Archive for September 29, 2011


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