Archive for January 2, 2012

Kenyan publishers are seeking to grab a larger share of South Sudan’s text book market as the new nation changes its curriculum and raises its spending on education by billions of shillings. Photo/FILE

Kenyan publishers are seeking to grab a larger share of South Sudan’s text book market as the new nation changes its curriculum and raises its spending on education by billions of shillings. Photo/FILE

Kenyan publishers are seeking to grab a larger share of South Sudan’s text book market as the new nation changes its curriculum and raises its spending on education by billions of shillings.
Jomo Kenyatta Foundation (JKF), Oxford University Press (East Africa) and Moran Publishers are leading the race to get a piece of the books budget estimated at Sh15 billion over the next four years for purchase of primary and secondary school textbooks.
The government of South Sudan recently switched from an Arabic-based curriculum to an English one after attaining independence from the North in July 2011.
The North had for years imposed the Arabic-based curriculum on the Christian South which is now keen to promote its own educational, cultural and religious system.
The Arabic curriculum largely benefited Arabic publishers, with Kenyan firms getting only a small share of the market such as early childhood education books. Publishers say the new curriculum is closer to the Kenyan one and that they are willing to make new investments to fully meet more changes expected in coming months.
“South Sudan has a lot of growth opportunities and Kenyan publishers are keen to capture that market by producing the relevant educational books,” said Mr David Muita, the managing director of Moran Publishers which is setting up a distribution network in the neighbouring country.
The South’s independence has, however, attracted more donors such as UK’s Department For International Development (DfID) which has emerged as one of the biggest financiers in the country’s education sector.
DfID is funding the purchase of 12.5 million textbooks in South Sudan by year-end. The UK agency has earmarked a total of £75 million (Sh9.7 billion) for purchase of educational resources, including books, in the next four years.
The new administration in South Sudan is determined to uplift the country’s education standards, a move that is set to further expand opportunities for Kenyan publishers.
According to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), there is only one textbook for every four students in South Sudan’s primary schools. The government plans to improve this to one textbook per student in both primary and secondary schools by 2015. “This will require an additional 5.6 million primary school textbooks and 576,000 secondary school books,” Unesco said in a new report on the country’s education system.

South Sudanese flee to escape deadly ethnic vendetta

Posted: January 2, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Tens of thousands of South Sudanese are fleeing their homes after inter-ethnic clashes around the town of Pibor.

The UN is warning villagers to run for their lives as some 6,000 fighters advance on their ethnic rivals.

Fighters from the Lou Nuer ethnic group are pursuing members of the Murle community, reports say, as a deadly vendetta over cattle raiding continues.

A UN official told the BBC that peacekeepers and government troops are heavily outnumbered.

The government is sending additional police and troops in a bid to quell the violence.

About 1,000 people have been killed in recent months as reprisal attacks over cattle raids have escalated.

Tens of thousands of Murle fled Pibor after it came under attack from the Lou Nuer on Saturday.

BBC East Africa correspondent Will Ross says the Lou Nuer are attacking villages and burning homes and that it could take a week for the Murle to walk to an area of safety.

Deputy UN deputy humanitarian coordinator in South Sudan Lise Grande told the BBC that several hundred UN peacekeepers and government troops were “far outnumbered” by about 6,000 Lou Nuer fighters.

“Several flanks of the attackers have moved in a south-easterly direction [from Pibor], almost certainly looking for cattle,” she said.

She said the main part of Pibor had been held but that a clinic belonging to the charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) had been “overtaken”.

Ms Grande said the UN was tracking the movement of the Lou Nuer and warning others in their path to “disperse into the bush for their safety”.

‘Mother and sister missing’

Our correspondent says many of the Lou Nuer fighters were now believed to be in pursuit of the Murle who had fled Pibor.

The BBC has learnt that some of the displaced – mainly women, children and the elderly – have been killed although it has not been possible to verify how many.

A resident of Pibor who fled to the capital Juba told the BBC that the Lou Nuer were still occupying parts of the town.

“The UN troops are there but they are not fighting the fighters who entered the town,” said Rev Orozu Lokine Daky of Pibor’s Presbyterian Church.

“They are just trying to protect the city centre only, the rest of the town is now under [the control of] the fighters.

“The situation is deteriorating. My own mother and my own sister are now missing. I don’t know where they are. I assume they are dead,” he added.

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has called on the Lou Nuer to stop their advance and return to their traditional areas.

The government said it was deploying more troops and an additional 2,000 police to Pibor.

