groups included the South Sudan Liberation Army led by the late Gatluak Gai in Unity State. Gai was killed by his deputy after a disagreement within the group. Insurgents Gabriel Tanginya, Yau Yau and Peter Gadet surrendered to the army. Like most of the other disgruntled groups, NDF accuses the SPLM-led government of corruption, tribalism, insecurity, mistreatment of foreigners, spiralling inflation and nepotism.

This is how some locals here think about the new group:

Patrick Riruyo, an employee with United States Aid International Development USAID in Juba describes the group as confused and without concrete reasons to defend their rebellion, while Deng Bol Aruei lines with most officials that NDF is another long stretched arm of the Khartoum government. Joseph Eluzai says: “Expect a handful others over time.” It is predictable, he adds while Mary Lasu calls it a ticking time bomb. Mugabe Benjamin says: “I know “they” (referring to the government in the south) are going to be quick to point fingers to Khartoum but what does Khartoum have to with Deng? We will give it another 22 years and sub-divide the country again.”

“The hippo and the crocodile will enjoy the game. Both know the waters well,” says Alunyo Alfred Lukooya. Alas for the cats and camels, he adds while Agok Anyar says: “All this shall come to pass. Many have tried but ended up
coming back with no proper reason than demanding to be given V8 vehicles, mansions and school fees for their many children.”

Juba Teaching Hospital need help from you.

Another talk in town is about South Sudan’s main hospital, Juba Teaching Hospital. The hospital is currently overstretched with flowing patients suffering from different diseases, an incident many attribute to the returnees from Sudan that led to an increase in Juba’s population and heavy rains. A visit at the female Emergency medical ward shows that conditions are so over-crowded; patients are forced to sleep on the floor. The patients, most of them adults, are on intravenous medication for malaria treatment, although there are also diarrhoea, heart and liver cases.

Sarah Joseph Ladu says she brought her baby girl of eight months two days ago for malaria treatment but then she also got infected. She says that she only managed to get attention several hours later on her day of arrival. Diana
Kepsolsol, the nurse in charge says the ratio of nurse to patients is one to more than ten instead of 1:6. Like other basic services in South Sudan, the health system is struggling to get to its feet after the 20 years of war left it in shambles.

Nevertheless, these improvements to this vital service during the past six years have been slow. Malaria, diarrhoea and respiratory infections still kill people at a higher rate here than almost anywhere else in the world. This is because, IN PART, many families live far from functioning health centres and lack clean drinking water. At issue as well is the fact that many centres have little or no drugs as is the case today at Juba Teaching hospital, says nurse
Kepsolsol.

The recent flow of returnees from North Sudan into Juba, combined with the heavy rains have contributed to the over-congestion which is higher than usual cases of malaria and diarrhoea cases in health centres. Deputy Minister
of Health, Dr Yatta Loli Lugar admits that there is a problem, and while he does not offer any immediate solutions to the over-congested hospital, he says preventative methods can help. Locals here say that South Sudan’s health care system must be given immediate attention in order to improve the standard of living of its people. There is a push in some sectors to begin shifting money previously allocated for funding the military towards improving health care.

People here are keenly talking about Sudan’s rush to apply for East African Community (EAC) membership ahead of their government in Juba. President Omar al Bashir of Sudan wrote to the chairperson of the summit of EAC heads of state, President Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi expressing his country’s interest in joining the EAC. Basher’s application has already been submitted to the partner states and a meeting was held to consider several issues pertaining to the integration process.

Although some say Sudan would boost EAC credibility, others strongly argue that South Sudan should be given first priority to join the EAC for the role played by neighbouring Kenya and Uganda during the liberation struggle. Uganda is said to have heavily supported South Sudan with weapons and even some men to the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army (SPLA). Michael Ladu says South Sudan shares cultural ties with the rest of the East African people and that it has built a strong economic presence in the country already. Elija Malok Aleng, former Governor of the Central Bank, said South Sudan informally accepted the EAC because citizens from East African countries are running almost all businesses in the country. He added that South Sudan should formalise the joining of the EAC by signing the treaty.

Democracy and governance specialist Daniel Wuor Joak argues that it is not yet time to join the EAC because South Sudan does not have a competitive industry. Joak says: “Free movement of people and goods would not benefit South Sudan.” Joak suggested that South Sudan should sign as associate membership and later on when it develops it should apply for full membership. But the Vice Chairman of South Sudan Business Union, Aggrey Esbon said there is no problem in joining the EAC because all economic activities in South Sudan are done in partnership with East Africa. He stressed that South Sudan should initiate and intensify its production of goods.

marvis.birungi

http://www.thelondoneveningpost.com/barely-three-months-in-power-and-kiir-faces-calls-for-his-ouster/2/

New Rebel Movement Emerges in South Sudan; Calls For The Overthrow Of The Government

Soldiers of the South Sudan Liberation Army; SSLA is one of the rebel movements already operating in South Sudan. Photo: molochik.ru

September 25, 2011 (SSNA) — A new group calling itself “the National Democratic Front” has been launched in South Sudan calling for the overthrow the current government of the Republic of South Sudan accusing it of corruption, tribalism and sliding into the abyss. It pledged to unite all the fighting groups in South Sudan in order to fight for the change of the regime. The Front is led by Jack Deng of whom little has been heard of before.

The following is the full text of the statement issued by the “National Democratic Front”:

25 September 2011
The Founding Statement of The National Democratic Front

The birth of the Republic of South Sudan was a moment of great joy. It was the moment the Southerners have been struggling to attain for centuries. The independence of South Sudan is not an end in itself but the beginning of the long road for the attainment of peace and prosperity for our people, who have been kept behind by the war. All these need a government that is forward- looking and rises to the enormous challenges posed by the birth of the new state.

However, the situation in South Sudan is slipping into an abyss unless drastic steps are taken to stop the slide. The country is gripped by many problems, for instance:

1. Rampant Corruption:

Corruption in South Sudan is a cancer that has evaded treatment. It permeates all levels of government from top to bottom. The widely spoken of corrupt ministers in GOSS who many believed would be relieved came back in force in the government of the new state. The message to the people is that those in charge do not care about their feelings. Thus, nothing short of the change of government will ever eradicate corruption.

2. Insecurity:

The country suffers from many forms of insecurity and nine out of the ten Sates are affected in one way or the other. Former SPLA officers are fighting the government, tribes are fighting each other, sometimes with the abetment of the government such as the most recent Murle-Lou Nuer fighting where more than six hundred people were killed. The life of a human being has become so cheap in South Sudan! A government that cannot provide security for its citizens is not worth being in office.

3. Tribalism and Nepotism:

National unity is the safety valve for the progress of our country. Unfortunately, tribalism and nepotism have become the order of the day threatening the fabric of our unity.

4. Treatment of Foreigners in Juba:

Since 2005, many foreigners from the neighbouring countries have come to Juba, the capital of South Sudan, to render much needed services. However, a lot of them have been subjected to mistreatment and extortion; some lost their lives and others are languishing in jail without charges. All this is done by security agents. The South which has enjoyed the hospitality of the neighbouring countries and others in the region during the difficult times of war, the least expected of it is to reciprocate by treating the foreigners well.

5. The Spiralling Inflation:

Lack of clear economic policies has led to uncontrollable rising prices in basic commodities, especially the staple foods making them beyond the reach of the common citizen. For example, in Unity State, a bag of dura (90kg), which is the staple food, sells at 1,600 SSP when the minimum wage is only 300 SSP!

For all these failures and more, the National Democratic Front is launched today to spearhead the struggle to rid the people of South Sudan of this corrupt, inefficient and tribally-oriented government. The NDF shall:

1. Strive to unite the ranks of all the groups fighting in the bushes of Southern Sudan,

2. Upon the removal of the current government, establish a transitional government of national unity with the following objectives:

(a)- work out and implement a special socio-economic revival programme for South Sudan that will reverse the current decline of the economy and render basic services to the people.

(b)- pursue a sound foreign policy based on our interest and promotes regional and international co-operation.

(c)- Build a truly national army of South Sudan, both in mission and composition.

(d)- Carry out a complete overhaul of the security and law enforcement agencies to be for the service of the people and their protection.

(e)- hold a National Constitutional Conference in which all the political parties will take part. The NCC shall discuss and agree on the principles of the permanent constitution of the country, and set the time for holding the general election for the Constituent Assembly that will promulgate the permanent constitution.

The NDF is open to all South Sudanese who believe that South Sudan deserves better than the present government which is like a rudderless ship. We call upon all the masses of our people to stand with us in order to bring the suffering of our people under this misguided regime into a speedy end.

JACK DENG
Chairman of NDF

 


The struggle for freedom from the grip of the Khartoum government has been the most unifying force for South Sudanese. Now that this struggle has borne fruit and there is no more north to blame, what will unite South Sudanese is the desire to build a nation with a shared identity—Dr. Jok Madut Jok of the United State Institute of Peace.

By PaanLuel Wel, Washington DC, USA

On the occasion that South Sudanese were marking World Peace Day in Juba—September 21st, a special report entitled “Diversity, Unity, and Nation Building in South Sudan” was released by Dr. Jok Madut Jok, a South Sudanese professor of African studies in the department of history at Loyola Marymount University—USA, and a senior fellow at the United State Institute of Peace in Washington DC, USA.

The report was prepared and released as “part of a series of U.S. Institute of Peace reports on state building in South Sudan, [focusing] on how the new state will manage its cultural diversity with a view to bringing all its ethnic nationalities together, forming a national identity that can reduce the level of suspicion and ethnicity-based political rivalry.”

The report argues that new emerging countries such as the Republic of South Sudan invariably find it hard to achieve long lasting peace and meaningful national unity. Frequently, this elusiveness to attain peace and order is due to total failure by the new leadership to avail “expected dividends of independence.”

Mostly, the report maintains, this failure to deliver is occasioned, for the case of South Sudan, by two main factors: those from within which are sometimes self-inflicted by those in power and those from without and of which the new leadership may or may not have control over, the looming border war with the north, for example.

Among the findings of the report is that “poor infrastructure, a volatile political climate, limited capacity for governance, weak state institutions, financial crises, violent ethnic divisions, and an uncertain regional and international political atmosphere” are some of the evils that are seriously threatening the transformation of South Sudan into a viable nation.

And despite the initial excitement and anticipation towards the new nation, the report has it that “claims of corruption, nepotism, exclusion, and domination of government and business by some ethnic groups” have substantially dampened and “erode public’s enthusiasm for the upcoming transition” into nationhood.

Another issue addressed by the report is the apparent “lack of a respectable constitution that [would] spell out a clear social contract between government and citizens.” While there is currently a transitional constitution in place, the report notes that, owing to the opaque and controversial nature of its preparation and promulgation, it has not received universal mandate from the citizens. Hence, it has failed to act as a unifying symbol that all South Sudanese could be proud of.

