Archive for December 11, 2011

US Ambassador Tells South Sudan to Open Up to Other Political Parties

Posted: December 11, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Map of Sudan and South Sudan

By John Tanza

The United States first ambassador to South Sudan said the world’s newest country needs to open up the democratic space to allow other political parties to take part in the nation building process.

Ambassador Susan Page arrived in Juba earlier this month. She was nominated to become ambassador by President Barrack Obama in August and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in October.

In a recent interview with VOA, just prior to her leaving for South Sudan, Ambassador Page acknowledged that the problems facing Juba are not unique to the people of South Sudan and she expressed confidence that the South Sudanese people will work hard to overcome the numerous challenges facing them.

And she said the country has the goodwill of the international community. ”I feel as if this is not a completely new place, but they are starting off with a bonus of being a new country with a lot of goodwill, but a lot of challenges ahead of them’,”  she added.

Outstanding Post Independent Issues

Page’s posting to South Sudan comes at a difficult time in relations between Juba and Khartoum.  The two nations have been unable to resolve many outstanding post-independence issues, including oil revenue sharing.  Sudan has threatened to halt South Sudan’s oil exports in a disagreement over transit fees, and Khartoum confiscated shipments to make up for payments it claims South Sudan owes.

When South Sudan separated from the north earlier this year, it inherited most of the once unified nation’s oil fields.  But, South Sudan is landlocked and all of its oil flows through Sudan’s pipeline to reach international markets.

Recent talks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia aimed at resolving these issues did not bridge the gap and new talks are scheduled for later in December.

Ambassador Page admitted that the two ruling parties, Sudan’s National Congress Party and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in South Sudan, must work together to resolve post independent issues.  She said she would work to encourage the two parties to continue negotiations.

Good Governance, Corruption and Rule of Law

Business opportunities have boomed and investors have flocked to South Sudan, beginning with the 2005 peace agreement, which ended the more than two-decade civil war, and the declaration of independence in early July.

Page warned that Juba needs to create a stable environment to encourage investment. ”I feel as if South Sudan is open for business, and if they can make the country appealing to investors, if they can get corruption under control, open the country to other political parties” the country  can  become a really first century country with opportunities of  development for its people, she said

The new envoy also urged the government in Juba to open up the democratic space to allow other political parties to openly express their views.  She said her priority would be to work with civil society and human rights groups, as well as the United Nations Mission in South Sudan to push the government in Juba on the issues of good governance and corruption. ”Corruption is a problem, they have acknowledged it, they have asked for our assistance and we have several advisors working with them” she explained.

She further urged Juba to make some progress on reviewing the new the interim constitution by including other political parties and the opposition. The U.S. diplomat added that her country would work with Juba to ensure that its leaders maintain civilian control of the army and institutions of national intelligence. She warned that the time would come when the people of South Sudan will vote out leaders who are not serving their people.

U.S. Open Up South Sudan Oil Sector

Khartoum has been under U.S. sanctions since 1997, but these sanctions could prove harmful to South Sudan, which is landlocked so that its oil can only reach international markets through Sudanese pipelines, which Page acknowledged.

The U.S Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced in December that it was lifting economic sanctions that had prohibited Americans from dealings with the petroleum and petrochemical sector in the Republic of South Sudan.

These sanctions were in place largely because of the benefit the Government of Sudan receives because crude from South Sudan makes it to market at Port Sudan via pipelines through Sudan, and the Government of Sudan receives some benefit from this process.

The new regulation explicitly allows American participation in downstream activities, including the refining, sale and transport of petroleum from South Sudan, so long as the petroleum in not refined in Sudan.

The new regulations will make it significantly easier for U.S. citizens and companies to invest in all sectors of the South Sudanese economy.

Ambassador Page expressed confidence in the current negotiations, facilitated by the African Union High Level Implementation Panel, which is led by former South African President Thabo Mbeki, to address the oil related economic problem between the two countries.

Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has school in South Sudan named after him

Posted: December 11, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Economy

The Italian forward received the honour after donating money to help build a secondary school in war-torn South Sudan because of his friendship with a former child solider

Mario Balotelli,  Manchester City

Getty Images

Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has had a school in Sudan named after him after financing its construction.

The Italian befriend a former child soldier of the country’s civil war and donated money to help him build a secondary school in the South Sudanese village of Cuey Machar which will now have a ‘Mario Balotelli wing’ in his honour.
Kon Kelei, now aged 29, was kidnapped when just four years old by rebels of the Sudan’s People Liberation Army and forced to fight, but he later escaped the conflict and became a refugee in Holland.

After graduating in law during his time in the Netherlands, he returned to South Sudan following their declaration of independence and a film documenting his life was produced, entitled ‘The Silent Army’.

Balotelli was so moved after watching the film that he contacted Kelei offering to help finance a project to build a secondary school.

“Kon told me that he was forced by the rebels to use a rifle that was bigger and heavier than he was. He wasn’t even able to hold it properly,” he said.

“But he managed to run away and save himself. He could have built a new life but he wanted to help his country, so I have helped him.”

South Sudan declared their independence in July, but in recent weeks there has been fighting along the border with Sudan and there are fears of another full-scale conflict.

Fresh fighting erupts in South Sudan Jonglei state

Posted: December 11, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Fresh fighting erupts in South Sudan state
Daily Nation
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Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has school in Sudan named after him
After graduating in law during his time in the Netherlands, he returned to South Sudan following their declaration of independence and a film documenting his life was produced, entitled ‘The Silent Army’. Balotelli was so moved after watching the film

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Jerusalem Post
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Sudan Vision
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Military doctors gain from Sudan experience
China Daily
By Xu Wei (China Daily) ZIBO, Shandong – For doctors in People’s Liberation Army (PLA) military hospitals, taking part in a peacekeeping mission in South Sudan is about as close to being in a war zone as they can come. Since 2005, the PLA Jinan