Military spokesman Col Philip Aguer said on Sunday: “The 2,000 police are being sent within the next 24 hours. Troops will be deployed as soon as possible.”

MSF said it had lost contact with some 130 of its staff in Pibor and was “extremely worried” about their safety.

The MSF workers were believed to have fled into the bush when Pibor came under attack.

The medical charity’s head in the country, Parthesarathy Rajendran, told the BBC they had only been able to get in touch with 13 members of the MSF team in the town.

The Lou Nuer fighters have arrived in Pibor after marching through Jonglei state in recent weeks, setting fire to homes and seizing livestock.

The entire town of Lukangol was burnt to the ground last week. About 20,000 civilians managed to flee before the attack, but dozens were killed on both sides.

The governor of Jonglei state and the vice-president of South Sudan have been trying to mediate between the rival ethnic groups.

South Sudan became independent on 9 July 2011 following decades of civil war with the north.

One legacy of the conflict is that the region is still flooded with weapons.

These are now being used in ethnic power-struggles, which often focus on cattle because of the central role they play in many South Sudanese communities.

Scores dead in South Sudan tribal clashes

Posted: January 2, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

NAIROBI  – Thousands of villagers in South Sudan hid in the bush Monday, waiting for UN and government troops to stop a cattle vendetta which officials feared may have left scores of people dead over the weekend.

A column of some 6,000 armed youths from the Lou Nuer tribe marched on the remote town of Pibor in troubled Jonglei state, home to the rival Murle people, who they blame for cattle raiding and have vowed to exterminate.

They burned thatched huts and looted a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders, the worst flare-up in a dispute that has left more than 1,000 dead in recent months and threatened to destabilise the world’s newest country. “The situation is tense as the Lou Nuer are still around Pibor,” said Jonglei state information minister Isaac Ajiba, adding that army reinforcements were still on their way to the remote settlement. “They (the army) are yet to arrive but we hope to have the reinforcements there soon… We have reports of several casualties, but at present the exact numbers are not verified,” Ajiba added.

Newly independent South Sudan was left in ruins by decades of war with northern Sudanese forces, who fuelled conflict by backing proxy militia forces across the south, often exacerbating historical enmities between rival groups.

A group calling itself the Nuer Youth White Army issued a statement on December 26 vowing to “wipe out the entire Murle tribe… as the only solution to guarantee long-term security of Nuer cattle.”

The government and the United Nations — which has warned the violence could lead to a “major tragedy” — were beefing up their forces in the area. “We are moving in a big number of forces from the army and from the police to the area,” South Sudan President Salva Kiir said in a New Year’s Day address.

“The senseless behaviour of raiding each other’s cattle can no longer be tolerated… Any politician or community leader whose statement would be construed as encouraging ethnic hostility will be made accountable,” he added.

Despite disarmament efforts, guns remain common in Jonglei, an isolated and swampy state about the size of Austria and Switzerland combined but with limited mud roads often impassable for months during heavy rains. Reverend Mark Akec Cien, general secretary of the Sudan Council of Churches, an umbrella organisation with members across the area, said they had reports of many killed and wounded in the clashes.

“The situation is very bad, there have been heavy casualties, and the Murle have fled out of the town,” Cien said from South Sudan’s capital Juba. “The Lou Nuer are there in the town, but others have left chasing after the Murle.”

Over 30 people were killed in Lukangol, some 30 kilometres north of Pibor where Lou Nuer fighters attacked last week, burning the settlement to the ground, Cien said.

Ethnic violence, cattle raids and reprisal attacks in the vast eastern state left over 1,100 people dead and forced some 63,000 from their homes last year, according to UN reports based on local authorities and assessment teams.

Tit-for-tat cattle raiding is common in a grossly underdeveloped region awash with guns, but Information Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin said that casualties from recent clashes were not as high as many feared.

“The Murle left their villages ahead of the Lou Nuer, so while some structures were set on fire, not so much life was lost,” he said.

“The Lou Nuer have been ordered to return back home and to leave Murle villages, and some are already doing so,” Benjamin told AFP.

Many groups accuse the Murle of abducting children from neighbouring tribes, with the boys used to herd cattle, and girls valued for the future dowry of cows they will earn, communities say.

“The government has repeated that it will work alongside the UN to ensure that all abducted children and women, and the thousands of cattle, will be released and that people must not take these matters into their own hands,” Benjamin added.