But above all, the main stumbling block to a long lasting peace and unity is ethnic strife and rivalries. For instance, the author informs us that “ethnic relations in the city of Juba have been extremely volatile due to accusations that the Dinka, South Sudan’s largest ethnic group, have dominated the government.” This is couple with the unflattering “claims of violence by Nuer and Dinka–dominated army personnel; and suspicions of land grabbing by people who are not indigenous residents of the town.”

Because this “widespread suspicion of ethnicity-based exclusion from the national platform and other aspects of South Sudanese national life” do come “with tragic consequences for national unity, human life, and development programs,” the main problem facing policy makers in Juba, the report observes, is “the question of whether the historical experiences—a negative unity driven by opposition to the north—that have long united the old south will endure in the new south, enabling the young country to become a unified political, cultural, and social entity—in short, a nation.”

In addition to internal problems cited above, the report identifies “activities of the Khartoum government on the borders” especially those that fuel and sustain “local militias, rebel movements, and tribal warfare” within South Sudan’s borders. The fighting in the regions of Abyei, Blue Nile and Nuba Mountain is also threatening to draw in the Republic of South Sudan, particularly the oil-producing regions where security is paramount for the economic viability of the new state.

What is the outcome of these combined forces? The disillusionment from within and the fear from without, the report asserts, have produced disunited and tribalized citizens in the Republic of South Sudan. While there was no question that most South Sudanese had “remained focused on the need for unity of purpose and ranks [during] their struggle for self-determination,” after independence though, “the country has found itself with only a hazy notion of a collective national identity beyond its unified opposition to the north, making its viability as a nation a matter of speculation.”

Ironically, the report implies that the continued menacing threat from the north might be what is keeping the South from implosion. (Although of a different nature, it does sound like a unity by force that was rejected during the referendum.) Interestingly, to the outsiders, South Sudan appears to have been “driven more by the euphoria of independence from Sudan, the political pronouncements of its leadership, and the history of an extremely violent conflict with the north than by its practical abilities as a nation-state.”

So what should be done to avert the seemingly impending disintegration of South Sudan along ethnic line? The report stresses that a “country seeking unity, collective national identity, and stability must have a clear policy.” According to the report, South Sudan’s government should “envisions the new nation as standing on four pillars needed to hold up the country: political unity, a strong and disciplined military, a strong economy and services delivery, and a vibrant civil society.”

Political unity is feasible through concerted political cultivation and construction of South Sudanese collective identity out of the present conflict-ridden cultural diversity. And “it is the task of [the] leadership, government, civil society, and private enterprise to do it by turning South Sudan’s cultural diversity into a national asset.”

The report correctly concludes that “the most obvious impediment to national cohesion is exclusion from the national platform, especially exclusion along ethnic lines” which regrettably precludes South Sudanese from having “pride in their nation.” Therefore, the author emphasizes, for those South Sudanese leaders who are preoccupied with how to turn South Sudan ethnic and cultural diversity into a useful national asset, fair “representation of all ethnic nationalities and creation of a broad-based government is central to South Sudan’s transition to nationhood.”

One more promising factor, among others in the report, is that the recognition that national education, a disciplined national army, a national anthem and flag and the celebration of “the country’s diverse culture through cultural centers, museums of heritage, and national archives” would act as “unifying symbols in the face of [divisive] ethnic and cultural diversity” in South Sudan.

Of course, not everyone will gladly welcome the report without faulting it. One main criticism obviously would be the usual claim that these types of “special reports” are nothing more than academic papers produce and consume by academicians and the organization[s] that funds them. Critics would maintain that as the academicians and their sponsors marvel over this latest special report on South Sudan, ethnic divisions and fighting would go on unabated.

Mainly, this is because the work might never get accessible to the relevant people—those that are actually involved either in the fighting or in the decision to fight. And while the work would indubitably make a great reading among the government ministers in Juba, and South Sudanese intellectuals, it is hard to gauge the extent of its distributions so far, much less its apparent impact, time notwithstanding.

The second criticism would be about the assumed South Sudanese unity during referendum. On the surface, it is easy to conclude that an overwhelming vote for separation was a signature of national unity. Dig underneath enough, however, and you would discover that that “full 98 percent vote in favor of separation, rejecting a unified Sudan” was not about unity of purpose and intents as much as it was about scoring points against one another and political face-saving by others.

That is, the SPLM/A, having lost the New Sudan Vision on the plane that killed Dr. John Garang, had no alternative but to settled for separation while the non-SPLM/A members—especially the militia groups who fought alongside the north—voted for separation, in spite of their marriage to the north, to score points against the SPLM/A. Contrary to the report, it is arguable to say that South Sudanese were never united in the past, not during the war, and of course, not now in the new nation.

In spite of these criticisms, the report is special in the sense that it was produced by a South Sudanese rather than from another know-it-all, preachy foreigner telling South Sudanese how to put their house in order while she/he has never been inside that house. Much still, Dr. Jok was, till recently, part of the government of South Sudan where he was serving as undersecretary in the government of South Sudan’s Ministry of Culture and Heritage. His research and findings are therefore well informed, timely and relevant to the urgency of negative ethnicity in South Sudan.

But most importantly, the report gives us—South Sudanese—a new insight into and a feasible way out of our national quandary. We did try South-South Dialogue and Presidential Amnesty as a mechanism to bring about long lasting peace and unity among various South Sudanese socio-political players. But it was abused when it became an incentive for rebellions and political prostitutions. In other words, violence and political rebellions were unwittingly subsidized and incentivized, hence more violence—and less peace, unity and order—was reaped, contrary to the initial good intention of the process.

Dr. Jok’s special report, therefore, is the latest take on this protracted pursuit of bringing about genuine peace and unity—molding the new nation from the ashes of war and negative ethnicity by turning South Sudanese cultural diversity into a national asset. I would therefore recommend this report to anyone interested in the welfare of South Sudan as a new nation.

Ultimately, what is needed to achieve peace and unity amidst our diverse ethnicities is a grand vision that would act as a rallying point to mold and create national identity. The kind of unity we yearn for could be glimpsed from the euphoric celebration of South Sudanese on two main occasions: the signing of the CPA and the announcement of the referendum’s results.

Only when we arrived there shall we talk—and be assured—of having achieved a sense of nationhood and oneness. It will definitely take lot of time, effort and/or luck for South Sudanese to relish the “expected dividends of independence” and the fruit of nationhood.

You can reach PaanLuel Wël at paanluel2011 (email address), PaanLuel Wel (Facebook page), PaanLuelWel2011 (Twitter account) or through his blog account at: https://paanluelwel2011.wordpress.com//

Diversity, Unity, and Nation Building in South Sudan (Jok).pdf

A comment on �Diversity, Unity, and Nation Building in South Sudan� by Dr. Jok Madut.docx

SUDAN-SOUTH SUDAN: Southern Kordofan refugees still vulnerable

Posted: September 30, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

201106141358570167.jpg
Photo: Paul Banks/UNMIS

Refugees from Southern Kordofan are still vulnerable, says the UN (file photo)

NAIROBI, 30 September 2011 (IRIN) – Thousands of people who fled insecurity in Sudan’s Southern Kordofan State to neighbouring South Sudan’s Unity State remain vulnerable, amid humanitarian access and security concerns, says the UN.

"People entering the area are reported to be highly vulnerable, some having walked with children for two weeks," said Siddartha Shrestha, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) South Sudan chief of communication.

"Increased levels of malnutrition are noted among new arrivals which require enhanced nutrition interventions."

UNICEF has supplied about 3,000kg of emergency nutrition supplies such as Plumpy’Nut, a paste used in the treatment of severe acute malnutrition.

At present, about 9,200 people have been registered, states a recent report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

While a majority of the arrivals are refugees, there are also a number of returnees.

The affected began arriving in Unity in July following heavy fighting and air strikes in South Kordofan and are the first refugees to reach post-independence South Sudan, according to the UN Refugee Agency.

Unity State, which borders Sudan’s regions of Abyei and Southern Kordofan, is already grappling with the largest number of returnees – 83,851 – between 30 October 2010 and 13 September 2011, according to OCHA.

Amid safety and access concerns, discussions are ongoing about the possible relocation of the new arrivals.

"The big challenge remains access to the area. Current access is by flight to an air strip north of Bentiu Town and then by quad bike for some distance," said UNICEF’s Shrestha.

However, the bikes can only carry a limited number of staff and goods.

Shrestha said UNICEF was also assisting the vulnerable populations still in South Kordofan and had so far provided humanitarian assistance in 13 out of 19 localities in coordination with the government, and international and national NGOs.

"There are still large humanitarian needs in both government and non-government controlled areas," he noted, adding that UNICEF-Sudan continued negotiating for access to non-governmental areas with partial success.

http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=93857

Is the world suffering from Sudanese genocide fatigue?

Posted: September 30, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

By Austin Bay

Remember Darfur, site of the genocide in Western Sudan? Two years ago, in August 2009, the then-United Nations peacekeeping force commander claimed the war in Darfur had “effectively ended.” He argued that major attacks had declined to the point that he thought the war would soon be over.

This month, the U.N. issued a press statement that said attacks had declined 70 percent since late 2008.

Which, given the continued bloodletting, is an awkward way of saying that the war really isn’t over. And it isn’t. The Sudanese government — meaning the Islamist Sudanese government seated in Khartoum, for there is now a separate South Sudan — still occasionally employs heavily armed militias as proxy forces to attack, kill and disperse Darfuri civilians. Sudan’s air force still launches air raids on rebel forces in Darfur.

There are two reasons attacks have declined. The first is that the northern Sudanese government has driven several hundred thousand pro-rebel Darfuris from their land. They are now dead or in refugee camps.

The second reason: The northern government is now engaged in several other wars against Sudanese civilians or former Sudanese civilians. In May, about six weeks before South Sudan became independent, Sudan attacked and occupied the Abyei area, a disputed border zone between the two nations. Over 100,000 people fled south to escape the northern attack. After U.N.-sponsored negotiations, both sides agreed to let Ethiopia deploy a peacekeeping force in Abyei. Ethiopia does not want to see the north-south confrontation expand.

The Abyei dispute involves complex land issues between the Dinka Ngok tribal group and a tribe of Muslim pastoralists, the Misseriya. The big story for the two Sudans is oil, however. Independence left South Sudan with the bulk of the nations’ proven oil reserves. The northerners resent that.

The southerners have their own resentments. The north is charging the south extremely high per-barrel oil pipeline transportation fees. At the moment, the only way South Sudan can export its oil is through Sudan’s pipeline system and its seaport, Port Sudan.

Thanks to oil, the Abyei fracas rated a few headlines. Sudan’s dirty wars in the Nuba Mountains and in Blue Nile state, however, bleed out of sight and out of mind.

The Nuba Mountains are located in South Kordofan state. Under Sudan’s 2005 peace agreement with South Sudan, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states were to have plebiscites to determine their “governance relationship” with Khartoum. The plebiscites have not occurred.

Instead, in June Sudan decided to determine the governance relationship using bullets — and attacked South Kordofan. The Nuba peoples were a particular target. Many Nuba had fought with the south’s guerrilla army. The Nuba fear total domination by the north. Some fear genocidal elimination.

This month, Sudan pulled the same trick in Blue Nile. Khartoum’s first target was the state’s democratically elected governor, who is an opposition party politician.

The Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile state could become new Darfurs. Where is the international outrage? Perhaps the world suffers from Sudanese genocide attention fatigue.

The case can be made that the so-called international community’s passion is only activated when a Republican inhabits the White House and the American left can then accuse said Republican of neglect and racism. 2011’s comparative silence, versus the vocal indignation of 2005, suggests the case has an ugly sort of merit.

www.austinbay.net

Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/article/Is-the-world-suffering-from-Sudanese-genocide-2195451.php#ixzz1ZS6ryU8q

U.N.: South Sudan needs to stand tall

Posted: September 30, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

JUBA, South Sudan, Sept. 29 (UPI) — South Sudan needs to show the international community it can stand tall as the world’s newest member, a U.N. special envoy said from Juba.

South Sudan became the world’s latest independent nation in July. Independence was gained as a result of an agreement reached in 2005 that ended Sudan’s bloody civil war. Border skirmishes and economic disputes, however, threaten the peace deal.

Hilde Johnson, U.N. special envoy to Sudan and head of the U.N. mission there, told delegates at a press briefing in Juba she welcomed South Sudanese President Salva Kiir’s message of peace and resilience at the U.N. General Assembly recently.

Kiir, in his address, said he was determined to build a strong and vibrant South Sudan that would live in peace and harmony with its neighbors.

"The management of these critical processes and the political milestones will be important for South Sudan’s standing internationally," said Johnson.

Johnson added that, with ethnic clashes erupting in parts of the country, a comprehensive effort was needed to maintain stability. U.N. peacekeepers had deployed to Jonglei state to defuse the tensions.

"What we are doing now is stop-gap measures and trying to get processes in place that can help resolve the issues over time," said Johnson. "But it is only through a comprehensive, multi-pronged strategy that stability and peace in Jonglei can really happen."

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Special/2011/09/29/UN-South-Sudan-needs-to-stand-tall/UPI-66031317317694/#ixzz1ZS6euqVN

Bashir rules out negotiations with Blue Nile rebels

Posted: September 30, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

KHARTOUM: President Omar al-Bashir said Sudanese government forces were poised to attack a stronghold of armed rebels in Blue Nile state, and vowed not to negotiate with what he called mutineers, the state news agency SUNA reported Wednesday.

Tensions between Sudan’s army and groups allied to the ruling party in the newly established South Sudan, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, in the Blue Nile area turned into armed clashes earlier this month, with each side accusing the other of starting the fighting.

“President Bashir declared that the armed forces will pray in Al-Kurmuk soon,” SUNA said, meaning that his military intended to take the town near the Ethiopian border that is seen as an SPLM-North stronghold.

It said the president told a gathering in Al-Qadarif state in eastern Sudan during a visit that the mutiny would be brought to an end and “those who committed crimes against citizens will be brought to account through the application of the law.”

“The government will not negotiate with outlaws living outside the country,” SUNA quoted Bashir as saying, adding that those who wanted peace should return home and seek change through normal channels.

The Washington-based Satellite Sentinel Project, which monitors imagery gathered from space-based sources, said last week that Sudan has deployed at least 3,000 government troops on a road leading to Kurmuk.

Analysts say the fighting with the rebels in Blue Nile, along with separate clashes in South Kordofan state, risk drawing the newly independent South Sudan into a proxy war.

The Sudanese government has accused the south’s dominant Sudan People’s Liberation Movement of being behind the violence. The SPLM-North, the movement’s branch in Sudan, has blamed Khartoum.

Sudan and South Sudan signed a border security agreement Sunday, taking a step toward improving ties after tensions over border violence and sharing oil revenues.

The SPLM’s Northern wing, the SPLM-N, fought with the South before a 2005 peace deal that led to South Sudan’s independence in July. It has supporters in the North, particularly the border areas.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on September 30, 2011, on page 10.
KHARTOUM: President Omar al-Bashir said Sudanese government forces were poised to attack a stronghold of armed rebels in Blue Nile state, and vowed not to negotiate with what he called mutineers, the state news agency SUNA reported Wednesday.

Tensions between Sudan’s army and groups allied to the ruling party in the newly established South Sudan, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, in the Blue Nile area turned into armed clashes earlier this month, with each side accusing the other of starting the fighting.

“President Bashir declared that the armed forces will pray in Al-Kurmuk soon,” SUNA said, meaning that his military intended to take the town near the Ethiopian border that is seen as an SPLM-North stronghold.

It said the president told a gathering in Al-Qadarif state in eastern Sudan during a visit that the mutiny would be brought to an end and “those who committed crimes against citizens will be brought to account through the application of the law.”

“The government will not negotiate with outlaws living outside the country,” SUNA quoted Bashir as saying, adding that those who wanted peace should return home and seek change through normal channels.

The Washington-based Satellite Sentinel Project, which monitors imagery gathered from space-based sources, said last week that Sudan has deployed at least 3,000 government troops on a road leading to Kurmuk.

Analysts say the fighting with the rebels in Blue Nile, along with separate clashes in South Kordofan state, risk drawing the newly independent South Sudan into a proxy war.

The Sudanese government has accused the south’s dominant Sudan People’s Liberation Movement of being behind the violence. The SPLM-North, the movement’s branch in Sudan, has blamed Khartoum.

Sudan and South Sudan signed a border security agreement Sunday, taking a step toward improving ties after tensions over border violence and sharing oil revenues.

The SPLM’s Northern wing, the SPLM-N, fought with the South before a 2005 peace deal that led to South Sudan’s independence in July. It has supporters in the North, particularly the border areas.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on September 30, 2011, on page 10.

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2011/Sep-30/150102-bashir-rules-out-negotiations-with-blue-nile-rebels.ashx#ixzz1ZS6La1Ti
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)

South Sudan’s Most Vulnerable – Inside the Leper Colony

Posted: September 30, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

By Danielle Batist *

After a lifetime of struggle, Laurence Modi hopes to improve his home and one day start a family. / Credit:Simon Murphy
After a lifetime of struggle, Laurence Modi hopes to improve his home and one day start a family.

Credit:Simon Murphy

JUBA, Sep 29, 2011 (IPS/Street News Service) – At first sight, the village of Rokwe on the outskirts of Juba looks like any other village in South Sudan. The sun shines bright on the grass roofs of the mud huts and sounds from a church choir practising can be heard in the distance. Only the scenery at the local health centre gives away that this is no ordinary place.

Dozens of patients seek shelter from the sun on the concrete veranda. Many have more than one disfigured limb. Some are able to move around, others struggle to walk. Rokwe is a colony for leprosy patients.

Erkolan Onyara was only 13 when he discovered a few sore spots on his legs. He did not know what they were, and when more painful spotting appeared all over his body, he showed his mother. Recognising the symptoms from her own illness, she got very upset. Erkolan – just like her – had leprosy.

Soon, he lost sensation in the affected skin areas and the wounds started to get infected. By the time his illness got worse, his mother had passed away.

Not knowing how they could care for Erkolan, the family heard of a village where people with leprosy were taken care of by a group of church brothers. Erkolan’s elder brother brought him to Rokwe in 1976 and the St Martin De Porres Brothers accepted him in the colony.

Erkolan remembers his first months in the village like it was yesterday. "I was all alone and I felt scared. I did not know anyone and I did not know what was happening to my body. It was a difficult time for me."

Like many leprosy sufferers, Erkolan was losing sensation in his hands and feet, leading him to often cut himself or injure his feet while walking. When he was 19 years old, disaster struck. "I was cooking dinner and tried to grab a pot that was on the fire. I did not feel the heat and both my hands burnt very badly. I lost my fingers and part of my hands."

Life as a young boy in the colony was a struggle for Erkolan. With the help of some of the Brothers he had built a small tukul (mud hut), but as a boy alone he had trouble feeding himself.

"I could not work because of my disfigurement. I went fishing in the Nile sometimes or tried to grow some crops to eat, but often I was hungry." One of the Sisters from a nearby parish used to visit Erkolan and help him with basics like cooking and laundry.

The small health centre the Brothers ran from within the colony was chronically under-resourced. The ongoing war made the supply of medicine unstable. Still, they were determined to treat the village’s patients and cure them of their leprosy. Erkolan was cured in 1986, but the disease had taken its toll on the young man’s body: his hands were badly disfigured and he missed several toes, causing him instability when walking.

The medical breakthrough in the battle against leprosy came in 1981, when a World Health Organization Study Group on Chemotherapy of Leprosy prescribed the use of a multidrug therapy (MDT) as the standard treatment for the disease.

Despite being cured of leprosy, most of the patients stayed on in the village. Their often severe disabilities made life in one of the poorest regions in the world even harder for them than for most other people. And in the middle of the brutal civil war, the colony to many felt like the safest place to stay.

Brother Bruno Dada has been working in the colony for the past 23 years. He says fighting did happen around the village over the years, especially since the army built military barracks very close to the colony.

However, the stigma against leprosy has in some way protected the 350-strong village from the violent raids many other places in the area endured. Soldiers used to ignore the village because they believed there was nothing there to plunder. They were also afraid to enter the colony as they believed they would catch the disease.

As Brother Bruno puts it: "There is a stigma. People think that they will get leprosy if they shake hands with a patient, whereas in fact, it is impossible to get infected that way. Even if patients’ leprosy has been cured years ago, many people are still afraid to go near them."

Despite the preconceptions, many leprosy patients in Rokwe lived in fear throughout the war. Erkolan expresses the anxiety that was felt by many villagers: "We were always afraid because we knew we were vulnerable. If any fighting did break out, we could not defend ourselves."

Erkolan married a woman from the village and they still live in the hut he built when he arrived as a young boy. He is the proud father of three boys and three girls, the oldest of whom is now married and has moved away.

If Erkolan could make one miracle happen, it would be for his oldest daughter to finish her education. "We struggled badly for money and had to take her out of school", he says. "She was a very good student but we just could not provide. We had to send her to get married so that her husband’s family could look after her. I still feel bad about that now."

A recent gift from an uncle has improved life slightly for Erdokan’s family. He was given an old bicycle, which he uses to go to the forest and collect firewood to sell. "Cycling for me is easier than walking. I can carry the wood on the bike to the roadside. I don’t sell a lot but sometimes I get a few (Sudanese) pounds."

Whilst most South Sudanese are hopeful about the future of their country, independent since July, Erkolan can’t help but be sceptical. "There has been no development here for so long. No government cares for us. I hope things will change but we will have to wait and see."