Lise Grande, the UN humanitarian coordinator for South Sudan, said Sunday that the number of government forces heading to Pibor was estimated at 3,000 troops and 800 police.

South Sudan president accuses Khartoum of stealing its oil
Sudan Tribune
January 2, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The president of South Sudan Salva Kiir accused the Sudanese government of stealing his country’s oil in a new sign of escalation between the two ex-foes. In his New Year message to the people of South Sudan, Kiir said that 

Sudan’s rebels urge opposition parties to join struggle for regime change
Sudan Tribune
The SRF called for establishing a strategic relationship between Sudan and South Sudan, saying that this particular goal cannot be achieved unless through toppling the regime and finding an alternative system that guarantees cohabitation with South 

New Year football aims to bring unity to Bentui
Sudan Tribune
Unity state, which borders north Sudan, is home to South Sudan’s main oil fields as well as the new country’s most active rebel groups. Hundreds died in 2011 in clashes between rebels and the military. Sport is seen as a way to unite the new nation and

Ugandan traders seek $41m compensation from S. Sudan
Sudan Tribune
January 1, 2012 (NIMULE) — The Government of South Sudan will have to part with $14m as compensation to South Sudan Traders Association Limited (STAL), a Ugandan body which claims its members lost numerous properties while dealing with their South 

South Sudan: Nine people killed in Bahr el Ghazal
Sudan Tribune
January 1, 2012 (JUBA) — At least 9 civilians have been killed in two separate incidents in South Sudan’s northwestern region of Bahr el Ghazal. Several others have also sustained injuries in the same incidents which took place in Aweil, the 

South Sudan: UN urges ethnic communities to resolve differences peacefully
United Nations, New York, 29 December 2011 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed deep concern about continuing ethnic tensions in South Sudan’s Jonglei state, where there are reports of fresh rounds of deadly clashes and claims that thousands of 

Reporting from South Sudan
Al Jazeera
AJE’s Haru Mutasa travels to the troubled village of Pibor in South Sudan

UN: Up to 50000 flee South Sudan tribal turmoil
Up to 50000 people have fled tribal violence in a remote border area of South Sudan, the United Nations said on Monday, in the latest episode of upheaval to hit the new African nation. South Sudan became independent in July last year under a 2005 peace 

RCMP inspector off to help build South Sudan
Burnaby NewsLeader
Sutherland will be spending the next year on a similar mission in South Sudan. By Mario Bartel – Burnaby NewsLeader Walt Sutherland built a life in the RCMP. He’s risen through the ranks from general duty officer to VIP security to Inspector. 

Bor South Development Project in USA to hold conference on May 26
New Sudan Vision
To: Beloved Sons and Daughters of Bor County, South Sudanese, and Citizens of Jonglei State, Twi, and Duk Counties. The leadership of Bor South/Bor County has scheduled a Reunion and General Assembly meetings for Memorial’s Day weekend. 

South Sudan: Civilians Flee
New York Times
South Sudan became independent in July under a 2005 peace deal with Sudan. But it is struggling to stop rebel and ethnic violence that has killed thousands. On Monday, about 6000 armed members of the Lou Nuer ethnic group attacked the remote town of

South Sudan probes beating of senior official in Wau
Sudan Tribune
January 2, 2012 (JUBA) – South Sudan said Monday it is investigating an allegation of assault against a senior official in the national government by forces believed to have been from the new nations military. An armed group, allegedly members Sudan

South Sudan, Israel’s new ally
Washington Times
By Daniel Pipes It’s not every day that the leader of a brand-new country makes his maiden foreign voyage to Jerusalem, capital of the most besieged country in the world, but Salva Kiir, president of South Sudan, accompanied by his foreign and defense 
Sudanese mark Independence Day
Press TV
During his speech on this day, Al Saddig al-Mahdi, the leader of the main opposition party, National Umma party warned the government about the new relationship taking shape between Juba and Israel, which may be detrimental to the peace of South Sudan 
S.Sudan syllabus review lifts Kenya publishers outlook
Business Daily Africa
Kenyan publishers are seeking to grab a larger share of South Sudan’s text book market as the new nation changes its curriculum and raises its spending on education by billions of shillings. Photo/FILE By VICTOR JUMA (email the author) Kenyan 
UN warns South Sudanese to flee
BBC News
The United Nations has warned villagers in South Sudan to flee from advancing fighters from a rival ethnic group. Fighters from the Lou Nuer ethnic group are pursuing members of the Murle group, reports say, as a deadly vendetta over cattle raiding