According to the WHO there has been a dramatic decrease in leprosy cases in the past decades – from 5.2 million cases worldwide in 1985 to 805,000 in 1995 and 213,036 cases at the end of 2008. However, more than 200,000 new cases are still reported each year, mostly in poverty-stricken places like Sudan.

In Rokwe, the lack of government support for the leprosy patients and their families has to some extent been compensated by the work of international aid organisations.

During the war, the World Food Programme and a charity group supplied meals in the colony. Although occasional new cases of leprosy still emerge, the disease is largely under control in the region, thanks to a widespread treatment campaign which cures patients fast and stops spread of the disease.

But for people like Erkolan and others in the leper colony, the treatment came too late. Their illness might be under control, but the damage to their limbs cannot be undone.

The Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF), with the assistance of Sudanaid, supports some of the poorest sufferers and their families. They provided them with non-food items including 481 mosquito nets, 400 cooking pans, 400 sleeping mats, 400 blankets and 400 jerry cans for fetching water.

SCIAF is currently working on a new project with the Brothers to provide income-generating opportunities for residents and to set up a vocational training centre. They also help improve the housing situation for villagers in most urgent need of a new tukul or repairs to stop leaking in the rainy season.

One of the beneficiaries of the house repair scheme is Laurence Modi, 24. His life story – like that of so many in southern Sudan – is intensely sad. He was brought to the colony in the late 1980s by relatives.

Just a toddler, his small body was full of painful wounds that were the starting point of a childhood full of suffering. Both his parents had passed away, and tiny Laurence was dropped in the colony together with his sister, who was barely a teenager. The children moved into an abandoned mud hut and were left to their own devices.

Laurence received treatment from the Brothers to stop his leprosy, but his hands and feet were so badly affected that the simplest tasks like making a fire or digging the ground to cultivate land became impossible. He relied on his sister, who played the role of a mother, despite being only a child herself.

When in 2004 she left the village to get married, Laurence’s small world fell apart. "She was all I had," he says, fighting back tears as he speaks. "I was really sad when she left."

Lonely in his tukul, he started worrying about his future. A neighbour had begun to cook him food every day and help him out with household tasks, but he knew this could not go on forever. The grass roof of his tukul was leaking and at night during the rainy season, he often woke up because of the water dripping down inside. He suffered bouts of depression and saw no way out of his problems.

Early this year, one of the Brothers informed Laurence that he had been put on a list for a new roof. "I thought I was dreaming. I worried so much about the house. I was afraid I would have to go and find shelter at other people’s huts. I built this hut with my sister in 2000, we did it all by ourselves. It means a lot to me to live here."

The prospect of an improved house has given Laurence reason to look towards the future again. When the sun sets over Rokwe each night, Laurence sits in front of his hut and takes a moment to himself. He often dreams of the day he will no longer be by himself. "I would love to find a girlfriend and marry and have children. That is natural. My dream is to improve the house and start a family here."

* Published under an agreement with Street News Service. (END)

http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=105290


kenyan civil servants

(NAIROBI – UNT) The South Sudan government has launched an ambitious plan to lure more than 25 Kenyans serving in their government there to consider taking up jobs currently offered in various sectors of government in the Africa’s newest state.

The plan was executed through the Kenya’s Public Services commission whom advertised the initiative targeting the currently working and the retired kenyans in various sort government as well as private sectors.

The jobs offered by the Juba government include air traffic controllers, economists, accountants as well as Engineers. Other jobs advertised through the Kenyan job advertiser include public communication, labour, quality assurance, film production, veterinary and legal officers.

Emerging from two consecutive civil wars, South Sudan has an illiteracy rate of 73% according to reports by the national bureau of statistics. with about 52% living below the poverty line. As of late, recent graduates from South Sudan Universities complained of being neglected for higher governmental roles.

According to the Government, any successful Kenyan will be paid a salary of approximately SSP12,000 (US$3000) to SSP16,000 (US$4,000) a month, depending on the qualifications and experience. The Upper Nile Times understood that, the clients will be predominantly based in Juba for the first two years of their contract and then move to another city within South Sudan for the remaining parts of their duties. The Juba Government also said that those workers will have their air tickets pay for for the two year duration of their work and have an annual leave of 45 days in each given year.

The Kenyan Public Service Commission (KPSC) also said that the identified serving civil servants will continue receiving their salaries from the Kenyan Government "to cater for statutory deductions and upkeep of their families."

UNTIMES

http://untimes.org/index.php/south-sudan/item/444-recruiting-kenyans21333?q

Southern Sudanese Juba’s Mayor On Visit To Ghana

Posted: September 29, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Tuesday, 27 September 2011 07:49

Mr Mohamed Elhaj Baballa Luaha, Mayor of Juba City Council in Southern Sudan, yesterday called on Ghana’s Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo in Accra.

Mr Luaha is on a visit to Ghana to learn the country’s experience and seek expertise on garbage collection and waste management in the country.

He said as a newly independent country, they are much concerned about the image of their cities therefore, it is important to seek advice from experienced African countries.

”Our cities need to be clean, organised and beautified to attract foreign investors into the country,” he added.

Mr Luaha explained that during the visit he will dialogue with and partner the management of Zoomlion to assist in collecting garbage and waste management in Southern Sudan.

Mr Ofosu-Ampofo said garbage collection and waste management are important to the development of every city and therefore important to adopt drastic measures to solve them.

He said there is the need to adopt and enforce strong bye-laws to guide the new government in the development of the cities, especially well demarcated and layout in the cities.

“Establish clear criteria for garbage collection and ensure that it is done in a well coordinated manner and as planned. Anyone who contravenes the bye-laws must be punished by the law,” he added.

Mr Ofosu-Ampofo explained that Ghana has adopted a public private sector approach towards managing waste, which has led to the current sanitation level in the country.

He urged the new government to adopt scientific measures of disposal such as compost plant and recycling of waste to enable them to use the garbage for other secondary productions.

Mr Ofosu-Ampofo gave the assurance of government’s readiness to support Southern Sudan in capacity building and sharpening of skills for personnel in waste management.

Source: GNA

http://www.ghana.gov.gh/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7704:southern-sudanese-mayor-on-visit-to-ghana&catid=85:foreign-news&Itemid=232

Prosecute corrupt officials, UN tells South Sudan President Kiir

Posted: September 29, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

By Julius N. Uma

September 28, 2011 (JUBA) – The UN’s special representative to South Sudan, Hilde F. Johnson, on Wednesday urged the new country’s president Salva Kiir to ensure that those implicated in corruption are thoroughly investigated and prosecuted.

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Hilde Johnson, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS), speaks to journalists. 28 September 2011 (Photo UN)

“It is unacceptable when money devoted to developing the new and independent South Sudan ends up in private pockets and foreign bank accounts. [But] with the actions the president is now taking, he is ending impunity for the individuals involved,” Johnson, who just returned from the UN General Assembly meeting, said.

Such anti-corruption moves, she told journalists, are the preconditions for South Sudan to succeed in building a new, strong and stable nation. Johnson also urged South Sudanese to put the country above any individual interests.

In his message delivered by the vice-president last week, president Kiir reiterated new government’s policy of a zero tolerance for corruption, saying his new administration will focus on good governance, democracy, accountability and transparency.

South Sudan seceded in July as part of a 2005 peace deal which ended a conflict that had raged – with a 11 year break (1972-1983) – since 1955, a year Sudan’s independence.

Despite being one of South Sudan’s most critical problems since it gained self-rule in 2005 no official has ever been prosecuted for corruption, despite a commission being appointed to investigate graft.

Johnson called upon the international community to assist the Republic of South Sudan in implementing its development plans. She specifically appealed for countries like Switzerland, the UK, the US and Australia to help South Sudan recover and repatriate funds that had been diverted by corrupt officials.

“The engagement by the Legislative Assembly and civil society, requesting additional actions against corruption, is positive. To win the fight against corruption, all parts of society need to engage,” she emphasised.

The UN Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) also lauded President Kiir’s historic first address to the General Assembly on behalf of Africa’s newest nation, describing it as the “right message at the right time”.

“The president has clearly shown commitment to peaceful relations with neighbouring north [Sudan] aimed at establishing a solid foundation for the new nation, based on political pluralism, good governance, transparency and accountability,” Johnson said.

The head of the UN in South Sudan further appealed to the southern leadership to ensure that both the Political Parties Act and the Electoral Act, which are due to be discussed in parliament, are subjected to extensive consultations with all political parties in the country.

“This commitment also needs to be reflected in protecting political space, and respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms of all political actors in the country,” the SRSG added.

The country’s leaders, she reiterated, should also review and regulate policies governing land sales, describing it as a fundamental approach towards reducing inter-communal tensions.

(ST)

http://www.sudantribune.com/Prosecute-corrupt-officials-UN,40273

South Sudan facing severe food shortages, UN agencies warn

Posted: September 29, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Security issues, lack of rainfall and influx of northern returnees combine to cause shortages and push up prices

UN agencies are warning that newly independent South Sudan will face chronic food shortages next year due to internal and border insecurity, erratic rains and a huge influx of returnees from the north.

The UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) said a rapid crop assessment carried out in August showed South Sudan was likely to produce 420,000-500,000 metric tonnes of food this year – half the required amount.

FAO food security specialist Elijah Mukhala said an estimated 1.2 million people would be "severely food-insecure" next year, compared with 970,000 last year, with the deficit set to increase by about a quarter from 300,000 metric tonnes last year.

"We made gains in 2010," said FAO food security co-ordinator Mtendere Mphatso. "Right now, all these gains are being reversed, and the two main issues are insecurity and rainfall." Mphatso added that these factors are causing shortages and price rises in both countries.

Separated, not divorced

South Sudan gained independence from the north in July 2011 after decades of civil war that killed about two million and left the country in ruins. Secession was peaceful, but violence in border areas in Sudan has flared for months. Tens of thousands of refugees have fled southwards from Southern Kordofan, Abyei and Blue Nile, with returnees from Khartoum and subsequent border closures placing a further strain on the now landlocked nation, which is still dependent on the north for most goods.

"For 2012, we are worried for food production on the northern side as they have also had erratic rains," Mphatso said. In addition, the north has lost many South Sudanese farm labourers, which could result in dramatic price increases and food insecurity for all but the three southern states.

UN resident andhumanitarian co-ordinator Lise Grande said more than three million people (36% of the population) in South Sudan were classed as moderately or severely food insecure in 2011, and the burden was increasing.

More than 340,000 people have arrived in South Sudan since January, and internal violence has pushed about the same number again away from their homes and fields.

In South Sudan, waves of inter-communal fighting – including cattle rustling, fights over water holes, retaliation attacks, and skirmishes between rebel militia – have left thousands dead or displaced. In August, more than 600 people were killed in eastern Jonglei state alone after cattle raids. The UN says it has dealt with 34 separate emergency operations this year.

Running out of food

"A lot of those people who were coming back were poor. They were running," said Grande of the massive influx around the January secession referendum. While 80% have been resettled, lack of jobs is a cause for concern, particularly in a country where the majority rely on small-scale farming, and those coming from the north have to transition their skills from urban to rural.

This year, World Food Programme (WFP) has fed 1.8 million vulnerable people with 62,000 metric tonnes of food, while late harvests prolonged the usual May to August hunger season by a month.

But with a 13,500 metric tonne food shortfall, WFP is concerned about rising food insecurity as fuel and commodity prices rocket.

When 110,000 people fled south after Sudanese military forces occupied the contested border town Abyei in May, pre-positioned food was ready to cater for 112,000. However, Grande said nobody had estimated the situation would last this long, and now food was running out and rains had cut off areas where large numbers of refugees were stuck.

About 40,000 people still in the swampy border town of Agok (45km south of Abyei) have been on half rations this month due to access problems. Recent flash floods mean this situation could continue into October; trucks carrying 170 metric tonnes of government-donated food from Kwajok, the state capital of Warrup, cannot get through.

In the other neighbouring state of Northern Bahr el-Ghazal, WFP says a quarter of the population is severely food-insecure.

Santino Longar, assistant commodity auditor for World Vision International in Kwajok, said there was no more food for the community of 21,000 as an influx of 13,000 internally displaced peoples (IDPs) had exhausted pre-positioned supplies.

"The food used to come from the north, but since the crisis [of Abyei], the road is closed," Longar said. Poor rains and a late harvest could push tensions in the host communities to violence, as seen in the nearby town of Tonj, he added.

"The food at the market is very expensive and at times, in some places you don’t find it," he added, saying life for the IDPs and returnees in Warrup state was very bad.

Security issues

In addition to refugees from Abyei, demobilised South Sudanese troops marching back south on empty stomachs have created further resource problems.

Grande said UN humanitarian operations were being hampered by 116 incidents involving mainly looting or violence towards staff by rebel militia and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), and the laying of new mines.

Two UN staff members were killed in an attack in May after SPLA troops commandeered six vehicles.

More than 8,000 new refugees have entered the country, fleeing violence in neighbouring Southern Kordofan, while 7,500 more have fled attacks from the Lord’s Resistance Army in the southwest.

The FAO predicts that all but three southern states will face major food shortages due to insecurity and problems near the Sudan border.

Price hikes

There is a steady flow of goods from Uganda and Kenya but, in Juba’s crowded market, fruit and vegetable sellers say they are not earning enough.

"We are making a very small profit now. All things now, they are expensive: green beans, rice, fruits," said Simaiya Nassara, a vendor who buys produce from her native Uganda.

South Sudan’s national bureau of statistics says the inflation rate rose 9% last month, and more than 57% compared to August 2010.

"The biggest problem we are having here is taxes, and fuel in the whole country. That’s why the price of food is very expensive. All the food is coming from Uganda. Even Khartoum, now they divided the country, things will be difficult now … and prices will also go up," said vendor Margaret Akulu, who says some produce is now impossible to get because of northern blockades.

Market vendors said local authorities increased three-monthly permits for the tiny stalls from 150 South Sudanese pounds ($35) to 1,110 ($280). This, in addition to more checkpoints and traffic police charging food trucks from the Ugandan border, would push up prices further.

The government recently pledged to crack down on corruption, seen as the new nation’s major stumbling block, starting with the removal of 13 illegal checkpoints in the capital. It has also promised to work with local businesses to try to curb rising food prices in a country that is a net importer of almost all food.

Only 4% of available agricultural land is cultivated, despite South Sudan’s fertile soil.

The lack of basic infrastructure seriously hampers its ability to feed itself, and the World Bank has identified agricultural support and road-building as priorities in the world’s newest nation. Before that, however, the violence must stop.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/2011/sep/29/south-sudan-facing-food-shortages

South Sudan among recipients of UN grants to end violence against women

Posted: September 29, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

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Executive Director of UN Women Michelle Bachelet

28 September 2011 – Newly independent South Sudan is among 34 countries awarded grants today by a United Nations that seeks to end violence against women, along with another first-time recipient, Iraq.

“Violence against women is a human rights and public health emergency,” Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director of UN Women, said of the 15th batch of annual grants from the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women (UN Trust Fund) which awarded $17.1 million for 22 initiatives.

“But it is not inevitable. With sufficient political will, funding, and carefully developed and targeted programmes, violence against women can be significantly reduced. Through its support, the UN Trust Fund helps key stakeholders do just that.”

The grants will support innovative and practical work at the grassroots level, covering a range of strategic interventions, such as increasing the access of women survivors of violence to medical and legal services in Iraq and supporting HIV-positive women to connect with traditional leaders in Malawi to counter widespread stigmatization and abuse.

In South Sudan, the American Refugee Committee (ARC) will assist the Government in developing guidelines for the clinical management of rape and a secure information management system to collect timely data on incidents of violence, while in Mexico, an observatory of 48 women’s groups will standardize protocols for criminal investigation of the killing of women and generate procedures for targeted police interventions.

In Kenya, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone, Sonke Gender Justice Network and the MenEngage country networks will engage men and boys to prevent violence against women in their communities.

In Indonesia, Rifka Annisa will support implementation of the country’s Domestic Violence Eradication Act through ensuring that religious courts apply the law in their decisions.

Other initiatives receiving grants seek to reduce workplace violence in export-oriented garment factories in Bangladesh and India, and accelerate the channels of justice and health services for survivors of violence in Uruguay.

The UN Trust Fund is the only multilateral grant-making mechanism exclusively devoted to supporting local and national efforts to end violence against women and girls. The majority of its grantees are non-governmental organizations (NGOs), with grants also awarded to governments and UN country teams.

Applications to the fund continue to increase and this year alone, it received more than 2,500 applications requesting nearly $1.2 billion for projects in 123 countries. To meet the growing need for resources to translate global and national commitments into action, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign has set a target to raise $100 million for the fund’s annual grant-making by 2015.

“Over the years, the UN Trust Fund has established itself as a leading source of support for innovative and catalytic projects, combating violence where it matters most, at the local and community levels,” Ms. Bachelet said. “If not for the tireless efforts of its grantees, tens of thousands of women and girls would not see justice for the abuse they suffer, nor would they know that they don’t have to live in fear.”

The new grants were made possible with support from Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Austria, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Liechtenstein, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United States.

The fund is also financially supported by partners in the private and nonprofit sectors, including the Avon and Avon Foundation for Women; Johnson & Johnson; the UN Foundation; M*A*C AIDS Fund; UN Women National Committees in Canada, Iceland, Japan, and the United Kingdom; and Zonta International and Zonta International Foundation.

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=39872&Cr=violence+against+women&Cr1=


By Associated Press, Published: September 28

JUBA, Sudan — The U.N. representative to South Sudan is asking the country to repatriate diverted funds.

Hilde F. Johnson told a news conference on Wednesday that hundreds of millions of dollars meant for South Sudan’s government have been wired to private bank accounts abroad. She called such acts unacceptable.

inShare

Johnson lauded South Sudan President Salva Kiir for announcing at U.N. headquarters that steps were being taken to end impunity for perpetrators.

South Sudan broke away from Sudan in July to become the world’s newest nation.

Violence in the new country this year already has killed 3,000 people. More than 300,000 others have been displaced by fighting.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle-east/un-asks-south-sudan-to-repatriate-2-billion-in-diverted-funds-cites-accountability-problems/2011/09/28/gIQAE1mY4K_story.html

Past Articles about corruption in South Sudan.

South Sudan SSDF urges Salva Kiir to unmask $60 million dollars culprits

South Sudan Democratic Forum

Press Release

Jan, 27, 2007 — The 2nd anniversary of the CPA unfolded serious dramas that took the Sudanese masses by storm. They did not expect such an important event to end up in such a disastrous manner. The serious confrontation between the two generals, Field Marshal Omer Al Bashir (President of the Republic of Sudan) and Lt. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit (First Vice-President of the Republic of the Sudan and President of the GoSS), has exposed for the first time to the people of Sudan what used to be regarded as closed doors discussions of the presidency within the palace, leaving nothing confidential for the presidency to keep away from the public. With such a showdown, can the people say that the palace is no longer in control of the affairs of the state and therefore the time has come for the Sudanese people to take over the reign of power? Was that showdown between the two leaders a way for enlisting the support from their constituencies? If so, who emerged victorious? Is it the SPLM or the NCP? We leave that for the Sudanese public to make their verdict.

Coming back to the question of sixty million dollars scandal, which is the main subject of this press release, the question the ordinary Sudanese can pose is: Why did it take that long for the public to know that the Government of National Unity (GoNU) released such amount of money for the purpose which President Bashir alleged to be the case, i.e., the repatriation of the SPLM’s members from Diaspora and the setting up of institutions in the South? Could we say that the revelation might have come as the result of frustration and a rebuttal from President Bashir to serious indictments brought against the NCP, i.e., lack of implementation of Abyei Boundary Commission Report, delimitation of border between the North and South, the LRA and the controversy surrounding the share of oil revenue? Could it be a conspiracy from the NCP or the so-called Awlad el balad to discredit the leadership of the GoSS and the South in general, thereby justifying their age-old claim since independence of Sudan that the South is incapable to rule itself—that the two civil wars the South fought were all in vain?

Whichever way the people would like to look at the second anniversary of the CPA, we feel that the Southern public has been robed of a wonderful opportunity, at least to know what has been achieved since the formation of the GoSS. At last, we are not surprised why it turned out to be so because we are fully aware that the SPLM still suffers from lack of accountability and transparency. However, the great relieve is that the scandal has exonerated the two leaders of the SPLM, i.e., former SPLM’s Chairman, Dr. Garang and the current chairman of the SPLM, Lt. Gen. Salva Kiir. As the result, we would expect Lt. Gen. Kiir Mayardit to track down culprits who handled sixty million dollars and kept the funds away from public treasury. We hope, with the revelation given by the Minister of Information of the GoSS, Dr. Samson Kwaje, and the Secretary General of the SPLM and adviser to the GoSS’s president, Mr. Pagan Amum, that the thieves who slipped through the net of Dr. John Garang and were not caught would now be brought to justice and be nailed in their final coffins—therefore reducing the number of thieves Dr. Garang talked about from 4000 to 3999 or less.

In examining the two statements made by Dr. Kwaje and Mr. Pagan Amum, it now appears that there is a tug of war between the handling of funds by the Finance Minister, Arthur Akuen, on one hand and the SPLM leadership on the other. However, the controversial comments made by both Dr. Kwaje, as the chair of investigation committee, and Mr. Amum, the Secretary General of the SPLM, tend to prejudice the process of investigation before it even takes off. Furthermore, the serious indictments made by Pagan Amum against Arthur Akuen—given the fact that Dr. Kwaje previously alleged that the money was properly used—may complicate the whole issue surrounding the scandal, thereby making it extremely difficult to establish a credible line of investigation that may come up with findings that will satisfy the general public. The saga of sixty million dollars scandal has dented the credibility of the GoSS and the SPLM as the ruling party since the arguments presented by Dr Samson Kwaje rendered the whole episode a mess of inexplicable nonsense.

However, to make sense out of nonsense, we still can say that the allegations made by Mr. Pagan Amum tend to incriminate strongly Mr. Arthur Akuen, the Finance Minister of both the GoSS and the SPLM—therefore questioning the credibility of any attempt to justify how these funds were spent under his control since nobody knows which bank he deposited the money in. Was he hording the money? According to Pagan Amum, in his interview with Al Sahafa newspaper, he alleged that it was after along struggle with Mr. Arthur Akuen that the latter was able to release $18m dollars out of $60m to SPLM’s bank account. Up to now, $42m remained unaccounted for and Mr. Akuen Chol should tell the GoSS and the GoNU where he is keeping the money; otherwise, suspicion that Mr. Akuen Chol has diverted the money to Gogrial-Aweil enterprises will not be far from the truth.

The other issue that raises serious legal question relates to the status of $60m dollars. Did the central government release the money in 2005 to the SPLM as the liberation movement or to the Government of the South as it was recognized after the signing of the agreement after Jan, 9th, 2005? If the $60m dollars was released to the SPLM as the primary beneficiary rather than the South as Pagan Amum claims, then he might be right to claim the money for the SPLM. But if it were to be for the government of the South as president Bashir stated, then Arthur Akuen was right to withhold the money although he horded the funds for his private use which is now causing him a migraine because he cannot produce authentic receipts that could be vouched by a credible accounting firm.

Contrary to claims made by Pagan Amum, common sense has it that the funds the central government released in 2005 were for the GoSS, not SPLM as a liberation movement because a sovereign state cannot issue such amount of money to a liberation movement that was regarded as an enemy of the state, unless the Secretary General of the SPLM is still suffering from the hangover of the SPLM/A when it was a liberation movement before it was recognized under the CPA as a political party. If that is the case, then he might be excused for his lapse of memory because, while he is sitting comfortably in Juba, his memories are still in Rumbek, which used to be the head-quarter of SPLM/A as a liberation movement before the conclusion of the CPA.

Mr. Pagan Amum should understand that the $60m dollars given to Dr. Garang was a share from the oil revenue earmarked for the GoSS’s budget of 2005, not a donation to SPLM as Hon. Kwaje correctly assumed. Mr. Pagan should also be made aware of the legal and constitutional implications to his claims of such funds, as it may raise serious issues from other political parties that are partners of the GoSS. Therefore, the $18m which Arthur Akuen has already released to SPLM’s account should be returned to the public treasury. Pagan should know that the debts the SPLM had incurred in establishing their political offices—both in the North and the South—is the responsibility of the party, not the GoSS. While they were setting up their own offices, other parties too were doing the same, but were depending on their own resources and donations from their friends or other political allies. Unless Pagan Amum does not believe in God or wants to justify the SPLM’s culture of corruption and looting spree—where it is often difficult to differentiate between what is public and what is private—otherwise, his claim of such amount for his party would tantamount to broad daylight robbery of public funds and abuse of power by a ruling party.

What the Secretary General of the SPLM should understand is to wake up from rip van winkle and nocturnal sleep so as to be able to see clearly what is happening in the real world, i.e., making a distinction between a liberation movement and a legitimate government. In this regard, we would have expected the Secretary General to present the case of sixty million before the president of the government of the South so as to make him aware why the funds are being kept away from public treasury, instead of demanding the money to be transferred to SPLM’s account—given the fact that there are seven parties that formed the GoSS. Had he done that, he would have saved the people of the South and in particular the interim president of the GoSS, the embarrassment and humiliation which he suffered during the celebration of the 2nd Anniversary of the CPA, almost making him a lame duck president.

Now that the scandal of the sixty million dollars has become a public knowledge, would it not be appropriate for those SPLM’s supporters, members and leadership to withdraw their statements of condemnation against Bona Malwal whom they regarded as the source of rumor in 2005? When Bona Malwal revealed that the SPLM was given $60m by the central government in August, 2005, he was accused of negative propaganda against the SPLM as well as vendetta against late Dr. Garang—sparing him no room to breath. President Kiir, during his first visit to U.S. after taking oath as the first Vice-president, denied the allegation raised by Bona in his meeting with SPLM members in Washington. The same denial was also issued by the SPLM’s prominent member in London, who even went further to say that if Bona Malwal continued to smear the former chairman of the SPLM, the party would consider taking legal actions against him. Now that Bona Malwal has been proven right or exonerated, could the SPLM leadership take the courage to send a letter of apology to him since he is an adviser to President Bashir who might have been informed earlier about the money?

Given his sworn testimony to fight corruption to the last, and breaking away with the protocol of cabinet responsibility, i.e., going as far as saying that each individual Minster should clear himself whenever accused of any malpractices in his ministry, will president Kiir relieve the ministers accused of malpractices, corruption, as well as having skeletons in their cupboards, from their duties, so as to go to courts to clear their names—in order to give the government a clean bill of health? If he does that, then, the Southern public will indeed be encouraged and perhaps will begin to take him seriously, as he has now taken upon himself to confront so-called Awlad el balad, who are used to discrediting the Southern leadership since the dawn of independence.

For Contact

Gordon Buoy, Chairman of South Sudan Democratic Forum-Canada Ottawa.

The Celebration of Corruption and Underdevelopment in South Sudan

South Sudan Democratic Forum

Press Release

January, 8, 2007 — Now that the South Sudanese masses are poised to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of the CPA, all people will expect the leadership of the SPLM, in particular Lt. Gen. Kiir Mayardit, to present to the public the major achievements the GOSS has achieved between Sept. 2005—Dec. 2006, since during that time the legislature passed two major budgets of $800m and $1.3 billion respectively. The total amount of budget for that period is $2.1 billion, almost more than half of the amount of money donors pledged in Oslo.

We hope the interim president will have the courage and the guts to tell people what had been achieved so far in the following areas: How many trunk roads that have been built? How many schools that have been built or rehabilitated starting from primary up to further and higher education? How many primary health centers, district and regional hospitals have been built or rehabilitated? What improvement has been made in the area of clean water in the major capital of ten states and the rural areas? How many government houses have been built as well as resettlement villages for returnees and the internally displaced peoples? How many agricultural schemes have been set up by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to alleviate the problem of food insecurity and pave the way for self-sufficiency?

We hope the interim president will give a satisfactory account on the expenditure of $2.1 billion over the fifteen month period when he formed the government in September, 2005. Of course, we have no doubt that Lt. Gen. Kiir Mayardit is a honorable man who does not tolerate corruption as he had been fighting it in the past 22 years. His speech in Rumbek in 2004 confirmed his commitment to combating or rid the South off corruption and corrupt practices. In that conference, CDR Salva Kiir challenged Dr. Garang and had this to say about the corruption: “I would also like to say something about rampant corruption in the Movement. At the moment some members of the movement have formed private companies, bought houses and have huge bank accounts in foreign countries. I wonder what kind of system are we going to established in South Sudan considering ourselves indulged in this respect”.

With such a statement, we have no doubt in our minds that the interim president will stand by his own words and therefore would expect the committee that was set up by parliament to investigate corruption in the Ministry of Finance to come out with the recommendations that would be the beginning of weeding out corruption and malpractices, even if it means taking firm and stern measures that may affect some leaders who are abusing the system. Or to put it in the words of Dr. Samson Kwaje, former Spokesman of the SPLM/A and the current Minister of Information, on the East African News Paper of August, 2003 that “there are people in the SPLM/A who’re rotten; those who’ve committed gross human rights violations. In peacetime, they’ll be weeded out”.

Of course, we do not expect the GOSS or interim president to perform miracles overnight, but given the amount of money the South obtained within that short period, it is common sense that the president would like the public to hear how these funds have been disbursed, how much that has been spent and on what? And how much is left for the task a head? We hope the rampant corruption that he is struggling to combat has not eaten up a large proportion of these amount as we have been told that out of $2.1 billion, about a third of it is unaccounted for. This is now causing a great concern among members of South Sudan legislative assembly and the public and they are wondering whether the budget of 2007 should be passed without hearing the report of the Minister of Finance about the expenditure of two years budget starting from September, 2005 to December, 2006—although we know that is far cry from legislators knowing the stubbornness of Minister of Finance, Mr. Arthur Akuen Chol, who refused to testify before the House Committee on corruption within his ministry, which was set up following the suspension of top five senior finance officers, including the two under-secretaries.

If his refusal to testify before the parliamentary committee investigating corruption is true as we gather from reliable sources, what steps will the president take when the report reaches him? Will he suspend the Minister of Finance for defying the parliamentary committee investigating corruption? Or will he dismiss him, arrest him, or leave him at large to continue with his looting spree? Has the president not learnt from his mentor, Dr. Garang, regarding combating corruption when he said in Rumbek that “on the issue of corruption, this animal has grown bigger, to the extent that we cannot catch it using nets”?

Perhaps the current corrupt practices and the move toward the institutionalization of corruption may be the work of corrupt individuals who were recruited during the struggle as Dr. Garang told New York Times Magazine’s Journalist in June, 1994 interview when he was asked about corruption. Dr. Garang, in his reply, said the following: “For every hundred men I recruit I may have two thieves”. With 180, 000 SPLM/A fighters recruited between 1983 and 1991, based on this logic, nearly 4000 rascal thieves and corruption lords were recruited during that period. There is a possibility that large proportion of that figure survived the war and they are members of SPLM party who may be occupying higher positions, as the news of corruption we receive daily are associated with some whom he had appointed to the leadership but could not give them assignments because of corruption—but he needed them to fight the war at the time.

Knowing that there is a large significant number of robbers, rascals and thieves recruited by Dr. Garang who might be members of the GOSS under his leadership, what plans does he have to discipline them or give them honorable retirement since they were used in the struggle but survived the war? Will they be treated as SPLM/A veterans of corruption and should not be questioned and be left as such? If the president cannot provide safeguards to protect public funds and resources from SPLM veterans of corruption, where does he expect people to turn to? Has he forgotten the question posed by Tiger Battalion?

Tiger Battalion posed the following questions: “1. People’s army, ask the whole World, what took us to bush? 2. Why did the people of South Sudan take up arms?” The same Tiger Battalion provided answers for their questions. First, it was to liberate the South from the domination of the Arab North. Secondly, it was to fight against economic, social and political injustices which were imposed by the successive Northern regimes leading to marginalization of South Sudan. Tiger made it clear that the men and women of South Sudan will fight against the northern domination up to the last two persons.

With the twist of events, where the enemy of the South is no longer with us, but has been replaced by our own new found oppressors masquerading as liberators, is it not high time for the people of the South to revisit the Tiger Battalion’s enquiries into our struggle? Will we not take seriously into account the remarks made by Chairman of Parliamentary Committee, Prof. Bari Wanji, investigating corruption within the Ministry of Finance when he said that “corruption is a social, cultural and economic genocide”? Is it not high time that those who committed “economic genocide” should be brought to justice? Perhaps Tiger Battalion’s veterans would recommend to the GOSS to form a committee to investigate not only the Ministry of Finance, but the whole web of Gogrial-Aweil dynasty and other Ministries that have been accused of mismanaging public funds—as clearly stated in the press release of SPLM/A Veterans against corruption and nepotism titled “Incompetence and Corruption are the Hallmarks of GOSS”.

With Prof. Wanji’s remarks, perhaps we should in all earnest reflect and take account of what our spiritual leader and Cardinal Gabriel Zubeir Wacko said about corruption in Southern Sudan. The most reverend made it clear that corruption in Juba is widespread to the point that anyone can practice it with impunity and even with pride. With such a remark coming from a revered and well respected spiritual leader, what is then left for Salva Kiir Mayardit to salvage? As a practicing Catholic who often goes to attend church services and take his mass (serve holy communion), is he not well aware of the role of the Roman Catholic Church in rendering services to the poor and liberating them from the bondage of poverty, oppression and corruption, as they have done in most of the third world countries particularly in Latin America where the church has a powerful role to play? Has he forgotten the role of the churches during liberation struggle which led to the formation of the New Sudan Council of churches and made the whole World to understand the flight of the people of South Sudan from Arab domination?

If Kiir doesn’t take seriously the advice of spiritual leaders, perhaps he should be reminded to take note of the remarks made by CDR James Wani Igga in Rumbek Conference of 2004. CDR James Wani, among others, listed problems which he envisaged were responsible for the crippling of the SPLM/A movement and its institutions, i.e., rampant corruption, the existence of kitchen cabinet, tribalism, nepotism, and regional discrimination. Unless Mayardit is still maintaining his position which he stated clearly during the conference that he was much concerned only about the welfare of the people of Bhar el Ghazal whom he regarded were being marginalized in the Movement—as he alleged that “there are people among us who are more dangerous than the enemy”—only to be rebuked by CDR Oyai Deng Ajak, current Chief-of-staff of the SPLA that CDR Kiir Mayardit should show statesmanship and behave like a South Sudan leader, which has now come to be true having taken over the rein of power after the tragic death of his dear leader and mentor.

Coming back to celebration of the 2nd anniversary of the CPA, we would expect the president to give a statement on the current state of affairs that has affected some members of the top leadership of the SPLM regarding allegations of misappropriation of public funds. The public would expect him to endorse the proposal of honorable Yasser Arman, the member of politburo of the SPLM and leader of SPLM Caucus in the National assembly, who recommended the formation of ad-hoc committee at presidency level to investigate and fight corruption in the apparatus of the state. Such a panel should probe into rampant corruption and the allegations that have been brought against the Vice-president and Minister of Housing, Dr. Riek Machar, Madam Rebecca de Mabior, Minister for Roads and transport and Lt. Gen. Oyai Deng Ajak, Chief-of-staff of the SPLA army.

According to our own reliable sources, the May, 2006 GOSS budget was $1.3 billion in which some of the institutions that had the lions share were the SPLA Affairs with the budget of $526 million; Roads and Transport with $165 million and Ministry of Housing with $120 million. Could there be a correlation between the allegations brought against Riek Machar, Rebecca Nyandeng, Oyai Deng Ajak and the handling of funds under these institutions as we recently experienced the JIUs’ protest and the deterioration of roads in Juba including lack of housing for the government employees? Perhaps, this question should be answered by the president himself as he is fully aware of the monumental task of development that waits the GOSS. We assume that the president has the master plan for the development of the South as it was laid down by Dr. John Garang where he identified the priority areas that should be addressed immediately within the eighteenth month period after the signing of the CPA and the formation of the GOSS.

Among some of Dr. Garang top priorities were trunk roads that would have to be completed in the first eighteen months of the formation of the Government of Southern Sudan and which would come into service after twenty four or thirty six months. According to that schedule, Southern Sudan would have a reasonable road network by 2008. Food security was a common sense objective that had to be achieved at the shortest time possible. This was to be done through the direct empowerment of the family to expand and improve production of crops and livestock. Self sufficiency was to begin at the household level. Dr. Garang was going to use the oil revenue to fuel agriculture—the only economic sector in which all the people are involved in one way or the other. The policy objective is to evade the tendency of oil dependency and economic policies aimed at creating small super-rich elite of the SPLM party and a vast poor majority of South Sudan.

So far, we can only see that the Ministry of Roads and Transport is receiving a reasonable amount of budget for the realization of Dr. Garang’s vision. However, the way the Ministry is handling the matters pertaining to roads construction may not lead to meeting the deadline Garang suggested. As for other ministries, particularly the Agriculture—which is the backbone of Southern Sudan economy—we have not seen any step towards increasing agricultural production that may give incentive to rural farmers to reach the level of self-sufficiency and move towards cash crop economy that may spur economic growth both in the rural and urban sectors. Kiir Mayardit should understand that what sustains the rural and the urban poor is their local economy based on informal sector, i.e., sale of local produces (fruits and vegetables) and the local beer brewing, which make them earn their living as well as providing some sort of social amenities. That is why foreigners who visit Juba usually find government employees and their bosses busy taking their beers to encourage them to go back to work in order to boost productivity, or to put succinctly, in order to cripple productivity in government offices. It should be made clear to Kiir Mayardit that Garang’s vision of developing economy of the South is very important and must be taken up seriously by the GOSS if they still maintain his legacy.

For Contact

Gordon Buoy Chairman of South Sudan Democratic Forum-Canada Ottawa, ON

South Sudanese find their way home slow going

Posted: September 29, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

By Ulf Laessing

Workers carry goods to be loaded onto barges at the Nile port of Kosti, in White Nile State, in this September 21, 2011 file photo. REUTERS-Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah-Files

A woman carrying her child waits for a barge to continue her journey home from Kosti, in this September 21, 2011 file photo. REUTERS-Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah-Files

A man rests while waiting for a barge to continue his journey home from Kosti September 21, 2011. REUTERS-Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

1 of 4. Workers carry goods to be loaded onto barges at the Nile port of Kosti, in White Nile State, in this September 21, 2011 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Files

By Ulf Laessing

KOSTI, Sudan | Wed

KOSTI, Sudan | Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:07pm EDT

KOSTI, Sudan (Reuters) – Four months after Paula Lodo left her Khartoum slum to head back to South Sudan, she finds herself in yet another makeshift home south of the Sudanese capital.

"I am stuck on the way home for four months, can you believe this?" Lodo said, sitting with her six daughters in a dusty tent camp near this northern White Nile city.

Like tens of thousands of other southerners, Lodo packed up and left Khartoum in anticipation of the coming split between Sudan and South Sudan, catching a truck to Kosti to continue southwards by barge.

But the barge to bring her home never showed up and she is now stranded with 17,000 others in a camp originally built for 1,200. Heavy rain has created a large pool in the middle of the facility, filled with garbage and attracting scores of flies.

Lodo has put up a tent made from the same plastic sheets, blankets and wood branches used to build her home in Khartoum where she lived for 32 years after fleeing the civil war.

"We were promised boats to continue but we are still here. I don’t know why. It’s very bad," Lodo said, seeking relief from the scorching sun under the shade of a large tree.

The United Nations has estimated that more than 342,000 people have made the move southward since October, a few months before the independence referendum in January set July 9 as the date when South Sudan would become independent.

Khartoum has given the more than one million southerners who still live in the predominantly Muslim north until spring to either leave or get residency and work permits — a complicated process.

Mostly Christians or people who follow traditional beliefs, and facing legal or employment uncertainties, many southerners can’t wait to leave.

But many are also somewhere stuck on the way home — at railway stations, major roads or in Nile ports like Kosti.

The delays are partly to do with a lack of coordination among the two governments and partly to do with the financial difficulties of South Sudan, which cannot provide sufficient transport. Non-governmental organizations are trying to help.

WANT TO HEAD HOME

"We want to go to our home village. We don’t know why we can’t go on," said Samira Otsmu, who has been waiting in the Kosti camp since July for a barge to bring her family and few belongings to the southern capital of Juba.

Experts mostly blame the shortage of barges on the Juba government which started a program to bring southerners home but is running out of funds. More barges are being rented with the help of United Nations and NGOs but many more is needed.

Much poorer than the north, South Sudan is facing a myriad of challenges from setting up state institutions and building infrastructure to ending widespread tribal and rebel violence.

"The situation is improving now but we need more efforts," said Sultan Ali Kanji, an official in South Sudan’s relief commission who is trying to coordinate travel.

He said the key problem apart from finding funds was a lack of coordination between north and south on how to organize the return of southerners and accommodate them in transit camps.

"What we want from the NGOs and the Republic of South Sudan and this government is to agree on one thing. They should bring the returnees to their home villages," he said, standing in front of a rusty barge being loaded with luggage.

DIFFICULT TRIP

Many thousands have gone home by trains or made the arduous journey by bus or lorry. But those like Lodo coming from eastern regions often have no choice but to go by barge as their villages lie by the Nile and are not serviced by good roads.

More than 18,000 southerners are stuck in Renk, the first southern port on the White Nile after Kosti, the United Nations said on Monday.

One big obstacle is that many are bringing with them their entire household belongings and even, as in Lodo’s case, the branches and corrugated iron they used to build their slum homes.

"Twenty-six river barges now left of which 15 were loaded only with luggage and nine with passengers," said Mohammed Abdul Raziq, a senior northern relief official working in the camp.

"If it hadn’t been for the luggage it would have been possible to transport all the returnees," he said, speaking as a truck from Kosti town prepared to distribute water in the camp.

But for poor southerners like 34-year-old Charles Nelson, leaving behind furniture is out of question.

"It’s impossible, nobody can leave his luggage behind," he said, sitting with his family in front of a tent they live in.

With nothing to do, a group of young men nearby play dominoes at a plastic table, their main activity for months.

"It’s the unemployment that makes us play dominoes," said Yaqoub Agolav, who also came from Khartoum. "If we go to the south we will find work, but we have been here for three months unable to go to the south and we don’t know why."

(Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

South Sudan Judiciary ‘Almost Starting From Scratch’

Posted: September 29, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Marvis Birungi | Juba, South Sudan

Photo: Marvis Birungi
Chan Reec Madut, chief justice of the South Sudan Supreme Court, in his office in Juba.

Last month the president of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, appointed a new Supreme Court chief justice. The person chosen for the important role of shaping the foundations of an independent and effective judiciary in south sudan is Chan Reec Madut.

He is best known to most as the former deputy chairman of the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission, where he played a key and very public role in staging the vote that paved the way for South Sudan’s independence.

In the past the judiciary in South Sudan was often seen as corrupt and a tool of repression used by the government in Khartoum. In its current form it is underfunded, understaffed and generally viewed with skepticism by most south sudanese.

Madut says he is fully aware of what he is up against. “We have so many challenges because we are almost starting from scratch,” he tells VOA’s Marvis Birungi.

But he remains undaunted. A month into his new job as chief justice, Madut says he is hard at work carrying out his pledge to reform the judicial system into a branch of government that south sudanese can trust and be proud of. Please click on the link below to hear Marvis Birungi’s full interview with South Sudan’s chief justice of the Supreme Court, Chan Reec Madut

http://www.voanews.com/english/news/africa/east/South-Sudan-Judiciary-Almost-Starting-From-Scratch–130722288.html

South Sudan Job Vacancy:

Posted: September 28, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Jobs, Junub Sudan

Please directly contact the employer if you have any questions.

To anyone of interest, please circulate the following job vacancies:

ADVERT-M&E Officer.pdf
Advert-Senior Accountant-Juba.pdf
A2J County Coordinator EEQ.DOCX
A2J County Coordinator Jonglei.docx
A2J County Coordinator UNS.DOCX
A2J Program Manager.docx

President Kiir meeting with Dr. Lam of SPLM-DC in Nairobi

Posted: September 28, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Dr. Lam Akol meets President Kiir and described Kiir’s Speech to UN/GA “as good and came at the right time”

H.E Kiir meets with Dr. Akol in Nairobi, 28-9-2011, By Thomas Kenneth

The President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit met today in his residence in Nairobi with Dr. Lam Akol the Chairperson of the SPLM/DC. Shortly after the meeting President of the Republic told South Sudan Radio and T.V that Dr. Lam decided to join the new nation building journey in ticket of his party SPLM/DC, and he will soon come to Juba. H.E Kiir said “We welcome his decision”.
In an intensive interview conducted by SST.V and Radio on Thursday 28th, Sept, 2011 at Serena Hotel in Nairobi, Dr. Akol said he has not come to Juba since the independence of South Sudan for a number of reasons some are personal and some are connected with political Atmosphere taking place in the country, adding that his meeting with H.E the President discussed some political issues and now that he is ready to come to Juba and he will not continue to keep away from his own country.
Dr. Lam Akol sent a message to the people of South Sudan saying that “We should push together as South Sudanese and be united for a common objective of building the new State in a democratic, political, Religious and cultural diversity” Dr. Akol urged his party to push forward with the program of building South Sudan and be a mirror of correcting mistakes for the Government and opposition are complementary parts. He emphasized that “We are joint together by the new country, only the way of serving people is being seen different from each other”
Dr. Akol Ajawin described the speech delivered by the President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit to the UN/GA in New York, as a good speech, for it came in the time that the newly born state of South Sudan is in need of a good will of the international community. He said UN and AU did not take long to recognize South Sudan. As we are now applying to the regional organizations, we expect smooth welcoming” Dr. Ajawin said. The Theme of the speech was that the new state is facing a lot of state building challenges, and we need to determine rather than others to determine for us, in which areas do we need to be assisted.
Reported By:
Thomas Kenneth Elisapana.
From Nairobi/28/9/2011

South Sudan’s president holds surprise meeting with Lam Akol

September 29, 2011 (NAIROBI) – South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir Mayardit on Thursday met with the leader of the opposition Sudan People’s Liberation Movement Democratic Change (SPLM-DC), Lam Akol, and announced that the latter had decided to return to the fold.

JPEG - 71.4 kb
SPLM-DC’s leader Lam Akol (L) and South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir (R) Source (https://paanluelwel2011.wordpress.com/)

Akol was a prominent member of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) in South Sudan since he rejoined the party in 2003 after 12 years during which he joined a breakaway faction that attempted to overthrow the late SPLM’s leader John Garang in 1991 and aligned with north Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party.

He split again from the SPLM in 2009 to form the SPLM-DC and later stood as a candidate against Kiir in South Sudan’s presidential elections of April 2010.

On 9 November 2009, Kiir slapped a ban on the SPLM-DC and the southern ruling party claimed that Akol’s splinter group was an armed movement causing unrest in the then semi-autonomous region.

South Sudan gained independence in July this year in line with the outcome of a referendum stipulated under the 2005’s peace deal that ended more than two decades of civil wars between the north and the south.

In a statement following the meeting, which took place in Kiir’s residence in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, the president said that Akol “decided to join the new nation building journey on the ticket of his party SPLM/DC, and he will soon come to Juba. “We welcome his decision,” he added.

For his part, Akol said that his meeting with Kiir had addressed some political issues and that he was now ready to return home after a long period of absence. He added that his decision to take a leave of absence was due to personal reasons as well as other reasons related to the political climate that was prevalent back then.

Akol further urged the people to push together as South Sudanese and be united for a common objective of building the new State in a democratic, political, Religious and cultural diversity”

In separate statements to the Nairobi-based Sudan Radio Service (SRS), Akol also opined that federalism is the best political system of governance for South Sudan.

Speaking about the advantages of a federal system, Akol said “Right now ninety percent of the budget of South Sudan is consumed in Juba, and only ten percent goes to the states – ten states get ten percent of the budget, one central government gets 90 percent. This is a skewed way of running our affairs. So federalism has many advantages, it is tested in many countries that have used it, it has kept the fabric of national unity, contrary to people who think that federalism tends to divide people. It makes you feel that you are respected in your own country and you are doing your part of national duty.”

Akol also said that retrieving the amounts of money stolen by corrupt officials in South Sudan is not enough, urging the government to make an example of them through prosecution.

“The call for the money to be returned , although yes it is good to get the money back but the person who took the money should be held accountable so that he does not do it again. So anybody who takes money outside must be held accountable for what he or she did.”

(ST)

http://www.sudantribune.com/South-Sudan-s-president-holds,40286

South Sudan becomes newest member of UN health agency

Posted: September 27, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

141865-treaty.jpg
27 September 2011 – The world’s newest country, South Sudan, today became a member of the World Health Organization (WHO) after accepting the constitution of the United Nations agency as the annual UN event to promote support for global pacts and conventions drew to a close.

South Sudan, which became independent in July and a UN Member State later the same month, becomes the 194th member of WHO, the world’s pre-eminent health agency. UN Member States automatically become WHO members if they accept its constitution.

The step from South Sudan was one of eight treaty actions taken today at UN Headquarters in New York, bringing the total for the five-day treaty promotion event to 88.

Laos also signed the multilateral agreement for establishing a think tank for landlocked developing countries (LLDCs), which is set to be built in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

Togo and Slovenia signed the Nagoya Protocol, a text aimed at encouraging the more equitable sharing of genetic resources and their benefits, while Togo also signed a protocol on biosafety.

Mauritania signed the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance as well as the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which Turkey ratified.

The treaty event is the UN’s annual attempt to encourage States to ratify, accede or sign up to global conventions and therefore promote the application of international law.

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=39853&Cr=treaty&Cr1=

Sudan conflict set to ‘spiral out of control’ over disputed border

Posted: September 27, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Geoffrey york, JOHANNESBURG

When Sudan peacefully split into two countries in July, the world stopped paying attention. The tension seemed to be over: Khartoum had accepted the loss of its southern half, the new nation of South Sudan was born, and decades of civil war had apparently been finally settled.

Yet instead of bringing peace, the birth of South Sudan has triggered a domino-like chain of conflicts in the disputed border regions between north and south. Those conflicts, in turn, are giving power to the hardliners on both sides: army generals who have seized power in Khartoum and rebel forces which are pushing for a new battle against the northern regime.

Two months after the south’s secession, the two countries are teetering on the brink of total war. Fighting has flared up in the contested border regions, the north is using brutal military tactics to impose its will on those regions, and crucial talks on unresolved disputes have broken down. Clashes and street protests have even spread to Darfur and East Sudan, broadening the front lines of the conflict.

“There is a real possibility of a new era of protracted civil war in Sudan,” the International Crisis Group warned in a new report.

“Fighting could expand quickly within Sudan and spill over into South Sudan,” it said. “The conflict in Sudan may spiral out of control and engulf the region.”

Khartoum has already wielded its military power to seize control of the disputed regions of Abyei, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile over the past few months. Satellite images suggest that about 3,000 northern troops are massing in Blue Nile for a potential assault on rebel forces. “The satellite images reveal a wall of armour, including what appear to be main battle tanks, towed artillery, infantry fighting vehicles, armoured personnel carriers and troop transports, apparently accompanied by half a dozen Hind attack helicopters,” said a report by the U.S.-based Satellite Sentinel Project.

Reports by human-rights groups have documented how Khartoum’s air force has killed and maimed dozens of civilians in an indiscriminate bombing campaign in Southern Kordofan, forcing thousands of civilians to flee to caves and mountaintops, where they live in harsh conditions. “The Sudanese government is literally getting away with murder,” said a recent report by Amnesty International.

Across the disputed border regions, hundreds of thousands of ordinary people have been displaced from their homes – including 25,000 who fled from Blue Nile state into neighbouring Ethiopia in recent days, according to the United Nations refugee agency.

In an ominous sign of looming war, hard-line army generals in Khartoum appear to have led a “soft coup” within the ruling party, and their preference is for military tactics, rather than peace talks. Rebel forces in Darfur and Southern Kordofan, meanwhile, have forged a new alliance against the Khartoum regime, adding fuel to the tensions.

International pressure might be the only way to prevent full-scale war in Sudan. Yet the international community, especially the United States, seems to have lost interest in Sudan following the official independence of South Sudan in July.

The fate of the disputed regions, including Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan, was supposed to be settled by “popular consultations” in the border regions, according to a peace agreement between the south and north in 2005. But those consultations were never properly held, and both sides seem to be switching back to military tactics now.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/africa-mideast/sudan-conflict-set-to-spiral-out-of-control-over-disputed-border/article2182482/

South Sudan signs cooperation pact with AfDB

Posted: September 27, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has signed an agreement with the South Sudanese government to enable the bank to extend financial support to the world’s newest state, the AfDB said in a statement on Monday.

AfDB President Donald Kaberuka and South Sudanese Finance Minister Kosti Manibe Ngai, signed the general cooperation agreement in Washington, on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund/World Bank annual meeting.

The agreement allows the AfDB to begin offering financial and technical aid to the South Sudanese government, pending its full membership of the AfDB.

The Bank President said the board of governors had endorsed the cooperation agreement with South Sudan, which would enable the bank to boost its presence in South Sudan, which clocked two months old on 9 September, 2011.

South Sudan welcomed the endorsement of the country’s national development plan and welcomed the pledged financial assistance ahead of the country’s full membership.

Ngai said the expected funding from the bank would enable the infant nation to fast-track the implementation of the projects identified under the development plan.

Kaberuka emphasized the urgent need to have the AfDB on the ground in South Sudan, saying: “This urgent need was appreciated by all the bank stakeholders, who accepted a fast-track approval of this general cooperation agreement.”

http://www.afriquejet.com/south-sudan-signs-cooperation-pact-with-afdb-2011092723321.html